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Old 10-04-2008, 23:10   #31
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Re: Pudgy. After a brief look at the website, I was not entirely convinced. I would like to have seen some sort of equivalent to a keel or water-pocket to minimise possibility of capsize. Heck, it might be great, but I am always mistrustful of one thing that claims to do two things as well as two things would... like, for example a motor boat and a sailing boat - you get a MacGregor 26... a half-arsed sailing boat and a half-arsed motor boat; neither the one nor the other. Like I say, it could be good, but without seeing more hard evidence, I will reserve my judgement.

Incidentally, someone earlier in the thread asked for my opinion on Givens liferafts. Unfortunately, I have never come accross one, so I will pass.
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Old 11-04-2008, 00:34   #32
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when i mention that i could consider building a mono with a ballasted daggerboard ,but one that i could releive (disengague) the daggerboard easily in the case of "sinking" .
everybody laught at me ..
but so , keep laughing..
i will prefere to be up side down in a boat without a ballast that in a life raft ,
i practiced using a life raft , not easy ..
when i sail up and down the coast ,i do not have a life raft , i must prefere to rely more on my sit on top kayak , that a life raft..
my sit on top ( swing by perception )can not sink , it is strong on the reef i test it all the time going for fishing and Osters , as special grabag pod always ready with essenciel for surviving few days ..
i can stored few things for survival in it too ..like wet suit ..ect..
and i can paddle to go somewhere , and as i say before , with a kite i can even go a long way... and it is red too..
now you can laught...
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Old 11-04-2008, 00:42   #33
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by the way , sinking is not the only raison to abandon ship !
Fire is a main one too !!
few years ago , a sailor was in big trouble just off shore Fraser island , he has to abandon his boat because of fire , he was single handed and not far from land , but in sharks territories...and the autorities where looking for days for him..
if he had a kayak like mine he would have been better..
i can not reminber if they find him or not ...
and 5 peoples drowned just 10 miles off shores in cro- country Hichenbrook passage ..because their little baot capsise in a nice day..
they where too tired or to drunk to swim back to shore ..
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:49   #34
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I'd expect, at the very least, any dual-purpose gear to be a fairly good choice for it's prime purpose.
The Pudgy doesn't seem, to me, to be a very good Tender, so fails that minimum test.
As a liferaft, it's laughable.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:34   #35
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
The Pudgy doesn't seem, to me, to be a very good Tender, so fails that minimum test.
As a liferaft, it's laughable.
Gord,

What are you basing your assessments on? As a tender - it's fairly lightweight, puncture-proof, UV-stable, carries four people and supplies, can be motored, rowed or sailed - so seems to me to have the promise of being a very good tender.
As a liferaft, I already mentioned what I consider to be the biggest drawback. In either respect, I would really like to see some independent testing done.

Kevin
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:07   #36
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I agree with Gordon. It fails both functions. You really need a real tender and a real liferaft...and never the twain shall meet. The raft and the tender serve two completely different functions and things that are a compromise in between, such as a "motorsailor", almost always fail miserably in both categories. Most things that serve two different functions simply cannot be combined effectively. Seriously, your really going to row this ashore in a small surf? Or use it for protection against the elements should you have to abandon your boat?
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:26   #37
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David,

Have you ever rowed a zodiac? They're horrible, but that doesn't stop them from being used as tenders. To me, the Pudgy looks like it actually might do fairly well is a 'small' surf. But I haven't tried it, have you? I try not to let my prejudices get the better of me. And with the exposure canopy, it has as much protection from the elements as a liferaft - with the added bonuses that you don't have to depend on it to inflate, and stay inflated to float. Conceivably, it should have a more comfortable motion on a para-anchor, than a water-ballasted liferaft. Is there anyone who has tried one of these things and can give us the voice of experience?

Kevin
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Old 11-04-2008, 15:35   #38
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Never the twain shall meet...

So if the difference in function between liferaft and tender is so large that one cannot really function as the other what I would want is a durable liferaft.

This business of locking a "liferaft" of disputable durability into a container that is kept on deck exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity for years does not appeal.

What I would like is a well made durable liferaft that stores readily in a soft bag below deck. Something that I can test myself from time to time with readily available inflators.

Possibly a well made second hand liferaft for which I could purchase inflators.

If hypalon tenders can last over 10 years and PVC can get a 3 year warranty why not?

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-04-2008, 15:51   #39
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The best compromise that I have heard of, is to keep the life raft (vacuum packed) stowed in a compartment in the brdige deck, i.e. just outside the companionway, but that means either custom glass work or choosing your boat very carefully. I don't think there's anything critical about buying and testing inflators since the inflation bottle either is or isn't full--and that can be checked by weight. I'd rather use the exhaust from a vacuum to inflate it, that's warm air and unlikely to damage or overpressurize anythng.

It almost seems like the most economical thing is to buy a new raft, keep it for three year without reinspecting, and then sell it as an "almost new raft" to a naive secondhand buyer, basically for the price of "new less one repack". There's just no way to come out ahead on these things.

