Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Portland Pudgy Part 3 - 203

Note: If you got here by another web site or referral, this is only part of a series.  See the entire series.  Click here and start from the bottom.
The next couple of posts on the Portland Pudgy are going to be the positives.  
I know a little bit about how a Portland Pudgy tows because over the last six months I have pulled the Pudgy about 3100 Nautical Miles.  Towing characteristics are important, because even if you have dingy davits you still end up towing your dingy.  Our first three dingy's where awful for towing.  
We had an eight foot inflatable dingy that was essentially like towing a suction cup, and if the wind was over 15kts it would flip over.  It would also fill with water through the day and get heavier and heavier, requiring us to empty it out periodically. 
We had an eight foot plywood dingy that did not drag like the inflatable, or tip over as easily in gusts, but it also would fill up through the day and require bailing. 
We also had (for two weeks in Florida) a Walker Bay 8 that towed like a little eggshell with no drag, but would also flip over at the first gust of wind.  I don't remember it filling up as quickly as either the plywood dingy or the inflatable, but it still needed to be bailed out and the design of the hull meant that there was always water in the middle right where you needed your feet.  The Walker Bay 8 is probably the most unstable craft I have been in, next to a professional racing canoe.  
The Portland Pudgy is none of these things.  It tows with minimal drag, more than the Walker Bay 8, but much less than our inflatable or our plywood dingy.  It doesn't ship water when you tow it,  and if it did, it is a self bailing boat when it is empty.  The design of the Pudgy is two hulls that are filled with foam in between the upper and lower hulls on the floor.  This means that the floor of the dingy is above the waterline.  When you pull the drain plug, instead of filling up and sinking it drains out completely empty.  This single thing makes the Pudgy 1/10 the chore of owning compared to any other dingy we have had. 


Imagine owning a car that every time you used it you got wet feet.  How long would you keep that car?  Now if every car did that you would have to put up with it.  Our dingy is our car.  We use it every day we aren't tied up in a slip, which is most of the time.  We can pull it up the the boat after towing it all day, step in the front and put the drain plug in and have a completely dry floor to put our feet on.  This makes the Pudgy worth every little penny it cost to have the thing.  
The Portland Pudgy does not flip in any wind that we have encountered.  We sailed in 35 knot continuous gusting to 45 and the Pudgy just tracks behind us as straight as an arrow.  The oars also do not fall out, cannot fall out, so we can leave them attached in any conditions.  The Pudgy is always ready to use.  
The Pudgy under tow is one of its best attributes.  

I will be covering the positive aspects of the dingy in the next couple of posts.  I will get to the negatives if you are thinking that this is a company stooge feeding you propaganda.  In fact dealing with the company has unfortunately turned out to be a "neutral" experience (in the eBay use of the word), but I will get to that later.  

No comments: