Lake Ozark Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 16, 2019

2019 Overland Park Boat Show

The Overland Park Boat Show is coming up next week! From January 24 to January 27, see the latest and greatest in boating!

Your Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association welcomes you to the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. This boater’s paradise here in the Midwest is perfect for any type of recreational boating.

The Marine Dealers Association is made up of over 40 Lake of the Ozarks area marine dealers. They represent all the top lines of boatsmarine accessoriesdockspersonal watercraft and everything else to promote fun on our waters. At out Association website you will find a complete list of our member dealers and also a listing of upcoming boat shows in our area that are promoted by LOMDA. To access our Association website, simply click on the picture logo above.

Information and picture courtesy of See the original article here.

Posted in Blogs
Jan. 11, 2019

2018 MLS Yearly Comparison Report

People are always curious and asking "How is the Real Estate Market at Lake of the Ozarks"?  Thankfully it is strong and looks to be continuing that trend.  The Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors recently released the 2018 MLS Yearly Comparison Report and I wanted to share it with you.  Overall you notice there was a slight overall increase in total sales and total volume from 2017. See the chart for a full breakdown of the statistics for each sector. The Schrimpf Real Estate Group is looking forward to 2019 and being a huge part of these sales!

Posted in Blogs
Jan. 4, 2019

Welcoming the New Year

The lake is going to be buzzing in 2019! Plans abound for the coming year, with projects taking off all over the place. But before we get into that, here's a heads-up about the Winter Draw Down hitting this weekend. The Draw Down is when Ameren lower lake levels for the winter in anticipation of precipitation that could raise lake levels above the safe maximum. Levels are anticipated to drop as much as 8 1/2 feet, so make sure you prepare your dock! Here are a few hints, courtesy of Lake Expo:

In order to avoid damage, dock owners are advised to follow a number of basic tips to winterize their structure:

  1. All docks should be tested to ensure that they can safely rise and fall with the water levels: residents should check to make sure the dock isn't pinned or hampered by any stumps or objects, and inspect all dock cables and bolts for loose parts or rust. Water lines should be drained, and boat lifts should be raised to ensure they are holding air.
  2. Cables should be lengthened to allow docks to drop as the Lake or river levels drop. Hinges, pins and other connections linking any remaining docks to seawalls or piers have the flexibility to follow water level fluctuations.
  3. Dock owners should make sure that they have a proper deicer and that the machine is working properly. For example, agitators are typically meant for deeper waters, as they are designed to bring up warmer water from the depths to prevent ice from forming. In contrast, bubblers are made for shallower waters, because they use compressed air to disturb the water, preventing ice from forming in areas that lack a warm undercurrent.
  4. Below the dam, dock owners should remove their docks from the Osage River before cold weather hits.

Now, on to the upcoming projects!

First thing to look at is a major sewer expansion along Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach. This expansion is funded by over $3 million in grants, and is anticipated to be a major boon for businesses and residents alike. The city is hoping to improve residential life for many, while encouraging major growth in business. The project is anticipated to go out for bid this Fall.

The final project to look at is a series of new Trail Runs that will hit the State Park this year! The first, a 25K along the Trail of Four Winds, will happen in May. Two more will follow; one on Honey Run Trail at an unspecified date, and another that has not been finalized. There are only 350 slots for the first race, so make sure you register if you're interested! You can find more details here.

Aside from these fantastic developments, there will be plenty more coming to the lake in 2019, so keep an eye out and your ears open!


Looking for a home around the lake? We can help! Click here for homes around Sunrise Beach, and here for homes near the State Park!

Posted in Blogs
Dec. 28, 2018

One Last Holiday Treat

Laurie's Enchanted Village of Lights will be packing up soon! This weekend is your last chance to catch one of the lake's main Christmas attractions. The Hillbilly Fairgrounds are truly a sight to see during the holiday season, and the recently refurbished fixtures have only added to the charm! The show will be going away after the New Year, so make sure to visit before it's gone! There is no charge to see the Enchanted Village, but donations are appreciated.

Looking for a home near Laurie? See what we've got here!


Photo courtesy of

Posted in Blogs
Aug. 10, 2018

How Local Charities Spend Their Shootout Donations

This story courtesy of and Nathan Bechtold. The original article can be found here.

The Shootout has donated $1 million to local charitable/community organizations and fire districts, just in the last decade. Here’s a peek at how they’ve used the money.


