Thread: Portland Pudgy?
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #35
brian eiland
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City: St Augustine, FL
Country: USA & Thailand
Vessel Name: RunningTide
Vessel Model: 37 Louisiane catamaran
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 883
'Rigid Boats' tender

Originally Posted by Endurance View Post
Marin and Conrad, thank you very much! Those are exactly the kind of perspectives I was hoping for.

I'm also not a fan of inflatables, and have been perusing the hard shell offerings. I've been drawn to the Gig Harbor 10 ft Navigator, which looks like it would be a lot of fun to row or sail (for simplicity's sake, I want to dispense with an outboard). But, have been concerned about it being too tender for real "dinghy" use, launching in choppy water, etc. (the first time my wife would end up going in the drink spilling out of a dinghy might be her last time on the boat...). The Pudgy looked like a possible good compromise between inflatable stability and hard shell durability, but a little tight.

I wrote to the company's founder/President/owner, asking if they would consider making a larger version. He acknowledged getting frequent requests for this, but that the cost of tooling for another version is prohibitive in current market conditions (the old saw, 'you've got to invest money to make money').

The Rigid Boats are another interesting possibility - a hard shell that looks and performs like an inflatable (but they don't look like they would row well at all). If we had a bigger boat I would be tempted to get one of them, with an outboard and center console steering (a mini 10 ft 'runabout'), but I think it would be too unwieldy and heavy for us on our size boat.
Did a search on this forum for 'Rigid Boats' and this was the only site (and posting) that mentioned them. I'm surprised they did not get any more mention?...just no one using them?

Rigid Boats

But I wonder why they chose to use a round tube profile for their outer hulls? I have a few sketches I was playing with for a RIB idea that utilized half-tubes at the outer perimeter....sure makes for a lot more interior space, and the vertical walls of the half tube concept lend a lot of regidity to the vessel. It would be interesting to constuct one in carbon fiber sandwich, wouldn't require that much carbon fiber..

I asked the fellow from Rigid Boats (at Trawler Fest, Balt) why they chose the round tube configuration, but never received a good answer. He could have even used a 'half-tube' configuration with his existing construction materials,...I would think?
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