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Old 01-02-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
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Portland Pudgy?

The Promise came with an old hard dingy. There is some past damage to it however and I'll be in the market for a new one. I'd really like a sailing/rowing dinghy. An engine may be added later, but at first is not a priority.

So I've been surfing the net and came across the Pudgy.
Portland Pudgy safety dinghy, inflatable boat, or fiberglass dinghy?

This seems to be a very well thought out system, even down to the Weaver Davits. Sail kit and lifeboat kit.

It seems a little small though, and I am also quite taken by the more traditional looking Minto. Minto Sailing Dinghy Price Sheet

So I'm just wondering if any users here have first hand feedback on the Pudgy and/or what others here use as a sailing dinghy.

Cheers
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Me too, search sailing dinghy on the forum.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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Portland Pudgy? I have a friend who bought one and he loves it. You might also check out Walker Bay. They have a model that rows and has a sail rig. I had one way back and it was an OK boat. I had a 2HP Honda on it.

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Old 01-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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We've had a Portland Pudgy now for three seasons, and it is a great little dinghy. Very stable for loading & unloading, whether at the boat or shore.

We cruise the BC coast which has a lot of rocks and barnacles which the Pudgy laughs at.

Having the sail kit adds a whole new level to enjoying the anchorage, and boy do you ever make new friends as you wend your way about.

You do have to treat it as a three person dinghy though; four is pretty tight. And with a maximum HP rating of 2, you will probably not be pulling any water skiers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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Thanks Conrad for the information, nice picture too. Do you use the Weaver Davits with it?

I did a search as suggested and filtered through most of them. Glad there were no single vs twin engine comparisons

Anyway, offerings from Gig Harbor and Port Townsend as well as the Eastport Pram kit were interesting.

Cheers
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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if you think their system of "survival" is the cat's meow...you better understand sea survival in general before you think a pudgy is a true survival platform.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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I like these Portland pudgys' they are a little small for larger cruisers, but they look very well built. Even though they are both constructed out of rotomolded plastic, the PP is miles ahead of the Walker bay IMHO. Of course it is a lot more expensive. Steve Callahans book "Adrift", makes the case for a recscue craft that can be propelled on its own rather than sit and wait for rescue. Apparently he says that if he could have made 2.5 kts down wind only, he would have been able to make landfall after 25 or so days instead of a 76 day ordeal in a raft.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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I like these Portland pudgys' they are a little small for larger cruisers, but they look very well built. Even though they are both constructed out of rotomolded plastic, the PP is miles ahead of the Walker bay IMHO. Of course it is a lot more expensive. Steve Callahans book "Adrift", makes the case for a recscue craft that can be propelled on its own rather than sit and wait for rescue. Apparently he says that if he could have made 2.5 kts down wind only, he would have been able to make landfall after 25 or so days instead of a 76 day ordeal in a raft.
all true but there's a lot more to sea survival than just worrying about making some "possible" landfall...
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Your correct, but Steve has been their done that and a lot can be learned from his experiences rather than our conjecture on a laptop. I have not read the book (yet) but it is on my shortlist. It is considered a must read for offshore types. I do offshore in my proffession, but am a coastal type in my hobbies.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Your correct, but Steve has been their done that and a lot can be learned from his experiences rather than our conjecture on a laptop. I have not read the book (yet) but it is on my shortlist. It is considered a must read for offshore types. I do offshore in my proffession, but am a coastal type in my hobbies.
I'd hardly consider my experience as "armchair"..unless he's been in hundreds of shipwrecks and or saved the people from those shipwrecks or debriefed thousands of survivors from boating accidents....well...I have

Plus 4 military survival schools and 15 years teaching with the best "Survival at sea"...

Here's his claim to fame from the website..

History. David Hulbert was challenged by the dangers of sailing his catboat in the icy waters of Maine’s Casco Bay and further offshore, with a small child aboard. Always thinking of safety, he realized that in rough weather, his standard dinghy would be useless as a self-rescue boat, and though lifejackets might keep everyone afloat, hypothermia would set in in minutes.
He needed a yacht tender and he needed a lifeboat. Why not design a yacht tender that could save your life?
The rest is history.


Not saying the Pudgy isn't a great tool...but you better have more than one tool...including a great mind/plan for survival... in your toolbox...
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #11
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Thanks Conrad for the information, nice picture too. Do you use the Weaver Davits with it?

I did a search as suggested and filtered through most of them. Glad there were no single vs twin engine comparisons

Anyway, offerings from Gig Harbor and Port Townsend as well as the Eastport Pram kit were interesting.

Cheers
Hi Dave,
Yes, we have the weaver davit system, which allows us to stow the Pudgy on it's side on our stern platform. Deployment takes under a minute, with most of that minute taken up with getting the oars into their sockets.

Re some of the other comments, I would agree that it is a bit on the small side. In fact talking with David Hulbert, the manufacturer, I suggested that if he made it in a 10' or so size (the only model they make is 7'8") he would would have a much larger market. At that time he had his hands full.

Having owned both an 8' Walker Bay and the Pudgy, I would agree that there is no comparison between them; The Walker Bay is far, far, less stable than the Pudgy, cannot be readily righted after a capsize, and has much less carrying capacity.

The Gig Harbor et al are probably much better sailing dinghies but the Pudgy is intended to be a more rounded offering in that it has the aforementioned stability, good carrying capacity for it's size, and you don't worry about dragging it up on a rocky shore.

Re the single vs twin debate our Pudgy has it all covered; we can go single sail rig or twin oars.

