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  #241  
Old 02-20-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Smackdaddy: LOL. I could have written more, but it would have been gratuitous. Please also note that some characters in this book (Megan and Joyce for example) are disguised with names and minor details so it would not be clear who the real person is, even to people in the SF sailing community. Ages, physical characteristics, and personalities are all true to life. If you're wondering, Duffy is a real name!
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  #242  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

The thing with the Pudgy is it seems like it'd add a lot of windage if kept up on deck and it sounds pretty heavy to man handle around. So it's not all that hot as a life raft. Then as a tender it seems like it'd perform worse than a normal hard dink.

I think the idea is really sound, even the design looks good. But it's sort of one of those imperfect compromises.
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauderBoy View Post
The thing with the Pudgy is it seems like it'd add a lot of windage if kept up on deck and it sounds pretty heavy to man handle around. So it's not all that hot as a life raft. Then as a tender it seems like it'd perform worse than a normal hard dink.

I think the idea is really sound, even the design looks good. But it's sort of one of those imperfect compromises.
I would like inflatable life rafts more if instead of inflating with air they inflated with foam that solidified so that small cuts in the life raft material wouldn't deflate it.

I would like the Pudgy more if I find out (?????) that it either has multiple air tight compartments inside or it is filled with foam so that a hole in the plastic won't let it fill with water and thus stop being "unsinkable".

In short, I want "unsinkable" to BE unsinkable, unless a blue whale swallows the thing.
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  #244  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

The Pudgy is "unsinkable" (foam-filled) but that doesn't mean it can't swamp or capsize if overloaded for a particular sea state.

So much depends on the type of cruising you do, number of crew, and the time until rescue. Inflatable liferafts, especially if filled to rated capacity, are for QUICK rescue: hours. Depending on your location and scenario, there is no guarantee of a quick rescue. A hard dink is considered a "proactive" lifeboat: you can use a handheld GPS to sail or even row it to civilization. Don't put all your faith in EPIRBS. If you are in a remote part of the world, all that may happen is that one commercial vessel re-routes 175 nm to your area, makes a couple of circles, doesn't see you, and continues to port. Captains have schedules to keep.

Note that inflatable liferafts have VERY POOR reputations when inflated at sea and occupied for more than a few days. See Steve Calahan, Dougal Robertson, etc.

As for a tender, people want QUICK gratification and for that nothing can replace a Zodiac and an outboard. It's like the family minivan - will zip you in and out fast and easy. But for long term cruising a Zodiac can mean expensive repairs and replacement, plus the outboard, plus gasoline storage, plus repairs for the outboard . . . a hard dink can be rowed. Slow, but sure. The Pudgy can be sailed (I would rather make the rig than buy their overpriced gear).

Yes, the Pudgy stowed on deck means windage, and maybe even visibility sacrificed. The degree of seriousness of course depends on the size of your main boat. Keeping a Pudgy on the cabin top of a 24-foot sloop would be absurd.
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  #245  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

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Originally Posted by glenndamato View Post
Thanks guys. I live in Marina del Rey, surounded by thousands of boats, brokers, you name it. I am seriously considering getting back into it. With the economy what it is, the deals are incredible.

David - I think the solution is to look for a boat that has been sailed off shore in all kinds of conditions sometime over the last few years, and then hunt for signs of leakage. If a boat leaks bad, it's almost impossible for the owner to cover up ALL the telltale signs. There will be heavy mildew under the cushions. The bilge may show watermarks high up. The lockers will look like they've been filled with soggy mess - or are ALL the lockers repainted? Hmmm. My main point is the usual "hose test" will not tell you much. If ports or hatches leak, they probably only need some adjustment or a new gasket.
I never read your book yet but I will get the Kindle version on my PC when I get the chance. So I don't know what you went through as far as your experience just yet but from reading on this thread, I think you should definitely get back into it! Just revisit it in a different way. You don't have to buy a huge blue water cruiser and quit your job on a quest to sail around the world alone. Take it more casual, like a "cool cat" and just head out for some afternoon sails, overnights or short weekend trips. Or if you have more time and feeling adventurous every now and then try some week long coastal trips. Then you can choose your nice weather days and enjoy it instead of regretting things. This is what I do, I take my girlfriends and buds out off and on, we crank up the music and always have a good time. All fun, no hassles and minimal dangers or risks in breaking things. I do a lot of photography and video when I am out there. I also do a lot of single handing too. Not too many friends are able to take a long voyage but no problem getting anyone to go out on shorter day sails, overnight or weekend trips. Just get you a real nice 26ft that don't need a lot of work with good sails and a good outboard, done. Say no to those all work no play dilapitated project boats.
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  #246  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

