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Old 26-12-2014, 17:21   #16
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
It might be light, but I've never seen one planing like your loaded RIB will do.
Volume -- how much do you need? Even a smaller RIB will take a lot of goods and people.
Less effort --- Not less than a smaller RIB that lives on the foredeck on passages. Are you really considering a rollup?

Expensive -- price a RIB they are expensive too
Concerning expense -- yes, I'm shocked at all the prices for dinghies these days. My present dink came with the boat, so I haven't bought one in eons. But still -- $3500 for a fold-up boat??

I can't keep a RIB on my foredeck -- I've a cutter rig with deck-sweeping staysail.
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Old 26-12-2014, 17:27   #17
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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Originally Posted by marinduque View Post
A Porta-Boat? Ugh. Have you been in one? The rides I have had...I cringe...never would I use one by choice.

Rolling up a dinghy is difficult? How lazy are you? There was a "crew" on that Swan 90 and it was a problem to roll up a dinghy? WTF? A complete failure os command. Here's how that should work:

Captain to crew, "Roll up and stow the dinghy."
Crew, "Yes, ma'am."

Now I realize that that the many cruisers who have inflated their dinghy exactly once will find this astonishing, but I will roll up and stow my dinghy below for a *day trip*. Then inflate it again the *same day*. What's the big deal? A few minutes and some exercise?

Also greatly simplified if your default motive choice is rowing instead of motoring as there is no motor to wrestle with. But then what cruiser would row what with needing to make 12 to 20 trips a day at planing speed to the dock a few hundred yards away?
Well, looks like you're a great deal less lazy than most cruisers! My hat's off to you.

As to rolling up inflatables, however, I would never describe it as "a few minutes and some exercise". Ugh. Offhand I recall 20 or 30 minutes of unpleasant struggle, including hauling the thing out of the lazarette, finding the pump, etc.

As to crew management on that Swan -- I agree. The owner and I got stuck with most of the grunt work. I never figured out how that got organized that way.
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Old 26-12-2014, 17:29   #18
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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............. Minus:

Looks like horrible, crude engineering of all the peripheral parts -- wing nuts -- bah
Poor quality of the different mechanisms
Not unsinkable in case of swamping
Expensive
Well I own one (12') and I don't agree on these points. Remember, this is a folding boat. The idea here is function. And it comes with flotation material glued inside the hull.

Mine is too large to be assembled easily on my boat (no flat space big enough) so I don't use mine as a dinghy but if I had space to carry it assembled or to assemble it on the boat I would be using it rather than a smaller inflatable.
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Old 26-12-2014, 18:08   #19
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Concerning expense -- yes, I'm shocked at all the prices for dinghies these days. My present dink came with the boat, so I haven't bought one in eons. But still -- $3500 for a fold-up boat??

I can't keep a RIB on my foredeck -- I've a cutter rig with deck-sweeping staysail.
Yes...they are stupid expensive. I bought a 10ft., used one for $500 while passing through Arizona on my way back from Mx earlier this year. The guy selling it, bought it for fishing on a river and had bad legs due to some arterial problems and his condition was worsening. He had it on craigslist for months. They are odd looking and people tend to steer away from them. You'll see a few on RV's and a few cruisers but that's it. I had kayak davits on my stantions and rarely used the kayak. So I sold it in Mx. I'm driving down to the boat tonight in Mx with the PB on my truck shell. It will fit perfectly in the davits. I intend to make a sunbrella zipper "pillow case" for it that will also house the oars and seats.
I have a Livingston 7.5'. I love it but it does hamper my view looking forward. I'll miss it. I have a Tohatsu 6hp., 4 stroke that planes both with 2 people.
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Old 26-12-2014, 18:13   #20
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Well I own one (12') and I don't agree on these points. Remember, this is a folding boat. The idea here is function. And it comes with flotation material glued inside the hull.

Mine is too large to be assembled easily on my boat (no flat space big enough) so I don't use mine as a dinghy but if I had space to carry it assembled or to assemble it on the boat I would be using it rather than a smaller inflatable.
OK, thanks! That's useful information.
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Old 26-12-2014, 18:49   #21
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

We have the 8' model and find it works well. All pieces store nicely in stern laz and assembly is on foredeck. One step that helps me in assembly is to first lay one of those thick quilt type moving blankets on the deck to protect things from getting beat up. Then I assemble on the blanket and hoist with spin halyard. Works pretty well though it probably takes 20 minutes to assemble launch and fix 2.5hp mariner outboard. As the videos show, the board that holds it open at first is essential. I lost mine somewhere along the way but making a replacement is simple.
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Old 26-12-2014, 19:10   #22
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

Making fixing the davits seem better all the time...
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Old 26-12-2014, 21:08   #23
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

I have a 14 foot porta, with a 15 HP 2 stroke. Can do 16-18 knots with wife and two kids plus fishing gear at 3/4 throttle. Can't use the full 15hp. With just me in it I've seen 21 knots or so. From tried up on deck to in water ready to go 15 minutes or less. Takes longer to put away mostly getting strapped back to the rail. We also had a 12 footer while I looked for the 14. Took a over a year to find one at a decent used price. $1000 if I remember. The 14 has a better designed seat mount. One long tube for all the seat mounts. Makes the boat row better and more "solid" in feel. The 12 had individual mounts. We love ours but ????
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Old 26-12-2014, 21:13   #24
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

....I too have the 12'. We have a 6HP Nissan 4 stroke. More power would be to heavy as well as "over power" the boat and cause sidewall flexing. Some have been creative and added aluminum side struts to increase power but this adds additional weight and eliminates some functionality as to assembly/disassembly and storage.

