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Old 03-04-2022, 11:35 PM   #1
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Polycraft 300 Dingy

https://www.polycraft.com/300-tuffy

Australian, and apparently available only somewhat recently in the US.

Same price as the comparable Whaly 270

Rated load capacity of 478 lbs. Less than Whaly's 784 lbs.

Appears to be exceptionally stable.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of these?
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Old 06-25-2022, 02:35 PM   #2
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For what its worth, I pulled the trigger on this dingy. Delivery next week.

The #1 criteria important to my wife is stability in boarding it. We went to a dealer a couple of weeks ago, and I boarded one in the water. Its hard to imagine a more stable option than this one. Its basically a trimaran below the waterline, with lots of buoyancy at the edges, and at about 225 lbs for a 10 ft boat the mass of it helps limit how skittish it is under foot.

I'll be running it with a 3hp ePropulsion, not on plane obviously. I have some concerns lithium will get shorter in supply so I wanted to get the engine in hand. To get the right engine means the right shaft length, and once you take that leap you may as well get the dink. Even though the mother ship of the H38 on order won't arrive until next spring. I doubt the keel will get wet for another year, so no road test reports will be forthcoming anytime soon.

But its now official. I now own a boat again!
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Old 06-25-2022, 04:07 PM   #3
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I've been thinking about this too. Did you consider a Whaly Boat?

https://www.whaly.com

I'd be interested to hear why you chose the PolyCraft over a Whaly Boat.
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:27 PM   #4
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I've been thinking about this too. Did you consider a Whaly Boat?

https://www.whaly.com

I'd be interested to hear why you chose the PolyCraft over a Whaly Boat.

Tough call between the two. My read was that one can't go far wrong with either. And, if this one disappoints, I'll sell it to get a Whaly. Short shaft works on both.

So what tipped the scales?
1) I'd have been fine with either.
2) I was able to get aboard a Polycraft but only see a Whaly on the hard. My comparison is imperfect.
3) For similar length, similar weight.
4) The Whaly has more load capacity. Significant difference. Which led me down the path of looking hard at WHY? The Whaly has more V in the hull which adds to total buoyancy but shifts it to the centerline. One can call the Polycraft a trimaran, or a flat bottom with some channels for water flow. Either way, it just seemed that as stable as the Whaly is reputed to be, the Polycraft would have the edge. For my use, the number of times I might want more than 3 adults aboard will be quite rare. Stability being my #1 criteria to make my wife happy, if carrying 4 adults was more of a priority its the Whaly that would get the nod.
5) Not a big deal but Polycraft has the edge for storage lockers to store stuff like a dingy anchor, flashlights, etc. More than the Whaly.
6) My wife thought the Polycraft was a better looking boat. Keeping her happy with this fulfills a goal.

I asked the NJ Polycraft dealer why he stopped carrying the Whaly. He said he was seeing some returns of the smaller models because owners could not get them to plane. He didn't like dealing with returns. I don't plan to plane, but, many probably do, so I'll throw this out there as an item to verify as to how true it is, and whether it was more a case of owners trying to under-power them. I didn't pursue it further.

Lastly, I'll point out there are comments out there on both boats, that if you do put a lot of engine on them to plane, the transoms are not stiff enough on either boat. You need to plan to beef them up with stainless plate or something similar. Not relevant to me with the ePropulsion I'll be using.
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Old 06-26-2022, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thank you! Your review and comments are very helpful and appreciated!

I haven't seen a PolyCraft in person, and Whaly Boats only on the hard. I personally am leaning toward a Whaly Boat because they look like they might be more stable, with the large perimeter tube design that mimics an inflatable (but is hard and non-deflatable, which is what I want).

I too want to use the e-Propulsion (or similar) motor. Interestingly, the local Whaly dealer (in MA) told me that the 3 hp e-Propulsion would be fine in the Whaly 270 (8'10"), but thought it wouldn't be enough for the Whaly 310 (10'2").
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Old 06-26-2022, 09:32 AM   #6
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Nick:

My hunt STARTED with the notion I wanted to go electric, and not plane. There is no way I'd send my wife to shore solo with gas. She isn't mechanical and the first incident of flooding it trying to start would not be good. Giving up the issues of storing gas is an important extra but it didn't start there.

I have spec'ed an electric galley on the H38, so going electric does have the side benefit of keeping all other fuels off the boat other than diesel.

The Polycraft also has something of the side tube design, just not as pronounced. The way the Whaly seats eat into the tubes, its not clear to me what the difference might be in tube / side areas air volume might be.

Hunting down pics of the hull below the waterline was hard. I didn't understand the Polycraft shape until I saw it. I did finally find this last night (after I have made the purchase of course!). But it might help you. Scroll through it.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...rce_attachment

The Polycraft also has drain plugs at the aft ends of the tubes. The Whaly does not. The Polycraft can get some small leakage of water into the tubes, from storage area hinges, from the rod holders inset, and so forth. Owners do some minor hacks to mitigate that, but some small amount is likely to be a fact of life and the drain plugs provide the means to clear it.

The Whaly 310 and the Polycraft are almost identical in length and weight. I have not seen anything to suggest 3hp electric won't push either, other than the whine its not enough to plane. Duh. I have pulled the trigger so for me I'll just have to wait and see.

Seriously, I don't think one can go wrong with either. Two good choices, and I took my best shot for me.