What do dozens of finely-tuned powerboats and dozens of Lake of the Ozarks charities have in common? Well, the answer wouldn’t be immediately obvious, were it not for the Shootout. Just like the boats on the race course, the event has become a well-oiled machine, raising $1 million for Lake area charities in the last decade, with $200,000 raised in 2017 alone.

Where does the money come from? All over. Some people—racers and fans—simply write checks and hand them over, ready to benefit the many charities doing lots of good across the diverse Lake region. Ad revenue from the Official Shootout Guide gives a big boost to the annual dollar amount raised. And Shootout events like the Golf Tournament, Poker Run, and Treasure Hunt bring money both via tickets sold and title sponsorships.

How is it distributed? Proportionately to how Shootout-connected charities help volunteer their time. More than two-dozen charities will be connected with Shootout events this year, helping everything go smoothly: from taking tickets to parking cars to setting up and cleaning up. Other folks, not explicitly connected with any specific charity, volunteer their time on behalf of the charity of their choice. Volunteers all sign a time sheet, where they “clock in,” sign their name, and indicate the charity they want their hours to go toward. When all the boats go home and the donations are counted, the money is donated proportionately to how many hours were worked on behalf of each Shootout charity. "There were 647 volunteers, who clocked 8,800 hours in 2017," former race director Ron Duggan explained.

In all, 37 local charities, community organizations, and fire districts benefitted from the 2017 Shootout. Here’s a look at what a few of the many local charities have been able to do, thanks to the race… 


Ozarks Habitat for Humanity 

In its 20 years of existence, Ozarks Habitat for Humanity has built 18 homes in the Camdenton area, providing affordable housing for 23 adults and 50 children. The organization tithes annually to Habitat International, which has helped build another 47 homes internationally. Proceeds from the Shootout contribute to the great work of Habitat for Humanity.

Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary

The Shootout typically contributes thousands of dollars per year to the Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary. The local club in turn supports three Lake-area food pantries, Morgan County Coalition for Kids, Citizens Against Domestic Violence (CADV-VOC), Medical Missions for Christ, Wonderland Camp, Westlake Aquatic Center, and literacy programs.


Another Shootout-benefitted organization, Community Leaders Educating About Resistance (CLEAR) helps educate people about high risk behaviors while promoting a safe and healthy community.

Laurie Elks

One of the largest recipients of Shootout donations in recent years, Laurie Elks are deeply involved in helping the community on the Westside of the Lake of the Ozarks. Among the Laurie Elks’ many recent activities they have either helped fund or organize: Youth Day for underprivileged children, Kids Fishing Derby, Local Boy Scout Troop and Council, Clothing Vouchers for Needy Families, Providing propane and sleeping bags for a single mom in the area with 6 children, Christmas Basket Program over Christmas Break, 2 weeks worth of groceries to 102 families, Tree of Joy: 2 Christmas toys for 360 children, Angelman Syndrome donation, Helped with new siding on the Sunrise Beach Little Theater, Repaired vehicle light bars on Sunrise Beach Police cars, Helped fund Missouri Burn Camp: a camp for severely burned children so they can make friends with other burned children and build self esteem and make friends. Laurie Elks also celebrate a Student of the month program recognizing 4 boys and girls at each school, as well as student of the year which awards 5 scholarships to students across 4 schools. Laurie Elks sponsored a Youth Ambassador for ACT Missouri Drug Awareness; and has made donations to Share the Harvest, Food for Morgan County, and Community for Christ.


Local Fire Departments

In a big tribute to the important role local fire districts have played in the Lake’s longest-running boat race, the Shootout annually donates tens of thousands of dollars to eight local fire districts, some of which operate with tiny budgets in big areas. Those departments volunteer time at the event every year, in all sorts of capacities. Thanks to the Shootout, Coffman Bend Fire Department—historically one of the largest recipients of Shootout dollars—was able to purchase a new firetruck and an Auto Pulse Resuscitation System. The largest district in the region, Mid County Fire Protection District uses all the money received for training and equipment. for the Dive and Water Rescue Team.

Citizens Against Domestic Violence

CADV is a crucial shelter at the Lake for people suffering under domestic abuse. CADV uses money from Shootout donations to help women and children who are moving out of the shelter set up their new home in a variety of ways. Often this means assistance with deposits for utilities or rent for the first month.

