The Safety Dinghy
Photo taken by Pudgy owner
Choosing the Best Dinghy/Safety Boat for You: Things to Consider
Safety and Ruggedness: The Portland Pudgy is extremely rugged, safe, and trustworthy, even in its simple capacity as a rowboat, motorboat, and yacht tender. It is unsinkable, tough, and incredibly stable.
It's difficult to capsize the Pudgy, but if you do, it's very easy to right it, using the handholds in the bottom of the boat. It comes up empty of water because of the thick side walls. This can be life-saving, since hypothermia is a leading cause of fatalities in boating accidents. It's very easy to climb back in, using the hand-holds in the middle seat.
Here's a comment from a Pudgy owner who credits the Pudgy's toughness, stability, and handling with saving his yacht. The Pudgy is made of rugged polyethylene, which is intrinsically buoyant, and the space under the floor is filled with closed-cell foam.
The European Union's consumer protection agency did a drop test of the Portland Pudgy, in which they filled the dinghy's cockpit with one thousand pounds of rock, and dropped into the water from eight feet! The Pudgy just bounced up, didn't ship water at all, and had plenty of freeboard. No harm done! Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Roominess, Comfort, and Stability: The Pudgy's roominess, comfort, and stability make it the best yacht tender, fishing or duck hunting boat, or boat for family fun. The roomy cockpit is 16.1 square feet, and there is loads of additional storage room in the interior compartments in the side walls of the boat. Because of its pram shape, it takes up less room on deck.
There are two rowing positions (2 sets of oarlock sockets and an adjustable seat), so you can find the most efficient, comfortable position and balance the weight of passengers and cargo.
The Pudgy is so stable you can stand up and move around in it. Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Versatility, Safety, and Fun (a Great Family Boat)
The Portland Pudgy is incredibly versatile, so you can use it as a fun sailboat, a rowboat, and a motor boat. The Pudgy's stability and ease of handling make it the best dinghy for blue water sailors or for kids, a good work deck, and a good platform for diving, duck hunting, or fishing. Although designed as a self-rescue dinghy for blue water sailors, it's easy and fun to sail, and rows and motors well. The safety designed in for blue water sailors also makes it the best boat for kids on the market, whether for just "messing around in," or learning to sail.
The Portland Pudgy rows and tows beautifully, tracking perfectly because of the long skeg. The two sets of oarlock sockets and adjustable middle seat allow for optimum rowing positioning. It moves along nicely with a 2HP motor. Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
The Portland Pudgy is a top quality product made with great attention to detail and safety. (Click on any photo above for a closer look.) Each boat is carefully built out by hand, per your order. Every boat includes:
● oars with oarlocks
● oarlock sockets (2 sets)
● adjustable middle seat, plus stern and bow seats
● motor mount with metal reinforcement
● reflective strips (3)
● grab-lines along gunwales
● built-in compass
● wheel in the keel (for rolling n docks and pavement)
● covered access hatches for the storage chamber (5)
● stainless steel hardware.
Many of our customers who have ordered their Portland Pudgy sight unseen, call or email us when they receive their boat to let us know how happy and pleasantly surprised they are with their Pudgy. "It's so much more than I expected!" is something we've heard pretty often! (See our Testimonials.) Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Maintenance. The Pudgy is low maintenance. It's self-bailing when carrying less than 30 pounds (a real pleasure after a heavy rain)! It's easy to clean inside and out. The gutters in the floor run to the drain, so a good rinse is easy to wash out of the cockpit. The UV treated polyethylene protects against sun damage. Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Simplicity and Compactness The Pudgy is a self-contained unit and integrates with sophisticated safety and survival equipment (including exposure canopy, sea anchor, and sailing kit). All of the equipment fits inside the double hull of the boat or under the rear seat. We also offer an electrical system, bailing pump, boat covers, and more (see the detailed Price List for more information). The mast telescopes down and the sail furls around it, and they are stored through the rear access hatch (see picture below). The exposure canopy and sea anchor also fold up and fit through an interior hatch. The leeboards and the rudder stow neatly under the rear seat. (In addition, you can store ditch bags, food, water, photography equipment, fishing or duck hunting equipment, etc. in the storage compartments.) Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Compare the Portland Pudgy to inflatable boats, RIBs, dinghies with RID kits, and standard dinghies:
● The Portland Pudgy is rigid, puncture-resistant, durable. It doesn’t need to inflate. and it can't deflate.
● It's unsinkable, buoyant, and very stable.
● It's difficult to capsize, but if it does, it's extremely easy to right and it comes up virtually dry.
● It rows and tows beautifully. It motors well, and it's a fun sailing dinghy.
● It’s aesthetically pleasing.
● It has lots of storage space.
Back to "Choosing the Best Dinghy" Back to top of page
Portland Pudgy or Inflatable Liferaft?
The Portland Pudgy is unsinkable, and it's exposure canopy and other survival gear make it a proactive life boat. For detailed information about the Portland Pudgy proactive lifeboat system, click here.
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Colors, Specifications and Technical Questions
What colors are available?
The Portland Pudgy comes in sunset yellow, dark green, warm white, blue, red, and charcoal black. In addition the sail is available in white or with a wide panel in safety orange. We've found that the colors work well. They look good, and make it easy to spot your dinghy, whether at sea or in a marina full of white dinghies.
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Doesn’t water spray up through the leeboard slots?
No. Ridges near the leeboard slots force water down from the slots (using Bernoulli’s principle).
Material: Double hull of rotation-molded, rugged polyethylene. Closed cell foam under floor.
Dimensions: LOA: 7’ 8”. Width: 4’ 4”. Height: 2’ 4”. Weight: 128 lb. Interior cockpit area: 16.1 square ft. (16 square feet is the USCG recommendation for a four-person life raft). This does not include the ample storage space in the interior of the walls, accessed through five access hatches.
Click here for a dimensional drawing of the boat.
Capacity: USCG-approved, 557 lb (motor, passengers, and gear). 4 person, 2HP. (This is greater than most 10' boats.)
Buoyancy: Carrying 557 lb, there's still about ten inches of freeboard. It takes 1855 pounds of weight to submerge the dinghy (see photo above of dinghy at USCG testing facility).
The Pudgy is unsinkable because:
● The material it is made of (polyethylene) is intrinsically buoyant.
● The lower portion of the hull (under the floor) is filled with closed-cell foam.
● Air within the storage compartments in the upper portion of the double hull adds more buoyancy.
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What are the optional accessories? Click here for a complete list of accessories and prices.
Prices. Click here.
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For sales information, contact us at:
Portland Pudgy Inc.
200 Anderson Street, Unit 6
Portland, Maine, 04101
David Hulbert, President
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