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Old 12-04-2008, 09:54   #46
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
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.
Gord,

Your comments here don't reflect your normal thoughtfulness. The pudgy is not big, nor is it fast. But it does make a great tender for those of us who chose to row instead of motor. It is VERY stable and although it has a very short waterline, it has a rather large interior space, easily carrying three people. Many thoughtful sailors prefer hard dinghies over inflatables, and for them the pudgy is potential a very good tender.

I have never understood the people who can cross an ocean at 6 knots, but NEED to get the last 50 yards to shore at no less than 20 knots.

I use a pudgy as my dinghy and it is exactly what I wanted.

I haven't tested it as a liferaft, and that is not why I bought it. :P

Bill
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:47   #47
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Well said, Bill. Do you have the sailing rig for the Pudgy? Can you comment on how well it handles surf or a moderate chop? Do you keep it on davits or on deck, and can you comment on how easy or difficult it is to man-handle? Your experience it appreciated.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:01   #48
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This is what you need...

If it were possible, I'd have one of these as a my life"raft":

Lifeboat ( ship lifeboat ) video clip



PS: You can dance a while to the old school club tunes, before it launches.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:15   #49
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[quote=ssullivan;152029]If it were possible, I'd have one of these as a my life"raft":

Lifeboat ( ship lifeboat ) video clip

Nope not for me... appears to take too long to launch and it would probably cause my 36 Beni to tilt a bit and reduce sailing speed...
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Old 12-04-2008, 15:09   #50
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Kevin, you might try to remain consistent in criticizing the threads of others:

1. YOU were the one who originally pointed out that what was needed in assessing the Pudgy as a liferaft replacement was the imput of someone with real-life experience in one. I suggested that the reason there are no testimonials about its use as such is because there are none, and that criticism is brushed aside by you as largely irrelevant as it is a relatively new product. Does the reason for the lack of real-life experience as a life-raft replacement really matter?

I would rather not be the one to test the product with the lives and safety of my crew. I continue to take the absence of real-life experience with the Pudgy as a life-raft replacement as a strike against it. To remain consistent, I would have thought that you would as well.

2. Of course its up to Squeaks to determine his storage issues. I was merely pointing out some issues that he (or anyone else in a 30 foot boat) should consider before selecting it as a primary tender. If that is not appropriate, why bother having threads at all? Funny, though, after attacking me for invading Squeak's space, you then go on to express your own opinion (which mirrors mine - that an inflatable would be better for him). Again, I guess taking shots at someone is more important than consistency.

3. A davit cradle? Assuming it is easy to load onto the cradle before lifting, it clearly would add even more weight and tend to create a nice block to vision astern. Lets face it, even your prospective 40 foot cat would benefit from keeping weight out of the ends (especially the stern). In fact, from an earlier post of yours on another thread I thought that you agreed with that proposition. Once again, I guess consistency shouldn't get in the way of a 'comeback'.

Of course towing a tender in the ocean is unsafe - the point is that you can store an air-floor inflatable below deck, whereas you cannot stow or tow the Pudgie anywhere without some negative effects. I assessed all three locations for stowing/carrying the Pudgie on a 30 foot yacht: on deck, in davits, and towed astern, precisely because it cannot be deflated and stowed below.

No, I was not kidding about an inflatable being a better solution for Squeaks than a Pudgie. Clearly, a dedicated life-raft would be the best solution, but Squeaks had expressed a desire to get by with only one, multi-use tender. I opined that on a thirty foot boat (where storage for a Pudgie is IMO a real and significant safety related issue), an inflatable so equipped would be a better option. You can inflate a 9 foot, air floor Achilles in less than 3 minutes and while it would blow around, it is less likely to cause injury than a hard-shell dinghy. Further, as already explained to those who read my post, it would not interfere with good seamanship on a 30 foot boat when stowed away belowdecks. Finally, because of the increased stability of the inflatable (something I suspect you would agree with), I believe that it would be at least as capable a short-term life-saving device as the Pudgie; in any event, since neither have really been tested as life-rafts, I would prefer the easier deployment and greater stability of the inflatable over the heavier (although admittedly hard-shell and potentially covered) hull on the Pudgie for short-term use in emergency situations. And as for a tender on a 30 foot yacht that will need to be stowed - no contest.