Dogwood Animal Shelter & Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue

Furry friends benefit from the Shootout too! In 2017, Dogwood Animal Shelter was able to purchase 100 bags of dog food and 45 bags of cat food, thanks to Shootout donations.

Missouri Forget-Me-Not Horse Rescue and Sanctuary uses Shootout funds to provide food, vet and farrier services to horses that have been abandoned, neglected or surrendered by their owners because they can no longer afford to feed and care for them. The organization cares for over 140 horses at the sanctuary in Linn Creek and across its network of foster homes in the surrounding area. Many horses are permanent residents of the Sanctuary, because of age, medical issues, or blindness. In 2017, Missouri Forget-Me-Not spent over $67,000 on feed and supplements, over $30,000 on veterinary care and pharmaceuticals, over $14,000 on horse training, and over $11,000 on farrier services. They also spent $15,000 to replace the barbwire fencing with horse friendly fencing on the pasture land they acquired a couple of years ago, in order to avoid injury to the horses. They are a 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, and depend entirely on donations and fundraisers for financial support. They are staffed entirely by volunteers, and have no paid employees. One volunteer explained simply, “The money we receive from the Shootout enables us to save these horses’ lives.”

Posted in Community News
Aug. 2, 2018

11 Back to School Tips

Back to School Tips

Summer is quickly coming to an end and that means the school routine will begin soon. Try these 11 tips to help your student establish routines for a successful school year!
School is set to begin this month! Make sure you're ready!
By Jim Fannin, Huffington Post
1. Reset Sleep Patterns
Seven to ten days prior to the first day of school start the process of regular sleep. Wean the student off of going to bed late and sleeping late.

2. Reset Eating Habits
Once school begins the eating patterns of the student need to be set so that they can maintain a high level of energy throughout the day. The routines of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and after-school snack prior to homework need to be implemented.

3. Exercise the Brain
Begin now to encourage reading and writing at least 7-10 days prior to the first day of school. If school textbooks for the upcoming year are available, start there with the first several chapters.

4. Set Academic Goals
 Establishing well-defined goals is one of the hallmarks of a champion. Set goals for each class and hold your student accountable.

5. Identify Priorities
Football games, dances, playing video games, watching television, social media, homework, sports, extracurricular participation and friends are all part of each school year. Does academics top the list of priorities?

6. Social Media
As a student or guide to a student, you need to know three things about social media. What is my responsibility? What is my authority? And lastly, what will I be held accountable for? Monitor this activity.

7. Risk and Reward
This subject needs to be addressed frequently with your student. Every thing they do or don’t do has a positive or negative consequence. What is the risk of doing this activity? What is the reward (or consequence) of doing this activity?

8. Ask Questions
In order to turn your student into a viable and responsible decision-maker ask questions. Great questions will eventually produce great answers and ultimately great actions.

9. The Peer Group
Birds of a feather flock together. Interview, research and keep tabs on ALL of your student’s friends during the school year. This definitely includes monitoring ALL social media.

10. Get Ready Mom and Dad
Make your student an integral part of the family. Keep them in the loop of all upcoming activities. Make the family name a brand each family member is proud to showcase in the community.

11. Allow for Freedom of Choice
Allow your student the time in their busy schedule to hang out with friends. Just be moderate. Grades first.
Posted in Blogs
July 5, 2018

What To Do When Your Boat Overheats

Content courtesy of and Sky Smith. The original article can be read here.

Have you noticed the temperatures seem to be going to extremes the last few years? Around the country, we have been seeing colder colds and hotter hots, and for those of us that play or work outside, extreme temperatures require extra precautions. And of course extra complaining! This time of year, I forget about the cold and complain about the heat (which I really should be happy about, because it means boating weather).

The extra heat can have a detrimental effect on the operation of our vehicles.  Years ago, I can remember running my ’74 Corvette convertible in local parades and running the heater to help dissipate the engine heat.  I also have an air-cooled motorcycle that starts to run hot in too much stop-and-go traffic: not much airflow over the cylinders to keep the heat down. 

Not even boats are immune! If you have ever been out on the water and had an engine spewing steam from the engine compartment because it started overheating, well, you know what heat can do. In reality, it doesn’t matter if you have an air-cooled or water-cooled car, motorcycle or boat, it can overheat.

