We had racks that were similar to Garhauer that were custom made to be 4" wide instead of the 12" or so that the Garhauers are (we had Garhauers on the other side for our kayak). Our custom racks were far sturdier than the Garhauer racks.
The fear one person expressed of a wave washing
over the boat did happen to us on the OTHER side where our 14' inflatable kayak
was mounted in the Garhauer racks (inflated). We were moving 2 miles to get out of the massive wind, swell and lee shore we were anchored in and a wave swept the deck 1/2 mile from where we'd been anchored. It bent the racks (opened them up) and the kayak stayed in place only because it was well lashed down. We turned around and re-anchored on the lee shore and waited it out (just 12 more hours). We replaced those Garhauer racks with new ones.
I don't think our custom portabote racks would have bent like that. They were a far thicker tubing and the portabote was much much lighter (and shorter) than the kayak.
We did not rotate the racks in and out. We tied the portabote with a single
line around its middle to keep it tightly closed and tied lines between the outer part of the rack and the stanchion the rack was mounted to to keep the portabote in the racks in case it tried to bounce out (it was such a tight fit, though, that that was not likely).
The portabote was a good dinghy. What I liked it that it was easy to raise and lower in our dinghy davits
on the transom, even with the 6 hp Suzuki attached. I could do this by myself (I'm a 125 lb. woman). Our boat had a big swim platform and the portabote fit very neatly into it. So every night at anchor
(we anchored out almost exclusively during our nearly 4 year cruise of Pacific Mexico, which is highly unusual in that cruising ground), we raised the portabote with outboard
attached into the swim platform. This got it out of the water
(no bottom cleaning
needed) and kept the portabote from bumping into our sailboat all night long (it is such a light and efficient hull
, even on a very long painter it would pick up speed and ram our sailboat all night in the typical Mexico conditions (modest wind, plenty of current
, not flat)).
It was also easy to pull up onto a beach without needing wheels. And there was no concern at the one dock
we pulled up to that was covered with barnacles
We were never in calm enough anchorages
to do any pleasure rowing (I love rowing), so that advantage of the portabote never came into play other than in San Diego
prior to our cruise (Pacific Mexico and Sea of Cortez
are almost entirely wide open roadstead type anchorages with no protection, except in one anchorage that is in an estuary.
Landing a dinghy in Mexico is a trip, and doing it in a portabote was tricky because we did not have wheels. The RIBs with wheels could get on and off the beach a little easier.
Whenever we were on passage
overnight, we raised the dinghy into the racks outside the stanchions and it was very secure.
The biggest pain is that a portabote has seats and transom that are big and heavy and have to be stored somewhere. We could not find a suitable place on deck for our 3 seats and transom. We put them into two unused sailbags and carried them into our stateroom where they fit snugly against the bed
I can't say I'm a fan of lugging huge salty plastic seats and transom with sharp metal pieces on it around in sailbags and resting them next to my bed!
But all in all, for our purposes, the portabote worked really well.
Please have a look at the link I posted. I've posted it a few times here. I discuss all those things in depth
as well as modifications we made to the portabote to improve it, and I have quite a few photos there as well, including the portabote in the racks on the stanchions. I don't have easy access to those photos any more (we've been off the boat and living in an RV for the last 3 years).
Have a great cruise!!!