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Buddy Bowl – How to keep water available for pets on a boat


One of the small details that went overlooked when we first moved onto our sailboat was keeping water available for the dogs. It’s never been an issue before. We just put a bowl out and check it a few times a day to make sure the kids have plenty of water. We know they like to drink mostly after eating and after a run, with a little bit throughout the day. No big deal.

When we first moved aboard the food and water routine was no different than it was on land. Fill the bowls and the dogs empty them. It wasn’t until our first sail with the dogs aboard that we realized our original plan wasn’t going to work. I had read a few suggestions online that some people just use an oversized bowl and only fill it up half way or less so that the water doesn’t slosh out all over the place when you’re under way. Guess what spilled the water out when we tried this method? Me! I spilled more water out of that bowl while moving around in the cockpit than the amount of water that was spilled from the boat heeling over.

In researching more helpful tips and tricks for liveaboard dogs I came across the “Buddy Bowl.” That was it! It was perfect!!


I contacted Great American Spillproof Products and they gladly sponsored our adventures by providing us with two (2) 64 oz TOTALLY SPILLPROOF Buddy Bowls for Gunner and Betsy!! These will be totally essential for every day use while anchored up and especially while we are underway.

We keep one tucked behind the ladder at our forward companionway next to where we feed the dogs inside the boat. Gunner and Betsy know right where it is and they have no trouble at all helping themselves when they feel a little thirsty. Gunner ALWAYS lets Betsy drink first if they are both thirsty after a run :) He’s such a gentleman, just like his daddy.

We keep the second Buddy Bowl on the floor of the cockpit so the dogs will always have water while topside. When we are underway, they frequently like to lap up a little water every hour or so. We’re in southern Florida now and heading to only warmer climates so its super important for us to have water available at all times for our pooches. It’s also important to keep water available for them if they are feeling seasick. Last time we took the boat out we put them down below and Betsy didn’t feel that good. She was happy to know where the water was though.


The staff at Great American Spillproof Products recommended sending us the 64 oz models instead of their standard 44 oz size based on our weather conditions and the size of our dogs. They hold more water (a HALF GALLON!) so you don’t have to refill them as often! It doesn’t look like the 64oz bowls are available in their online store but I’m sure they can help out if you’re interested in getting one for your furry friend.

It looks like it might be hard for the dogs to actually get to the water but it’s really no trouble at all. Gunner has a long nose but it’s just his tongue that needs to get inside to where the water is. Gunner is also a VERY messy drinker and his food, water and slobber usually get flung at least a foot from his bowl. The Buddy Bowl is even more awesome because it catches all that excess water inside instead of spraying out away from the surface of the water where his tongue hits. Score!!


We tested them out and sure enough, they are totally spill proof. The Buddy Bowl will even hold the water if you tip it upside down! The bowls are made in the U.S. with non-toxic/BPA-free food grade plastic, and they keep the water cleaner with less surface area for bugs, dust and other dirt to collect in. There are fastening points on the bottom for tying the bowl up for storage or keeping it in one spot. We don’t have to worry about tying it down though since there’s not too many places it could slide to :) They actually stay put very well on their own.




The Buddy Bowl is easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. Even though we don’t have a dishwasher anymore its still a cool feature :)

This really is an awesome product and could be used in the car, on a boat, outside, inside, at the beach, camping, in a crate, anywhere! It’s also especially handy if you have little ones around that like to spill the water bowl and splash around :)

We are proud to promote the products we love by sharing our experiences with others in hopes that it may bring the same joy to you!

If you’re interested in ordering one of these, the online store on the BuddyBowl website is down at the moment. Simply send an email to cree@greatamericanspillproof.com to place an order!


IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING… We are PROUD to share these awesome products and services with our readers. There are so many different solutions out there for everything we could possibly need, but these are the solutions that work for us.

This post may contain information about a product sponsorship. We gladly accept discounts or samples when a company feels generous enough to support our cause. In return we support the manufacturer or local service by sharing their links and writing about our experience with them. We only seek out sponsorship and affiliate programs from products and services we actually WANT to use and likewise only accept offers for products or services that we WILL use. We are not paid for any reviews we write or feedback we provide. We simply like to spread the word and share great experiences we have had that could also bring joy to others.

A trip to St.Petersburg


We are back safe and sound after a weekend trip 2 hours north to Saint Petersburg for the boat show. It was a last-minute decision to make the journey north, but we’re glad we went. The puppies got to go with us, of course, and they got to lounge around the hotel while Peter and I were at the boat show both Saturday and Sunday. This show was much smaller than the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and we got out of St. Pete with significantly less damage. There were just a few items we wanted to check out – solar panels, lazy jacks, anchors, and spear guns. We’re already pretty set as far as equipment and upgrades but its worth checking out the deals at a boat show if you get a chance. There were also some great seminars and special events going on that we were excited to see.

