View Full Version : Feedback on a new lifeboat/dingy design
03-26-2003, 10:42 PM
A recent aquaintance (my daughter's friend's father) designed this cool lifeboat/dingy. He brought it to the Maine Boatbuilder's Show for some feedback and I thought some here might have some constructive thoughts. He did have a few 'where's the soap?' comments at the show. :D
All survival gear fits in the double walled, unsinkable hull, mast and sails and a cool canvass shelter, too. So what do you think?
(sorry, it's not wood :( )
03-26-2003, 11:19 PM
It's definitely cool/funky from an industrial design perspective. How's she perform? Good luck to him.
03-26-2003, 11:48 PM
I saw it at the show, but in my repeated trips past the stand, nobody was there to explain just what it was. His loss. It certainly needs explanation.
03-27-2003, 09:02 AM
I asked the fellow if it was taken from the work that Steve Callahan had been developing but he did not answer. I don't know if it's a continuation or a rival taking the same basic idea.
In any even, the prototype is nicely executed. It's really a sailing dink that has lots of flotation and will work as a survival boat.
Some very good features:
Two sets of oar lock sockets so's the oarsman can scootch a bit further forward when there's two in the boat, and both sets located nicely at the gunnel where they will really work;
Midships thwart that moves fore and aft, per the two sets of oarlocks, and also removes all together so you can lie down and sleep;
Daggerboard slots on eitherside, through the flotation, so that does not obstruct the interior of the boat;
Flotation foamed in the bottom and lower part of the sides, with the upper part accessable through watertight hatches, provided very secure stowage (to really love if you're rolled right over in high waves) and bouyancy.
Things I didn't like so much:
The canopy, such as it is, is inferior to the pneumatic types such as the Tinker line use;
The sea anchor arrangement for deployment over the bow appears oblivious to the fact that a boat like that will get airborn and spiral as a steep crest passes under in hurricane winds. Better if they planned on deployment over the side, again as the Tinker folk rather heroicly pioneered.
The biggest problem with this boat is an inherant design limitation. She's a bit bulky - the molded outside depth from bottom of keel to a line between the transoms is close to 3', making her a bit large for the smaller cruising boat, but she'll only accomodate 2 for a long self-rescue or maybe float 4 for a couple of days, making her a bit small for a larger boat crewed by more than just a cruising couple.
A cruising couple that can fit her on their boat and that can debvelop on their own better canopy and sea anchor rigs would be hard pressed to find a superior dink/life boat.
The rest of us may have to do our own development or hope these folk refine their product some more.
03-27-2003, 11:45 AM
I seem to remember that Callahan's design folded. Haven't heard much about it recently. I wonder if it's still in the works.
I like the 'where's the soap' commment on this one. :D
03-27-2003, 05:14 PM
Looking at the picture, the Airborne Lifeboat by Uffa Fox popped into mind:
OK, radically different result, but certainly similarity in concept.
The plans are available from the Uffa Fox website (http://www.uffafox.com/airborne.htm). (not affaliated to this company).
Greets, Leon Steyns.
01-06-2004, 06:04 PM
My friends have been moving along with this project. The Portland Pudgy will have it's official debut at Strictly Sail (http://www.sailamerica.com/home.cfm) in Maimi February 12th - 17th. The Pudgy pictured above is a fiberglass prototype - the actual Pudgys are roto-molded polyethelene. The exposure canopy now has an inflatable support structure. And there is a web site: www.portlandpudgy.com (http://www.portlandpudgy.com)
Anyone going to the show say hi to Dave and Deb for me, and if anyone has any more feedback for them feel free to post it here and I'll let them know.
01-07-2004, 09:37 AM
The Portland Pudgy service and survival dinghy has changed a bit since the Portland Boatbuilders' show (that was a prototype). It's a bit more streamlined (but still pudgy). We're showing it at the Strictly Sail Miami show this February (booth 110), and you can look at the new version on our website: portlandpudgy.com
We'd appreciate feedback, questions, and ideas.
(I'm working with the designer, my husband, Dave Hulbert)
Dale R. Hamilton
01-07-2004, 10:05 AM
I just bought a Walker Bay 8' injection molded plastic (sorry) that is just ducky. Its fake lapstrake, but has a nice pointy stem and a transom that takes either a rudder or a small stinkpot. weights 71 lbs, and btand new for $500.
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