BTW - I can't get the nighty scene out of my head. [Shudder.] Thanks for that, dude.

Yeah, being date-raped by Snuffalupagus has given me nightmares since I read the book, too. Why do people think behavior like this is okay if it's initiated by the woman? If a woman came home to her boat to find Ted Kennedy in his boxers and sock garters with a "come hithah" look on his face the cops would be called immediately.
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  #247  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks for the advice, Tim! I gotta get into better shape, too. I am fatter and weaker than what I was ten years ago. I'm going to work on that slowly while I tackle my writing project for 2013, which is a novel. 2014 might be the year of a new boat.

ShoalFinder: sorry I gave you the heebie-jeebies! Now, she did not actually "do" anything directly physical, keep in mind, outside of the atire and extreme close proximity and, as you so clearly expressed, a "look!" Many people, I think, assume that all men operate under a strict system that lowers their standards automatically so that virtually anyone can mate with . . . someone. People can confirm this assumption with about 80-90 percent of men. And many unattached men >30 or so are concerned that being completely unmated lowers their social status and, often, leads to gradual self destruction via alcohol. Neither is a problem for me and several other "chronically unmated" males I know - but people can assume that you are "just shy" or uncertain or maybe inexperienced or maybe afraid of offense or criminal charges if you "make the first move" - so they want to give you a nudge. The idea of an unmated male not being interested really sends some people into a state of rage - as if "you really don't have that right." Not everyone, just some.

Best,

Glenn
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  #248  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauderBoy View Post
The thing with the Pudgy is it seems like it'd add a lot of windage if kept up on deck and it sounds pretty heavy to man handle around. So it's not all that hot as a life raft. Then as a tender it seems like it'd perform worse than a normal hard dink.

I think the idea is really sound, even the design looks good. But it's sort of one of those imperfect compromises.
Actually since the pudgy is commonly used as your daily tender the crew should be very familiar and practiced with launching the pudgy as compared to a liferaft that nobody has ever practiced launching or boarding. For us, the pudgy is on davits 99% of the time, with it going on deck only for ocean crossings. I have a lifeline gate at the sides where the pudgy resides on deck and a painter attached at all times. I would only need to undo the lifeline gate on the preferred side, slide the pudgy into the water and board. Of course the abandon-ship disaster doesn't always happen in "blue water" so it also could be conveniently located on its davits when disaster strikes.

The pudgy is unsinkable by many definitions. It is double hulled with copious storage between the hulls. It took 1855lbs (in its Coast Guard capacity rating test) to submerge the gunwales due to the double hull's boyancy. If the iterior hull was compromised it has a special fitting for a hand bilge pump for easy dewatering. If the outer hull is compromised below the waterline that is more serious (but less so than on a fabric liferaft or a single hulled rigid dinghy). If holed he foam between the hulls and the dry interior would still keep you riding pretty high in the water. The inflatable canopy makes it self righting in capsize as well. It would take a sharktopus attack to sink it.

Compromise? You bet. Worse than a regular hard tender? Not really. In tender perfomance it is most like a cross between an inflatable and a hard rowing sailing dink. It does sail and row like a hard dink, but not as well. On the other hand it has much of the stability of an inflatable. Adults can sit on the gunwales and it's pretty stable when boarding which you can't do on a ranger minto.