Big trash bags and lots of waterwings?<G>
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Old 11-04-2008, 15:56   #40
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naive secondhand buyer

then sell it as an "almost new raft" to a naive secondhand buyer, basically for the price of "new less one repack". There's just no way to come out ahead on these things.

Big trash bags and lots of waterwings?<G>[/quote]

"naive secondhand buyer "
no a very ethical way of behaving and living , even less of sailing...
is there honest people out there ???...
sad , very sad attitude...
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Old 11-04-2008, 17:52   #41
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Well, you REALLY have my attention about the Portland Pudgy as I am very close to buying one. It's very obvious that sailors are an opinionated bunch and that's a good thing. Let me share mine. My intended cruising is not, at this time, trans-oceanic, only coastal down to Mexico. If I were going blue water I'd likely also want an inflatable life raft. My dinghy dilemma is having a 30ft boat and REALLY wanting a sailing dink and no outboard (it's far more pleasant, "commute" time be damned). I understand about the 'compromises" of multi-purpose items but why can't it possible to have your cake and eat it too. The Pudgy offers a lot; what other dink rows, tows sails, is unsinkable (foam filled), stable, contains the stowed sail rig and canopy inside (between the hulls), even has a small wheel in the keel to make one-person moving about the dock or shore easy. I also like a "plastic" dink and have cruising experience that they can be bullet-proof and UV resistant. I'd like to hope that my most likely need to abandon ship would be collision or fire, not weather. I also like thing that I can inspect, abandoning ship is no time for any surprises. I don't think I'm too far off the mark on this one.
My 2-cents.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:23   #42
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Compare the Pudgy* to any number of Rigid Inflatables:
Compared to a Zodiac “Yachtline RIB” (275R model), the Portland Pudgy is 29% heavier (128# vs 99#), but is only rated at 72% the payload capacity (557# vs 771#), and carries a much smaller (2HP vs 8 HP) outboard.

* Portland Pudgy is long on "words", but they don't make it easy to extract technical specifications from their website.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:08   #43
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Gord, for the reasons you specify I agree that the Pudgy is a less than ideal tender (although virtually any solid dinghy would have similar failings, albeit at potentially less weight). And Kevin, if anyone had actually used one of the these as a liferaft in survival conditions you can guarantee that it would have been added to the 'comments' or testimonials portion on their site.

Would it be useful for Squeaks, who is intending only a coastal cruise on a 30 footer? Here are my concerns (and they largely revolve around the 'storage' issue):

Firstly, with the additional freeboard of the Pudgy over comparably sized, traditional solid tenders, it would be virtually impossible to store on the deck of a 30 foot boat without interfering with visibility forward. Further, the increased windage forward would make tacking the boat more difficult (to say nothing of interfering with movement forward on the deck of the boat in heavy conditions).

I also think that 'deploying' it from the deck in survival conditions would be much more difficult than a liferaft: its not just a matter of weight, but of size (it would clearly take 2 people even in calm conditions).

Storing it on davits in all conditions? A recipe for disaster in anything but fair weather/short seas (and can you imagine the amount of water she could take on compared to an inflatable?). This is to say nothing of the weight that you would be required to carry well aft and up on a 30 foot boat, even when dry. Not only will she no longer sit on her lines, your transom/cockpit will be at huge risk of being pooped.

Towing it? Hey, it already weighs 128 pounds, just think of what it would weigh filled with water (as would inevitably happen in the sort of survival conditions that would precede a need for its use as a liferaft). In fact, it would make for a great drogue - although unfortunately one that can only be accidentally and not intentionally deployed. In any event, I can virtually guarantee that it would eventually rip the stern mooring cleats out of the deck of most 30 footers in those conditions.

Towing a filled 'Pudgy' would also tend to make heaving-to impossible, to say nothing of attempting to set a sea-anchor from a bridle so as to control the angle of approaching seas. We would end up with a 'survival' device that actually interferes with good seamanship in survival conditions and thereby increases the chances of needing it!

Once deployed, there would be the additional problem of attempting to board it (and that would be much more difficult than a dedicated liferaft with lower freeboard and greater stability). It would also be much more likely to capsize - causing you to have to right the boat, get back in and bail the water out (hopefully before the next capsize).

I am not surprised that there are no testimonials to its use as a liferaft. If I were planning a coastal cruise in a thirty foot boat and wanted to combine a dinghy with the potential for short-term use as a liferaft, I would buy a good quality hypalon inflatable with an air floor. It could be readily stored below when not in use, would be extremely easy to set up (no floor boards to struggle with), has an insulated floor, greater stability (and easier boarding) than a hard dinghy, and would weigh much less.

I would purchase a small 2 1/2 HP outboard (total weight would still be well under the basic 'Pudgy') in order to improve its use as a dinghy. To improve its utility as a liferaft, I would maintain plastic jugs with a lanyard filled with drinking water. These would be ready to attach to the inflatable's handhold lines and dropped over the side as both a drinking water supply and 'water ballast'. I would also carry a small fishing drogue (availabe at Defender for about $30.00) that could be deployed from the bow as a sea-anchor.