And they come in funky colours!
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:02 AM   #12
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So I'm just wondering if any users here have first hand feedback on the Pudgy and/or what others here use as a sailing dinghy. Cheers
Our boat came with a lovely teak and fiberglass Montgomery 7-11 rowing sailing dinghy. (photos) It proved totally unsuitable for use as an everyday shore/utility boat for a couple of adults and a dog so we added a 9' Livingston on the swimstep. But we kept the Montgomery as it's a lot of fun to sail. But I would not recommend a small traditional sailing dinghy like this for use as an everyday shoreboat. They're tippy and can be tricky for some people to get into. A think good stability and load carrying are essential attributes for a user-friendly shoreboat and a small traditional sailing dinghy has neither.





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Old 01-03-2013, 05:10 AM   #13
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Steve callahan has no relation to the PP. He is a survivor who spent 70 plus days in a raft in survival mode. Is the PP the be all end all answer to every survival situation?-No but it does have a place for self reliance NOT using government sorties to help in the rescue. Even you may be able to learn a thing or two about at sea survival. I don't know who Dave Hulbert is.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:21 AM   #14
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Steve callahan has no relation to the PP. He is a survivor who spent 70 plus days in a raft in survival mode. Is the PP the be all end all answer to every survival situation?-No but it does have a place for self reliance NOT using government sorties to help in the rescue. Even you may be able to learn a thing or two about at sea survival. I don't know who Dave Hulbert is.
Sorry...my mistake....thought you were referring to the creator of the PP.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:53 AM   #15
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the input. I understand the PP is far from a true survival craft. My intent is to upgrade to a dinghy that would be fun, useful and provide a modicum of safety. The PP sounds like it would fit the bill.

Since we sailed The Promise from SF to Seattle last fall, we probably will not be taking her into another ocean anytime soon, unless at some future time we decide to circumnavigate Vancouver island, which I seriously doubt but you never know.

Looking at prices for a "twin propulsion" rowing/sailing dinghy:

Minto.............3,600 9'
Trinka............3,700 8'
Pudgy............3,790 7'8"
Gig Harbor......3,195 8'

So the Pudgy is not out of the ballpark in terms of price. I like the thoughtful design and features of the PP.

The point made about stability is one to consider carefully as well, so I am also looking at a few Prams. The advantage there is the stem is truncated, allowing a longer sailing length for the LOA and more stability.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
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The point made about stability is one to consider carefully as well, so I am also looking at a few Prams. The advantage there is the stem is truncated, allowing a longer sailing length for the LOA and more stability.
Unless one is very agile and fairly light the stability issue with a small traditional rowing/sailing dinghy can be a major issue. Getting into one from a swim step, for example, can be tricky particularly if the water is anything other then calm.

And the little ones--- 7 to 8 feet--- don't have much carrying capacity. Our Montgomery is a one-adult boat for the most part. Our friends from France in the photo I took of them rowing our Montgomery are not big people at all and are quite light. But when my wife and I (and dog) used it as our shoreboat the first few months we had the GB it was very frustrating and actually somewhat dangerous to use for this purpose.

In contrast the Livingston we mounted on the swimstep is so stable I can stand on the gunwale and not flip the boat.

So in my opinion a rowing/sailing dinghy, at least a small one, is the worst possible choice for a utility shoreboat that is going to be used as the marine equivalent of a pickup truck. As an onboard "toy," something to sail around the anchorage or let the kids play with, they're great. But for something safe and stable and load-carrying under all conditions, no way.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #17
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Conrad I LOVE your picture.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #18
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Unless one is very agile and fairly light the stability issue with a small traditional rowing/sailing dinghy can be a major issue. Getting into one from a swim step, for example, can be tricky particularly if the water is anything other then calm.

And the little ones--- 7 to 8 feet--- don't have much carrying capacity. Our Montgomery is a one-adult boat for the most part. Our friends from France in the photo I took of them rowing our Montgomery are not big people at all and are quite light. But when my wife and I (and dog) used it as our shoreboat the first few months we had the GB it was very frustrating and actually somewhat dangerous to use for this purpose.

In contrast the Livingston we mounted on the swimstep is so stable I can stand on the gunwale and not flip the boat.

So in my opinion a rowing/sailing dinghy, at least a small one, is the worst possible choice for a utility shoreboat that is going to be used as the marine equivalent of a pickup truck. As an onboard "toy," something to sail around the anchorage or let the kids play with, they're great. But for something safe and stable and load-carrying under all conditions, no way.
I would second Marin's comments re the stability/utility of whatever you use as a shore boat. The Walker Bay we previously owned and disliked was very unstable, and getting in/out of it from the stern platform was chancy at best.

The Pudgy is a completely different animal, and although I probably wouldn't want to stand on its gunwhale, it is very stable. We also own a 9' Livingston (which is now pulling duty on small lakes in Kananaskis Country) which I would say has perhaps slightly better stability, but its relatively low freeboard makes it a wetter dinghy than the Pudgy. (Ours is a mid 80's model and I believe they have increased the freeboard a bit since.)

And for something for the kids to play with around the anchorage, something like the Pudgy is not going to get them into trouble. But at the same time, I view it as a serious shoreboat.

No affiliation with the company, just a happy customer.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #19
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Conrad I LOVE your picture.
Thanks Eric! Taken in Squirrel Cove (Cortes Island).
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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For another take on survival dinghies, check out the Late, Great , (legendary) Phil Bolgers' "Fast Brick" . It was desighned for a charter boat operator in Alaska to use in conjunction with a Catamaran that Bolger designed as well. A builder in Colorado has a blog. . Google John Kolb, fast brick.
The Fast brick was to be a combo yawl boat/shore boat/rescue craft. Butt ugly but VERY utilitarian. I have the plans but havn't built it yet.
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