I lived in Annapolis
in the 90s. I built a 6' 5" bolger dingy and rowed thru the anchorages
checking out the sailboats. That dingy was a great conversation piece.
Anyway, when I went to the dingy dock
(ego alley), i saw all types of tenders. At least half were inflatables. The others were everything. I noticed the foreign flagged cruisers tended to have the different tenders. I was trying to determine what tender I might want for cruising. I talked to many sailors too.
My conclusion is that there is no "perfect" tender. Every one has a different opinion. Maybe if money
was no object, there might be more of a consensus. I saw many yachts that carried more then one tender also.
FWIW, i have seen at least one other "tender-life raft", other then the Pudgy. I dont have the experience of having to abandon ship, but from what i understand, any life raft is a big gamble. I guess it cant hurt though.
My perfect tender would be a nesting dingy that could sail, row and plane. Right now i have an avon
10' 6" inflatable
with an 8 hp. I am always so worried that it may get stolen.
I wish there was a way to sea test the nesting dingy designs.