Under normal operations ,the PB's Total empty weight including paddles, motor and 3 gal fuel.,,,132 lbs. A very functional dinghy. Like any dink/boat they are not for everyone. We have had both boat n motor for 7 years. No problems and it gets plenty of Florida sunshine.

Just my opinion, I recommend the PB.

PS: we also have a Zodiac Rib 310.

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Old 26-12-2014, 21:27   #25
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

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Originally Posted by fjwiley1 View Post
....I too have the 12'. We have a 6HP Nissan 4 stroke. More power would be to heavy as well as "over power" the boat and cause sidewall flexing. Some have been creative and added aluminum side struts to increase power but this adds additional weight and eliminates some functionality as to assembly/disassembly and storage.

Under normal operations ,the PB's Total empty weight including paddles, motor and 3 gal fuel.,,,132 lbs. A very functional dinghy. Like any dink/boat they are not for everyone. We have had both boat n motor for 7 years. No problems and it gets plenty of Florida sunshine.

Just my opinion, I recommend the PB.

PS: we also have a Zodiac Rib 310.

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The 14 we have now came stock with side struts. They brace the transom to the side beams. W drilled holes in each brace and attach my lift sling through them.
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Old 26-12-2014, 22:51   #26
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

Some of the reasons I find the PortaBote appealing follow. I don't own one yet, but intend to for the following reasons.

Of course every boat is a compromise and I can appreciate that each type of dink will have fans.

I would love a lapstrake antique sailing wood dinghy in varnished cedar.
But, I don't want to trailer it behind my car and I want low maintenance, low weight, and ease of use when used as a tender cruising.

I like rowing. I want a dink I can row and easily use without a motor required, and that will row better than an inflatable. I recall folks saying the PortaBote rows well if good oars and oar locks are used.

Multiple Videos on YouTube show a 6hp moving the boat at very good speed, in case a motor is desired. I like the idea of using a smaller motor such as this size.

Some other facts:

Porta-Bote 12 footer weighs 80 pounds, according to the manufacturers rep.
10 year warranty on the hull.
Hull is said to be unsinkable material. Buoyant material. Can be supplemented with additional flotation.
Folds down to 4 inches thickness. Stow on deck folded down. Or car top it if I want to take it with me to a lake. Looks like a surf board when folded down, so easier for me to stow on car or in garage compared to a rigid dinghy.

No need for an air pump or labor or time to pump up an inflatable boat. I hate pumping up Dinghys and I don't like leaky inflatables.
-----------
Amusing fact:
According to PortaBote, A Portabote was used on Mount Everest at 20,000 feet. Record set for boating at altitude.
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Old 26-12-2014, 23:49   #27
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

Dockhead, I agree and find astonishing that dinghy storage is essentially always an afterthought in designing a boat, when for a cruising boat, it is one of the most essential and important parts of your boat, maybe even more important than your sails or engines, because without a working dinghy you will be swimming in the water.

It takes a very large sized boat before they have a build-in a dinghy garage,
but it doesn't need to take millions of dollars, just a desire to care about it.

But as I have no actual experience, the ugliness of hanging inflatables I guess is something you just 'get over it', like the smell of diesel fuel, and learn to like it, rather than complain about it.

My approach to the dinghy is a 50 lb lightweight catamaran that disassembles for easy storage. Is easily propelled at 14ft long, but will fold to 7ft, with a mesh deck, it can be left on the water and will not collect water or sink. Wish I had time to finish the project.
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Old 27-12-2014, 01:19   #28
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

Another happy portabote owner here. I've used our 10-footer for going on eight seasons as a seasonal cruiser; now transitioning to full-time. Works great. Two of us can put it together or tear it down on our foredeck in less than 15 minutes -- faster if we're rushing. I can do it by myself, just takes a bit longer. I then launch or retrieve it over the side toerail. It's light enough that I can do it without a halyard assist, although it helps to have the two of us for hauling up.

It is tough, light, and rows quite well. We have a 3.5 hp and it will easily plane one person and a load. I've even had it up on a plane with two adults, but those were ideal conditions. Carries a lot, and even has an optional lateen sail rig which is fun in an anchorage -- definitely not a serious sail boat, but fun nonetheless.

The bote will feel tippy and unstable to those who're only used to inflatables. They are not (tippy or unstable), but it seems to unnerve some folks. Perhaps it helps coming from a canoeing background.

Storage is an issue for smaller motherships. We can easily store ours on deck, including the seats/transom. We have wide sidedecks so the bote lashes out of the way without blocking access. The seats are stored in a case in front of the cabin on the foredeck. With our previous boat I had to store the seats down below, which was more of a pain.

Like most choices, the portabote is a compromise, but having owned a few inflatables, it has been the best choice for us so far.
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Old 27-12-2014, 02:38   #29
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

What a timely topic. I currently am looking for a dink, and the Porta Bote is high on my list to look at. Appreciate the comments from those that actually own one.

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Old 27-12-2014, 05:13   #30
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Re: Getting Closer to a Porta Bote

I've bought three "used" that were more like "new" and paid at most $900. The last one was $200.

It seems there are a bunch of people, not cruisers, who buy them and then don't use them. They think they will go fishing with their grandkids, or their buddy and it doesn't work out.
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