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Amadeus616

Portland Pudgy Dingy

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I am looking into a new tender, as my old home made plywood invention made of the best 1/4 inch plywood Home Depot sells is falling apart (insert David Vann jokes here). I am planning on using it as a lifeboat/dingy for a world trip starting in June. I don't trust my life to vacuum packed air bags that I myself cannot test.

 

 

I am wondering if anyone has seen or used one of these before. I am hearing great things about them, but not from an actual cruiser.

 

 

post-24180-1207526297_thumb.jpg

 

 

Pudgy Website

Previous Short Thread from last year

 

 

Any info would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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What's it rate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

May as well get it out of the way early.

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I think Portland Pudgy should sponsor a transpac.. but in Portland Pudgies, maybe a few WB 8's for competition.. now that would be cool!

 

202-final-canopy-x%20copy.jpg

 

I still can't see wrestling one of these onto my deck

 

This: I have on my deck,

 

picwalkerbay8ba.jpg

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I think Portland Pudgy should sponsor a transpac.. but in Portland Pudgies, maybe a few WB 8's for competition.. now that would be cool!

 

202-final-canopy-x%20copy.jpg

 

I still can't see wrestling one of these onto my deck

 

This: I have on my deck,

 

picwalkerbay8ba.jpg

 

 

Yes, I guess 71 lbs vs 128lbs is quite a difference.

 

I am guessing that you just lift your tender out of the water by hand, and without help from a halyard.

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Here's a picture of several anarchists fondling one while making smartass and disparaging remarks at the Providence Boat Show last year. The anarchist in the back (who I will not identify unless he chooses to come forward) sorta looks like he's about to hurl in it, which I think accurately reflects his impression of the boat.

 

The question you have to ask yourself, is that if you DO get shipwrecked and have to use it to stay alive, do you think you can spend a week at sea with a bag over your head? Because that thing is PAINFULLY fugly. Heavy & ugly; I can not imagine it could get out of it's own way.

 

On the plus side, if memory serves from the feel of the deck and hull you SHOULD be able to easily use it as a cutting board to fillet any flying fish that are not too repelled by it's hideous appearance to fall into the boat.

IMG_0195.JPG

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Here's a picture of several anarchists fondling one while making smartass and disparaging remarks at the Providence Boat Show last year. The anarchist in the back (who I will not identify unless he chooses to come forward) sorta looks like he's about to hurl in it, which I think accurately reflects his impression of the boat.

 

The question you have to ask yourself, is that if you DO get shipwrecked and have to use it to stay alive, do you think you can spend a week at sea with a bag over your head? Because that thing is PAINFULLY fugly. Heavy & ugly; I can not imagine it could get out of it's own way.

 

On the plus side, if memory serves from the feel of the deck and hull you SHOULD be able to easily use it as a cutting board to fillet any flying fish that are not too repelled by it's hideous appearance to fall into the boat.

 

 

A 10 day boat show pitching that boat......Daaaamn! thats a long boatshow.

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A 10 day boat show pitching that boat......Daaaamn! thats a long boatshow.

 

Yep. You'd be pitching it off the roof by the third day to prove its seaworthiness.

"Look, it falls 48 feet and just bounces! And most of your children lived through it!"

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Yep. You'd be pitching it off the roof by the third day to prove its seaworthiness.

"Look, it falls 48 feet and just bounces! And most of your children lived through it!"

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I think the Portland Pudgy is a great looking little boat. OK, it's not a classic wooden boat, but it's aesthetically pleasing the same way other utilitarian things, whose form follows function, are pleasing. Its beauty is in its functionality, like a Jeep (which is a classic design).

 

The Pudgy is really a little catboat. (It looks great with our big catboat.)

 

If you look at a Pudgy in person you see the amazing amount of detailed workmanship that goes into each one. How anyone could scoff at the Pudgy, yet have a Walker Bay (which to my mind is a flimsy little Dixie Cup of a boat) is beyond me. By the same token Zodiacs are really ugly, don't even look like boats, can't be sailed, row and tow miserably, and deflate. The Pudgy is carefully engineered, pleasing in its functional aesthetic, and it does everything it's supposed to do really well.

 

When we go down to the dock and find our self-bailing Pudgy riding high in the water in a marina full of swamped and sunken dinghies and inflatables, it's hard not to feel kind of smug. And when we skim along out to our mooring (with all of our provisions, two dogs, two adults and two kids), and pass some poor souls struggling along, up to their gunwales and carrying half our load, ditto. When we reach an island, and set up the sailing rig, so the kids can toot around while we grownups relax, I feel safe, knowing the Pudgy is easy to sail, unsinkable, hard to capsize, and easy to right if it does capsize, unlike an Opti. (And it's a lifeboat, which thank God, we haven't had experience with yet, but I can tell you, I feel a lot safer knowing we have it.)

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I think the Portland Pudgy is a great looking little boat. OK, it's not a classic wooden boat, but it's aesthetically pleasing the same way other utilitarian things, whose form follows function, are pleasing. Its beauty is in its functionality, like a Jeep (which is a classic design).

 

The Pudgy is really a little catboat. (It looks great with our big catboat.)

 

If you look at a Pudgy in person you see the amazing amount of detailed workmanship that goes into each one. How anyone could scoff at the Pudgy, yet have a Walker Bay (which to my mind is a flimsy little Dixie Cup of a boat) is beyond me. By the same token Zodiacs are really ugly, don't even look like boats, can't be sailed, row and tow miserably, and deflate. The Pudgy is carefully engineered, pleasing in its functional aesthetic, and it does everything it's supposed to do really well.

 

When we go down to the dock and find our self-bailing Pudgy riding high in the water in a marina full of swamped and sunken dinghies and inflatables, it's hard not to feel kind of smug. And when we skim along out to our mooring (with all of our provisions, two dogs, two adults and two kids), and pass some poor souls struggling along, up to their gunwales and carrying half our load, ditto. When we reach an island, and set up the sailing rig, so the kids can toot around while we grownups relax, I feel safe, knowing the Pudgy is easy to sail, unsinkable, hard to capsize, and easy to right if it does capsize, unlike an Opti. (And it's a lifeboat, which thank God, we haven't had experience with yet, but I can tell you, I feel a lot safer knowing we have it.)

 

 

You can certainly sell me on its utility...but not it's beauty. I've seen one up close (I took that picture) - workmanship wasn't what popped into my mind.Valid point in re Walker Bays - they are no thing of beauty either. They do have a utilititarian appeal as a 2nd kids dink, though I don't love them they seem to meet the requirements. I'd love a chance to sail either to compare.

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Yes, the Pudgy could be cheaper and flimsier. A very common small dinghy on the market is one thin layer of plastic and is prone to cracking in cold weather, and to tipping over. The Portland Pudgy is "the fun boat that could save your life." On the double-hulled Pudgy you could chop the first hull off with an axe and you would still have a boat. You could shoot it full of holes and it would still float, because of the buoyant foam in the bottom adding over 500 lbs of flotation. Damn tough and seaworthy. You don't get this with wimpy materials and construction.

 

All 8 foot dinghies that I know of are USCG rated for 2 people. The Pudgy has twice that--it is USCG approved for 4 people. It took 1255 lbs at a USCG test to submerge it to its gunwales. Try that with one of those 90-lb weaklings. The Pudgy is pram-shaped to conserve deck room when stored on the mother boat (it's 7'-8"). If you extended the bow to a point, the Pudgy would be about 9'-6" long. A 9'-6" long boat at 128 lbs is pretty good, and this pram won't sink; you can walk around on the unobstructed floor without serious tipping, you can stand in the bow, and you can climb in from the water easily (a 275 lb tester wiggled over the gunwale and the Pudgy did not ship a drop except from a wet bathing suit).

 

Take a look at Good Old Boat magazine May/Jun 07 issue, "Seeking the Perfect Dinghy" lifting the Pudgy up by a halyard, or spinnnaker pole.

 

The proof of the pudding will be when some lost soul sails his proactive Pudgy lifeboat from the middle of the Atlantic to the safety of shore while his fellow sailor's cloth liferaft was shredded to pieces by the same storm that sunk their passage-making boat. Boy, will it be beautiful then (or, as the vast majority of boat show enthusiasts say, "cute, really cute"). Oh, it is also just a dinghy, that sails and motors, and kids just love it (watch them).

