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Ashley Lizzi

By: Ashley Lizzi on September 13th, 2021

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The Most Pet-Friendly Boat in the Industry

Boat dogs are a captain’s best friend, and that’s exactly the reason my dog Chunk is the first one to board our pontoon boat every time we take off.  The minute he hears the words “boat ride” he takes off for the port side gate where he waits patiently for us to let him onto our Barletta pontoon boat.  


Chunk loves everything about a boat ride.  The wind in his fur, the seagulls he gets to bark at, and the water when he gets to jump off the aft deck and go for a swim.  Our days on the water together are priceless.


The smile on his face is never-ending and his sea legs are sturdy even through the roughest chop.  He’s comfortable on board and that’s the biggest hurdle we faced when we introduced Chunk to boating when he was a year old.


If your boat dog is nervous on the water or uncomfortable on the boat, you could find that they want nothing to do with jumping on board for a cruise.  Here at Barletta, we’re dog people so that thought doesn’t sit well with us.


For that reason, we built pet-friendly features into every model we make.  It’s a part of the Barletta DNA and we believe making your furry friend comfortable on board will bring enjoyment to everyone in the family.  


Let’s take a look at what makes Barletta pontoon boats the most pet-friendly boats in the business.  

Captain Chunk 


Pontoon Boats are a Dog’s Best Friend

First, I want to address the reasons a pontoon boat is a great choice for pet owners that plan on bringing their furry friend on a boat ride.  The way a pontoon boat is laid out makes for a comfortable ride for everyone.


The flat deck, compared to a V-hull boat, makes walking around the boat while underway more stable for those on four legs.  It also provides more walk-around space than a V-hull.


The seating on a flat deck is level which is great for curious fur babies who like to jump up and get comfy on the furniture.  That said, the furniture on a pontoon boat is typically more spacious and in the case that your pup likes to sprawl out, this is a positive.  


Not only is the interior of a pontoon boat the perfect setup for boat dogs, but the exterior rails and gates help keep animals inside the boat while underway.  Without this added safety feature, a curious dog or cat is more likely to have access to jumping out of the boat at any point in time. 


Combine lots of walk-around space with comfortable furniture and exterior rails and you’ve got the perfect boat for pets. Now let’s talk about how Barletta takes this notion one step further in creating the most pet-friendly pontoon in the industry. 


No Need to Bring a Water Dish

Every single Barletta built from day one has included a built-in pet dish.  Built directly into the helm, the dish pulls in and out for easy storage when not in use.  No need to bring your pet’s bowl on and off board every time they join you for a cruise.


The built-in dish consists of two heavy-duty plastic bowls that are removable for easy cleaning.  Ease of use and ease of access were both top-of-mind when Barletta added this feature into their DNA.


The bowls slide out from the bottom of the helm so they’re on the floor and accessible no matter how short your pet is.  Take it from me, Chunk is half Basset Hound which means his legs are short, and he has no problem getting a swig of water or having a boat snack from his dish.


As dog people and boaters ourselves, we know the importance of making sure your furry friend stays hydrated in the sun and heat.  The built-in pet bowls make this process simple and you’ll never have to tote a water dish back and forth again. 


The Best View in the Boat

As I mentioned, some of us here at Barletta have dogs of the shorter breed.  Basset Hounds and Bulldogs run wild in the hallways.  Ok, not really, but those are just a few breeds that some of our staff have at home.

That being said, it was important that these short pups had a view of their own while the boat is underway.  That coupled with the intent to give the captain an optimal docking view is how Doggie DockView was born.

A panel in both the bow and port gates is a color-coordinated see-through hard plastic screen.  The exterior of this panel blends into the color of the boat, but from the inside, it’s see-through making it the perfect viewing spot for pets. 

This also comes in handy when pulling up to the dock as the captain can see exactly where they’re at in relation to the pier.  This is a standard feature on all Barletta models starting with the 2022 model year products.


Stay Cool with Built-In Shade

Not only will you and your pet benefit from the electric bimini which is standard on every Barletta built, but there’s also another spot on the boat that provides an escape from the heat.  The stow-away table that tucks into the port bow lounge acts as an additional canopy for your pets.


The table flips up from the lounge and has adjustable legs that hold it up.  The tabletop itself has a dual purpose for those who like to snack on board and for pets looking to cool down.


The space underneath is large enough for nearly any size pet to crawl under and get some shade.  This space is also a great spot for a dog bed! 


Extra Space for Everyone

As I mentioned, the layout of a pontoon and the flat deck makes for the perfect pet vessel.  The extra space onboard comes in handy when your four-legged friend is running around under your feet.


Not only does each Barletta offer this extra walk-around space, but the large over-sized aft deck is the ultimate pet area when the boat is not underway.  The space on this platform allows for swimming and jumping all day long and adds to the surface area that you and your pet share.  

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Let Your Pet Get Comfy on the Seats

This can be a tricky one, but all of the vinyl materials used on Barletta pontoons are scratch and tear-resistant.  I can attest to this as we’re three years into ownership of our Barletta and Chunk hasn’t punctured or torn a seat yet.


I say this is tricky because anything is possible, right?  I’m sure if you try hard enough, you could scratch or tear the seats but if you proceed with care, you should have no problem.  We keep Chunk’s nails trimmed and we make sure they’re smooth after each trim.


We take extra precaution because he’s constantly jumping up and down, on and off the furniture.  Knowing that doing so is his most favorite thing in the world, we let him jump up and down until his heart's content.


This is a choice we make knowing that if something happens and he goes too hard and tears a seat, that’s on us because after all, the furniture is scratch and tear-resistant, not scratch and tear-proof.  So, if something like that happens, it’s not warrantable.  But he’s so cute when he’s happy so we let him do as he pleases.  


Swimming Made Easy

Starting in 2023, Barletta introduced a pet-friendly ladder that is standard on the Lusso and Corsa series.  This was something owner’s with pets who like to swim had been asking for and Barletta delivered.


These new Easy-Climb Ladders make it easy for dogs to board even in deep water.  They’ve been such a hit, that there is a possibility you will find this ladder on other Barletta series in the future.  The shape, length, and wide steps all contribute to being pet-friendly.


When deployed, the shape of the ladder and the depth of the steps are designed for your pet’s comfort and stable foothold.  With five steps and a whopping 47 inches of length, athletic pups can enter the boat with ease.

Dog on ladder

Paws Down The Best

If you’re ready to hit the water with your beloved pet but unsure how to make them comfortable, exploring the option of a pontoon boat is a great start.  There is lots of preparation when owning a boat, and bringing a pet along is no different.


Make sure to ease into boating if your pet hasn’t been exposed before.  Also, check out our tips for boating with your pet.  As I mentioned, we’re all dog people here at Barletta so pets are included in every decision we make with product development.  If you’ve got a furry co-captain, start by building your Barletta online, your pet will thank you! 

Barletta Pontoon Boats


About Ashley Lizzi

Barletta Content Manager, 9+ years Manufacturer Marketing, Brand Management, Customer Experience, and life-long boater.