Back to it's lifeboat functions, while it is small and of fixed capacity, consider what your other options are if you are a typical 2 person crew that sometimes takes another couple aboard:

If you get a USCG inflatable 2 person liferaft it just plain won't fit 4 people But if you get a 4 person raft, then it won't be properly ballasted (the occupants are calculated into the ballast design) and is at risk of capsize frequently. Steve Calahan made this mistake by buying a much "roomier" raft for himself and capsized countless times.

Recently I had the chance to interview Zack Smith of Fiorentino sea anchors about his experience with the pudgy as he designed the sea anchor for it. When I asked how it was sitting in the pudgy in a gale he got this big ship-eating grin and said "It was great! It felt so stable and safe and was like an amusement park ride. I wanted to keep going longer but the 31' trawler I was with was getting pounded and was worried about breaking something and so we had to turn back." This was in a gale west of the Golden Gate. Email Zack Smith and ask him about the pudgy. He's the only person I know that has been in a gale in one. He also knows all about the craft (and really likes it) because he was involved with aspects of its design.

Now compare that with Les Straud's "Survivorman" episode 9 season 1 "lost at sea" where he drifts about in a liferaft. He ended the excercise early because he was so uncomfortable and scared in his raft. Also, the first raft they used deflated before he got in it, and the second one inflated upside down (50% chance) beside the boat.

Finally, the ability to propel the raft can not be over-stated. I've interviewed one person who used his liferaft in anger and he said that the only time he thought he might die was when the container ship was trying to come alongside. He realised that if it didn't all go perfectly he would either be run down, or sucked into the prop. He ended up jumping out of his raft and swimming the last 100yards to the jacob's ladder. Had he been able to row his raft he could have made that excercise much safer.

Steve Calahan lamented that he wrecked so close to africa, but had to drift all the way to south america because he couldn't propel the craft.

The guys in the trimaran off New Zealand thought they were done for after over 100days at sea because they were about to be dashed on the rocks. Others have nearly perished while trying to make landfall on reefs or rocks. Being able to row to a safer landing spot would be a good feature.

You can also row/sail to the ITCZ or twards a squall to catch rain, or towards shipping lanes to increase your chances of being seen.

What about the boat fire or other catastrophy that happens only 1 mile offshore but with a breeze and current blowing you offshore and no way to row that one mile back to land. There have been several fisherman to whom this happened and drifted for months. Imagine the frustration of sitting in your raft, one mile from shore on a coastal day outing knowing that you are drifting further and further away.

I could go on....

MedSailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 02-21-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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  #249  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I agree with every word of your highly informative post, MedSailor, and I would just like to add the caveat: I don't consider the Pudgy a realistic lifeboat for four adults - assuming >25 nm from land. In the photo on your post, those folks are all seated on the gunwales. And they're in a harbor or a lake or a lagoon, without significant water motion. And they probably held that pose for only a few minutes! That many people in a Pudgy on the ocean in moderate seas, possibly for days, would not be safe. But imagine two couples sailing from SF to Hilo with JUST a Pudgy on board as a lifeboat, on the grounds that it is "USCG rated for four persons." Sorry, not on my vessel! I suspect that many people assume that with an EPRIB, you're gonna be in the boat for just a few hours anyhow. Certainly no more crunched up than an economy seat on United Airlines, right? But there are plenty of things to go wrong with that scenario. EPIRB or not, it may take days to be picked up, maybe longer, depending on many factors.

cheers,

Glenn
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I think I'd still feel safer in the Pudgy, Glenn, but that's me. I've never been in a liferaft after a sinking, so I guess my fears are all based on the countless survival stories that revolve around herculean efforts to patch a leaking inflatable in order to avoid becoming shark food. I can't tell you how comforting the thought of a hard, damn near unsinkable shell between me and the alternative makes me feel.

I was once in a RHIB zipping across the Baltic, transferring between two ships. Not that it wasn't a nice ride, but the coxswain was wearing a dry suit in case he fell in or the boat sank. Being a passenger, I was not. As we zipped along for several miles en route, I couldn't help but think that if this sucker goes flat I'm done for. The coxswain might stay warm long enough to be rescued, or at least they'll see his body eventually- but I'm going to be a popsicle, and then shortly after I'll be crab food.
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