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If you look at a Pudgy in person you see the amazing amount of detailed workmanship that goes into each one. How anyone could scoff at the Pudgy, yet have a Walker Bay (which to my mind is a flimsy little Dixie Cup of a boat) is beyond me. By the same token Zodiacs are really ugly, don't even look like boats, can't be sailed, row and tow miserably, and deflate. The Pudgy is carefully engineered, pleasing in its functional aesthetic, and it does everything it's supposed to do really well.

 

I won't argue WB's are cheap and flimsy, they are, they also don't weigh 128lbs, or cost over $2000. I wouldn't want an extra 70 lbs on my deck, offshore or anywhere... its too much, too much to handle, to much to break free of its lashings, too much to carry (by yourself esp) 50-100ft up a beach like you have to due in regions with big tides. Great it is self bailing and tough as hell and probably is well suited for some people.. but it is a niche product, in a class of its own. Not a big market. I don't think pointing these things out is necessarily scoffing at it!

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I won't argue WB's are cheap and flimsy, they are, they also don't weigh 128lbs, or cost over $2000. I wouldn't want an extra 70 lbs on my deck, offshore or anywhere... its too much, too much to handle, to much to break free of its lashings, too much to carry (by yourself esp) 50-100ft up a beach like you have to due in regions with big tides. Great it is self bailing and tough as hell and probably is well suited for some people.. but it is a niche product, in a class of its own. Not a big market. I don't think pointing these things out is necessarily scoffing at it!

 

I have to admit, I was kind of irked by the "fugly" thing (that was the "scoffing" I was defending my beloved Pudgy against). I didn't mean to hurt any WB-owner's feelings.

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I won't argue WB's are cheap and flimsy, they are, they also don't weigh 128lbs, or cost over $2000. I wouldn't want an extra 70 lbs on my deck, offshore or anywhere... its too much, too much to handle, to much to break free of its lashings, too much to carry (by yourself esp) 50-100ft up a beach like you have to due in regions with big tides. Great it is self bailing and tough as hell and probably is well suited for some people.. but it is a niche product, in a class of its own. Not a big market. I don't think pointing these things out is necessarily scoffing at it!

 

The Walker Bay HULL is under $2K; by the time you stick the RIB tube and a sailing rig on it you're spending twice that.

 

At some point we're going to get a second dink - main requirements being relative indestructibility (think dragging up on beaches, so no pretty glass or wood I have to maintain), sailing capability, rowing capability, lightness for ease of handling and being able to carry me plus someone moderate sized like my wife or a big kid. This would be the "kids car" they can use to get around, and a backup to the powered RIB. On paper the WB with the RIB tube and rig meets that requirement. It appears the Pudgy might too, and for less money at the end of the day. Although I DO think it is heinous to look at, it is no more heinous than the Walker Bay. Neither boat is a attractive...however if it's the KIDS dink I'm not going to be seen in it much!

 

By comparison, the Walker Bay 10 with Hypalon tubes weighs 148 lbs without the sailing rig. That is kind of a beast. At West marine you have to get the boat ($1,199.99), the tube kit ($1,399) and the sail kit ($999 for main only, $1,599 for "performance" rig with jib): totals around $3500-4000 depending on options; the 8' boat is obviously cheaper but also doesn't meet the "wife & me" specification. The Pudgy sounds a lot better by comparison.

 

A Dyer Dink or Dhow is a pretty little thing, though I worry about the bottom getting hauled up on beaches by the kids. And then there are the nesting kits...

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One thing that I noticed is just how much weight this Pudgy is rated for. I wonder if it would not be good for sailing instruction instead of Optimist type of dink.

 

The problem that I see with the various Optimist types is the very low weight of occupant(s) that the US CG rates them for. Now I know that the weight is exceeded but that is a serious liability problem. If something was to happen to a child and the weight in the boat is over the CG rating I would think that there is a pretty big problem.

 

Just about any begginer sailor can be accomadated in this Pudgy. So adults could use the boat as well.

 

 

This self rescue stuff. Just keep in mind that on land or at sea the SAR community takes a fairly deep breath of astonishment when this is brought up. I am very leary of a hard bottom boat as a primary means of survival let alone self rescue. But I guess if you lose your EPIRB then this is another option. Just keep in mind that once you leave a reported location finding you is extremely difficult. I do like the idea of this boat AND some form of raft/rib. Not to mention the newest EPIRB's that are small enough to carry are the best rescue insurance on the market.

 

I have to admit, after my previous post, that I'm the Portland Pudgy's designer. I'd be happy to answer any detailed questions about the boat. Suggestions are welcome, too!

You're right, the Pudgy is a great sailboat for kids. It's safe and fun and easy to learn to use. The buoyancy means that not only the kid, but an instructor (or another kid) can be in the boat. Also, it's hard to capsize the Pudgy, but if you do manage to do it, it's very easy to right, and, it comes up nearly dry, as opposed to the Opti or other sailing dinks where the kid has to be rescued.

Regarding the proactive vs. stationary question: We believe that we're now coming around full circle in terms of the self-rescue concept. The Pudgy lets you be stationary in the water and wait for rescue, like a traditional liferaft. However, you have the option of using it for self-rescue. EPIRBs can be lost or run out of juice. Also, EPIRBs don't guarantee rescue by the CG. For one thing, the USCG is now severely taxed by the demands of homeland security, and there are many parts of the world where there is no rescue organization that will help you. (Read Adrift, by Steve Callahan). Also inflatable liferafts can puncture and deflate (again, read Callahan). This is an important decision and you need to decide on the options that you feel most comfortable with.

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The Walker Bay HULL is under $2K; by the time you stick the RIB tube and a sailing rig on it you're spending twice that.

 

By comparison, the Walker Bay 10 with Hypalon tubes weighs 148 lbs without the sailing rig. That is kind of a beast. At West marine you have to get the boat ($1,199.99), the tube kit ($1,399) and the sail kit ($999 for main only, $1,599 for "performance" rig with jib): totals around $3500-4000 depending on options; the 8' boat is obviously cheaper but also doesn't meet the "wife & me" specification. The Pudgy sounds a lot better by comparison.

 

Wow, prices have gone up a whole lot since I bought mine! Not really fair to compare the WB10 to the pudgy 8, but even the WB 8 is just shy of the cost of a pudgy with sail kit. So.. 2700 for pudgy or 2500 for WB8? I would have to say the pudgy is way better bang for the buck! Disposable boats at disposable prices are one thing, but with these prices I wouldn't buy a WB again. Over a grand for the tube kit!!! WTF I can get a very nice RIB for less than that!!!!

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Wow, prices have gone up a whole lot since I bought mine! Not really fair to compare the WB10 to the pudgy 8, but even the WB 8 is just shy of the cost of a pudgy with sail kit. So.. 2700 for pudgy or 2500 for WB8? I would have to say the pudgy is way better bang for the buck! Disposable boats at disposable prices are one thing, but with these prices I wouldn't buy a WB again. Over a grand for the tube kit!!! WTF I can get a very nice RIB for less than that!!!!

I was thinking on the WB RID 10 because of the rated capacity; the WB 8 with the RID is 410 lbs, the RID 10 is 562 LBS which is closer to the Pudgy's USCG capacity of 557 lbs.

 

I also priced the Hypalon tubes; the PVC are cheaper but I wouldn't consider them for my purposes.

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I have to admit, after my previous post, that I'm the Portland Pudgy's designer.

You really ought to have put that bit in the first post!

 

Their not a thing of beauty, but I will admit that on paper they seem to blow away the Walker Bay in any combination of gear.

 

This may make some people snort out loud...but do you have polars? When I saw one at the Providence Boat Show my impression of the boat visually is that it couldn't get out of it's own way under sail. I'm curious to see how it actually does. For half the cost and less weight and space on the foredeck it's worth considering against our original thoughts on the Walker Bay RID with sailing rig. I've not seen other plastic boats of similar size/capacities.