Total cost should be less than the fully equipped 'Pudgy', and it would IMO be far more practical and safe for both purposes.

Brad
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:04   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Compare the Pudgy* to any number of Rigid Inflatables:
Compared to a Zodiac “Yachtline RIB” (275R model), the Portland Pudgy is 29% heavier (128# vs 99#), but is only rated at 72% the payload capacity (557# vs 771#), and carries a much smaller (2HP vs 8 HP) outboard.

* Portland Pudgy is long on "words", but they don't make it easy to extract technical specifications from their website.
I agree their website is difficult to navigate, but Zodiac's isn't much better. If we're going to compare boats - the Pudgy is rated to carry four people, the 275R is a 3-person boat; a better comparison would be the 310R, which weighs 12% more than the Pudgy (143# vs 128#). That doesn't include the weight of a pump and a patch-kit.

I couldn't find the motor min/max spec on the Pudgy site, but have to assume from the USCG test that 2hp is sufficient to move the Pudgy with its maximum payload. The comparable Zodiac is not recommended for use with less than 6hp - so you have an imposed weight penalty in terms of minimum motor size, and more fuel usage. That's if you decide to use a motor with the Pudgy - it could be sailed or rowed. Try doing that with a Zodiac.

I'll give the Zodiac the edge in max payload, but with 557# in it, the Pudgy still had 10" of freeboard, so your groceries won't get wet. It also stated that the boat would take 1855# to immerse it to the gunwhales, so there seems to be a large safety margin in the USCG's rating. Certainly don't think a few pounds over the 557# mark will cause undue stress.

As in most things boaty, there are compromises to be made, but I still don't think I would rule the Pudgy out as a tender.


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Old 12-04-2008, 09:46   #45
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Kevin, if anyone had actually used one of the these as a liferaft in survival conditions you can guarantee that it would have been added to the 'comments' or testimonials portion on their site.

Brad, it's still a new product - have to give it some time. There seem to be quite a few positive testimonials about its day-to-day usefullness. I would like to see some independent tests.



Quote:
Would it be useful for Squeaks, who is intending only a coastal cruise on a 30 footer?
I don't know - that's really up to Squeaks to determine his needs and storage issues. The original poster has a Cal40, so I don't think the storage issue is as great. My own plans are for a 40ish foot cat, so again storage is less of an issue.

Quote:
Storing it on davits in all conditions? A recipe for disaster in anything but fair weather/short seas (and can you imagine the amount of water she could take on compared to an inflatable?).
Apparently a davit cradle is available that allows it to be kept on its side, so water drainage is automatic.

Quote:
Towing it?
I've never liked the idea of towing a dinghy - and in the open ocean, I think it's dangerous. Inflateables are just as bad as solid dinks in this regard, for all the reasons you mentioned, plus they can be wind-propelled missiles.

Quote:
Once deployed, there would be the additional problem of attempting to board it (and that would be much more difficult than a dedicated liferaft with lower freeboard and greater stability).
Show me a liferaft with less than 10" of freeboard?
I'll concede the stability issue - but that works against you if the raft inflates upside down. It's a bugger righting an inverted liferaft in a swimming pool - try doing it in a hurricane.

Quote:
It would also be much more likely to capsize - causing you to have to right the boat, get back in and bail the water out (hopefully before the next capsize).
With the exposure canopy in place, it can be righted from inside the boat - try that with a liferaft. And with the para-anchor deployed, capsize should be extremely remote.

Quote:
If I were planning a coastal cruise in a thirty foot boat and wanted to combine a dinghy with the potential for short-term use as a liferaft, I would buy a good quality hypalon inflatable with an air floor. It could be readily stored below when not in use, would be extremely easy to set up (no floor boards to struggle with), has an insulated floor, greater stability (and easier boarding) than a hard dinghy, and would weigh much less.

I would purchase a small 2 1/2 HP outboard (total weight would still be well under the basic 'Pudgy') in order to improve its use as a dinghy. To improve its utility as a liferaft, I would maintain plastic jugs with a lanyard filled with drinking water. These would be ready to attach to the inflatable's handhold lines and dropped over the side as both a drinking water supply and 'water ballast'. I would also carry a small fishing drogue (availabe at Defender for about $30.00) that could be deployed from the bow as a sea-anchor.

Total cost should be less than the fully equipped 'Pudgy', and it would IMO be far more practical and safe for both purposes.
Please tell me you're kidding. I would think that in a 30' boat, an inflateable dink that is stowed when not in use is the most viable option for a tender. Given Squeak's desire to have a sailing tender, I think that is also possible (another thread revealed a number of inflateable beach cats on the market). Having a stowed inflateable as a liferaft is simply not an option. In this case I would definately recommend having a dedicated liferaft, in addition to the inflateable service tender.



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