Overheating is no minor issue: according to BoatUS Marine Insurance data, 9 percent of boat fires are caused by engine overheating.

For boaters, how do you know when you’re running too hot, and what can you do about it?

How To Tell If Your Boat Is Overheating

Here are four pretty clear indicators that something is wrong:

1. The first and easiest is if the dash gauge for the temperature goes out of the green and into red.  

2. If it feels like the engine is losing power, you might be overheating. 

3. An overheated engine may not want to start up again after you shut it off, until it cools down.  

4. An unusually large amount of steam coming out of the exhaust. 

If your engine is running hot, you definitely have a problem that needs to be fixed. Troubleshooting and finding the problem can be difficult. A few of the more common issues include: 

-The water pump impeller has failed. 

-The engine belt driving the water pump is bad or broken.

-The engine raw water strainers are plugged. 

-Or maybe the grills or grates where the water is pulled into the cooling system is blocked or plugged.

A Crash-Course On Boat Engine Cooling Systems

The fact that your boat could overheat means you should know the basics of your engine cooling systems. 

The first type, full raw water systems (usually in older boats), pull the water you are in (lake, river, salt) into the engine’s cooling passageways in the engine, removing the heat from the engine by heating the water, and pumping the heated water back in to the lake (or ocean). Of course that also means anything in the water goes through the passageways: vegetation, debris, trash, etc. Therefore, blockage and damage to the pump can be an issue. Usually there are filters/strainers or screens to keep the particles out of the engine, but over time buildup can occur. That is why you should always flush your cooling systems.

Most new boats, however, have partial raw water systems. The engine is in a closed system that is very similar to your automobile, and contains antifreeze which actually keeps the water from freezing and raises the boiling point of the water slightly. Water passes through the engine and is heated. The hot water then passes through the heat exchanger (like a car’s radiator) and is cooled down before it returns to the engine. A car’s radiator has air passing through the radiator to cool the water. In a boat’s heat exchanger, water from the lake passes through the exchanger to remove the heat from the water in the engine. Make sense? Basically, cooling the engine relies on water being passed through something (radiator, exchangers) to remove the heat. If there is a breakdown in that process, the boat can overheat.

What To Do If Your Boat Overheats

Okay, so now the big question is: what do you do if your boat is showing signs of overheating?  Well, it depends. If you are very far from a marina, you’ll need to cool the engine down before you can get the boat to a mechanic. The engine overheats typically when you’re headed from one place to another, so it’s not always the best time to pull into a cove and take a swim break! But that may be your best bet, to avoid having your entire day wrecked by a major engine failure. While the engine cools, here are some things to try…

-Check For Blockage. If you know where your raw water strainer is, check and see if it’s plugged. Also check for blockage in the “thru hulls” where the water is pulled in.  

-Check The Coolant. There are times when your cooling system needs some work, but isn’t in complete failure. If your boat uses a partially closed system (most new boats do), make sure you have coolant in the closed system. It is like checking the water level in a car. (Caution! Just like checking a car’s radiator, a hot engine means hot engine coolant, which means the coolant system will be under pressure when it’s hot. Wait for the system to cool down before opening it to check fluid levels.)

-Lighten The Load. You can try dumping the ballast water (or the beer cooler!) to reduce the weight of the boat. Anything that puts a load on the engine increases the heat it produces, and if your system is slightly compromised, a heavy load can make it overheat.

-Air It Out. Some people believe they can open the engine compartment and the increased airflow can help cool the engine. That’s an okay short-term way to help cool a hot engine, but it’s not a real fix. The engine should not overheat in the engine compartment: the boat is designed to operate with a closed compartment. Do make sure the engine area has lots of room around it (that’s why opening the engine cover can help, but should not be necessary). Also, running the blowers might help; blowers will remove some of the hot air from the engine compartment.

-If All Else Fails, Call For A Tow. If you have a nonfunctioning component in your cooling system, you might not make it back without damaging an engine, and should probably just call for a tow. The cooling system keeps the oil temperature down so the oil can lubricate the internal parts of the engine. Overheating ruins the lubrication and the metals parts start melting and sticking together. Or they just break apart with a big bang. Neither of those things are good. So if the engine cools down but heats right back up when you restart it, you should probably get a tow to shore, which is probably cheaper than a new engine.