 

Life boat replacement is a tougher sell...

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I won't argue WB's are cheap and flimsy, they are, they also don't weigh 128lbs, or cost over $2000. I wouldn't want an extra 70 lbs on my deck, offshore or anywhere... its too much, too much to handle, to much to break free of its lashings, too much to carry (by yourself esp) 50-100ft up a beach like you have to due in regions with big tides. Great it is self bailing and tough as hell and probably is well suited for some people.. but it is a niche product, in a class of its own. Not a big market. I don't think pointing these things out is necessarily scoffing at it!

 

I just bought a new 4 person Zodiac life raft.

It cost more than $2000 and weighs around 70 lbs.

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The life boat replacement is not a tougher sell for me.

I am going to quote Evans Starzinger: "First, liferafts, like much of the available 'safety equipment', especially the single purpose 'sealed magic boxes' do not work very well. In NZ about 20 cruising boats got together to get their rafts repacked. Before repacking they all pulled their inflation cords and about 1/3 did not inflate, 1/3 inflated but promptly deflated and only 1/3 inflated and stayed inflated (this after the rafts were on average only two years at sea) ." I would rather trust a piece of equipment I use daily and inflation systems that I can manually test before any major passage, rather than some unknown air bag that was supposedly checked out before it was packed. I know that I can request to be present, but no matter how well it is sealed, it will degrade. With something out in the open I can evaluate and repair it before it becomes a problem.

 

Now the most important part for me - with the Portland Pudgy I can PRACTICE using it in survival mode. I wonder how many people have practiced using their life raft? With the Pudgy I can practice launching the thing and using it in survival mode. I know without a doubt that something that my whole family is familiar with and has developed procedures with will be much much safer than something we have seen every two years, if that. I would incorporate this into our routine just like man overboard, which we go through monthly. Every time we are away from the boat for a season, man overboard practice is farcical. We end up laughing at each other because we are so rusty. An inflating life raft would not be a laughing matter. Think about it. Do you really trust the thing?

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I am going to quote Evans Starzinger: "First, liferafts, like much of the available 'safety equipment', especially the single purpose 'sealed magic boxes' do not work very well. In NZ about 20 cruising boats got together to get their rafts repacked. Before repacking they all pulled their inflation cords and about 1/3 did not inflate, 1/3 inflated but promptly deflated and only 1/3 inflated and stayed inflated (this after the rafts were on average only two years at sea) ." I would rather trust a piece of equipment I use daily and inflation systems that I can manually test before any major passage, rather than some unknown air bag that was supposedly checked out before it was packed. I know that I can request to be present, but no matter how well it is sealed, it will degrade. With something out in the open I can evaluate and repair it before it becomes a problem.

 

Now the most important part for me - with the Portland Pudgy I can PRACTICE using it in survival mode. I wonder how many people have practiced using their life raft? With the Pudgy I can practice launching the thing and using it in survival mode. I know without a doubt that something that my whole family is familiar with and has developed procedures with will be much much safer than something we have seen every two years, if that. I would incorporate this into our routine just like man overboard, which we go through monthly. Every time we are away from the boat for a season, man overboard practice is farcical. We end up laughing at each other because we are so rusty. An inflating life raft would not be a laughing matter. Think about it. Do you really trust the thing?

Given that I disagree with Evans' assertions there...we're not working from the same starting point.

 

Yes, I'm not going to spend $Thousands on a life raft without making sure it works - I would trust it. More than I would trust ANY open/hard dinghy in the ocean, even one with a tent over it.

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Okay.. here is my question (getting more and more sold on the concept). How heavy would the whole survival mode thing be? boat + sail + canopy + ditch kit? I'm guessing somewhere at 200lbs +/- 25lbs. If it were stowed on deck, upside down, which is where it would be offshore, Could one realistically be expected to launch it from a sinking boat in adverse conditions? Unlike a liferaft, this is a BIG package to free from the deck, rigging and lifelines. How would that play out? It probably takes me about 1 minute to remove the lashings on my WB, seconds to toss it over the side, but I can't imagine doing this on a wildly pitching deck. Someone needs to make a demo video of this process and put it on youtube!

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I will say this thread has made me look more closely at the boat; I like certain things I see. At some point in the near future we will be getting a 2nd dinghy; a sailing one without an engine (or maybe with a tiny 2HP we keep stored most of the time) primarily for the kids use. I'll definitely put this on the short list - which now has two boats on it, the Walker Bay RID 10 and the Pudgy.

 

Things I like:

- Durability

- Pricing;

- Capacity

- Optional components that may make it better to use, e.g. davit rings, covers, etc. They seem well thought out.

- One guy thinking up something different and making it happen.

- Storage. It reads like it has nice water tight storage; that's very handy on a dinghy.

 

Things that are unclear/unquantified

- Utility as a life raft. It's hard to see using it regularly as a dinghy AND having it ready to go in seconds as a liferaft. Doing a "conversion" every time you arrive or leave from someplace would be a pain, and it's unclear how well it would perform in the serious shit. I don't think I'd bother with the liferaft upgrade

- Sailing performance. I wouldn't expect it to get up and go like a performance boat of course, but you need to be able to get where you want to in a timely fashion.

- Electrical setup option...why? OK, I can see the need for running lights if you get stuck out after dusk, but why not make it easy to just attach standard mountable dinghy lights on it? Maybe it has that, but it seems like an unnecessarily complex way of solving the problem that may be infrequent. Is it that much easier and REALLY watertight?

- Righting it. In the video they were righting it, but only in waist deep water. I'm not sure how well that would work for a big guy like me by myself in water where I can't touch. Maybe over the stern, though it would like I was trying to commit an unnatural act on it. Maybe the optional "Boarding Ladder/Fender".

- Pricing...does that 2006 price list still hold? Or the $2,195 from the Providence Boat Show picture?

 

I still don't much care for the way it looks though; perhaps we can upgrade it from "fugly" to "homely" since it appears to have some fairly redeeming characteristics.

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Okay.. here is my question (getting more and more sold on the concept). How heavy would the whole survival mode thing be? boat + sail + canopy + ditch kit? I'm guessing somewhere at 200lbs +/- 25lbs. If it were stowed on deck, upside down, which is where it would be offshore, Could one realistically be expected to launch it from a sinking boat in adverse conditions? Unlike a liferaft, this is a BIG package to free from the deck, rigging and lifelines. How would that play out? It probably takes me about 1 minute to remove the lashings on my WB, seconds to toss it over the side, but I can't imagine doing this on a wildly pitching deck. Someone needs to make a demo video of this process and put it on youtube!

 

 

The literature says that with the canopy, the sailing rig, and the para-anchor the Portland Pudgy weighs in at 168lbs.

 

I think it is designed to be stored on deck in and upright position with a cover over the already set up canopy.

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Okay.. here is my question (getting more and more sold on the concept). How heavy would the whole survival mode thing be? boat + sail + canopy + ditch kit? I'm guessing somewhere at 200lbs +/- 25lbs. If it were stowed on deck, upside down, which is where it would be offshore, Could one realistically be expected to launch it from a sinking boat in adverse conditions? Unlike a liferaft, this is a BIG package to free from the deck, rigging and lifelines. How would that play out? It probably takes me about 1 minute to remove the lashings on my WB, seconds to toss it over the side, but I can't imagine doing this on a wildly pitching deck. Someone needs to make a demo video of this process and put it on youtube!

 

I think launching it as a liferaft would be easy: You are supposed to wait for the deck to sink before you abandon ship right?

 

Well as the boat sinks you have launched your raft. If everything is secure, you just flip her over as your boat sinks out from under you.......

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I think launching it as a liferaft would be easy: You are supposed to wait for the deck to sink before you abandon ship right?

 

Well as the boat sinks you have launched your raft. If everything is secure, you just flip her over as your boat sinks out from under you.......

 

What about the rig/sails/lifelines? What about huge waves with the boat half sunk taking massive death rolls. I just don't see it happening like that, but if it did, you would swear by the pudgy for life! If it has to be stored upright then its not for me anyway.. sounds like the perfect lifeboat for a big motor trawler, or 45+ sailboat with somewhat of a fantail. I would love to sail one of these. Take it out when its blowing a good gale, bet it would be a blast!

