Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2007, 23:02   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,376
Images: 7
Life Raft Alternatives

I've always been interested in life raft alternatives. I think it might have started when I read Steve Callahan's book, Adrift, he was very frustrated watching islands drift by and not being able to get to them. I believe that the Pardeys say that they use a Fatty Knees dink with fenders attached for positive buoyancy for their life raft. I think that my alternative will need a made for the purpose canopy for protection from the weather.

I was very interested in the Tinker Traveller inflatable when I first found it.
It has an optional canopy, but it is too small for my purpose, a family of 4. It was included in one of the life raft tests.
1994 Life Raft Test
I think I read somewhere that the ORC finally made the Tinker a legal life raft option under their rules.

Steve Callahan made an attempt at an inflatable, I don't know if or when his idea will continue.
EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Steven Callahan Bio

I have found a new interest at the boat show I just went to, the Portland Pudgy. It has a canopy and is rated for 4 people. There are a lot of ideas that have gone into this boat that I like. The Fiorentino para anchor display was right beside the pudgy display and he said he is developing a sea anchor for it. He has tested it in 16' waves outside of San Francisco bay, and he said it handled the conditions very well.
Portland Pudgy multifunction dinghy--the fun boat that could save your life!
Doesn't look like it will be that horrible to row or sail either.

Any dyed in the wool anything but a real life raft is dangerous folks out there to tell me why not an alternative or why not a Portland Pudgy?


cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2007, 01:30   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 951
I've never liked liferafts(deathrafts?).
The photos show another alternative,
other friends sold their raft in Hawaii and completed their circumnavigation with a glass version of an Hawaiian outrigger with a crab claw sail. said he could throw it over and assemble it in the water, figured he had a range of 500 miles before dying which would get him to land most places on the planet.
Of course if you live in a police state like NZ or AUS the bureaucrats will stop you leaving without a raft, thereby squashing any development of a better alternative.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	frib 4.jpg
Views:	273
Size:	50.0 KB
ID:	866   Click image for larger version

Name:	frib.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	28.3 KB
ID:	867  

Click image for larger version

Name:	frib 6.jpg
Views:	246
Size:	47.8 KB
ID:	868  

dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2007, 12:00   #3
Senior Cruiser
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,169
Aloha John,
The only thing I could add to this discussion is that I really liked sailing the Tinker. For a rubber ducky it sailed really well.
I think just having a raft to sit in and be sheltered is ok if you know you'll be rescued but you certainly aren't going to do anything but be blown downwind. Paddling after a few days of reduced rations won't be an option either.
I think the Walker Bay with the inflatable tubes are nearly the same as what Steve Callahan had designed however in any kind of sea the Walker Bay rig will have a hard time staying together unless it is beefed up considerably (too much plastic).
It might be good to hear from other folks reading this forum on any liferaft experiences. The ones that returned after having ditched a boat are the people who "really" have some experience in these matters,
Callahan was quite a survivor wasn't he? Don't know if I could have maintained that mental stability and will to continue.
Kind Regards,
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2007, 12:04   #4
Senior Cruiser
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108
Posts: 5,446
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Might look at this one but it also may be too small. Portland Pudgy multifunction dinghy--the fun boat that could save your life!

Peter O.
roverhi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2007, 17:52   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wherever I am, I'm there
Boat: Willard 40PH trawler, ALOHA
Posts: 57
I also took a close look at the Portland Pudgy at the Seattle Boat Show. I think they have a good concept but it needs further development.

1. At 7 ft. 8 in. LOA, I think the boat is too small. I would like to see one that is somewhere between 9 to 10 ft., especially for four people.

2. The maximum rated out board is 2 hp. I think it should be at least 9 hp.

3. Additional technical considerations still need to be resolved.

I wish these guys luck. They are on the right track, but on I am not ready to purchase yet.
alohaboat is offline   Reply With Quote

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
liferafts Charlie Seamanship & Boat Handling 25 26-01-2007 13:06
Lifebelt? Harness? ...? Vocabulary question Tripulante Health, Safety & Related Gear 9 05-12-2006 19:43
Life Rafts - Necessary? Sonosailor Multihull Sailboats 43 03-12-2006 04:15
Life raft. Mandatory or not? areso70 Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 3 04-07-2006 01:50

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:07.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.