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Old 06-01-2019, 12:30   #31
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

I think the one time I saw Uma's portabote sink it was a heavy rainstorm overnight and the outboard was attached. It was an older one so maybe the flotation wasn't as good or couldn't handle a 15hp motor weight. At least it was in Rio Dulce, so they could get it running again.

I had a Zodiac flip over in a strong overnight wind so my outboard was upside down in the salt.
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:09   #32
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

I'm starting year five with my 8' Pboat with a 3.5 Nissan. On deck, storage is not an issue and below I can slide it forward into the V berth. Side boarding at the companion gate with a rope ladder is a breeze. Is it a perfect dinghy? There is no such animal. Just be sure to get the most recent transom design.
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:36   #33
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

People have to be taught how to get into dinghies from the water. The method(s) for inflatables--for me--didn't work for getting into the p-bote. The p-bote hurt my breasts way more than the inflatables.

I think a lot depends on whether or not you'll want to enter from the water. We've mostly been in nice warm water and done lots of snorkeling. If you're somewhere the water is too cold for you to want to be in it, but rather, on it, then the p-bote might work for you. You'd have to try it, though, and see how you felt about the downsides.

We have had big inflatables, since Jim's sailing dinghy was stolen. We have lived on the hook predominantly, for quite a long time. Our dinghy has served many functions for us: 1) big dinghy with large o/b allows us to use it for exploration (carry a spare prop!) including up rivers and to dive sites usually not more than 5 mi. away, but sometimes, more

2) the combination allows for grocery and laundry runs with a reasonable chance of getting back with the contents dry

3) It carried us and our two new solar panels in their cardboard packing from friend's car to our boat, maybe 1/2 mi away. Now those panels (without the packaging) are each 1600 mm (~5.3 ft) x 800 mm (~2.6 ft)...it is like our car and pickup rolled into one. It saved moving the big boat to a dock that the car could get near to.

We do sometimes row our RIB, for the quiet, you wouldn't want to depend on rowing it against a breeze, but to enjoy a mangrove creek and hear the birds, it works okay, but definitely not as good as a real hard dinghy.

If the mother boat herself is small, the p-bote might be an acceptable answer, and one works around the downsides, sort of like that wedge shaped dinghy someone was asking about. If your real need is just to go from shore to the boat and back again, you don't need a big competent dinghy that can go rescue other sailors in trouble in a 20 kn. breeze.

Everybody's mileage varies!
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:41   #34
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkeno View Post
I think the one time I saw Uma's portabote sink it was a heavy rainstorm overnight and the outboard was attached. It was an older one so maybe the flotation wasn't as good or couldn't handle a 15hp motor weight. At least it was in Rio Dulce, so they could get it running again.

I had a Zodiac flip over in a strong overnight wind so my outboard was upside down in the salt.
15 HP, thatís an issue. PB gave me hell for running an 8hp.

Actually the thing I really dislike about PB is their customer service and their marketing approach. It is misleading at the least. Still like the PB.
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:43   #35
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Former CF member Sundowner had one and wrote it up in great detail on their website. Unfortunately, they got to Isla Mujeras and maybe Belize and then bought an RV. Their website, Sundowner Sails Again, is now defunct last I checked a few months ago; it had great information on the rebuild of their W32. Nice folks.
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:52   #36
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

We bought a new PB for a one year cruise to Mexico from SF. We liked the functionality etc but...

1) it is tough to assemble single handed

2) almost all the rivets failed within the year

3) one of the SS hinges cracked

4) PB customer service essentially claimed that we must be doing something wrong with it...fyi we use a 6hp Merc, within the max recommend rating

All of the metal hardware has been/will need replacing . Not what you expect when you buy new.
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Old 06-01-2019, 13:59   #37
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

To those owners who claim to board a PB from over the bow at a dock: In my experience, I needed put down whatever I was carrying to have two hands free for stability. Boarding with backpacks, groceries, etc. is best done alongside. (I'm no gymnast, but I can walk on 4" beams all day long, and consider my agility and balance above-average for a mature adult male).
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Old 06-01-2019, 14:07   #38
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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To those owners who claim to board a PB from over the bow at a dock: In my experience, I needed put down whatever I was carrying to have two hands free for stability. Boarding with backpacks, groceries, etc. is best done alongside. (I'm no gymnast, but I can walk on 4" beams all day long, and consider my agility and balance above-average for a mature adult male).