Oh, and one other minor thing I THINK is true about a difference that is a two edged sword. My sense is the Whaly is a taller design, by just a few inches. With my mother ship on order and not in hand I don't know if there will be any issue, but the crane needs to lift the dink over the rails up top, and the shorter height may come in handy. The downside is the lower height of course is less friendly to chop. We are talking a few inches here so frankly the issue didn't seem to be enough to tip a decision for either boat.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:34 AM   #7
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Another contender is
https://portlandpudgy.com
Does everything but bait your hook.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:59 AM   #8
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Are these better than a Bullfrog? Plastic boats are sure heavy
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:47 PM   #9
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Another contender is
https://portlandpudgy.com
Does everything but bait your hook.
I LOVE the Portland Pudgy! But at 711, its just a little too small, and too tippy on getting in for the Admiral to feel comfortable.

Now if they just made it in a 10-ish ft long version it would be a no-brainer. Id buy two.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:04 PM   #10
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Another contender is
https://portlandpudgy.com
Does everything but bait your hook.
That was my starting point.

I agree with Nick. Not great stability.

Lots to love about all of those options they sell. At a very fancy price for those. The lifeboat-style enclosure costs almost as much as the boat.
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:08 PM   #11
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Are these better than a Bullfrog? Plastic boats are sure heavy
If I were in the PNW I'd give them a hard look.

East coast, no dealers, no way to see it, and shipping would have to be unreal. So I just didn't go there with any hard look
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Old 06-26-2022, 02:29 PM   #12
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Way to heavy for my liking.
A tinny with a Kapten collar is equally stable, much lighter, better speed for same hp.
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Old 06-28-2022, 07:29 AM   #13
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https://www.polycraft.com/300-tuffy

Australian, and apparently available only somewhat recently in the US.

Same price as the comparable Whaly 270

Rated load capacity of 478 lbs. Less than Whaly's 784 lbs.

Appears to be exceptionally stable.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of these?
If I may ask, what davit system did you choose for your boat?

I'm going back and forth between a Nick Jackson pipe davit, and a low-profile davit. Though, a Weaver or other snap-davit system is also appealing for its low cost and simplicity.

Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:26 AM   #14
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If I may ask, what davit system did you choose for your boat?

I'm going back and forth between a Nick Jackson pipe davit, and a low-profile davit. Though, a Weaver or other snap-davit system is also appealing for its low cost and simplicity.

Thanks!
I have spec'ed a Nick Jackson low profile davit crane.

One checkbox must-have for me when selecting the boat was the ability to carry the dink up top. I just don't want to hang it off the stern.
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:46 AM   #15
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I have spec'ed a Nick Jackson low profile davit crane.

One checkbox must-have for me when selecting the boat was the ability to carry the dink up top. I just don't want to hang it off the stern.
Thank you! I initially specd the pipe davit, but think your choice is the way to go, both for ease of launching a dinghy (increasingly important with my advancing age), as well as looks.

A snap davit system is tempting for simplicity and low cost. But I too am reticent to hang something off the swim platform, lest an unpleasant offshore wave comes in from the stern and decides to remove it (along with the swim platform and possibly take a chunk of the transom with it).
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Old 06-28-2022, 12:03 PM   #16
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Thank you! I initially specd the pipe davit, but think your choice is the way to go, both for ease of launching a dinghy (increasingly important with my advancing age), as well as looks.

A snap davit system is tempting for simplicity and low cost. But I too am reticent to hang something off the swim platform, lest an unpleasant offshore wave comes in from the stern and decides to remove it (along with the swim platform and possibly take a chunk of the transom with it).
Exactly.

And for me, add more.

On the Chesapeake home waters, historically marinas in these waters where the tidal swing is not wide, marinas have often been fixed piers, with single side piers that are quite short. To tie up involves crossing stern lines (port boat cleat to a dock cleat behind the starboard side of the main pier). A dink hanging off the back creates a tie-up challenge. Floating docks are coming into use but are not standard fare.

And add it less vision aft while docking.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:13 AM   #17
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Exactly.

And for me, add more.

On the Chesapeake home waters, historically marinas in these waters where the tidal swing is not wide, marinas have often been fixed piers, with single side piers that are quite short. To tie up involves crossing stern lines (port boat cleat to a dock cleat behind the starboard side of the main pier). A dink hanging off the back creates a tie-up challenge. Floating docks are coming into use but are not standard fare.

And add it less vision aft while docking.
Thank you. Even more good reasons.

I also boated on the Chesapeake for over 20 years, and you reminding me about the short piers, and the stern tie situations, sealed the deal for deciding to get the Low Profile system.

I would routinely cross lines in the stern tie. It would be a lot more complicated with a dinghy back there.

Now in New England waters we'll be doing a lot more anchoring out. A simple, cheap snap davit system would probably work much of the time, especially at anchor. But I like to be prepared for the minority of the time something doesn't work (because that's usually when you can get into problems).

I was a little reluctant because we once had a Beneteau 42 Swift Trawler that stored the dinghy up top and used a simple manual crane for handling. It was enough of a nuisance that I rarely did it. But I suspect the electric Low Profile will be easier.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:24 AM   #18
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I would routinely cross lines in the stern tie. It would be a lot more complicated with a dinghy back there.

That situation was one of the factors in me wanting a lifting davit setup rather than a flip-up setup. I wanted the dinghy to lift high enough that I could run lines across underneath it.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:01 PM   #19
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That situation was one of the factors in me wanting a lifting davit setup rather than a flip-up setup. I wanted the dinghy to lift high enough that I could run lines across underneath it.
A pair of cleats on the lower corners of the transom would be a simple and helpful addition. Would work for all davits except Weaver snap or SeaWise.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:04 PM   #20
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A pair of cleats on the lower corners of the transom would be a simple and helpful addition. Would work for all davits except Weaver snap or SeaWise.
Good point, that would make it easier to keep the lines clear of the dinghy. In my case the cleats are on the upper transom corners, but the dinghy now lifts about a foot above the aft deck, so the lines can run under the dinghy without issue.
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