It was as we were engaged in the updating of our very first book that we came across the Portland Pudgy.
The Grab Bag Book was written by us 20 Years ago and has sold well over that time. Now it needs more than just a refresh and we are busy rewriting it so that it can be published in Aril 2023.
When that happens, Adlard Coles, an imprint of Bloomsbury will rename it the Liferaft Survival Guide which in today’s world is a far more relevant title.
The original book took a brief look at what alternatives there were for small blue water sailing yachts that did not have the space to carry a dedicated standalone life raft. Back then we recommended the Henshaw Tinker inflatable sailing dinghy.
The original Tinkers were conceived in 1978 by designer Fred Benyon-Tinker (explains the origin of the name ) and Jock Henshaw who had started Henshaw Inflatables to make a range of inflatable sailing Tinker dinghies. The idea was that they could also act as tenders to cruising yachts. By adding the survival pack to the Tinker Tramp, it could then further double up as a life raft. Not perfect, but at the time, clever.
Today we think the Portland Pudgey deserves the same attention and as a result there will be a paragraph about it in our revised book. But space in that book will not give the Portand Pudgy the attention it deserves.
The Portland Pudgy is a multifunction boat that was designed as a yacht tender and unsinkable, dynamic lifeboat for blue water sailors that can be sailed to safety. The resulting stability, buoyancy, ruggedness, roominess, and “unsinkability” designed into the Portland Pudgy make it unparalleled as an everyday tender, a safe and sea-friendly sailing dinghy, and a great all-around rowboat/motorboat.
The Pudgy is a self-contained unit: all accessories, including the oars, sail kit, and exposure canopy, stow within the storage space in double hull of the boat with room to spare
Unlike inflatable boats, the Portland Pudgy safety dinghy is a joy to row. It can be rigged out as a fun sailing dinghy. It’s a safe and fun recreational sailing dinghy for the whole family. It’s stable and difficult to capsize, but if you manage to, it’s very easy to right, and comes up dry. No need to wait for rescue (as with some recreational sailing dinghies, like the Opti). The entire sail kit stows neatly out of the way in the interior of the double hull (rudder and leeboards under seats).
Because the Portland Pudgy safety dinghy is so stable, rugged, and tracks so well when rowed or motored, it’s also a great fishing boat, and a great platform for nature photography and diving.
All of the accessories, oars, sail kit (including telescoping mast and boom), inflatable exposure canopy, sea anchor, ditch bag, provisions, and more, can be stowed within the boat via the five watertight hatches. This is very convenient in your everyday dinghy or sailing dink. It’s an extremely important safety feature of the Portland Pudgy lifeboat. All of your equipment is there in an emergency.
The Portland Pudgy safety dinghy is a self-rescue boat, even without the optional inflatable exposure canopy and other survival gear. With the exposure canopy, sea anchor, and sail kit, the Portland Pudgy is an unsinkable, dynamic lifeboat. Unlike inflatable life rafts, the Pudgy cannot deflate, and you can sail, row, or motor this rugged self-rescue boat to shipping lanes or land.
This everyday yacht tender, rowboat, motorboat, rugged workboat and safety dinghy is the safest, most rugged yacht tender on the market that does it all. It tracks well and moves along nicely with a small motor.
The Pudgy is extremely buoyant and has huge carrying capacity, both in the roomy cockpit and inside the storage compartments in the double hull. The Portland Pudgy is
Designed and manufactured (in the USA), its pram shape allows it to fit on the deck of many cruising sailboats and is so stable you can stand up and walk around in it. The Portland Pudgy safety dinghy has all the benefits of inflatable boats and RIBs (rigid inflatable boats), without the risk of deflation.
So if you are setting off to sail around the world on a yacht were space is tight don’t forget that you will need a dinghy so why not get one that can save your life?