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Tenders: Portland Pudgy, Port-a-bote, etc

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B.J. mentioned the Portland Pudgy in that "other" thread, so I thought I would share my limited experience with the Pudgy, the Portabote, etc.  I look forward to hearing other experiences and opinions.

 

Portland Pudgy:  I got one of these, with the sailing kit, last spring in anticipation for our sailing adventure in the San Juan and Gulf Islands (Puget Sound area).  Unfortunately, this first required that I sail VALIS up the coast from San Francisco.  As I have described elsewhere, we ended up turning around and running for home before even making it up to Cape Mendocino.  So I haven't put much time at all on the Pudgy, but here are my observations so far:

 

1) It's heavy!  I made a bridle so I could use the spinnaker halyard to hoist it from the water onto the foredeck, where it fit snugly aft of the staysail, upside down, with the stern aft and sitting on the dorade boxes.  There were plenty of tie-points on the Pudgy, and on my deck, so it stayed secure through some pretty good bashing while were struggling through the waves.

 

Carrying the Pudgy on land is definitely a task for two strong people.  It has tiny wheels at the stern end of the keel (or whatever you call that thing), but these only roll on smooth surfaces.

 

2) It rows and motors nicely.  Compared to my high-pressure-floor inflatable, the Pudgy moves through the water very smoothly.  We were carrying me (I weigh about 250#) and two adult kids, and with oars or the small outboard it was much easier to get it going, and steer it, than the inflatable.  This was during our Pudgy shake-down in Sausalito.

 

3) The oarlock / seat position does make it hard to row without having the oars hit your knees.  You could sit on the floor, or perhaps work out an oarlock extention.  My son and I have long legs, so this might not be an issue for others.

 

4) The Pudgy wants a long-shaft outboard.  There is a removable panel at the stern that lets you fit a short-shaft outboard, but you lose freeboard and the outboard tiller may not move as freely as you would like.  I have a Honda 2HP short-shaft, and the Pudgy got on a plane with the three of us (as I recall -- it was going pretty fast in any case).  I got one of the newer electric outboards (with a long shaft), but haven't tried it out yet.

 

5) The Pudgy is very stable -- perhaps not as much as the inflatable, but my son could stand on the side rail and it didn't capsize.

 

6) There isn't a lot of room inside.  The Pudgy has lots of watertight stowage space between the inner and outer skins, with screw-port access, but this does mean that you lose passenger-space volume.

 

7) I haven't yet tried the sailing kit.

 

As for the Portabote, I used one of these in the Marquesas, and it was very practical.  It moved through the water nicely, and carried the four of us well.

 

Still, if I'm going to be using an outboard, I probably want my inflatable.  The Pudgy is a bulletproof dinghy, and it rows much better than the inflatable.  Make sure you have a good place to stow it.

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Great info! My #1 concern on the Pudgy is it's it's weight since this would essentially be the "kid's car" on trips. Although I don't see them doing an extensive portage with it I would want to make sure they can drag it up on the beach and down to the water again if the tide goes out.

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Great info! My #1 concern on the Pudgy is it's it's weight since this would essentially be the "kid's car" on trips. Although I don't see them doing an extensive portage with it I would want to make sure they can drag it up on the beach and down to the water again if the tide goes out.

That's going to depend on the kids, but the Pudgy does drag pretty well.  It has a short skeg running from bow to stern, and the thing is quite rugged.  It's heavy though (128 lbs per the spec), and two younger kids might not be able to manhandle it too much.  Teenagers might do OK.  I can move it around by myself, even get it in and out of the pickup bed, but my back sure doesn't appreciate it!

 

 

 

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B.J., where you mostly sail, you've got tides, but not huge ones. If the kids are tieing up at a dinghy dock, weight is no problem. At a sandy beach, again weight is no problem. The dinghy should always have a small anchor and rode that can be led above the high tide mark. If they come back and the dink is afloat, just pull it in. If it's high and dry, dragging across sand won't hurt a thing.

 

But the dinghy beach at Great Salt Pond is rocky, and the first scratch in something new always stings. There are about a zillion old 9' Dyer's with sailing rigs, they come pre-scratched and make a great harbor sailor. The Trinka 10' sails, rows and tows better than the Dyer, but is stupid expensive new and very heavy. A used Dyer or Trinka could do the trick, but neither is going to be your only dink. You carry an RIB in davits don't you? A friend of mine used to be the sales guy for Dyer, and can usually find a used one.

 

If you get a hard dink and want to lift it on deck, let me know, I have a spare Wichard lifting bridle you can have, it's already in RI.