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I feel responsible for answering some of the specific questions raised about the Portland Pudgy here, since in my previous email I said I would. As a newbie, and as someone with an interest in the Pudgy, I'm not sure if this is appropriate, but I'm sure there'll be a general outcry if it isn't, and then I'll keep my mouth shut.

Sail-ability of the Pudgy: The Pudgy gives you a fun, solid sail. No, we don’t have polars—it wasn’t designed as a high performance sailboat. It won’t point like a J-24, but in a good breeze, it points quite nicely. We’ve sailed it in Bf 5-6 winds and it’s a blast!!!

 

How heavy with sailing rig, sea anchor, and exposure canopy: Correct, about 168 lbs.

 

Using in an emergency. It’s not difficult to launch the Pudgy off the deck. One thing you can be absolutely sure of is that you cannot be sure how things will happen at sea. They say that Murphy and McGonagall both live on boats, and McGonagall says that Murphy’s an optimist. Every scenario is different, but we agree with the experts who say that in general, you don’t get into the lifeboat until you have to step up to it. (If you look at the accounts of the Fastnet disaster, and in Adrift, by SteveCallahan, these people got into their lifeboats prematurely and saw their boats float away, not sink.) Throwing a life raft into the water means you have to enter the water first, before getting into the life raft. It would be easier to enter a Pudgy than a life raft being blown around by winds. (This is true even if you had to enter the Pudgy from the water—it’s surprisingly easy to climb into.) You should always have a knife ready to cut the lashing that fastens the Pudgy to the deck, or some form of quick release

 

I would rather be in a solid vessel that’s already a boat, than hoping my life raft inflates, and that isn’t punctured by a piece of metal from the mother boat.

 

We supply a serious sea anchor (unlike the ones that come with most inflatable life rafts), made especially for the Pudgy by Fiorentino.

 

We have tested the canopy in 12-foot seas. We also tested it in calm waters with three guys ranging in weight from 275 to 150. In both the heavy weather test and the calm water test, it inflated in 17 seconds and performed very well. In the calm water test, we deliberately capsized it repeatedly, and found that it was self-righting when empty, and that with one or two adults, it was almost self-righting and very easy to right from inside the cocoon of the boat. With three adults aboard, one person had to leave the boat, in order to right it. In most inflatable life rafts, you have leave the life raft to right it if it capsizes (which happens more frequently than life raft people want to tell you).

 

Pre-setting the canopy: The canopy can be stowed inside the side walls of the boat (as can all of the components). The canopy can also be pre-set. It takes less than a minute to attach it to the attachment points. The recommended use for blue water sailors is to pre-set the canopy and cover it with the boat cover. This allows for almost instantaneous availability. If you want to use your dinghy for a short period, you can gather up the canopy around the perimeter and row or sail the boat.

 

Carrying the Pudgy on deck or on davits. You can carry it facing up, with or without a cover, either in a davit harness or on deck. Or you can store it facing down on your deck. You can carry it on its side on Weaver davits (specially made for the Pudgy) or in a davit harness.

 

Righting the Pudgy. The Pudgy is very easy to right, even for a big guy. There are hand-holds in the skeg for righting the boat and there are grooves in the bottom of the hull that can serve as finger-holds. You can get a toe-hold on a grab-line, or you can use the boarding ladder as a step, and than grab a hand-hold. Then you just lean back. For kids weighing less than 80 pounds, we suggest keeping a loop of rope through each hand-hold in the skeg, for the kid to grab, to allow more leverage. It rights easily, and it comes up dry, because it floats so high that it doesn't take on any water. This in itself can be life-saving.

 

Price. At this point the price is still $2195.

 

 

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[/size]

 

Righting the Pudgy. The Pudgy is very easy to right, even for a big guy. There are hand-holds in the skeg for righting the boat and there are grooves in the bottom of the hull that can serve as finger-holds. You can get a toe-hold on a grab-line, or you can use the boarding ladder as a step, and than grab a hand-hold. Then you just lean back. For kids weighing less than 80 pounds, we suggest keeping a loop of rope through each hand-hold in the skeg, for the kid to grab, to allow more leverage. It rights easily, and it comes up dry, because it floats so high that it doesn't take on any water. This in itself can be life-saving.

 

Price. At this point the price is still $2195.

Thanks for the answers. That's the good thing about SA, you never know when someone like yourself will come out of the woodwork to discuss something. As the designer/inventor of the boat there's clearly no one better to answer some of the specific and objective questions on it.

 

The subjective ones...well, I'd have to see it sail or find a way to sail one. I know it's not a performance boat but there is a certain minimum level you'd hope fore. Certain sailing dinghy concepts haven't always met expectations (are they still making that sail rigged inflatable? The Trinka I think it was called...) even when the bar is pretty low.

 

Perhaps I should clarify my righting concern. I've no doubt I could right it; what concerns me is getting back into it.

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Maybe I oversold the appearance to my wife, I showed her a picture of it to her and she said "That's not that ugly at all."

 

This is really weird, coming from the woman that thought our 40.7 was an ugly boat because she likes more classic lines and sheers in boats. Go figure...this must be why I am not given a seat on our household Aesthetics Committee.

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A friend of mine has one of these. They love it. Their little daughter sails that thing all over the marina and it is a tough little bastard...(the dink, not the daughter).

 

It's odd about all the "ugly" comments. I've never heard anyone use that as a basis for picking out a dink/liferaft?

 

CB...

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It's kinda like a third tit on a supermodel.

 

Probably functions great, but it really is an eyesore and wrecks the beauty of the underlying object. Anyone who puts one of these on a Wally deserves to be shot dead on the spot and removed from the gene pool....

 

To the designer guy - you get an A for geeky engineering functionality but you get an F for product design. Keep the day job and hire an industrial design firm next time to marry both function and design....

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A friend of mine has one of these. They love it. Their little daughter sails that thing all over the marina and it is a tough little bastard...(the dink, not the daughter).

 

It's odd about all the "ugly" comments. I've never heard anyone use that as a basis for picking out a dink/liferaft?

 

CB...

 

 

Its a boat. You have to be seen on it, it accompanies your big boat and you have to look at it too. Looks do count somewhat.Just because something is really functional doesn't mean you just slap it on your boat without regard to how it will look.

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It's all a matter of taste. You can't convince people otherwise. I personally will take function over form just about any day, if I have to choose.

 

It just seems rude to bash a guy so harshly over his design, when the person doing the bashing could not design a boat to begin with. Welcome to the tubes I guess. :P

 

I also am lucky in that I don't give a crap what other people think about how I look in stuff. I sail a slowboat and drive an ugly jeep. :) I also wear a kilt, so my opinion cannot be trusted when it comes to fashion.

 

CB....

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It's all a matter of taste. You can't convince people otherwise. I personally will take function over form just about any day, if I have to choose.

 

It just seems rude to bash a guy so harshly over his design, when the person doing the bashing could not design a boat to begin with. Welcome to the tubes I guess. :P

 

I also am lucky in that I don't give a crap what other people think about how I look in stuff. I sail a slowboat and drive an ugly jeep. :) I also wear a kilt, so my opinion cannot be trusted when it comes to fashion.

 

CB....

 

My feeling is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I don't really give a shit what other people think about it - it's my taste.

 

That being said, if I buy a boat I want to like looking at it. A dinghy is obviously not as crucial the mothership, however it is still part of the boat and affects it's look.

 

FWIW - I appreciate the form over function on this boat, and my wife did not find it nearly as unattractive as I do. Based on what I've read so far about it, I would say I'd be much more likely at this point to pick it over the Walker Bay RID w/ sail package. If I got the green light to go ahead on this planned purchase now (instead of in a year or two as planned) I'd probably end up with a Pudgie.

 

In white though, not Screaming-Banana yellow. I have my limits.

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Make sure you check the stability of the boats. If it's the kids putzing around, a walker with the tubes is a pretty wide platform to play with. The pudgie maybe not so much. Hard to say looking at photos.

