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Old 02-09-2016, 12:29   #1
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Older Porta-botes

I'm looking at getting a 12' portabote as our dinghy, the previous owner had one and recommended it highly. Now, normally I like to buy items used if I can, and the portabote seems like a durable enough material that age doesn't make too much of a difference, but I found a review online that praises the "Alpha" model for these key changes:

-Seats don't get hot in the sun
-Integrated folding transom (apparently the large one piece transom is awkard to store?)
-Rub rail won't scuff the main boat
-Seats have a high capacity

So, does anyone have real world experience with the older portabotes (Genesis III or Genesis IV) models that can attest to any of these issues? The biggest one for me would be the hot seats, but if this isn't a problem I'm happy to get an older model and save myself half or more over the new price.
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Old 02-09-2016, 13:12   #2
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Re: Older Porta-botes

I had one with wooden seats and they didn't get hot - I'm in the PWN though.

The one piece transom was kind of a huge pain to store and the black rub rails tended to mark up the gelcoat.
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Old 02-09-2016, 17:25   #3
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Re: Older Porta-botes

I had the original 10ft. double ender. Rowed great, stored quick but was not very good with a 1.2 Tanaka motor in a 15+kt. head wind. I have a 10ft. Genesis IV and like it. I have a 6hp, 4stroke Tohasu for it. From others I've met in Mx. with the Genesis, there are some failures in the folding transoms. Two owners I talked to said the factory denies there is/was a problem yet had a fix of Peel N Stick flashing from Home Depot.
I keep mine in a custom made canvas bag and store it outward of my stantions on Guarhaur Kayak racks. I would recommend the 10ft. over the 12ft. for a sailboat.
I picked mine up used for $600 and had been used twice. They want a ridiculous amount of money for them knew.
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Old 04-09-2016, 15:02   #4
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Re: Older Porta-botes

The PO's solution to the rub rails was to zip tie pool noodles to the edges of the boat, looked tacky but did the job.

I think for the price difference, I can find a place to store the transom. I called a portabote dealer and he said the seats in the new ones still get hot. He also said, unless we are breaking it down a lot (like going to the lake every weekend), we probably won't see much benefit from the folding transom. Keeping it in the water at anchor or on the davits we won't be folding it too much.
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Old 04-09-2016, 15:08   #5
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Re: Older Porta-botes

The problems with the older versions are real. This is why I went with the new Alpha. It has all (at least most) the problems fixed.

That said, the hull will last forever and the problems can be remedied with some DIY work.


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Old 04-09-2016, 16:34   #6
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Re: Older Porta-botes

We have a 10 on the small boat, no motor, and a 12 on the big, 8 HP 2 stroke, too much motor.

Hot seats, keep a towel in the boat to cover them. I don't know what high capacity seats are. Yeah. The transom is a PITA, but you still have to store the seats. We have the seats store with the transom. I have mixed feelings about the kayak racks, on my to do list.

My issues..
1. transom got water in it. Filled with Great Stuff.
2. Oars stink and too much flex on the sides when putting your back into rowing. I replaced the cheap Oar locks with standard oarlocks and wooden oars. The standard oarlocks are backed by some 1/8" x 2" (ish) mahogany to distribute the stress. They row much better with this mod.

Ive bought 3 Porte Botes used, all in good condition, all for much under asking price. Gave one to my kid. Takes time to find the deal but it's there.

Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2016, 22:26   #7
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Re: Older Porta-botes

I'm wondering if the Genesis can be upgraded to the Alpha's transom?
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:29   #8
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Re: Older Porta-botes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I'm wondering if the Genesis can be upgraded to the Alpha's transom?

I doubt it. The Alpha's is built into the hull. Plus the company probably won't (and can't) just sell the transom.


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Old 05-09-2016, 07:46   #9
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Re: Older Porta-botes

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Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
I doubt it. The Alpha's is built into the hull. Plus the company probably won't (and can't) just sell the transom.


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After I made that post, I went on their site and noticed even the Alpha still has the poly transom behind it, so I think the same problems I have seen with the leaks still will persist. I have the plastic transom that is one piece and made from plastic. I think some of the earlier ones were made from plywood. For the life of me I don't know why the makers can't mold the seats from white plastic rather than the hot black they use now.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:08   #10
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Re: Older Porta-botes

Have an older one: 10'. All the issues, minus the seat capacity (not sure what that means), are real. Seats get hot, you have to store the transom, and the cap rail leaves black marks which are hard to clean off. None of these issues are major problems ... certainly no where near significant enough for me to buy a newer one at this point.

Still like it very much. For our mothership the bote is the best tender option I've found. We've had it for over a decade now. It's still in great shape. If/when it dies, I would very likely buy another one (unless something better comes along )
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:19   #11
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Re: Older Porta-botes

I had a 10' Genesis that had the wooden seats/transom and did a straight swap for an 8' double ender (that guy got a deal) as I wanted an 8' boat.

I kinda wish I hadn't done that, as the double-ender model is a lot less stable than the newer one, and has a lot less room than the newer models as well, even allowing for the fact it's 8' vs 10'. Oh well, at least the transom piece is smaller so it's easier to put in a locker.
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Old 09-09-2016, 15:35   #12
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Re: Older Porta-botes

10' old one here. Bought it on eBay for a song. Use a Tohatsu 3.5 2 stroke which does the job. I tow it when I can. Pleased with it otherwise.


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Old 09-09-2016, 17:05   #13
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Re: Older Porta-botes

I prefer the Doubler-ender 10', but I usually just row. Tape the black tubes and no scuffs. The German version of the Porta-Bote is called a Banana Boat and is also double -ended with bigger chunks of plywood for the seats (Banana®-boat | SieBroTec GmbH). Think Viking boat. More practical and robust. You can also plant a wee, light-weight outboard on her. Usually the older botes go for a song compared to the square stern jobbies. These little boats (1st generation) are the bees knees IMHO.
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