Once again, do I think that either the Pudgie or a modified inflatable is preferable, or even equivalent to a dedicated liferaft? No, and that is precisely why I carry both an inflatable and a life-raft on my boat. But for Squeaks stated intentions, I would recommend the air-floor inflatable. Your ultimate recommendation, on the other hand, is inconsistent with your admonishment to me that it is up to Squeaks to determine his needs and storage issues: you ultimately recommend that he carry both an inflatable and a life-raft. Sound advice, but not what he was talking about.


Brad
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Old 12-04-2008, 21:15   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Kevin, you might try to remain consistent in criticizing the threads of others:
Are we really going to do this again, Brad?
This time, please read what I say, and don't make your own interpretations of what I write - I will try to be explicit.

Quote:
1. YOU were the one who originally pointed out that what was needed in assessing the Pudgy as a liferaft replacement was the imput of someone with real-life experience in one. I suggested that the reason there are no testimonials about its use as such is because there are none, and that criticism is brushed aside by you as largely irrelevant as it is a relatively new product. Does the reason for the lack of real-life experience as a life-raft replacement really matter?
I would rather not be the one to test the product with the lives and safety of my crew. I continue to take the absence of real-life experience with the Pudgy as a life-raft replacement as a strike against it. To remain consistent, I would have thought that you would as well.
NO! I pointed out that independent testing was needed. "Real-life experience" by definition needs a boat to sink. In the couple of years that the Pudgy has been around there really haven't been that many sinkings, so the chance that any of those boats would have had a Pudgy on board is remote in the extreme. Now we both know the gold-standard test would be six people and a dog abandoning a burning vessel in a Cat 5 hurricane, then surviving 60 days while sailing 3000 miles to safety, but I doubt any liferaft/lifeboat manufacturer has such a testimonial.


Quote:
2. Of course its up to Squeaks to determine his storage issues. I was merely pointing out some issues that he (or anyone else in a 30 foot boat) should consider before selecting it as a primary tender. If that is not appropriate, why bother having threads at all? Funny, though, after attacking me for invading Squeak's space, you then go on to express your own opinion (which mirrors mine - that an inflatable would be better for him). Again, I guess taking shots at someone is more important than consistency.
I'm sorry - where did I "attack" you? Take shots at you? Suggest that anything was "not appropriate"?
I still believe that it's up to Squeaks to determine if he can make a Pudgy work for him, but agreed with you that a stowed inflateable is the most viable option for most 30' boats - so clearly agreeing with you is proof-positive that I'm out to get you.

Quote:
3. A davit cradle? Assuming it is easy to load onto the cradle before lifting, it clearly would add even more weight and tend to create a nice block to vision astern. Lets face it, even your prospective 40 foot cat would benefit from keeping weight out of the ends (especially the stern). In fact, from an earlier post of yours on another thread I thought that you agreed with that proposition. Once again, I guess consistency shouldn't get in the way of a 'comeback'.
You'll have to show me that earlier post. I'm in no way so deluded as to believe most 40' cats don't have a dink in davits.
Debating an issue is not a 'comeback.' Don't be so vain - it's not all about you. (now that's a comeback)

Quote:
Of course towing a tender in the ocean is unsafe - the point is that you can store an air-floor inflatable below deck, whereas you cannot stow or tow the Pudgie anywhere without some negative effects. I assessed all three locations for stowing/carrying the Pudgie on a 30 foot yacht: on deck, in davits, and towed astern, precisely because it cannot be deflated and stowed below.
So we agree again. I was just adding that towing is not really suitable in the open ocean regardless of the type of dinghy - the Pudgy is not alone in that regard.

Quote:
No, I was not kidding about an inflatable being a better solution for Squeaks than a Pudgie. Clearly, a dedicated life-raft would be the best solution, but Squeaks had expressed a desire to get by with only one, multi-use tender.
But Squeaks didn't say that it had to be "only one". If fact, he stated if he was going offshore he would also want an inflateable liferaft.