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Make sure you check the stability of the boats. If it's the kids putzing around, a walker with the tubes is a pretty wide platform to play with. The pudgie maybe not so much. Hard to say looking at photos.

 

I figure if they can handle Optis they should, in theory be able to handle either of these things, no?

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one would assume...

 

and kids actually like to capsize when it's warm, so it could be a good thing

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April 2008 Price List and Accessories

 

Basic Boat, Part #PP-BB. USCG approved for 4 persons (available in soft white, sunset yellow, red, dark green camo). 92” long x 53”wide. Includes: 2,195.00

Two 6’-6” collapsible aluminum oars with retaining sleeves and collars ($128 value)

Richie compass standard (optional electrical system will illuminate compass)

Towing Bridle harness (secures to two stainless steel eyes with backer disk for towing, lifting, or sea anchor)

Drain plug to allow self-draining (at boat weight plus 30 lbs.)

Hand holds in keel for righting boat (which comes up empty of water after capsize)

Three seats with hand holds (middle seat adjusts to two rowing positions for extra space and load/ballast adjustments; uses stainless steel pin hinges)

Five storage/access hatches w/gaskets (6.4” inside diameter. All accessory equipment, sailing rig, oars, etc. fit through the access hatches)

Four reinforced through-holes fore and aft (used for tie-down and/or securing fender/boarding ladder, and for use with an anti-theft locking security cable)

Four stainless steel oarlock sockets (for use with adjustable middle seat) and two stainless steel oarlocks (with locking system)

Double roller wheels (allows one person to roll the boat on dock or landing ramp)

Grab lines (four)

SOLAS-approved reflective strips (three)

Motor mount and aluminum retaining plate (removable) for long shaft 2HP motors

 

Short Shaft Motor Mount, Part #PP-SM. Available for use with short-shaft, two-cycle motors with narrow motor casing. 32.00

Bailing Pump and Access Port, Part #PP-BP. Includes: 69.00

Hand-bilge pump, Beckson, 18”

Access port with gasket (mounted on gunwale)

Installation at factory (optional).

 

 

 

 

8.00

Davit Lifting/Safety Harness Eyes, Part #PP-DS. Includes: 70.00

Four stainless steel eyes with backer plates (on interior side wall)

 

Installation at factory (optional).

38.00

Electrical System, Part #PP-ES. Includes: 295.00

Electrical panel

 

Accessory socket (powers plug-in equipment and can receive power for charging battery)

 

Two toggle switches (one to illuminate compass and navigation light, one for red LED cockpit light)

 

Battery (rechargeable, 12 volt, 2.6 AH, 2.2 lbs, sealed lead acid)

 

Perko navigation light, all-around white, removable and adjustable (USCG requires an all around white light at night)

 

Perko base and gasket

 

Installation at factory (optional, but recommended).

69.00

Solar Panel, Part #PP-SP. Folding three panel. Charges battery in about 5 hours.

Plugs into electrical panel outlet. Stores in boat or on canopy. Includes outlet plug.

108.00

Sailing Rig, Part #PP-SR. Stores inside boat through transom access hatch. Includes: 895.00

Telescoping (aluminum) 8-foot mast, two-position with push-button release

 

Gaff (aluminum)

 

Boom (flexible and knock-down)

 

Two leeboards (floatable, store under rear seat).

 

Kick-up rudder (three position) and rudder post (store under rear seat), and aluminum tiller with stainless steel rudder/tiller connector

 

Gudgeons (with pintle lock)

 

Rigging lines, Harken blocks, traveler line.

 

Sail, white, 4.5 oz Dacron, high performance, (reefs down, or up when used w/ exposure canopy, creating pro-active life boat)

 

Orange sail (optional at extra charge)

65.00

Exposure Canopy, Part #PP-EC. Transforms boat into four-person, hard bottom, unsinkable, proactive life boat (when used with sailing rig or oars). Self-rights empty boat. Stores inside boat or is pre-set on gunwales. Includes: 1,498.00

 

Three-section canopy (with 6” dia. flotation tubes around entire gunwale and two 6” dia. support arches). Adds about 430 lbs of flotation

 

Bow and stern tubes (inflate by hand pump or in 17 seconds by two CO2 cylinders)

 

Zip-in middle section (with two 6”dia. flotation pods, orally inflated)

 

Two top-off/pressure-relief valves

 

Two inflation valves (US Navy approved)

 

Two 230 gram CO2 cylinders

 

Canopy material USCG-recommended orange outside, blue inside (anti-nausea)

 

Canopy secured to boat with 12 stainless steel pad-eyes (pad-eyes permanently mounted on boat gunwale)

 

Three windows (1 forward, 2 side)

 

Four SOLAS-approved reflective strips

 

Hole with flap for mast

 

Rain catcher and spout

 

Adjustable bow and stern straps to allow access to sea-anchor or tiller

 

US Navy-approved bellows hand pump.

 

Sea Anchor and Rode, Part #PP-SA. Designed by Fiorentino Para-Anchor Highly recommended for survival use. Includes: 295.00

Rugged 30”dia. para-anchor (with patented stainless steel swivel ring shackle).

 

70’ of 3/8” dia. rode.

 

Boarding Ladder/Fender, Part #PP-MC. (Multi-Function Cylinder) Functions as a 99.00

boarding ladder, grab line, fender, and foot support to right boat. Includes:

Foam cylinder with Sunbrella cover, which serves as a fender

 

Web boarding ladder, rolled around foam cylinder—when pulled, serves as ladder

 

Line through cylinder (secures to boat and serves as an extra grab line).

 

Boat Cover, Part #PP-BC. Light gray, Odyssey III, 6.5 oz/sq yd, coated polyester, with 12”-deep skirt. Special color $40 extra. (Required when using exposure canopy in pre-set mode). Includes: 178.00

Bungee cord around perimeter of skirt for snug fit

 

Two 1” webbing straps with stainless steel cam buckles that pass under bottom of boat to secure cover

 

Four grommet holes for access to tie-down through-holes in boat.

 

Boat Cover for Davits, Part #PP-BCD. Same as boat cover. Additionally includes: 269.00

Two 24” double pull zippers to access davit lifting lines to Portland Pudgy lifting bridles

 

Two 24” double pull zippers to access Portland Pudgy davit harness spring lines to lifting eye bolts on Pudgy.

 

Boat Cover for Weaver Davits, Part #PP-BCWD. Same as boat cover. Additionally includes: 219.00

Two 12” double pull zippers for access to Weaver Davit mounting eye.

 

Two reinforced access holes for davit mounting eye.

 

Weaver Davits, Part #PP-WD. A removable, rugged stainless steel, davit system 376.00

for boats with swim platforms. Includes:

Two removable heavy duty eye pins and backer plates for Pudgy.

 

Two snap davit heads for swim platform.

 

Two stand off arms (not included; price varies with length).

Davit Harness, Part #PP-DH. Used with double arm type davit system. Highly recommended to support weight of dinghy. Secures dinghy horizontally or vertically (to avoid dinghy filling with water in a following sea). All stainless steel hardware. Includes: 355.00

Two lifting bridles (secured to four lifting eyes on Pudgy)

 

One “H” harness with ratchets for passing under bottom of Pudgy

 

Two spring lines to stabilize dinghy in heavy seas.

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OK, I have decided to purchase this thing.

 

My deciding factors were -

 

Pro:

 

1. I place high value on the unsinkable construction of the vessel. I tend to use things to their maximum and break lightly constructed equipment. I don't abuse, I just actually use things. I also have read too many accounts of patching inflatables. Double hull, with closed cell foam in between the layers should do it for what I need.

 

2. I like the utility of being able to use it as a life raft, tender, and sailboat.

 

3. The price was manageable. If you buy a Walker Bay 10 with the hypalon tubes and performance sailing kit you still have a Walker Bay.

 

4. I like the watertight storage compartments.

 

5. I like a built in electrical system. It is about time someone realized that you don't always get back during daylight. The clamp on lighting systems I have used previously were hardly even worth the term temporary.

 

6. Self Bailing. Again, why is this so hard for manufacturers to get? We have been hand bailing our dingy for years, it is a pain. Every time it rains, start with the bucket and end pulling the last bit out with a cup. Even when you throw the dingy off the boat during launch you always have that little bit that gets someones sock wet.