An Ounce Of Prevention

So it’s clear that if your boat is overheating, there is not one great solution. As with so many things mechanical, your best bet is to perform regular maintenance:

-On the cooling systems, make sure the strainers and systems are clean and flushed regularly. 

-Check the cooling hoses and fittings to make sure they do not leak and ensure the hoses are not stiff and brittle. 

-Tighten any loose clamps and replace corroded clamps. 

-Make sure you have the correct oil in the engine to manage the hot temperatures. Oil is the “lifeblood” of an engine. 

If you’re on the water and you overheat, make sure you stop quickly (and safely of course) and let it cool down slowly. I can tell you from first-hand experience that when a hose breaks, the engine can overheat. In my case it dropped steel valve seats out of the heads and jammed and bent the valves….oops! When that happens, you call for a tow.

Posted in Community News
June 26, 2018

Lake Area Fireworks this July 4th


Celebration II Fireworks Cruise – Bagnell Dam

Time: Board 7:00 p.m., Depart 7:30 p.m., Return 10:00 p.m.
Join us from the Bagnell Dam as Celebration Cruises lights up the night sky in honor of Memorial Day!
Cost is $35.00 per person
Enjoy a gourmet turkey sandwich snack box for only $10.00
Full service bar and snacks available for purchase.
Book online or call for details: (573) 286-9980

Captain Ron's, Fireworks @ Dark

Live Music by M-80’s 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.
WHERE: 82 Aloha Ln, Sunrise Beach, 65079
Call for details: 573-374-5852


Eldon's 4th of July Celebration, Fireworks @ Dusk

5K Run Starts @ 7:30 a.m.
Parade @ 10:30 a.m.
Free Swimming from Noon - 4:00 p.m.
Entertainment for the whole family in the afternoon
Fireworks begin @ dusk w/simulcast
WHERE: Eldon Air Park- Franklin Street
T: (573) 392-3752

Tan-Tar-A, Fireworks @ Dusk

View by water at the 26 Mile Marker
Hwy KK to 494 Tan Tar A Drive in Osage Beach -- Viewing by land on the Tan-Tar-A property reserved for resort guests only.
Call for details: 573-348-3131

Lodge of Four Season, Fireworks @ Dusk

View by water at the 13 Mile Marker
315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark
Call for detail: 573-365-3000 

Bear Bottom Resort, Fireworks @ 9:45 p.m.

Live Music by Glory Days playing 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.
View by water at the 38 Mile Marker
Hwy 5 to 123 Bear Bottom Drive in Sunrise Beach
Parking is limited; Arrive early.
Call for details: 573-374-6905

Celebration Fireworks Cruise – Grand Glaize Bridge

Board 7:00 p.m., Depart 7:30 p.m., Return 10:00 p.m.
Join Celebration Cruises as we celebrate the holiday with fireworks. Departing from our Grand Glaize Bridge location. $35.00 per person, includes two hour cruise on the lake, and firework display.
Cost is $35.00 per person.
Book online or call for details: (573) 480-3212

Playin' Hooky Fireworks Cruise @ Departs 8:30 PM

Come and enjoy the spectacular view of the fireworks from the water while enjoying a 1 1/2 hour cruise on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks
$25 per person, Limited seating available
Millstone Marina, 7 mm 18096 Hwy O, Gravois Mills, Mo. 65037 - 573-434-2627

Point Randall Resort, Fireworks @ Dusk

View by water at 2 Mile Marker
1584 Susan Road, Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Call for details: 573-365-2081


Old Kinderhook Fun Fest, Fireworks @ Dusk

5:00 - 9:00 p.m. Live music, games, face painting and more for the entire family.
Spectacular fireworks show will begin at dusk. Bring a blanket and find a spot on the lawn.
View by water at 12 Mile Marker Big Niangua
678 Old Kinderhook Drive, Camdenton, MO 65020
Call for details: 573-317-3500

Posted in Community News
June 22, 2018

Family Friendly Activities Around the Lake

This content is courtesy of and Sara Halverson. The original article can be viewed here.

This image courtesy of

Besides hopping on a boat, there's so much for families to do at Lake of the Ozarks, the Midwest's playground! Here are 8 family-friendly ways to enjoy the Lake area...

1. Helicopter Tour of Lake of the Ozarks

2101 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO 65049 (573) 302-0022

See the Lake from a whole new perspective. Lake Ozark Helicopters offers several different tours with affordable pricing to make it easy for the whole family to go flying.