Quote:
You can inflate a 9 foot, air floor Achilles in less than 3 minutes
This is where I make the dramatic coughing motions, while mumbling "b*llsh*t!"

Quote:
Finally, because of the increased stability of the inflatable (something I suspect you would agree with), I believe that it would be at least as capable a short-term life-saving device as the Pudgie
I thought we already dispelled the notion that an inflateable dink would be suitable as a liferaft. A $30 fishing para and water-jugs hanging over the side will not turn a dink into a liferaft - storm-force winds will flip it and the occupants will die.

Quote:
But for Squeaks stated intentions, I would recommend the air-floor inflatable. Your ultimate recommendation, on the other hand, is inconsistent with your admonishment to me that it is up to Squeaks to determine his needs and storage issues: you ultimately recommend that he carry both an inflatable and a life-raft. Sound advice, but not what he was talking about.
There was no admonishment to you, nor was there a recommendation to Squeaks that he go with an inflateable and a life-raft. I agreed that an inflateable tender is probably the best option for having a tender in a 30' boat, but if Squeaks thinks he can fit a Pudgy onto his boat, then he is best able to determine that. Nothing inconsistent there.

I did dispute your recommendation that he use an inflateable tender as a liferaft - the Pudgy for all its failings and limitations was designed to be a lifeboat; you can't say that about any inflateable tender. I won't add any more on this - it's all been said.

This is simply differences of opinion - don't take any of it as a personal attack on you.

Kevin
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Old 12-04-2008, 21:56   #52
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Like all things, its usability is a function of what you plan on using it for. For how I plan on using a dinghy, its not for me.
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Old 12-04-2008, 23:12   #53
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We're all entitled to an opinion...

A couple points:

This one was missed in previous posts... With the inflated survival canopy and no persons aboard (such as when it is dropped off the deck into the water during a disaster) the Pudgy is self-righting.

Once people are aboard, a capsize can be righted from inside the Pudgy. No one needs to leave the boat and get in the water.

The Pudgy comes with a drogue to prevent capsizing in the first place. Also has a well designed attachment system.

Also missed previously, with no persons or gear (over 30 lbs - other than what the pudgy has built in) the Pudgy is self-bailing.

Mentioned in a previous post that it would be difficult to deploy the Pudgy in an emergency situation... I argue that. I would not be getting into a life raft or Pudgy unless the boat was actually going down or on fire with no way to save it. In this case, there is no need to be gentle in launching the Pudgy. Because it is tough plastic it can just be slid, banged, dragged, and knocked around until its over the side. Even if I have to just grab an edge and flip/roll it off the deck. It will splash into the water and self right with most likely zero damage.

I could not even imagine my boat going down and making the decision to abandon ship, then going below to get my inflatable, inflating on deck, gathering my water jugs, and setting everything up. All this while the main boat is burning down or sinking fast. Of course if it was sinking, I would not abandon until the gunwales were nearly in the water which doesn't leave much time for all the inflatable work. Even worse if there is high wind picking the inflatable up like a sail. Oh and be careful not to puncture the inflatable getting it over the side, especially with all those water jugs dangling.

Then drifting at sea after your boat has gone. The Pudgy would be far more comfortable than an inflatable.

1. The pudgy has a survival canopy. Never seen an inflatable with one.
2. The pudgy has "built in" means of propulsion. So you can row, sail, or motor. This equipment is all stored inside the pudgy. With the inflatable you have to remember to gather and bring all this stuff and don't lose it. Oh wait, you can't sail an inflatable and you can barely row it.
3. The pudgy even has a built in compass :^) so you can navigate.
4. The pudgy won't deflate over time and require pumping (if you remember to bring the pump) or pop and down you go.
5. Fishing, spearing fish, and gutting/cleaning fish would be far safer in a Pudgy than in an inflatable. Think sharp objects.
6. Think curious shark bite/nibble. Inflatable or Pudgy?
7. If I had to sit in a dink and survive for days/weeks/months... a hard shell pudgy would be much easier on the skin than anything inflatables are made from.

I am sure I could go on... I am only arguing Pudgy against an inflatable dink but the more I think about it I am starting to like the pudgy over a life raft.

