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Old 15-01-2016, 15:47   #1
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Porta bote help

I recently purchased a 12' porta bote for use as a dinghy for my 31' Hunter. Here is my problem: How to set it up on the boat? Where is a good place to store the seats and transom? The distance between the mast and forestay is <10ft, so I can't just lay it on the foredeck. This leaves two choices, lay in on the lifelines across the foredeck or hang it vertically from a halyard to set it up. Has anyone used either of these techniques, and if so which is recommended. Any tips of tricks? I'm sure someone is gonna ask why I bought a 12'? Well I got the bote and a 5hp merc OB for a VERY good price after months of hunting...couldn't pass it up!
BTW, Thanks to all of you portabote owners on the forum for helping me decide to go PB.
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Old 15-01-2016, 22:20   #2
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Re: Porta bote help

Can you stand it up folded and strap it against the stanchions? That's what we do with ours.
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Old 15-01-2016, 23:55   #3
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Re: Porta bote help

Tied to stanchions works fine and the seats also tied but inboard of the folded boat.
Opening the sides of the porta bote to fit or to remove the seats, while on deck, is where the problem starts getting difficult.
See my Private Message to you. Slowpoker.
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Old 16-01-2016, 05:21   #4
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Re: Porta bote help

Thanks Sesmith and slowpoker for your help and replies. Storing the folded PB is not a problem. It stores neatly against my lifelines. The real problem is set up. Because I don't have enough forward deck space to unfold it on the deck, I need to come up with an alternative, like hanging it vertically to open and insert sets. Has anyone tried this?
Thanks again!
Mike
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Old 16-01-2016, 06:55   #5
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Re: Porta bote help

Yes, setup can get interesting. We either look like we know what we're doing, or we're the entertainment of the anchorage.

Here's what we do... First, especially with a new portabote, before you take it on a trip, leave it set up in the yard (out in the warm sun, if possible) for a week before the trip. This will make it much easier to set up when you need to. When we set it up on the boat, I loosen the quick releases on our life lines first, so they can drop to deck level and stay out of the way. We assemble it cross-wise on the foredeck. I have 2 bridles, made from pieces of poly rope, that I attach one to each seat. They have a carabiner on them that I attach to the jib halyard. Drop it in and out with that. 15-20 min tops. This year I'm going to try a block and tackle between the halyard and the portabote as the halyard sheave tends to bind up some when off at an angle. Ours is an 8' boat. It's also one of the newer ones that has the transom incorporated in the boat (no extra pieces) so it's probably easier to set up than yours. I store the seats and paddles inside our boat (ie, not in the bote).

Tip. Put armor-all on the black tubes that run along the hinges periodically. This will do a lot to keep the portabote from leaving black marks on the deck of your boat.

Also, the portabote tows well, if you keep it close.

One other tip, and I'm not sure if it applies to the 3 seat boats. I often have trouble lining up the second seat pin on one of the seats (front maybe?). This is always a balancing act when trying to do this as well. I found out, rather than fight it, I use one of the ratchet straps, that I use to tie the portabote to the stanchions, to help finesse it into place. Much easier than fighting with it.
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Old 16-01-2016, 08:25   #6
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Re: Porta bote help

A Porta Bote can be difficult to set up, even on dry land. I have one. Actually, it was my first boat.


I can suggest three things - store it already set up, tow it (remove the motor) or try different places on your boat to set it up. You are in the best position to figure out where and how, you are at your boat and we are not.


The difficulty of storing and setting it up are the reasons I don't use mine as a dinghy. My boat is small compared to many. I bought an inflatable to use as a dinghy.
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Old 16-01-2016, 08:58   #7
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Re: Porta bote help

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkwatcher View Post
----- I got the bote and a 5hp merc OB for a VERY good price after months of hunting...couldn't pass it up!
-----
Lol. I've just got to ask. By any chance did the person who gave you such a great deal on the dinghy have the same size boat as yours?
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Old 16-01-2016, 09:07   #8
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Re: Porta bote help

I had a porta-bote as the tender to a previous boat, a Caliber 28. I found the best place to stow the portabote was on the foredeck, lashed to to the stanchions. I had a teak board there for lashing jerry-cans, and it worked well as an attachment point for the porta-bote.

Assembling the porta-bote was something that took practice. I found it best to hoist the bow on a spinnaker halyard and assemble the porta-bote while pointed skyward on the foredeck. The biggest challenge was if the wind was blowing -- then the assembly process provided entertainment for the whole anchorage.

As an aside, I found that tying a short (3-4') piece of dyneema through both bow grommets provided a good attachment point for a bow painter (or spinnaker halyard) and solved chafe problems
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Old 16-01-2016, 09:28   #9
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Re: Porta bote help

Possible to place it on the lifelines athwartship and set it up?
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Old 16-01-2016, 09:35   #10
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Re: Porta bote help

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Lol. I've just got to ask. By any chance did the person who gave you such a great deal on the dinghy have the same size boat as yours?
No, as a matter of fact it was an estate sale and had been used with an RV.
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Old 16-01-2016, 09:39   #11
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Re: Porta bote help

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Possible to place it on the lifelines athwartship and set it up?
This is a possibility that I've considered. I was hoping maybe someone else had also tried this and had some helpful tips or advice.
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:02   #12
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Re: Porta bote help

Can you fit it diagonally on the foredeck so the stern of the PB goes to one side of the mast? Could you put the bow of the PB on the bow pulpit to one side of the forestay and lay the stern on the deck? We had an 8' PB on a 30' boat, and we'd do the off-to-one-side method. We had an older model PB though with the canoe ends, and your situation is just different enough that what worked for us might not work for you.
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:32   #13
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Re: Porta bote help

All great ideas guys, thanks! At least I'm armed with ideas to try. I'm sure I'll find just the right tactic for me.
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:40   #14
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Re: Porta bote help

About our Westsail 32 Sundowner | Sundowner Sails Again

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Old 16-01-2016, 15:42   #15
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Re: Porta bote help

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post

Assembling the porta-bote was something that took practice. I found it best to hoist the bow on a spinnaker halyard and assemble the porta-bote while pointed skyward on the foredeck.
Interesting way of doing it. I think I'll give this a try next season. IF nothing else, it will get even more attention than the way we're doing it.
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