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Old 21-03-2012, 14:06   #16
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

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How durable are these. I am thinking of getting a used 2002 12 footer that the seller says has only been unfolded and used a dozen times, and kept in the garage otherwise.

How durable are the plastic hinging parts of the hull? This is 10 years old now, does this plastic age so that the hinging parts are getting brittle and ready to break or leak?

Do you have one and do you like it?

Thank you

Eric
After years of Avon's, Zodiacs, etc. I bought a portaboat took it to the Med. Nine summers of cloudless skies later I replaced the wooden transom and seats. The hull was every bit as good as it was when I started out. Sold everything over there came back and bought another portaboat Seats and transom are now plastic, probably last forever. I've got the small one now. It planes (one 180# person) easily with a 2 hp Merc. You can't dive or snorkel out of it (and get back in) unless you rig it with flotation tubing. Otherwise inflatable don't even come close for space, durability, "rowability" and cost. Good sailing!
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Old 31-03-2015, 06:27   #17
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

I know this is bumping an old thread, but hey, I keep getting told to use the Search function, and I do and this is what happens. I have a question for you Porta-Bote owners who also snorkel and swim etc. I've seen the bow boarding ladder PB sells. But I have a question. Assuming you normally dive/snorkel in pairs, hasn't anyone used the two person small boat boarding methods in which you use the weight of one of you to offset the roll motion of the boat while the other climbs aboard? If I hang on one side of the Porta-Bote, can't I control the boat while my partner clambers aboard from the other side? And then with her dry weight counterbalancing my lighter water weight on my side of the boat, I think I can get my ownself over my gunnel without too much drama. Fling a heavy leg over quickly, and the weight is pretty equalized at that point. If it's a factor, Hang your heavy gear on a line at the transom and pull it up after you, instead of trying to clamber aboard with tank and weights.

Doesn't anyone else do this? I've done this kind of maneuver many times in my 52 years of diving. Works in tandem kayaks, Sunfish, rowboats, and I don't see why it wouldn't work on a Porta-Bote. It's not rocket surgery. Is there something about this flexible boat that prevents this?

I'm very interested in getting rid of my West Marine RIB and getting a PB, but I have absolutely no experience with them. And can't find anyone in this country who has one to even look at or talk to about it. I'm trying to find a used one in the Miami area, so I can get it to Tropical Shipping or G&G to get it down here.
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Old 31-03-2015, 06:59   #18
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Yep! Shaktisboy and I have used this method of boarding. We even did it with a hooka system in the boat and now with tanks. It is not that difficult but not particularly pretty You do ship some water but not too much and easily bailed. We have a 12ft and 10ft but I much prefer the 12ft.
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Old 31-03-2015, 07:49   #19
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Used this technique with our canoe Canibul. Haven't tried it (yet) with our PB, mainly b/c we've cruised in places where swimming isn't desirable (cooold water), but I can't see why it wouldn't work. In fact, it should be easier with a PB.
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Old 31-03-2015, 09:33   #20
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Thanks for the feedback. I've been studying the videos and think I have a pretty good feel for that boat already. Watching it moving on the water I am reminded of a soft version of a panga in some ways, with the length to beam ratio. It stays at 5 feet wide no matter how long it gets, eh? I'm way okay with that. Our 22 x 7 ft. panga was our favorite CC by far.

Does the 14 plane faster with the same hp outboard, ride chop better, row easier etc than the 12 ft? I think the 12 is the best boat for the two of us, but suspect the 14 is the best handling.
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:02   #21
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

How hard is it to assemble on deck, say after ariving at a remote anchorage?

Any tips for a friend with this challenge?
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:29   #22
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

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How hard is it to assemble on deck, say after ariving at a remote anchorage? Any tips for a friend with this challenge?
We assemble/disassemble ours on the foredeck of our 37-foot cutter. Prior to this we did the same thing on our 34-foot ketch. The task is not hard, but does take two of us about 15 minutes moving at a normal pace. If it's urgent (like the pub is about to close ), we can get it together much faster. I can also put it together by myself, but it takes a bit longer. All in all, it's not very hard.