 

7. It think it is ugly, but in a good way; like the AR-15 is ugly.

 

8. I am tired of equipment that is built by companies who are trying to keep everyone happy. 20 years of working on automobiles that are all built by companies all trying to copy each other and taking absolutely no risks bringing anything to market makes me appreciate a product that was built for a specific purpose by someone who was really thinking about how it was going to be used, rather than how everyone else is building and marketing their product.

 

Cons:

 

1. It is heavy.

 

2. The marketing program needs improvement. I had to work a little too hard to find this thing and find OUT about this thing.

 

3. My wife thinks it is going to get stolen. Our previous tenders were not worth stealing. I think that a bright yellow ugly as possible boat will be left alone.

 

4. It is a new company, and it's methods aren't proven yet. What happens three years down the road when I find out the plastics they used are crap? (I am thinking about the junk transoms on the porta boat)

 

5. The boat, exposure canopy, the electrical system, and cover came in at just under 5k.

 

 

I will let you know what it is like when I get it. I just ordered it Friday. We will see how long it takes to ship, what it is like to assemble, initial quality, and I will give a six month update. Thanks to everyone.

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OK, I have decided to purchase this thing.

 

My deciding factors were -

 

Pro:

 

1. I place high value on the unsinkable construction of the vessel. I tend to use things to their maximum and break lightly constructed equipment. I don't abuse, I just actually use things. I also have read too many accounts of patching inflatables. Double hull, with closed cell foam in between the layers should do it for what I need.

 

2. I like the utility of being able to use it as a life raft, tender, and sailboat.

 

3. The price was manageable. If you buy a Walker Bay 10 with the hypalon tubes and performance sailing kit you still have a Walker Bay.

 

4. I like the watertight storage compartments.

 

5. I like a built in electrical system. It is about time someone realized that you don't always get back during daylight. The clamp on lighting systems I have used previously were hardly even worth the term temporary.

 

6. Self Bailing. Again, why is this so hard for manufacturers to get? We have been hand bailing our dingy for years, it is a pain. Every time it rains, start with the bucket and end pulling the last bit out with a cup. Even when you throw the dingy off the boat during launch you always have that little bit that gets someones sock wet.

 

7. It think it is ugly, but in a good way; like the AR-15 is ugly.

 

8. I am tired of equipment that is built by companies who are trying to keep everyone happy. 20 years of working on automobiles that are all built by companies all trying to copy each other and taking absolutely no risks bringing anything to market makes me appreciate a product that was built for a specific purpose by someone who was really thinking about how it was going to be used, rather than how everyone else is building and marketing their product.

 

Cons:

 

1. It is heavy.

 

2. The marketing program needs improvement. I had to work a little too hard to find this thing and find OUT about this thing.

 

3. My wife thinks it is going to get stolen. Our previous tenders were not worth stealing. I think that a bright yellow ugly as possible boat will be left alone.

 

4. It is a new company, and it's methods aren't proven yet. What happens three years down the road when I find out the plastics they used are crap? (I am thinking about the junk transoms on the porta boat)

 

5. The boat, exposure canopy, the electrical system, and cover came in at just under 5k.

 

 

I will let you know what it is like when I get it. I just ordered it Friday. We will see how long it takes to ship, what it is like to assemble, initial quality, and I will give a six month update. Thanks to everyone.

I'm pretty much sold on it, however the finance committee has pointed out that it's not in the budget until next year. :huh:

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So...placed an order for one of these yesterday. Still awaiting confirmation from them that all will be done next week, but for what we were looking for this seemed the best alternative. Our first weekend out we missed our old sailing dink tremendously.

 

Requirements:

 

1) You can sail it. Don't need to set the house on fire, just get from Point A to Point B without a motor in a reasonable about of time.

 

2) You can beat the shit out of it. This is dink #2, the "kid's car", adventuremobile and backup dinghy. It WILL be hauled up on rocks and beaches, run aground, and banged into things. Molded plastic, though not the #1 choice for beauty, seems like we can run it into or onto anything and not have nightmares about fixing gelcoat of blowing up the flimsy plastic hull.

 

3) Hard to tip and easy to right. See re in re: kids. Yeah, #1 son now sails a Laser and daughter sails an Opti, but it would be nice if it was stable for hauling their friends that might not be used to hiking. Who wants to dump over on the way into town for ice cream?

 

4) Can carry multiple people, including adults. Yeah, I'm not dropping this much on something I can't play with too. Rated capacity 545 pounds means I should be able to sail it with one or both of my kids...in theory my entire family (about 520 lbs now for all four of us) but I'm not so optimistic as that!

 

5) Compact, not a lot of crap everywhere. One really appealing feature of this boat is that all it's gear stows inside it. No trying to find place for an 8 foot spar on the mother ship. Seems a tidy package.

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I really like this thing. My main concern has been it's performance in big seas (where you'd most likely be in a life raft situation). Seeing some of those stats from mouse helps - but this thing sure looks rolly if you're in a stink. And with the hard surfaces - that would be a very long day. Even so, it sure seems like a great all-round product.

 

Anyway, it's great that you're answering these questions mousetrap - thanks.

 

As for the sailing capabilities, I found this video when I was researching this thing a few months ago. Very competitive with a 4KSB if you ask me:

 

 

http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded

 

mouse - do you guys make an assy for them yet?

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I really like this thing. My main concern has been it's performance in big seas (where you'd most likely be in a life raft situation). Seeing some of those stats from mouse helps - but this thing sure looks rolly if you're in a stink. And with the hard surfaces - that would be a very long day. Even so, it sure seems like a great all-round product.

 

Anyway, it's great that you're answering these questions mousetrap - thanks.

 

As for the sailing capabilities, I found this video when I was researching this thing a few months ago. Very competitive with a 4KSB if you ask me:

 

 

 

 

mouse - do you guys make an assy for them yet?

 

We're not going the life raft route with it, we're getting it more as a the Sports Utility Dink.

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We're not going the life raft route with it, we're getting it more as a the Sports Utility Dink.

 

That's exactly why I want a Portland Pudgy, or maybe a nesting Spindrift.

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We're not going the life raft route with it, we're getting it more as a the Sports Utility Dink.

 

That's exactly why I want a Portland Pudgy, or maybe a nesting Spindrift.

 

Spindrifts look great too. Except 1) I don't have the time, space or skill to build one and 2) If I DID put all that time into something that pretty I'd never want to let the kids drag it on a beach.

 

Just got off the phone with mousetrap...ours is being built as I write this and will be available for pickup next week.

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So...placed an order for one of these yesterday. Still awaiting confirmation from them that all will be done next week, but for what we were looking for this seemed the best alternative. Our first weekend out we missed our old sailing dink tremendously.

 

Requirements:

 

1) You can sail it. Don't need to set the house on fire, just get from Point A to Point B without a motor in a reasonable about of time.

 

2) You can beat the shit out of it. This is dink #2, the "kid's car", adventuremobile and backup dinghy. It WILL be hauled up on rocks and beaches, run aground, and banged into things. Molded plastic, though not the #1 choice for beauty, seems like we can run it into or onto anything and not have nightmares about fixing gelcoat of blowing up the flimsy plastic hull.

 

3) Hard to tip and easy to right. See re in re: kids. Yeah, #1 son now sails a Laser and daughter sails an Opti, but it would be nice if it was stable for hauling their friends that might not be used to hiking. Who wants to dump over on the way into town for ice cream?

 

4) Can carry multiple people, including adults. Yeah, I'm not dropping this much on something I can't play with too. Rated capacity 545 pounds means I should be able to sail it with one or both of my kids...in theory my entire family (about 520 lbs now for all four of us) but I'm not so optimistic as that!

 

5) Compact, not a lot of crap everywhere. One really appealing feature of this boat is that all it's gear stows inside it. No trying to find place for an 8 foot spar on the mother ship. Seems a tidy package.

