I think that's a good decision, Squeaks. Have you looked at the Sabot Sailing Dinghy
? Used ones should be readily available in California
as, at least at one time, I believe they were used by the SanDiego Yacht Club for their training fleet. It should fit fairly well on the foredeck of most 30 footers and it has decent rowing performance and excellent sailing performance. The mast
is about 16 feet long, however (needed for light air in San Diego); I had mine cut in two pieces, one 8 1/2 feet and the base section 7 1/2 feet. I had an aluminium tube welded inside the top of the bottom section of the mast
to be used as a sleeve for attaching (by sliding, or more accurately, twisting on) the upper section. It was a tight fit, overlapped by about a foot and held the mast firm in all wind
conditions. This, of course, allowed the mast to be readily stored on board my (then) Alberg 30
Doesn't answer the lifeboat dilemma, but they are great small sailboats that, due to the hard chines, are actually reasonably stable. You'll need to make a plywood plug
to fill the dagger board trunk if you are going to tow it, from time to time.
And Sean, my electric pump
is a Scoprega High Pressure unit, available at West Marine
(you need high pressure for an inflatable
floor). Fairly expensive, though - as I recall
, just under $200.00.
Since I orignally weighed in here re: concerns about the storage
issues for Squeaks on a 30 footer, I'm out of here. Good luck to those who attempt to use the Pudgy as a liferaft
replacement - I too will be interested in hearing some real-life experiences/tests with them as such.