Tips... How easy or hard it is will depend on your working space. It's a skill that one gets better at with practice, so don't get frustrated at first. Only other tip I can think of is make sure you're working over the deck when installing the transom bolts. Like all stainless hardware, those buggers like to go for a swim.
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:39   #23
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Thanks Mike. My friends have a 26 Westerly and I'm not sure if it has been attempted on deck yet. Soon they will be coastal cruising so this will come up one day.
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Old 31-03-2015, 12:05   #24
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

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Does the 14 plane faster with the same hp outboard, ride chop better, row easier etc than the 12 ft? I think the 12 is the best boat for the two of us, but suspect the 14 is the best handling.
Our 12' easily planes with our family of four and an 8hp 2-stroke Yamaha. We weigh a little under 500 pounds. I don't know how fast we go, but fast enough, and a heck of a lot faster than our ~10' inflatable with the same engine.

It does not plane with an additional ~100 pounds of kids on board (2 ~9 year olds). But it still goes fast-ish.

Maybe we should have gotten a 14' one. But the 12' is nice because it fits assembled on the foredeck and doesn't get in the way of our sails. The 14' would not.

I've found it pretty easy to assemble and disassemble. Easier than our inflatable, which is the kind with the interlocking aluminum floor panels.
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Old 31-03-2015, 15:32   #25
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

keep in mind the sides (chines) are flexible so they will give a bit if you and your mate try and pull your selves over the side with or with out dive gear. I've never done this so I don't know if it will complicate this boarding technique. Any one out there who has should chime in please.

Also on both my older 10' and newer 12' the chines flex when you pull hard on the oars. You can't quickly maximize your stoke like on a wood, glass or even inflatable dink. I usually get the boat up to speed over 3 or 4 strokes. Then gradually lengthen the strokes where I start with medium effort and throughout the stroke increase the pull harder and harder ending with maximum pull. It still beats rowing an inflatable hands down, you just can't man handle it for quick acceleration/manuevers.

PS: Being the OP I did end up buying that 12 footer 3 years ago but decided a 10 footer fit my use better. Sold for more than I paid it to a Vancouverite who came all the way to Seattle because, with duty, they are very expensive up there. Bought an older,(~2000) well used 10 footer for ~$600. It planes with my 40 year old 2 hp Evinrude if I use a tiller extension (1" pvc pipe) and sit in the middle.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:40   #26
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Thanks for the info. I'm pretty well set on getting one, for a number of reasons. No need to go into them all here. My biggest issues in making the swap are whether to buy new or used. New with an outboard looked good until I found out they can't sell me a two stroke. So then I figured to find a used one near the shipping terminals in Miami, but now I pretty much realize that I either need to buy a new one and get my own two stroke, or go up to the US and buy a used one in person and ship it to myself here.

On the rowing flex aspect of it, this is probably a stupid question from someone who doesn't know what he's talking about (me) because he's never seen a PB in person, but would something like a five foot section of PVC pipe across the boat, somehow attached between the oarlocks, stiffen that up somehow? A boathook, cut to length, perhaps?

Just curious. I've been studying the videos and see the flex. And I know what a "blue star pop" is.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:20   #27
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

The oarlocks feel a little lose but it really rows nice and i don't think you will need to modify it at all.


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Old 01-04-2015, 08:26   #28
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

I row our 10' bote quite a lot. The sides do flex if you're pulling hard, but it's never been a problem. Flexing is a fact with botes. It seems to spook some people, but you'll get used to it. I have heard of some people replacing the oar locks with beefier options, and I might still do this, but so far I've not had the need.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:32   #29
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

Flexing doesn't bother me at all. I've owned rubber bottomed Zodiacs with pop up floorboards that were like rowing a waterbed. Two inflatable Hobie tandem kayaks. Flex city. Flew a weight shift ultralight. Scary flex. I also like to row, hard, and know that flex is wasted energy at that fulcrum. Not a big deal. It's not an issue of me being 'spooked' by flex. I invent things. can't help it. If a five foot boat hook with a 3D printed doo dad to attach between the sides under the oarlocks helped me row faster, it would make me giggle internally. That's all.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:50   #30
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Re: Porta Boat - Durability & Suitability

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Flexing doesn't bother me at all. I've owned rubber bottomed Zodiacs with pop up floorboards that were like rowing a waterbed. Two inflatable Hobie tandem kayaks. Flex city. Flew a weight shift ultralight. Scary flex. I also like to row, hard, and know that flex is wasted energy at that fulcrum. Not a big deal. It's not an issue of me being 'spooked' by flex. I invent things. can't help it. If a five foot boat hook with a 3D printed doo dad to attach between the sides under the oarlocks helped me row faster, it would make me giggle internally. That's all.
Good stuff. I'll be curious to see how you make out, and if you're able to improve things.
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