Portland Pudgy is a Dinghy, Lifeboat, Sailboat

The Portland Pudgy tracks well under tow.

New England Boating recently met with David Hulbert, designer of the Portland Pudgy, and got a personal tour of his clever and potentially lifesaving little boat.

The Pudgy can serve as a lifeboat.

The Pudgy is a 7’ 8” double-hulled dinghy with foam flotation and a laundry list of features. The vessel can be rowed, towed, sailed or powered by a 2 hp outboard. The hull is self-bailing, unsinkable and features handholds on the bottom for righting the vessel after a capsize. It is CG-rated to hold up to 4 persons, or 557 pounds. Hull weight is 128 pounds, and available colors include orange, white, red, yellow, charcoal and blue. The hull also features a built-in transport wheel on the keel and an aluminum mounting plate for an outboard.

The Pudgy under sail.

However, the thing that sets the Pudgy apart from other dinghies is that it can serve as a fully functional lifeboat when equipped with the optional exposure canopy. The boat can even be ordered with a 12V electrical panel and outlet for a GPS or VHF, plus LED interior lighting. There is plenty of watertight storage in the hull sides for a sail rig, oars, canopies, flares, first-aid kits, food, water and signal devices. A solar panel is even available.

Other options include a bow bumper to prevent damage to the mother ship while under tow, removable seats, a sea anchor bridle, Weaver davits for swim platform boarding and a rain catcher.

The Pudgy comes in 3 different “packages,” including Basic, Sailboat and Lifeboat.

  • The Basic Boat “bronze” package ($2,595) comes with oars, oarlocks, adjustable middle seat, built-in compass, bridle and reflective strips.
  • The Sailboat “gold” package ($4,093) includes all of the Basic Boat features, plus a sail, mast, lee boards, rudder-tiller unit, bow bumper and boat cover.
  • The Lifeboat “platinum” package ($7,348) features the electrical system, sail kit, electric bailing pump, safety harness/lifting eyes, sea anchor, exposure canopy, boarding ladder, and a davit harness or Weaver davits.

Contact Information:

  • 207-761-2428
  • Portland Pudgy website.



Other Photos:

The Pudgy comes with special ergonomically designed oars.
A wheel on the keel makes transport a breeze.

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