 

 

Hehehe, that's classic BJ. Your first post in this thread is all its ugly, slow and stupid now you own one! reminds me of a story: many moons ago my big bro and i stopped in at the farm house for supper during along day of seeding (that's planting crops fer you city slickers). there is a vacuum salesman in the house. big brother is FUCKING FURIOUS. he sits at the kitchen table with a hellacious scowl on his face as the salesman, undaunted, runs through his pitch. the wind up for the pitch comes when the guy ties the hose in knot, places a bullet shaped steel weight on the floor and applies the business end of the hose to it. the bullet gets sucked up, rattles through the hose and clanks into the cannister! SOLD! bro went from ready chase the guy off his dirt with a shotgun to writing a cheque in about 15 minutes...beautiful.

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We're not going the life raft route with it, we're getting it more as a the Sports Utility Dink.

 

That's exactly why I want a Portland Pudgy, or maybe a nesting Spindrift.

 

Spindrifts look great too. Except 1) I don't have the time, space or skill to build one and 2) If I DID put all that time into something that pretty I'd never want to let the kids drag it on a beach.

 

Just got off the phone with mousetrap...ours is being built as I write this and will be available for pickup next week.

 

I've checked out the Pudgie at several boat shows, and IMHO it's a great solution... not for us though, since much of it's functionality is oriented to the offshore cruiser. If it were made light, that would be much better, but of course it would also make it a lot more expensive.

 

Every cruiser really needs a custom dinghy for his own tastes & usage. Unfortunately it's a time-consuming PITA to design and build an appropriate one.

 

http://sports.webshots.com/album/82561569ZSrzNA

 

The 'Winnie W Perfect Dinghy' cost a bit less than a Pudgie, unless you also include the cost of about 1 year of life, 18 months of occupying 110% of a suburban double garage, and the uncountable cost of inhaling yet more resin fumes & fiberglass sanding dust (to be paid in full at a later point in life, hopefully much later). Then of course there's the cost of a lifetime of obsessing over boats & boat design, learning to use hull design software (kind of fun really), etc etc.

 

It's been a HUGE success, complete victory on all fronts: it is quite stable (crazy dog & capsize-averse wife ride in it with comfort & style), rows very easily, can be lifted aboard very easily (I use one hand, wife hoists bowline... weight ~ 35lbs), and seems to be rugged enough to take the beating & crunching of everyday cruising. I never use an outboard when cruising but have put an outboard on it for trial... it planes with 2 adults (~340lbs) with a 2.5 hp and steers very steadily.

 

The finish ain't pretty, but the overall lines & shape is very appealing to my eye (well, if I did it over I could get the spiling of the lapped strakes a little better).

 

So, if you want to just buy an off-the-shelf dinghy, you got a few options but they are all compromises in ways that may not suit your individual taste, or fit perfectly on the deck of your cruising vessel. But obviously, the cost of a "Perfect Dinghy" is too high for most.

 

Remember, the Penguin started out as a tender for cruisers.

 

FB- Doug

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So...placed an order for one of these yesterday. Still awaiting confirmation from them that all will be done next week, but for what we were looking for this seemed the best alternative. Our first weekend out we missed our old sailing dink tremendously.

 

Requirements:

 

1) You can sail it. Don't need to set the house on fire, just get from Point A to Point B without a motor in a reasonable about of time.

 

2) You can beat the shit out of it. This is dink #2, the "kid's car", adventuremobile and backup dinghy. It WILL be hauled up on rocks and beaches, run aground, and banged into things. Molded plastic, though not the #1 choice for beauty, seems like we can run it into or onto anything and not have nightmares about fixing gelcoat of blowing up the flimsy plastic hull.

 

3) Hard to tip and easy to right. See re in re: kids. Yeah, #1 son now sails a Laser and daughter sails an Opti, but it would be nice if it was stable for hauling their friends that might not be used to hiking. Who wants to dump over on the way into town for ice cream?

 

4) Can carry multiple people, including adults. Yeah, I'm not dropping this much on something I can't play with too. Rated capacity 545 pounds means I should be able to sail it with one or both of my kids...in theory my entire family (about 520 lbs now for all four of us) but I'm not so optimistic as that!

 

5) Compact, not a lot of crap everywhere. One really appealing feature of this boat is that all it's gear stows inside it. No trying to find place for an 8 foot spar on the mother ship. Seems a tidy package.

 

 

Hehehe, that's classic BJ. Your first post in this thread is all its ugly, slow and stupid now you own one! reminds me of a story: many moons ago my big bro and i stopped in at the farm house for supper during along day of seeding (that's planting crops fer you city slickers). there is a vacuum salesman in the house. big brother is FUCKING FURIOUS. he sits at the kitchen table with a hellacious scowl on his face as the salesman, undaunted, runs through his pitch. the wind up for the pitch comes when the guy ties the hose in knot, places a bullet shaped steel weight on the floor and applies the business end of the hose to it. the bullet gets sucked up, rattles through the hose and clanks into the cannister! SOLD! bro went from ready chase the guy off his dirt with a shotgun to writing a cheque in about 15 minutes...beautiful.

 

Now be fair, I only said it was insanely ugly and LOOKED like it might not be able to get out of it's own way under sail...

 

I since upgraded it to "homely" and began to appreciate it's utilitarian strengths.

 

You are right, a total turnaround for me though - two years ago I wouldn't have considered it but this thread and subsequent research turned me around. That and them putting on a new, better performing rig with longer leeboards to improve sail performance, too.

 

Not setting the world on fire under sail, but it does sail.

 

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=-vDq__58dFM

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Showoff!

 

(just jealous) ;)

 

Sorry.

 

My real point, which kind of got lost in the muddle, is how friggin' expensive a dinghy is. This one cost only ~$4k in materials (and it's carbon) but it soaked up almost 2 years of work plus the shop space.

 

It's easy to say, "I already have that, doesn't really cost anything" but that is losing sight of the basic economic fact that $$ are just a convenient fiction to represent resources, not the other way around.

 

The Pudgie is a real expensive boat; OTOH there is no way to get the functionality without making it expensive. And as Phil Bolger used to say, "Any proposed changed is most likely to reduce the utility & increase the expense." If you want to settle for 80% of the functionality, you can probably get it down to 25% of the cost... at some point, you just knock together a plywood pram.

 

BJ thanks for putting up the video... That little boat really does sail!

 

FB- Doug

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Showoff!

 

(just jealous) ;)

 

Sorry.

 

My real point, which kind of got lost in the muddle, is how friggin' expensive a dinghy is. This one cost only ~$4k in materials (and it's carbon) but it soaked up almost 2 years of work plus the shop space.

 

It's easy to say, "I already have that, doesn't really cost anything" but that is losing sight of the basic economic fact that $ are just a convenient fiction to represent resources, not the other way around.

 

The Pudgie is a real expensive boat; OTOH there is no way to get the functionality without making it expensive. And as Phil Bolger used to say, "Any proposed changed is most likely to reduce the utility & increase the expense." If you want to settle for 80% of the functionality, you can probably get it down to 25% of the cost... at some point, you just knock together a plywood pram.

 

BJ thanks for putting up the video... That little boat really does sail!

 

FB- Doug

 

"Real Expensive" is relative.

 

Completely kitted out with the life raft safety options and pretty much every other option they sell except a Torqueedo motor ( Includes sail kit, lifeboat kit, covers, davit accessories, electrical system, solar panel, etc. etc. ) the "Life Boat Platinum" runs just over $7K.

 

Our boat, which is a hull, sail kit, davit rings, a bow bumper and a side fender/boarding ladder comes in right around $4,000. Compared to a Walker Bay 10, when you buy the RID Tube (to get the load & stability close to the Pudgy's) and the Sail kit you are spending $3,400 for a boat which on inspection just doesn't seem as rugged or stable. Nor does it have some of the more ingenious features like stowage for all it's gear, a roller on the keel, etc. etc. A Trinka 8 with sailing rig comes in around $3,600 too.

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So...placed an order for one of these yesterday. Still awaiting confirmation from them that all will be done next week, but for what we were looking for this seemed the best alternative. Our first weekend out we missed our old sailing dink tremendously.

 

Requirements:

 

1) You can sail it. Don't need to set the house on fire, just get from Point A to Point B without a motor in a reasonable about of time.