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B.J., where you mostly sail, you've got tides, but not huge ones. If the kids are tieing up at a dinghy dock, weight is no problem. At a sandy beach, again weight is no problem. The dinghy should always have a small anchor and rode that can be led above the high tide mark. If they come back and the dink is afloat, just pull it in. If it's high and dry, dragging across sand won't hurt a thing.

 

But the dinghy beach at Great Salt Pond is rocky, and the first scratch in something new always stings. There are about a zillion old 9' Dyer's with sailing rigs, they come pre-scratched and make a great harbor sailor. The Trinka 10' sails, rows and tows better than the Dyer, but is stupid expensive new and very heavy. A used Dyer or Trinka could do the trick, but neither is going to be your only dink. You carry an RIB in davits don't you? A friend of mine used to be the sales guy for Dyer, and can usually find a used one.

 

If you get a hard dink and want to lift it on deck, let me know, I have a spare Wichard lifting bridle you can have, it's already in RI.

We do have a RIB in the davits for a primary dinghy.

 

I figure whatever we get is going to take a beating since it will get dragged ashore all over the place. I'd be curious to see about availability and pricing on used Dyer's - I can't seem to find any in the usual places (Craigs list, etc.).

 

Thanks for the offer of a bridle, I think I've got one lying about somewhere too.

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How about a family building project?

A nutshell or a bolger nymph would really involve the kids, and they are great tenders.

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I probably need to think about a dinghy at some point since I don't have one now.

 

A little bit OT, but what about those plastic things that WM sells that row/sail/motor?

 

I grew up with a Sunflower/Snark as the family dinghy, which I sailed almost every day once we got anchored. I am getting old & crotchety now though, so RIBS or inflatables with a 6HP sound nice, except they suck for towing.

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I figure whatever we get is going to take a beating since it will get dragged ashore all over the place. I'd be curious to see about availability and pricing on used Dyer's - I can't seem to find any in the usual places (Craigs list, etc.).

http://capecod.craigslist.org/boa/1619805333.html

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I probably need to think about a dinghy at some point since I don't have one now.

 

A little bit OT, but what about those plastic things that WM sells that row/sail/motor?

 

I grew up with a Sunflower/Snark as the family dinghy, which I sailed almost every day once we got anchored. I am getting old & crotchety now though, so RIBS or inflatables with a 6HP sound nice, except they suck for towing.

 

You only live once, and it's a DINK. Get a Spindrift or Passagemaker. :D

 

S9nestedwithoars.jpg

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I figure whatever we get is going to take a beating since it will get dragged ashore all over the place. I'd be curious to see about availability and pricing on used Dyer's - I can't seem to find any in the usual places (Craigs list, etc.).

http://capecod.craigslist.org/boa/1619805333.html

This one looks pimped for racing, w/harken blocks, etc.

http://newhaven.craigslist.org/boa/1615695731.html

 

 

 

Tom, that looks pretty cool.I like the oar stowage. When joined, does it work pretty well?

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That's not mine, but a guy I "cyberknow" built it. I want to own one, not sure I want to build it myself. I'd rather own one built by someone better than I am at building.;)

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Sorry I don't have a picture bigger than a thumbnail - the original file is corrupt:

 

post-9037-126807208437_thumb.jpg

 

My wife with our late Newfie in a 9' Dyer dink, one of the best little rowing/sailing boats around. But alas, it is not ours (yet).

 

We do have a great rowing dinghy. Unfortunately, I don't know the desing or make -- my grandfather bought it for a song as an unfinished fiberglass shell that had a couple of holes drilled in it; my father fixed the holes, added seats, gunwhale, and oarlocks. As my parents got older, it was deemed too tippy, so now it is ours. Oh yeah, and it tows pretty well, too.

 

post-9037-12680732129_thumb.jpg

post-9037-126807323055_thumb.jpg

post-9037-126807345073_thumb.jpg

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I probably need to think about a dinghy at some point since I don't have one now.

 

A little bit OT, but what about those plastic things that WM sells that row/sail/motor?

 

I grew up with a Sunflower/Snark as the family dinghy, which I sailed almost every day once we got anchored. I am getting old & crotchety now though, so RIBS or inflatables with a 6HP sound nice, except they suck for towing.

 

You only live once, and it's a DINK. Get a Spindrift or Passagemaker. biggrin.gif

 

S9nestedwithoars.jpg

 

I am just about done building a Spindrift 9N dink. Finally installing the hardware for the last time. Our resident delivery skipper John Eisberg recomended it to me. I have had a lot of fun building her. Will let you know how she rows after her official launching at Lake Pleasant next month!

