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  #251  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Ditto to ShoalFinder. Read Steve Callahan's book, Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea, and then tell me you'd rather have an inflatable raft over a hard bottom.
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  #252  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Glenn,

I've enjoying our pudgy discussion very much, especially since we've both owned and used one and have differing points of view.

I have 2 pointed questions:

1: Since we're talking survival here, do you think that 4 adults are more likely to die because of the space constraints of the pudgy? If so, how?

2: Since you have indicated that the USCG rating isn't up to your Damato rating (I love that phrase) it sounds to me like you are in favor of a larger craft to accommodate your max expected crew. Given the problems with inflatable rafts being under-ballasted and prone to capsize when not filled to capacity, what alternative do you propose for a single-hander who may find himself alone in his (6-man? 8-man raft?) or be abandoning ship with as many as 4 adults aboard?

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Last edited by MedSailor; 02-21-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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  #253  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I'd feel more comfortable in a Pudgy too! Plus, $6000 or more is a lot of moolah to spend on something (an inflatable emergency offshore raft) that you hope you never actually use!

I think the only point we differ on is that if I were headed offshore with more than two adults, I would spring for the raft as a suppliment to the Pudgy in fire or sinking - I actually did that during the Breaking Seas story - hard on the wallet, but I felt it was the right thing to do.
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  #254  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

MedSailor:

1. Imagine four "realistically sized" American adults in a Pudgy. Especially if three or more of them are men, that alone would probably exceed the weight capacity of 557 lbs. Even if two of them were slim women and the other two average sized, fit men, you'd be right at over slightly over the limit - with no leeway for food, water, survival gear, the canopy, etc. Do the math: 2x(120+160)=560. And today's middle aged crowd is bigger than that!

You can probably overload the Pudgy and not drown IF the sea state is mild and you are picked up in a few hours. But seriously, now. I just can't imagine four real adults, 2013 sized, in a Pudgy far out to sea for days at a time. I would be cursing the blockheaded skipper. I don't want to be that blockheaded skipper!

2. When I go from CA to Hilo in a couple of years with maybe 4-6 friends and family aboard, I'll have both a Pudgy and a 6-person liferaft aboard. If the boat sinks, I'd distribute the people so that neither lifecraft is overloaded and the raft is ballasted.
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  #255  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

This is a great discussion guys. Thanks.
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  #256  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat



That's a great summation of the Pudgy, Medsailor. No matter how you slice it, that's a big load in the photo for a hard dinghy under 8'!

We've always used hard dinghys in our coastal sailing. We love to row and sail them for excercise and fun. The biggest drawback to ours is, it's 9'6" long. But that's the minimum boat we have found for a family of four for a safe tender. It's too big to put on deck, so we don't. Like the Pudgy, our tender is designed to tow well in most anything(we don't go out in most anything...)

The Portland Pudgy is growing in popularity in my harbor. There are 3 I think from 0 just a couple years ago. One couple I know rows their Pudgy regularly for fun, as well as reaching their boat quite far out. They're in very good shape! You give an honest report on their rowing ability, I'd say they're only a bit less rowable than similar sized high load carrying hard dinghys.

I talked to the Portland Pudgy rep at a local boat show this summer. He said orders are picking up.

All in all, I'd say it's a very good compromise for a good hard dinghy and small coastal life raft. It's the only one that does that.
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  #257  
Old 02-21-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

One of the things to remember...if you're thinking about the notion of "comfort" while in a life raft...is that comfort seems to be impossible. I remember from Calahan's story, and the story of the Butlers who were adrift for 76 days (I think), both in inflatables, that skin was rubbed raw pretty quickly, and they couldn't ever really stretch out and get comfortable. And every story I've ever read about multiple people ending up in a liferaft has involved the shock at how small it is. So, I don't really put the notion of comfort or space on the evaluation list. That said, being at sea for an extended period in a hard-shell liferaft is going to really hurt after a while. The trade off is that it won't lose air (which was the scariest aspect to me in both the Butler and Calahan stories).

The other trade off, as has already been mentioned, is the stowage and moving-around issue of the Pudgy over an inflatable vs. the mobility of the Pudgy over an inflatable once in the water.

I love the idea of actively working your way out of a nightmare instead of just drifting around in it.

I don't know, Med, maybe I don't hate your Pudgy as much as I thought. It really is a hard call isn't it?
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  #258  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I'm sure spending more than a few hours in ANY small craft in a survival situation would be brutal. But when all is said and done, the thing that actually matters THE MOST is that the damned thing keep floating. If you lose that single thing then there is no other consideration that matters one iota.

I just finished reading "Endurance" which is the story of the Shackleton expedition to Antarctica. When they finally took to the water to effect self-rescue in the lifeboats, those guys sat in one spot for nearly a week. Sat. In one spot. There was no room to even lie down. One developed an abcess inside his butt cheek. Another's feet froze because he could not wiggle them as there was no room to move for days.

Then, when the smaller party set sail from Elephant Island to go for help, they used tons of stones as ballast in a 22 foot open boat. For about eight days the off watch laid on these big rocks under a tarp. They had to kneel on these rocks to move them in order to shift ballast because the entire boat was filled with rocks and what stores they could take. Between the salt sores, the frostbite and the laying on rocks, it was Hell.

Everything about the entire ordeal was SUCK FACTOR 10. But the boat didn't sink. They lived because the boat didn't sink.
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Last edited by ShoalFinder; 02-21-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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  #259  
Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

@glenndamato, just finished reading your book, excellent read I must say! I think most of the hell you caught was from jumping in the pool full force without knowing a thing. I think you done well considering all that had happened. I give you a big thumbs up for trying, that's more then what many people can say. I would say more but rather not spoil it in case others want to read the book.

Four years ago, I caught hell on a solo kayaking trip to a barrier island in the gulf. I did not think I would live to see my 40th birthday which was one week away when this happened but somehow I am here. After this happened, I remember saying I would never touch another paddle or kayak again. This was FALSE, I would soon after go kayaking many times and still kayak to this day and love it. I may one day write a book on my experience. So as I was saying earlier in this thread before I read your book, I think you should re-visit sailing again but just on a more casual level for now.
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  #260  
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks sailguy! I will probably get back into it shortly, but I am tempted to "go all out" again and get a 10-15 year old sloop or cutter in the 36-42 foot range, and live aboard. At age 53 in two months, I'm looking to downscale my life and rent is SO expensive here in southern California - you would not believe what it costs for a place in a nice building in a safe neighborhood.

I would not be one of those live aboards with permanent potted plants all over the decks. I would actually sail the boat. I realize now that Hawaii, Seattle, Vancouver, and maybe the Sea of Cortez once a year are more my speed than the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Cheers,

Glenn
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