Sailing Florida Charters had an awesome program going on that Peter and I didn’t want to miss! They were offering FREE 45 minute sailing cruises with paid boat show admission. All we had to do was show up, get on the boat and enjoy a nice little jaunt out on a Catalina 445. We’d choose to get out on the water any chance we get. While we can always take our own boat out anytime we want (weather permitting) its nice to be able to hop on someone else’s boat for a relaxing cruise. There wasn’t much wind and we only motorsailed but it was still fun to play with the sails on a 2010 Catalina! Our view of the boat show was much better from the water :)





We didn’t take too many photos this weekend, we were too busy looking for things we had to have! We did end up purchasing some additional 100 watt solar panels and controllers to supplement the two 80 watt panels we have on the boat now. A post about those will follow as soon as they are shipped to us :) They are really good quality and the efficiency is probably double the ones that came with the boat. Hopefully we will have more than enough juice to power the new radar and freezer we are installing ;)

There were a ton of great seminars at the show too. We really wanted to see Chris Parker in action talking about the weather. We ended up getting one of his books and talked with him about the customized forecasting service he provides. There was a lot of great info he went over but we’re going to need to read his book a few more times to really get a handle on it. Weather is no joke and we need to make sure we can read the weather and how to watch for weather windows before making a passage. Peter is practically an expert already but I have a lot to learn!!

Another seminar we went to was Bob Bitchin’s “How to keep a starboard attitude while cruising.” Wow, this guy is a trip!! He really knows what it means to be Livin the Dream. And, his wife’s name is pretty “bitchin” too – Jody with a Y!! A little bio on him from the boat show program: Since the early 60’s, adventure has been a way of life for Bob Bitchin. He worked as a traveling companion and bodyguard for famous motorcycle daredevil, Evil Knievel. Then in the early 70’s he started sailing and for over thirty years he lived aboard sailboats and cruised most of the Pacific and Central America.  In 1996 he created Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine. Currently Bob and his wife Jody are creating a new title, Cruising Outpost, which will launch this winter.  www.cruisingoutpost.com . Bob has written seven books: Letters from the Lost Soul, The Sailing Life, Brotherhood of Outlaws, BIKER, Emerald Bay, King Harbor, and Starboard Attitude which was released in June of 2011. – See more at: http://www.showmanagement.com/st_petersburg-boat-show/event/seminars/418#sthash.VMZwJGA5.dpuf

Last but most certainly not least, we got to meet Kim and Jereme from S/V LAHO (lahowind.com)!! We chatted with them for a while about our boats and cruising plans. We definitely have a lot in common. They will be setting sail around the same time, from almost the same starting point, with about the same experience, going in the same direction, without time restrictions, and even with the same furry four-legged kind of crew!! We hope to meet Oliver soon and hopefully Betsy and Gunner will have a new cruising buddy :)

The drive back home to our cozy boat was beautiful as well. Its always fun to see new places and experience a bit more of Florida before heading to the Bahamas.



Making The Move


Packing up our little two bedroom house in San Diego was relatively easy considering what a big move this was for us. We had been preparing for “something” for quite a while but we just didn’t know what that something was until this July. We had already downsized quite a bit but now we had a whole new motivation behind us.

The first task was to sort out the stuff we were going to store in CA, the stuff we were going to take with us, and the stuff we were going to sell or donate. It was a fun challenge to figure out how little we would actually need living on a boat. There were so many useful things we’ve accumulated over the years for that one time that it will come in really handy! We also considered how much storage our boat has, which is hard to believe until you see it, but its ridiculous how much we do have room for. We had already gotten rid of most of our furniture but our living space started to resemble what you might see in a hoarder’s house! There were piles everywhere and the dogs knew something was up for sure.

Despite all the confusion, Gunner managed to find a quiet spot in the sun all to himself!! Both dogs did really well when we were busy packing and running around. We made sure to give them extra attention and lots of exercise in the weeks before we left.





Since the dogs would be making the journey with us across the country we wanted to find a trailer solution that would allow us to keep the inside of the 4-runner pretty clear. Renting an enclosed trailer would surely cost a pretty penny and we considered getting a flatbed trailer but all our stuff would be caked with road grime or soaked by any rain we might encounter. We also didn’t want to be limited to a return date through a rental company so purchasing a used trailer off Craigslist was the best option for us.

We found this AWESOME pop-up camper that was converted to a covered trailer for $200!! Now, it wasn’t the nicest looking, and we had to improvise a little but it got the job done!! Call me Nervous Nelly but I was sure the tires would blow out eventually. There were cracks on the insides of the tire walls, the tires rubbed against the openings on the floor of the trailer and we had to make our own wheel wells out of a plastic bin cut in half and secured with duct tape. The tires were rated for 90psi and we had a spare so we set out with a plan to just go as far as we could. Just a few minor hiccups with having to rewire the running lights and tying up the rear stabilizer arms, but we made it ALL the way!! It was a whopping 2600 miles from San Diego CA to Punta Gorda FL with a quick stop to see some friends and family along the way.




And the journey begins!!