Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-05-2013, 11:48   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Perfect in quotes, because there could be no such thing from all points of view, but I think I have begun to develop a very nice refinement:

Lots of cruisers, myself included, have seen the advantages of portabotes as cruising dinghies and I won't recap their virtues here. I settled on one for my Bristol 30 (a ten footer) aware of its shortcomings, mainly that they are a bit of a pain to set up on the boat, especially for one person. Probably a little harder, though maybe a little faster, than a similarly sized roll up inflatable.

I like the idea of a small lifeboat, as opposed to a life raft, and I actually had a Portland Pudgy on my circumnavigation, but until now I have not regarded the portabote as a potential lifeboat, at least not if it is to be stowed folded while at sea.

So here's the gimmick: I sprang for a huge inflatable fender and fastened it into the portabote as shown. As I hoped and imagined it deflates and allows the bote to fold very easily and, most importantly, unfolds the bote in a matter of seconds, putting it immediately into a ready-to-launch condition. Thereby eliminating both of the shortcomings I was troubled by.

Over the coming weeks I will be incorporating an air storage canister (using an aircompressor now), a sun/rain canopy, and other lifeboat features. If this post shows there is interest in the project I will post a video of the inflation.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-1516496142.jpg
Views:	762
Size:	362.9 KB
ID:	60878  
__________________

__________________
Vivid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2013, 17:08   #2
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,575
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

As the owner of a 10 foot Portabote, I support and encourage this sort of experiment. I myself have been trying to devise an inflatable retrofit collar (a la the Walker Bay) for the Portabote to increase its buoyancy and stability.

I'm not that driven, however!
__________________

__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2013, 17:11   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,896
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Porta Bote is now selling a collar model, but wful expensive.

I too have Porte Botes and am intrigued.

Need to keep it useful as a dingy though!
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2013, 17:17   #4
Registered User
 
Target9000's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Orleans LA
Boat: 74 Westsail 32
Posts: 1,379
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

We have a 10ft PB and would love to see a video of you blowing that thing up to open it.
__________________
Let your heart tell you where to go, but let your brain tell you how to get there.

Sundowner Sails Again
Target9000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 03:20   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Video please
__________________
MIDGET is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 08:57   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Have you ever been in really rough weather? There is no way a portabote or even a RIB will be useful as a lifeboat or survival platform in bad conditions. It is delusional. Even survival rafts are barely adequate.

If you are thinking about using it as a short-term escape vehicle in near-shore waters should your main boat go out from under you, then maybe OK. But as a substitute for a liferaft - no way.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 12:05   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 928
Check out Portland pudgy. They are attacking the same challenge with a purpose-engineered solution.
__________________
SecondBase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2013, 20:52   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 928
I see you had a Pudgy for some time. Was it storage difficulty or too small as a utility dinghy that led you in a different direction?
__________________
SecondBase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 01:17   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Colemj,

Right, this kind of boat probably would not do well in a big breaking sea. But my experience (i have circumnavigated) is that in the areas i am likely to cruise now extremely bad weather is rare and if the big boat sinks because of extreme weather even a "real" liferaft is of limited utility. The most likely scenario is, as you say, the boat going out from under you due to a collision, a fire or some kind of irreparable hull breach n perfectly ordinary weather. Many, many people have been rescued at sea clinging to platforms a lot less confidence inspiring than a portabote or a rib. So in some (non-delusional) situations such a platform could be quite useful.

If i could afford the acquisition cost, the maintenance cost and had room for it, I'd have a liferaft too. But god knows they have their shortcomings, and they don't always self-inflate. I'd still want a good hard dinghy of some sort as a second option.

I'm going to be carrying the portabote, because it is a great dinghy which stores conveniently (which the pudgy doesn't, not on a 30 footer). I figure why not at least have something to climb into if the boat sinks? Without this adaptation the portabote would just go down with the ship.

I'm on a bike ride around France right now (Phyllisandpaul's Traveler Profile - TravelPod) but I will post an inflation video when I get home.
__________________
Vivid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:02   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,876
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

So you have a lifeboat that takes 2 people to assemble in calm conditions and expect to put it together in a storm, then pump up the fender?

What was the point? (not trying to be snarky)
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:10   #11
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Will also be interested in the Vid.
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:28   #12
Registered User
 
endoftheroad's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Key West
Boat: Westsail 32 and Herreshoff 28
Posts: 1,159
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Looking forward to the video
__________________
endoftheroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 08:13   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 55
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

LOL

The point of the "fender" is that it unfolds the boat and makes it possible for one person quickly and easily to assemble the boat the rest of the way, in or out of the water. Once the bladder is inflated the rig might swamp, but it wouldn't sink.

In ordinary conditions I will use a 12v. inflator on deck and use the usual portabote seats and transom. For emergency use I will inflate with a CO2 canister and use strong but lightweight struts (stored in the folded boat) in place of fore and aft seats and to support the portabote transom panel. This panel with strut would not support an outboard of course, but would maintain the integrity of the boat. Small open boats by the way have done very well in big seas, even, Drascombes for example, using a drogue to keep the boat from broaching.

The idea as I said in the initial post is to deal with the fact that a factory PB is pretty hard to assemble on deck. It certainly can be done by one person with the aid of the little wood spreader it comes with, but it is tricky. The inflatable aspect just makes ordinary assembly a lot easier and makes the emergency use possible.
__________________
Vivid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 01:13   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: La la Land
Boat: 37' Oyster Heritage
Posts: 410
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Can you assemble it and get it to the rail in 15 seconds? (the ISAF standard for liferaft stowage)

By the way has anyone used a Portland Pugy in anger? As a life saving device it seems to be sized for the same people who can fit in the back of a 2+2 sports car, ie: an amputee dwarf.


I'll put my faith in a maintained liferaft and an EPIRB.
__________________
sestina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 05:09   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 928
Re: Humbly Submitted: the "Perfect" Dinghy/Lifeboat

Vivid

Question - for a second circumnavigation, if you had a 30' boat with excellent davits, would you still prefer the portabote?
__________________

__________________
SecondBase is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:27.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.