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Old 05-05-2014, 17:17   #1
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Porta-boat folding dingy

I've done a search and no one has mentioned any experience with them. Any one have experience with these? Porta Bote | The Unique Folding Boat

I saw them at the boat show">Annapolis boat show a few years ago.
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Old 05-05-2014, 17:48   #2
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

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Originally Posted by bletso View Post
I've done a search and no one has mentioned any experience with them. Any one have experience with these? Porta Bote | The Unique Folding Boat

I saw them at the Annapolis boat show a few years ago.
Bought one an 8 foot PB after I lost my fiberglass dingy in a gale back in 2001. Used it ever since. Light and rugged easy enough for me to handle and bring on board by myself. Rows pretty good too. Plenty of room to carry stuff to and from the dock and a lot dryer than most inflatables. Mine got flipped after the dock it was tied to broke apart during Hurricane Sandy. Got a little scratched but, held together despite the pounding. I'd buy another one.
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:23   #3
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

Here's a few prior discussions on CF. The google custom search in the search button works way better than the default.

porta bote - Google Search
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:49   #4
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

We've used a Porta Bote for quite a while. First bought one to pull up on coral in the Pacific without destroying it, and also because it folded up and stored like a surfboard. We carry one now on Delfin and tow it when underway. You'll read people who say you can't tow them, which is true if you try to do so on a long line, but if you hitch it up so that it is literally a foot or so off the transom, it will ride smoothly for days at a time. When you first get one, you wonder how many months it will go before falling completely to pieces since they look so unsubstantial, but you'll still be using it 10 years later.

Plus they are too ugly to steal, so what's not to like?
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:00   #5
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

Also try searching with "portabote". One word, no hyphen. I have a ten-footer and have used it for 13 years so far. I'm taking it to the Baja as our dinghy. We've used it in rough water off West coast Vancouver Island, poled it through kelp, dragged it over oyster shells. Very stable and tough. I row it for pleasure. However, we have made modifications. Ditched the aluminum excuses for oars and installed plastic seven-footers. Replaced and strengthened the oarlocks. Replaced the seats and transom with wood since we'll be in a hot climate. That's all I can think off. There's a portabote users Yahoo group if you are interested in photos.
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:17   #6
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

Have had a 10-footer for five or six years now. Love it. Stores great on our boat (side deck for the boat, front deck for the seats). Rows well, motors fine. Takes a good load. Nearly indestructible. We even have the sailing rig with ours, which is fun in the anchorages. I don't know why more people don't use them.
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:22   #7
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

I love my 10 footer for all the same reasons. Anyone know how big an outboard it can take? My 1.8 is biting the dust.
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:29   #8
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy



I ran into this great tutorial on YouTube. I think it says a boat-full. They appear to have a mind of their own & an attitude.
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:33   #9
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

I have only used one belonging to a friend once when we were in Baja. It was easy to store but it didn't feel too stable with 4 normal sized people in it. It felt wobbly if you just adjusted your seat. Maybe it's something you get used to?
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:36   #10
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Porta-boat folding dingy

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[url] They appear to have a mind of their own & an attitude.

The video is hilarious!!
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:06   #11
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

We have used and loved one since 1999. We cruised all over Puget Sound and Vancouver Island using the Portebote. We then spent over three years cruising in Western Mexico while using the Portebote. We spent almost every night (over 900) at anchor so the dinghy got a serious workout and served us faithfully.

- fast
- stable
- cheap
- huge load carrying capacity
- great dive platform
- fun to row
- indestructible
- goes almost 7 knots with me in it and a 2 HP Suzuki pushing
- nothing sticks to bottom
- can clean bottom in less than five minutes
- can beach it on rocks at speed with no damage
- so ugly that no one would steal it

My wife and I can assemble it from a folded configuration to fully deployed on our foredeck in less than 25 minutes.

my web page about our sailing adventures (www.svmirador.net) contains a lot of PorteBote stories and pictures.
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Old 05-05-2014, 21:01   #12
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

Do they get easier to assemble as they age? I used to sell them. I've assembled lot's of new ones but never one that had been used a few months. The new ones are a real pain to assemble, as the above video shows.

Here's a video of an interesting little folding boat. I've started cutting wood for the 9 foot version. Not as rugged as a Portebote.
http://www.woodenwidget.com/fliptail.htm
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:29   #13
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

The video is hilarious, but you all do realize (don't you?) that the guy is doing it completely wrong. If you follow the instructions that are provided for assembling the boat, it is very quick and easy, and you will not end up folded up into the boat!
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:37   #14
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I ran into this great tutorial on YouTube. I think it says a boat-full. They appear to have a mind of their own & an attitude.
That's funny . Of course, it's not how it's done, but it's funny.

My wife and I put together our bote in about 15 minutes. We assemble it on our foredeck, and are able to slide it into the water without much fuss. I can do it by myself, although it is harder and takes longer. The simple key is to first insert a lateral brace. I use one of the seats, but the bote comes with a brace.

The bote does become stiff if left folded for a while. The first time we put it together in the season it is a bit harder, but once it's in use it gets easier. And like any skill, you do get better at it. The first attempt will be hard, no doubt.

Someone mentioned the flexibility of the botes. They do flex, and it might be unnerving at first, but they're really not unstable. You just get used to it.

Vivid, we use a 3.5 hp, 4-stroke on our 10-footer when we don't row, which I do most of the time. Works great.
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Old 06-05-2014, 14:58   #15
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Re: Porta-boat folding dingy

I replaced the middle seat with an inflatable fender--a big one. With that I can do the initial spreading of the hull with a small electric air pump. The fender remains in place as a very comfortable seat. I also have a co2 cannister which allows me to inflate almost instantly yielding a better-than-no-lifeboat-at-all lifeboat. Once inflated the boats assembly can be completed in the water if it's a really quick emergency. I made wooden seats and an emergency transom which are flat enough to live in the folded boat. We just got a bigger big-boat though and the bote can remain assembled upside down on the foredeck. I'll use the co2 cannister for on board selzer-maker I think!
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