 

2) You can beat the shit out of it. This is dink #2, the "kid's car", adventuremobile and backup dinghy. It WILL be hauled up on rocks and beaches, run aground, and banged into things. Molded plastic, though not the #1 choice for beauty, seems like we can run it into or onto anything and not have nightmares about fixing gelcoat of blowing up the flimsy plastic hull.

 

3) Hard to tip and easy to right. See re in re: kids. Yeah, #1 son now sails a Laser and daughter sails an Opti, but it would be nice if it was stable for hauling their friends that might not be used to hiking. Who wants to dump over on the way into town for ice cream?

 

4) Can carry multiple people, including adults. Yeah, I'm not dropping this much on something I can't play with too. Rated capacity 545 pounds means I should be able to sail it with one or both of my kids...in theory my entire family (about 520 lbs now for all four of us) but I'm not so optimistic as that!

 

5) Compact, not a lot of crap everywhere. One really appealing feature of this boat is that all it's gear stows inside it. No trying to find place for an 8 foot spar on the mother ship. Seems a tidy package.

 

 

Hehehe, that's classic BJ. Your first post in this thread is all its ugly, slow and stupid now you own one! reminds me of a story: many moons ago my big bro and i stopped in at the farm house for supper during along day of seeding (that's planting crops fer you city slickers). there is a vacuum salesman in the house. big brother is FUCKING FURIOUS. he sits at the kitchen table with a hellacious scowl on his face as the salesman, undaunted, runs through his pitch. the wind up for the pitch comes when the guy ties the hose in knot, places a bullet shaped steel weight on the floor and applies the business end of the hose to it. the bullet gets sucked up, rattles through the hose and clanks into the cannister! SOLD! bro went from ready chase the guy off his dirt with a shotgun to writing a cheque in about 15 minutes...beautiful.

 

Now be fair, I only said it was insanely ugly and LOOKED like it might not be able to get out of it's own way under sail...

 

I since upgraded it to "homely" and began to appreciate it's utilitarian strengths.

 

You are right, a total turnaround for me though - two years ago I wouldn't have considered it but this thread and subsequent research turned me around. That and them putting on a new, better performing rig with longer leeboards to improve sail performance, too.

 

Not setting the world on fire under sail, but it does sail.

 

 

So, how was it gybing the Pudgy?

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So, how was it gybing the Pudgy?

 

Don't know, that wasn't me. We pick ours up Wednesday.

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"Real Expensive" is relative.

 

 

Indeed. This little toy cost me $4,500 back in the late 1990's. I wonder if it can outsail a Pudgy? ;)

 

faltsl.jpg

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"Real Expensive" is relative.

 

 

Indeed. This little toy cost me $4,500 back in the late 1990's. I wonder if it can outsail a Pudgy? ;)

 

faltsl.jpg

 

Probably, unless you load it up with 300 lbs of extra gear and passengers...

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Speaking of dinghies, did you know they still make the Sportyak?!

 

http://www.1stdirect...om/sunboat.html

 

OK, that thing makes a Pudgy look like a freakin' Hinckley. Someone get me the eye bleach.

 

There's yakking enough I think with that one.

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My dad had a Sportyak. It was this weird green color. It looked bad, but was very durable. You could even get a sailing kit for it. I imagine it sailed like the bathtub it was. BIC now makes a version,

 

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=56111&familyName=BIC+Sport+245+Dinghy+-+8ft&engine=adwords!6456&keyword=bic_245

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Speaking of dinghies, did you know they still make the Sportyak?!

 

http://www.1stdirect...om/sunboat.html

 

OK, that thing makes a Pudgy look like a freakin' Hinckley.

 

In more ways than one! MSRP: $549.00trans_1x1.gif Sale price $448

 

I love all boats, especially little boats, but that one is a struggle, even at that price. ;)

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Speaking of dinghies, did you know they still make the Sportyak?!

 

http://www.1stdirect...om/sunboat.html

 

OK, that thing makes a Pudgy look like a freakin' Hinckley.

 

In more ways than one! MSRP: $549.00trans_1x1.gif Sale price $448

 

I love all boats, especially little boats, but that one is a struggle, even at that price. ;)

You usually get what you pay for.

 

If I'm looking to yak a lot I'd rather do it with $448 worth of tequila.

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

 

Video or it didn't happen.;) Preferably on-board video in some wind and chop, showing upwind and off wind performance with occasional shots of the GPS screen. And popcorn. Thanks in advance.

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

 

Video or it didn't happen.;) Preferably on-board video in some wind and chop, showing upwind and off wind performance with occasional shots of the GPS screen. And popcorn. Thanks in advance.

Workin' on it...

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

 

Video or it didn't happen.;) Preferably on-board video in some wind and chop, showing upwind and off wind performance with occasional shots of the GPS screen. And popcorn. Thanks in advance.

Workin' on it...

 

Writeup is up on the front page.

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

 

Video or it didn't happen.;) Preferably on-board video in some wind and chop, showing upwind and off wind performance with occasional shots of the GPS screen. And popcorn. Thanks in advance.

Workin' on it...

 

Writeup is up on the front page.

 

Where's that? ;)

 

Nice write up, BJ. Tacking through only 110 degrees? In light air on Saturday I was tacking my boat through 130.

 

Why don't you cut a hole and put your own deck hatch in the other side?

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Picked it up. Impressed so far, my son sailed it yesterday in 15ish winds and loved it. He said is sailed "much better than he expected".

 

I'll be doing a more detailed writeup after we've had a bit more time to play with it.

 

Video or it didn't happen.;) Preferably on-board video in some wind and chop, showing upwind and off wind performance with occasional shots of the GPS screen. And popcorn. Thanks in advance.

Workin' on it...

 

Writeup is up on the front page.

 

Where's that? ;)

 

Nice write up, BJ. Tacking through only 110 degrees? In light air on Saturday I was tacking my boat through 130.

 

Why don't you cut a hole and put your own deck hatch in the other side?

 

I've thought of cutting the hole, I might some day if we want to stow more there. But it's more of a "nice to have" as opposed to a need, not so important I want to start cutting holes in the boat.

 

I think it would be a great idea if they offered it as an option when you bought the boat.

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The ugly truth about most of the marine industry:

 

If you contract out cutting that hole and putting a hatch to the builder, it will be done by someone who is not all that skilled and who doesn't care as much about your boat as you do. If you want it, you're better off doing it yourself, IMO. Not intending to disparage the skilled builders in the industry, just saying that work like cutting a hole and putting a hatch does not go to those people. It goes to hourly people with highly variable skills/motivation/experience.

 

Visiting a few boat factories has made it much easier for me to chop holes in my boats. ;)

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The ugly truth about most of the marine industry:

 

If you contract out cutting that hole and putting a hatch to the builder, it will be done by someone who is not all that skilled and who doesn't care as much about your boat as you do. If you want it, you're better off doing it yourself, IMO. Not intending to disparage the skilled builders in the industry, just saying that work like cutting a hole and putting a hatch does not go to those people. It goes to hourly people with highly variable skills/motivation/experience.

 

Visiting a few boat factories has made it much easier for me to chop holes in my boats. ;)

These are molded plastic, not glass or wood. They are doing it anyway on the starboard side, so why not just offer the ability to do it on the port side and install another hatch when you buy the boat?

 

These boats come as molded hulls to the Pudgy shop, they've got a small group there that does all the work themselves beyond that. I didn't ask if the inspection ports are cut later or molded when the hull is made - that could be the difference.

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looks like a really well made product, with a lot of thought into the design.

 

needs a better website though..., with more/better pictures that highlight design details.

 

i quite like it.

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These are molded plastic, not glass or wood. They are doing it anyway on the starboard side, so why not just offer the ability to do it on the port side and install another hatch when you buy the boat?

 

These boats come as molded hulls to the Pudgy shop, they've got a small group there that does all the work themselves beyond that. I didn't ask if the inspection ports are cut later or molded when the hull is made - that could be the difference.

 

I agree that making it an option makes sense. Seems to me that they will have more customers like you, who just want a multipurpose waterbuggy, than customers who are really interested in the lifeboat stuff they are putting on that side of the boat.

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