Agreed.
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Old 06-01-2019, 14:12   #39
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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To those owners who claim to board a PB from over the bow at a dock: In my experience, I needed put down whatever I was carrying to have two hands free for stability. Boarding with backpacks, groceries, etc. is best done alongside. (I'm no gymnast, but I can walk on 4" beams all day long, and consider my agility and balance above-average for a mature adult male).
I didnít way it was easy . Does take some balance (which I tend to lack). Hands free is definitely a good idea. But it certainly can be done if you have to. Much better to board at the side though.
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Old 06-01-2019, 15:02   #40
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

We had one, the larger size. It would plane with 3 people in it, with a 6 hp motor. It could carry an impressive load of people or gear. But . . .
It scared me crossing rough water, with the droop down bow.
No practical way of adding rough-beach wheels, IMHO
Impossible to swim or dive out of.
You have to build it each time. It's hard to find a space big enough, on most sailboats.
We now have a 9.5' RIB, it's working better for us.
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Old 06-01-2019, 16:26   #41
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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We now have a 9.5' RIB, it's working better for us.
Indeed. I have limited experience with a PB and don't like to rain on someone else's parade in any case. I would prefer to answer the question why I use a RIB. Very sturdy, very stable, easy to board, unsinkable, essentially built in fenders all the way around. Excellent choice for hauling people, gear, and groceries.
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Old 06-01-2019, 16:49   #42
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Here's one of the best reviews of the PB I have seen. To see them enter the boat from the water, skip to 20.:25. But really, they do a great break down of how they use it, abuse it and how it holds up.
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Old 06-01-2019, 18:10   #43
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

I just checked out the Uma video on their PB sinking. They said it was due to leaking bolt holes that hold the transom. They can indeed leak (as I have learned), but this is easily solved by replacing the gaskets.

From the video it also looks like the PB didnít actually sink. The image in the video shows their PB flooded, but floating at the gunwales, even with the engine attached.
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Old 06-01-2019, 21:38   #44
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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Here's one of the best reviews of the PB I have seen.
Great vid, charming couple, fun fishing & wow scary crocs!
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:42   #45
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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I just checked out the Uma video on their PB sinking. They said it was due to leaking bolt holes that hold the transom. They can indeed leak (as I have learned), but this is easily solved by replacing the gaskets.

From the video it also looks like the PB didnít actually sink. The image in the video shows their PB flooded, but floating at the gunwales, even with the engine attached.
In the video above, those folks replaced their side flotation because the original deteriorated. They talk a bit about it and how the seats they fabricated also add to it. Theirs is an older model and works good for them.

The new model, the Alpha PB doesn't have bolts through the transom anymore and the seats are way stronger than they used to be. Nothing's perfect until a sailor makes it theirs, so the first thing I did was to paint the seats an off white that roughly matches the color of the boat. That will take care of the burnt butt issue. Next is to install a couple of grommets at the rear of the PB so that we can easily lift it onto our boat using a halyard. One other thing that is in the works is a drain plug. PB recommends this one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
We decided that the PB would be the best solution for our little boat so we just got a brand new one (10'8") with the suggested 6hp Suzuki outboard. Supposed to do about 14 knots with it which is plenty fast! I have seen videos of folks going through heavy chop with the PB no problem. We also like the durability factor. An inflatable would pop the first time you tried to land it on a non sand beach me thinks and we plan on a lot of adventuring. Our philosophy is to stay away from marinas as much as possible, so the PB will be our car. We'll see how it goes. If we get my dream boat which is an Outbound 46, maybe we'll get a RIB to go along with it. But for now in our little 32, the PB will be a great addition. On a side note, does anyone else experience blue color and flashing in the typing field when typing a reply?
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