Perhaps with a few more revisions and improvements the Pudgy will be better overall. I definitely like the idea of being able to travel in a pudgy. Sail to the nearest land or shipping lanes. Or get within view of passing ships.

I think they could incorporate water storage and a rain catcher in the double wall construction. maybe even a solar still in the hull. Possibly a solar panel and trolling motor instead of petrol. A small deep cycle battery built in could power a signal light or strobe.

I think I could go on here as well, but perhaps you have all heard enough from me :^)
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Old 12-04-2008, 23:16   #54
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Forgot to mention,

If you already believe in a normal life raft and separate dink, then the I agree the pudgy is probably not the best dink on the market. But does seem quite better than some, especially for rowing and sailing. One I can think of is the walker bay. I think Pudgy is way better.

I wish Pudgy made a 12 foot. Would be a nice fit with my boat.
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Old 12-04-2008, 23:28   #55
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BTW: I have read (along with internet sources and forums) the following stories of survival at sea:

Survive the Savage Seas - Robertson

After the life raft chewed up their skin and wasted countless hours per day with pumping to keep it inflated, they got in the fiberglass dink and were much happier. Their sailboat sank in less than 60 seconds. Not much time to pump up an inflatable dink. 37 days at sea.

117 Days Adrift - Maurice and Maralyn Bailey

Red Sky in Mourning - Tami Oldham Ashcraft

Adrift - Steven Callahan

Rescue in the Pacific - Tony Farrington
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Old 13-04-2008, 00:50   #56
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Turns out, Pudgy does have a rain catcher, solar panel, built in battery, electrical system, red interior lighting, compass light, and all around white nav light.

They should add a super bright emergency strobe on top of a tall pole or maybe the sailing mast.

And a large radar reflector.

Horn?
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Old 13-04-2008, 06:13   #57
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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Like all things, its usability is a function of what you plan on using it for. For how I plan on using a dinghy, its not for me.
Fair enough, it's not for you; but that doesn't mean it wouldn't suit others. So there's no need to disparage it, is there?

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Old 13-04-2008, 07:18   #58
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Lodesman, I stand behind my response to your earlier postings. You wrote:

"Conceivably, it (the Pudgie) 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?"

To that I responded: "You were the one who pointed out that what was needed in assessing the Pudgie as a liferaft replacement was the imput of someone with real-life experience".

How is that inconsistent? You can now say that you didn't call out for 'the voice of experience' , or 'someone who has tried one of these things'. Fine. However, I still don't see how anyone could have 'the voice of experience' of how a Pudgie rides in conditions requiring, or legitimately testing the use of a para-anchor without 'personal experience'. AND THAT IS REGARDLESS of whether the personal experience is under a test in real-life conditions, or in an actual emergency. And I still believe that the lack of those kinds of testimonials is a strike against the Pudgie when comparing it to a liferaft. You can disagree, of course.

When I attempted to provide my 2 cents worth in analyzing the utility of a Pudgie for Squeaks, and opined that it was unsuitable due largely to storage issues, your response was to write off that entire analysis with: "I don't know - that's really up to Squeaks". Ultimately of course it is, but your comment was neither helpful, nor conducive to the sort of discussions that this site is designed to encourage. It was also, as I pointed out, inconsistent with giving your own recommendation to Squeaks as to what he should carry for his intended trip.

While tacitly agreeing that a Pudgie on davits would add a great deal of weight aft on Squeak's 30 footer, you then went on to personalize it and say that YOU are looking into a 40 foot cat where that will not be an issue. I hate to have to resort to, or echo your personal attacks, but "this is not all about you". My initial posting (and the analysis of weight and storage issues) was explicity in connection with its intended use by Squeaks.

I am prepared to concede that in my response to your posting, I may have misunderstood what you had written in other threads - perhaps you are the only owner (or in your case, prospective owner) of a cat who does not believe that it is best to keep weight out of the ends (and particularly the aft end) of a cat when venturing offshore. Regardless of whether most cats have dinghys on davits (indeed, so does mine - in calm, coastal conditions), I still believe that when venturing offshore, hanging a dinghy from davits is much less safe than storing it below. You apparently disagree. Fine. By the way, how much experience do you actually have in sailing a 40 foot cat?

