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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-22-2008
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Portland Pudgy

Has anyone had any experience with one of these dinghys? The idea of a dinghy/life raft is pretty appealing and an unsinkable/non-puncturing tender is pretty cool. I'm pretty interested in it but also concerned about how the plastic would fare after being bombarded with UV's for a couple years. I ran across this boat in another thread on tenders but it didn't seem like anyone had firsthand experience.

If it's relevant, our intended use is primarily a dinghy for gunkholing through Mexico and Central America and secondarily a liferaft for the passage down from Seattle and perhaps over to the South Pacific. I'm looking for something we can mostly row. I'd really like to avoid an outboard engine if at all possible. I like the idea of adding a sail kit to it but the sailing kit looks a bit dodgy to me.

(Since I can't post links or images until after 10 posts, you'll have to decipher the web page from my cleverly altered URL below)

www dot portlandpudgy dot com
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2008
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The pudgy was recently mentioned in my Gemini Yahoo group and several of the owners stepped forward and fess'd up to owning one.
All of them reported very favorably, rowing and sailing (tho it's not a 420 so don't expect it to sail like one- none had a motor on it and two of them were out and about where you intend to go.

The only negative was wait time from order to delivery. The company makes them in small batches, not continous builds.
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Old 01-22-2008
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Thumbs up Saw one at a boat show and liked it....

as I subscribe to the Pardeys' concept of a liferaft that can be sailed/rowed.

It is however a little heavy.

The basic dinghy weighs about 128 lbs. With all accessories and equipment (exposure canopy, sailing rig, sea anchor, etc.), it weighs about 168 lb.

Except for that its on my short list next time.

As its made of polyethylene I think it may outlive most of us.
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Old 01-22-2008
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The UV degradation of the plastic would be my biggest concern for it. You might want to consider a stitch-and-glue wood dinghy. There are quite a few that have excellent rowing characteristics, and might be better suited for what you're doing.

When you say you're going to be gunkholing, what is the mothership vessel going to be??? That may determine what will work best for you. A Nichols NN10 might also be a good, albeit expensive, choice.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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  #5  
Old 01-22-2008
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Sd..

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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The UV degradation of the plastic would be my biggest concern for it. You might want to consider a stitch-and-glue wood dinghy. There are quite a few that have excellent rowing characteristics, and might be better suited for what you're doing.

When you say you're going to be gunkholing, what is the mothership vessel going to be??? That may determine what will work best for you. A Nichols NN10 might also be a good, albeit expensive, choice.
SD.. I own a Walker Bay dinghy that I have left sitting on the beach in front of our house since I purchased it back in 1998. It's been there 365 days per year for almost ten straight years and it's no worse for the wear.

A few weeks ago my neighbor came over and mentioned that it had been flipped over by one of the moon tides and was full of frozen ice. I went down to the beach with him and flipped it back over with his help. Even crashing down onto the beach, full of ice, in 15 degree weather & after 9+ straight years of UV, did not crack or damage this dinghy.

While I've never been a fan of my Walker Bay, I think it's a very poor design stability wise, I do use it as my "drag" dinghy to drag over the rocks and into the water at my home mooring. I have beat the crap out of this thing and could really care less about it seeing as I only paid $385.00 for it brand new when they first hit the market and the thing keeps on going.

That being said I have yet to find a fiberglass or inflatable that can handle the abuse my plastic Walker Bay has taken. I wore the bottom off my Puffin dinghy in two seasons dragging git up and down the beach and needed to re-glass and fair it over. On the other hand I have yet to actually have an inflatable actually last me ten years and I DO take very, very good care of them. Currently my AB 8VL is going on 4 years and actually doing quite well but time will tell.

My brother actually owns one of the first Perception Sea Lion sea kayaks to be made of roto-molded plastic and that thing is still going strong too and is about 16 years old or so & is showing no signs of age. It was on the beach with my fiberglass kayaks during the big Nor Easter and was mashed against trees by waves and had the rudder broken off but it survived! I wish I could say that for my fiberglass kayaks... The only two boats to survive that storm on our beach were my Walker Bay and his Sea Lion...

By the way the "yellow kayak" or the one pictured upside down was kevlar!!




I have actually spent a good deal of time talking with David, the owner of Portland Pudgy, due to the fct that our booths at the Maine Boat Builders show were next to each other and it's a very, very cool and impressive design. During the show there were more owners of Pudgy's hanging around the booth and doing the selling for David that he barely had to speak. these things sell themselves and in a three day show I never once heard an owner complain about the Pudgy.


And here's a picture I just took 5 minutes ago, in the snow storm, of my Walker Bay sitting where she has been since 1998 year round!!

In short I would not worry one iota about the longevity of the plastic!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-22-2008 at 05:10 PM.
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  #6  
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Good to know...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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  #7  
Old 01-22-2008
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That's a great endorsement for plastic, thanks. I'm hoping they're gonna be at the Seattle boat show next week.

As for the mothership question, well that's a whole other thread. The short story is - we're actively shopping for her at the moment. The NN10 looks super interesting for sure. If above decks dingy storage is tighter than I expect, we may take a long hard look at the NN10. But my first choice would be to knock out the life raft and dinghy with the same stone.

Thanks all!
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Old 01-22-2008
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Well that makes me wish i hadnt sold my Walker Bay.
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Old 01-22-2008
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Well that makes me wish i hadnt sold my Walker Bay.
No be happy you did! Other than how durable the thing is it is a big POS from a design stand point and borderline safe. The Walker Bay has stability that is barely a notch above my 22 inch wide kayaks! Durable yes, a good dinghy, not so much..
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2008
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Thats the reason i sold it. The thing almost dumped me in the river when getting into it from my P-36. It really didnt row that well and motoring sucked. I just got home from looking at a little fibreglass dingy and im going to buy it. It was a plug to make a mold from so its a bare hull. Ive got to build seats into it. Its perfect for Lola since its only 6-1/2'.
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