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I am just about done building a Spindrift 9N dink. Finally installing the hardware for the last time. Our resident delivery skipper John Eisberg recomended it to me. I have had a lot of fun building her. Will let you know how she rows after her official launching at Lake Pleasant next month!

 

Pics or you're on a Couch in Jer... wait... Pics or it didn't happen! That's the boat I would really love to own. Possibly enough to build one if I can't think of another way.;)

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post-20201-126813562734_thumb.jpgpost-20201-126813567358_thumb.jpgpost-20201-126813579916_thumb.jpg

 

I am much farther along, but can't find the more recent pics at the moment. VERY close to being able to at least take her for a row. Still need to finish the mast and buy a sail. I probably only have around 150 hours of actual work in her. But at least twice that amount of time scratching my head whilst drinking beer or rum! laugh.gif

 

I had ZERO fiberglass/epoxy experience before starting the build, but the plans came with a cd-rom with building tips and tricks that was very helpful. Also there is a website dedicated to building the B&B series of boats.

 

So pour yourself a rum and peel courself out of your "chair of ignorance", buy a set of plans, and get going on your build. cool.gif

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Greever! Nice to hear from you. This might be a fun project...thanks for the pics..I recall your project now. I can think of nothing better than to have a boat I can haul on deck that is only 5' long. B)

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I probably need to think about a dinghy at some point since I don't have one now.

 

A little bit OT, but what about those plastic things that WM sells that row/sail/motor?

 

I grew up with a Sunflower/Snark as the family dinghy, which I sailed almost every day once we got anchored. I am getting old & crotchety now though, so RIBS or inflatables with a 6HP sound nice, except they suck for towing.

 

You only live once, and it's a DINK. Get a Spindrift or Passagemaker. :D

 

S9nestedwithoars.jpg

 

Man I wish I had the time, skill and facilities to build one of those.

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Greever! Nice to hear from you. This might be a fun project...thanks for the pics..I recall your project now. I can think of nothing better than to have a boat I can haul on deck that is only 5' long. cool.gif

 

 

That's the main reason I am building her Bitches'. With only a 30 footer I figured she would be the best of both worlds with her nesting feature. unsure.gif

 

I haven't been posting much, but have been following your 4ksb thread.

 

Spring is near my friend!

 

Pics by this weekend.......cool.gif

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Man I wish I had the time, skill and facilities to build one of those.

 

 

If you have a one car garage you have plenty of space for the build. The lofting was the hardest part for me. The rest is gravy. I will say that I believe the Passagemaker can be had in a CNC kit with pre-cut parts. The Spindrift does not. Had all of the Spindrift parts been pre-cut she would have gone together much quicker, at least for me.......

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Actually, the Chair started to bother my back. Darn shame that, but the first step is done!wink.gif

 

Hhmmnn, I saw the pics you posted of your "chair" and it looked pretty darn comfy to me. Maybe you don't have your Doritos placed in an optimum location? Bad ergonomics maybe? wink.gif

 

Seriously though, if you have even a basic understanding of epoxy/wood construction, you could build a Spindrift.......

 

Ah, hell, I need another Pabst Blue Ribbon! biggrin.gif

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Man I wish I had the time, skill and facilities to build one of those.

 

 

If you have a one car garage you have plenty of space for the build. The lofting was the hardest part for me. The rest is gravy. I will say that I believe the Passagemaker can be had in a CNC kit with pre-cut parts. The Spindrift does not. Had all of the Spindrift parts been pre-cut she would have gone together much quicker, at least for me.......

 

I don't have a garage.

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Man I wish I had the time, skill and facilities to build one of those.

 

 

If you have a one car garage you have plenty of space for the build. The lofting was the hardest part for me. The rest is gravy. I will say that I believe the Passagemaker can be had in a CNC kit with pre-cut parts. The Spindrift does not. Had all of the Spindrift parts been pre-cut she would have gone together much quicker, at least for me.......

 

Yeah, but you'll be kicked out of the catboat club for having that jib! ;)

 

Greg_S_3.jpg

 

Also, note this "dinghy" is on a trailer. It's a 100 lb boat that's almost 12' long. I already have a 100 lb 12' aluminum boat. Yes, you can move it around and even car-top it by yourself, but it's not easy. I REALLY like the Passagemaker, but wish it were a little smaller.

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I don't have a garage.

 

 

Well, FWIW I started in my backyard and got one of those 10'x10' canopy thinghys. Although I guess in your part of the country that would put a lot of pressure on you to finish quickly, before Winter comes...

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