Over the years I have owned two hard-shell dinghys : a hard-chine Sabot sailing dinghy and a rounded hull, wineglass transomed frp rowing dinghy with a skeg, similar in shape to the Pudgie. I can say from personal experience (which seems to matter to you unless it differs from your own theoretical opinions) that they were both MUCH less stable, and MUCH more difficult to board than either of the inflatables I have owned. And that is without storing the required water jugs on lanyards below the inflatable to provide additonal ballast. I see no reason to believe that the hull form of the Pudgie will give different results, and again see this deficiency in stability as a serious strike against the Pudgie as a liferaft replacement. Again, you are entitled to disagree.

My current tender is an air-floor Achilles and I reiterate - with an electric pump it can be fully inflated in less than three minutes. As others have pointed out, that could be a long time if you waited until the last second before you absolutely had to abandon ship. On the other hand, it is generally recommended that people with liferafts attempt to deploy somewhat earlier in case there are problems in inflating them. Indeed, I would imagine that it would be wise to attempt to get up on the aft deck of your heaving boat and get the Pudgie out of its custom cradle and lower it from the davits before your boat submerged.

And why would streaming a sea-anchor from the bow of an inflatable be any more likely to fail than doing the same from a Pudgie? Really, in so many respects the Pudgie is nothing more than a modified, plastic, hard-shell dinghy. Oh, I know, the Pudgie has a compass. But how hard would that be to either include in your ditch bag, or permanently affix to an athwartship seat on an inflatable? And yes, as I conceded, it does have the advantage of a hard hull, a sail rig and a canopy - none of which is critical in the short-term.

I have read a couple of the books to which Gene refers - as I recall, they were all well and truly offshore when their boats went down and further, were instances where the parties were not equipped with a modern GPIRP. In those circumstances you can virtually guarantee a lengthy period before rescue. If coastal sailing with a GPIRP, your window before rescue should be much shorter and the sail rig and canopy woud be, IMO, much less critical than the additional form stability of the inflatable.

Please understand, I am not advocating the use of an inflatable as a replacement for a dedicated liferaft while making offshore passages. I am advocating that if, for coastal cruising, you have decided (as Squeaks apparently had) to carry only one, multi-purpose tender, then an airfloor, hypalon inflatable with some thought given to emergency use would be a much better tender, and likely no worse a life-saving device for short-term use than a Pudgie. Others may disagree.

Brad
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Old 13-04-2008, 11:54   #59
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I tend to agree that if your boat is sinking due to extreme weather damaging it to the point that it will no longer float.... then the same extreme weather is highly unlikely to permit the deployment of ANY liferaft.

If a really good liferaft is $7500 or more..... that would buy a cheap inflatable to go along with your RIB, a satellite phone, EPIRB, hand held VHF, inflatable harnesses with strobes and tethers, ditch bag with provisions and emergency watermaker and other gear for short term survival and leave a ton of money left over for more ground tackle, drogues and parachute anchor.

If you hit a container or whale or reef and your boat is sinking so you must abandon, what are the odds that this will happen during weather that is so bad that it would make deploying a RIB or inflatable dink impossible.... yet still allow deployment of a life raft?

It seems to me that the odds of you both needing to abandon ship AND that happening during such extreme weather AND your being able to deploy a liferaft during such extreme weather....... thats got to be some crazy odds. Unless you are blank check cruising.... it strikes me that money is better spent on safety gear to ensure you spend the absolute minimum time in the water and on gear to do all you can to minimize the odds of the boat sinking to begin with.



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Old 13-04-2008, 14:49   #60
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Lodesman, You wrote:

"Is there anyone who has tried one of these things and can give us the voice of experience?"
Read in context, Brad, I was talking to David about how they might handle in general and was asking if anyone had operated a Pudgy.

Quote:
When I attempted to provide my 2 cents worth, your response was to write off that entire analysis with: "I don't know - that's really up to Squeaks". Ultimately of course it is, but your comment was neither helpful, nor conducive to the sort of discussions that this site is designed to encourage. It was also, as I pointed out, inconsistent with giving your own recommendation to Squeaks as to what he should carry for his intended trip.
I don't see how I wrote off your entire analysis. Your points may or may not have merit to Squeaks or anyone else - and it's really up to the individual to weigh what you said against his or her own boat, needs and desires. You invited my comment when you addressed me in your post.