2. Ha Ha Tonka

1491 Missouri D, Camdenton, MO 65020 (573) 346-2986

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is free to get into, like all Missouri State Parks, and offers more than a dozen hiking trails that cater to different skill levels. Two popular paths are the Castle Trail to the castle ruins which looks out over the Lake and the Spring Trail which leads to the Ha Ha Tonka Spring. 

3. Grand Auglaize Swinging Bridge

Two miles from Brumley, Swinging Bridges Road (Lake Road 42-18)

This local favorite spot is a great place to hang out and enjoy Ozark scenery and cool off in the Auglaize. The structure is a stunning example of a suspension bridge and the old wooden slats add character and excitement to crossing. You can find it about two miles from Brumley on a gravel road, now called Swinging Bridges Road (Lake Road 42-18).

4. Lake of the Ozarks Caves

Stark Caverns – 125 Cave Dr, Eldon, MO 65026 (573) 369-3306

The largest cave in Miller county has unusually beautiful geological formations and interesting archeological artifacts. The entire cave tour is paved and lit, and 90 percent of the tour is handicap-accessible. 

Bridal Cave – 526 Bridal Cave Rd., Camdenton, MO 65020 (573) 346-2676

Well know for hosting weddings, Bridal Cave is a gem of cave whether your getting married there or not. It touts a long and mysterious history in the area, along with beautiful mineral formations and a stunning underground lake.  

Jacob's Cave – 23114 Hwy TT, Versailles, Missouri 65084 (573) 378-4374

This entirely handicap accessible cave features ancient mastodon bones as well as impressive cave formations.  The tour is one-mile long with a reflecting pool, soda straws and stalactites that awe all ages.

5. Celebration Cruises

5085 Davis Drive, Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 480-3212

Celebration is running three different cruises to help you enjoy the Lake.

A Narrated Lake Cruise highlights the best Lake of the Ozarks natural history and scenery. An Evening Cruise is available daily (except Monday & Saturday) to combine happy hour with a scenic Lake or Bagnell Dam cruise. You and your honey can also pop for the romantic Candlelight Dinner Cruise that run every Saturday night. This cruise offers a full dinner menu, including prime rib, salmon, surf and turf along with a lot of other delicious options. Here's a link to the Full Dinner Menu. Check their website for details on pricing and boarding times and locations.  

6. Big Surf Waterpark

954 State Highway Y, Linn Creek, MO 65052 (573) 346-6111

Big Surf Waterpark is one of the hottest place to cool off in the area. It's a great place to go whether you have toddlers or teens, because they'll all find something to enjoy here on hot summer day! 

7. Lake of the Ozarks State Park

403 Missouri 134, Kaiser MO 65047 (573) 348-2694

You'll find it's the perfect Lake spot for water time with a great beach for swimming and sunbathing at Public Beach #2. After everyone has worked up a nice appetite, move over to a picnic area or a pavilion if it's not reserved and enjoy a meal while grilling in the great outdoors. No need to leave when it gets dark, just break out the s'mores and head over to one of the campfire areas. 

8. Bagnell Dam and the Bagnell Dam Strip

No trip to the Lake of the Ozarks is complete with out a trip the see the Bagnell Dam. Start by visiting the scenic overlook on the North end of the dam. Then take a slow drive across the dam to the upper end of the strip where ice cream and fudge shops, arcades and souvenir stores can entertain the whole family.






Posted in Blogs
June 20, 2018

Tips For Bringing Your Dog On The Boat

Information courtesy of and Emily Smith. Original article can be viewed here.

“Dog people” are their own special breed of human. (I happen to be one of them!)

To us, dogs aren’t pets - they’re family - so it’s only natural that we want to take our furry children with us wherever we go, and that includes going on boat rides. Taking your dog out on your boat can add even more joy to an already fun experience. However, taking your dog on the water along with the rest of your pack requires some unique preparations and precautions.

  1. Buy him a life jacket:  Not only people need life jackets – your dog needs a life jacket too! Even dogs who are strong swimmers can end up drowning due to rough water or fatigue. Be sure that your dog’s life jacket fits properly (snug, but not too tight) and that you get him used to wearing it before your first boat ride. This one comes in a number of sizes.

