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Old 08-01-2013, 06:20   #16
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Re: Portabote

I too am trying to decide between a Portabote and a RIB. So far the Portabote is the favored choice especially when coupled with a Torquedo 3HP equivalent. Lightweight and the freedom from the need to carry gallons of petrol on board are a seductive combination.

The last item on my checklist remains unanswered.

We can't always guarantee placid, glassy anchorages, so.... compared to a 10 ft RIB...

How do Portabotes handle 2 - 3 feet seas in a choppy/rough anchorage?
Do they ship a lot of water?
How about taking them through the surf line form a beach? Is it possible?
How does it handle 25-30 kts of wind? Will 3HP be enough in this scenario?


And completely unrelated - has anyone tried the sailing option?
Does it actually work, despite the rats nest of wires in the hull to hold the mast up?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:34   #17
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Re: Portabote

We have used a 2010 10' Portabote for 3 years cruising Mexico. It's a good dinghy but has it's issues, like all dinghies.

I wrote a detailed review of our experiences with lots of pics showing how we assemble it from our Hunter 44DS here:

10' Portabote Review
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:28   #18
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Re: Portabote

Quote:
Originally Posted by settingsun View Post
We have used a 2010 10' Portabote for 3 years cruising Mexico. It's a good dinghy but has it's issues, like all dinghies.

I wrote a detailed review of our experiences with lots of pics showing how we assemble it from our Hunter 44DS here:

10' Portabote Review
Nice web page! Thanks.

Would you care to comment on my questions about its suitability in rougher waters and in strong winds?
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Old 17-06-2016, 19:29   #19
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Re: Portabote

I realize this is an older thread but I am trying to figure out how to mount my 8' Portabote on my sailboat outside the safety lines but using stanchions as mounting points. I want to get outside the safety lines in order to keep deck clear.Have any other Portabote users figured out how to do this? It would seem that some simple sort of bracket could be mounted to a couple stanchions with the Portabote slipped into the brackets...
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Old 17-06-2016, 19:42   #20
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Re: Portabote

We used custom made racks similar to Garhauer racks for kayaks but narrower. There's a pic in our blog post about it here:

Portabote used as a dinghy for a cruising sailboat

I hope that helps
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Old 17-06-2016, 20:14   #21
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Re: Portabote

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I realize this is an older thread but I am trying to figure out how to mount my 8' Portabote on my sailboat outside the safety lines but using stanchions as mounting points. I want to get outside the safety lines in order to keep deck clear.Have any other Portabote users figured out how to do this? It would seem that some simple sort of bracket could be mounted to a couple stanchions with the Portabote slipped into the brackets...
Unless you're sailing in placid waters, don't mount your folded Portabote to the stanchions. One decent wave and the whole lot will be gone.
For some reason horrible things happen on dark nights. Imagine yourself wrestling with fallen lifelines, stanchions and Portabote etc in 30kts of wind with the odd wave crashing on you.

Lie it flat. Or tie it against the cabin top.
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Old 17-06-2016, 20:18   #22
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Re: Portabote

We were in some pretty gnarly conditions with 15' waves during our nearly 4 year cruise on Mexico's Pacific coast (7,000 miles of ocean sailing), and we had no problem with the portabote mounted on racks outside the lifelines. The risk probably depends on how big the sailboat is and how high the freeboard is as compared to the size of the waves...
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Old 18-06-2016, 22:27   #23
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Re: Portabote

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I realize this is an older thread but I am trying to figure out how to mount my 8' Portabote on my sailboat outside the safety lines but using stanchions as mounting points. I want to get outside the safety lines in order to keep deck clear.Have any other Portabote users figured out how to do this? It would seem that some simple sort of bracket could be mounted to a couple stanchions with the Portabote slipped into the brackets...
Quote:
Originally Posted by settingsun View Post
We used custom made racks similar to Garhauer racks for kayaks but narrower. There's a pic in our blog post about it here:

Portabote used as a dinghy for a cruising sailboat

I hope that helps
Quote:
Originally Posted by settingsun View Post
We were in some pretty gnarly conditions with 15' waves during our nearly 4 year cruise on Mexico's Pacific coast (7,000 miles of ocean sailing), and we had no problem with the portabote mounted on racks outside the lifelines. The risk probably depends on how big the sailboat is and how high the freeboard is as compared to the size of the waves...
I have the Garhaurer racks. I have not yet tried them and noticed a little flexing. Maybe settingsun can elaborate on this.
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Old 19-06-2016, 05:50   #24
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Re: Portabote

Thanks everyone. I like the outside lifeline storage idea. I will be incorporating it on Vigah.
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Old 19-06-2016, 08:42   #25
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Re: Portabote

We have the garhauer racks for kayaks. Well made racks. I installed them by wrapping some thick fender cover material around the stanchion, thru the rack bolt holes. Tighten it firm. Then you can rotate the racks out, or back flat against the lifelines. This allows them to be swung out of the way when not in use, especially when docking against vertical pilings.

Only downside to the racks is that the kayak limits visibility on whatever side installed.
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Old 19-06-2016, 08:51   #26
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Re: Portabote

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Originally Posted by bletso View Post
Thanks everyone. I like the outside lifeline storage idea. I will be incorporating it on Vigah.
You can see from my one picture that I still have the 8' Livingston still on deck. A superior dink for stability and planning with a 6hp. But visibility was not good from my cockpit looking forward.
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Old 19-06-2016, 09:19   #27
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Re: Portabote

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!!!
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