Quote:
While tacitly agreeing that a Pudgie on davits would add a great deal of weight aft on Squeak's 30 footer, you then went on to personalize it and say that YOU are looking into a 40 foot cat where that will not be an issue. I hate to have to resort to, or echo your personal attacks, but "this is not all about you". My initial posting (and the analysis of weight and storage issues) was explicity in connection with its intended use by Squeaks.
I think it is possible to make comments that are both individual and generic within the same thread - try to make it more useful to the group. I also referred to the originator of the thread, so what?

Quote:
I am prepared to concede that in my response to your posting, I may have misunderstood what you had written in other threads - perhaps you are the only owner (or in your case, prospective owner) of a cat who does not believe that it is best to keep weight out of the ends (and particularly the aft end) of a cat when venturing offshore. Regardless of whether most cats have dinghys on davits (indeed, so does mine - in calm, coastal conditions), I still believe that when venturing offshore, hanging a dinghy from davits is much less safe than storing it below. You apparently disagree. Fine. By the way, how much experience do you actually have in sailing a 40 foot cat?
A day-sail in a 38 footer. So what, my lack of experience in that regard is not a secret - that's why I read and participate in this forum - to learn.
That doesn't mean I'm blind to the obvious - a hell of a lot of cats have ribs hanging from davits - you can't tell me they store those below every time they go offshore. Sure haven't seen that mentioned in any of the books/blogs I've read.

Quote:
Over the years I have owned two hard-shell dinghys : a hard-chine Sabot sailing dinghy and a rounded hull, wineglass transomed frp rowing dinghy with a skeg, similar in shape to the Pudgie. I can say from personal experience (which seems to matter to you unless it differs from your own theoretical opinions) that they were both MUCH less stable, and MUCH more difficult to board than either of the inflatables I have owned. And that is without storing the required water jugs on lanyards below the inflatable to provide additonal ballast. I see no reason to believe that the hull form of the Pudgie will give different results, and again see this deficiency in stability as a serious strike against the Pudgie as a liferaft replacement.
Contrary to what you believe, I value all opinions and weigh them accordingly. Experience and logical arguments add weight to any position, even yours. It's why I choose to engage in the debate with you, rather than simply ignore you.
You may have a point about boarding the Pudgy. I wonder why they don't have the boarding ladder at the transom? Then again, it looks like it's about 4" thick and filled with foam, so maybe it's not prone to dipping a gunwhale when you board from the side - I take it that was the issue with your hard dinghies?
While an inflatable might have a high initial stability, it has a relatively flat bottom and is only immersed a couple of inches. Even with water jugs hanging from it, it will skid around in storm conditions, and if it catches any air it will flip. With its keel design, the Pudgy should track into the sea on a para-anchor.
Feel free to prove me wrong by testing your idea in "real-life conditions".

Quote:
My current tender is an air-floor Achilles and I reiterate - with an electric pump it can be fully inflated in less than three minutes.
I want to know what brand of pump you're using - they've obviously improved since the last time I used a 12v pump to inflate a dinghy.

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Really, in so many respects the Pudgie is nothing more than a modified, plastic, hard-shell dinghy.
Nobody's arguing that. There are many who prefer a hard dinghy - this one offers some potential improvements (added utility) on the basic idea.

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And yes, as I conceded, it does have the advantage of a hard hull, a sail rig and a canopy - none of which is critical in the short-term.
Yes, but a sail-rig or hard hull might be critical wants/needs in a dinghy. What do you mean by "short-term"? Hypothermia doesn't take long to kill - even off the coast of California.

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If coastal sailing with a GPIRP, your window before rescue should be much shorter and the sail rig and canopy woud be, IMO, much less critical than the additional form stability of the inflatable.
Granted, but by that reckoning a survival suit would be better. Should take less than 3 minutes to don one, no need to inflate it, and no worries about puncturing it.


Kevin
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