  2. Boat/dock introduction: Before you take your dog on her first outing, introduce her to your dock and boat while docked. Teach her how and where to get on and off the boat and basic commands to keep her safe while on board. Boarding ramps and ladders are especially helpful to larger dogs and their owners, so be sure to teach her how to use it before setting sail. For smaller dogs, keep a fishing net on board to sweep your pet out of the water if necessary! Help her get used to the sound of your boat’s engine while sitting still to better ensure it won’t startle her while you’re out on the water. It’s also a good idea to keep several special toys and treats specifically on the boat to better reassure your dog that your boat is a fun, safe place.

  3. Identification: Make sure your dog is wearing a harness, as opposed to a collar, and that the ID tag is clipped directly to it. This helps ensure that the tag will not get caught on anything or scratch your boat. A harness is better to use than a collar while boating because it provides a safe way to grab and lift your dog out of the water. Never lift your dog directly by its collar. If you are boating while out of town, make a temporary ID tag that’s printed with your cell number and local information. It’s helpful to have your dog microchipped as well.

  4. Sunscreen and shade: Even man’s best friend is susceptible to sunburns, especially if he has short fur. Be sure to protect him with a sunscreen that is unscented or neutrally scented to avoid irritating his skin. SPF 15 is usually strong enough unless your dog has especially short fur/bare patches or if the day is unusually hot. Also, have a shaded area prepared for your dog to take shelter, if possible. If your boat does not have a cabin or another covered area, be sure to take him on frequent shade breaks to prevent him from overheating. Human sunscreen is toxic to dogs! So be sure you grab a formula that is approved by your vet, like this one. Protect your pup's eyes against debris in the wind and damaging UV light with sunglasses for dogs that are also extremely stylish!

  5. Water: Be sure to have plenty of fresh drinking water available for your dog at all times in a collapsible bowl that’s easy to store and transport. Salt water and contaminated fresh water can make your dog very sick, so do your best to prevent her from drinking it.

  6. Potty preparation: Be sure to have plenty of waste bags and paper towels on hand to clean up after your dog if nature calls while he’s on your boat. Or: teach him to use puppy pads while on board. To help keep him from needing to go while on board, be sure to periodically dock and walk him around a location that’s pet-friendly or has a pet “rest stop” and give him the chance to take a bathroom break.

  7. Small carpet/throw rug: Dogs absorb heat through the pads on their paws, so have a small carpet or throw rug available for her to stand on when the deck gets too hot. A carpet/rug also provides an area where your dog can lay comfortably or stand without slipping and sliding around. All the movement on a boat can make a dog a little nervous and they can be calmed by a safe place to lie down. This waterproof travel bed has a non-skid bottom that will help keep it in place will the boat is in motion so your dog can rest comfortable and enjoy the ride.

  8. Dog overboard!  Before it could even become an issue, create a rescue plan for your dog in case he goes overboard. Assign everyone a specific duty and location in case it happens. Most importantly, especially if your boat has an outboard motor, make sure everyone on board understands that if your dog unexpectedly ends up in the water, TURN OFF THE ENGINE IMMEDIATELY. Always keep a leash on board.

  9. Keep his first outing brief:  Make sure your dog’s first boating adventure is a short one to see how he likes it and to avoid overwhelming him. If all goes well, gradually increase the amount of time you’re out. A short maiden voyage will also help gauge whether or not your dog is prone to seasickness.

  10. Going fishing: If you plan on making your dog your new fishing buddy, take extra care to keep all fishing lures, bait, and hooks safely stored away.

  11. First aid kit: Your dog’s first aid kit should include information such as a photo in case he goes missing, the phone number for your vet and poison control and important medical documents such as shot records. Most medical items included in a pet’s kit are the same as you would find in a human’s kit as well. In addition to the basic first aid items, you’ll want to include are a muzzle, nylon leash, Dramamine in case of sea sickness, hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if necessary, gauze, medical tape, Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) in case of an allergic reaction, and either a glucose paste or corn syrup if your dog happens to be diabetic. Several towels or blankets are helpful to have on hand as well. There are lots to choose from on -- here's a basic one to get you started!               

  12. Check local laws in regards to boating with pets. Laws vary by state, and it is better safe than sorry to make sure your state/region doesn't have any specific laws about bringing pets on the boat.

You're ready to shove off! Bring your furry first mate aboard and have a great time! Here's a "shopping list" for your pup...


Posted in Blogs