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Old 06-01-2013, 04:33   #1
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Portabote

My RIB bit the dust, so I searched for anotgher dinghy. This is for a 43' Beneteau. I settled on a 10' Portabote as a replacement. I bought it used on Ebay for $500 and picked it up a couple weeks ago. It was hardly used at all and only had a few scratches and scuffs on the hull. The hull states Genesis IV, but it had the older wood transom, so I'm not sure of the year of manufacture. My wife and I assembled it on our slip in Merritt Island. This attracted attention, puzzled looks, and questions. Assembly was uneventful and took about 20 minutes. The transom did not exactly match the holes in the hull for the bolts, so I had to open up the holes a bit on the transom bracket. Once assembled, we lowered it into the water. It's fairly light and eaasy to maneuver. We then rowed around to the transom of the mother ship and placed my Tohatsu 3.5 HP outboard. The boat performed well under power and rowed equally well. No complaints so far. I suspect boarding from the water would be difficult without someone else stabilizing the boat due to its light weight. Boarding from the boe with a rope ladder could work, but I didn't try this. After our maiden cruise, I rinsed the boat with fresh water and disassembled it. The seats and transom do take some space below, but the hull folds almost flat. In summary, the portabote should be a decent tender from transiting short distances.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:05   #2
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Re: Portabote

I have the same model and a similar backstory. You have to get used to the heel and the "give" of the hull, but it's more stable than it looks.

You may find its value is as a cargo carrier; if you throw in a few five-gallon diesel jerrycans either side of the centerline (and maybe fore and aft of the first seat), it rows or motors very well.

I received a notched length of 1/2 x 4" lumber with my used Portabote, which holds the hull open until you can get a seat notched in. Helpful and a time saver.

Another idea I've seen are two lines to through-bolted eyelets just under the gunwhales. You need backing plates and perhaps bushings to spread the load. Hooked to the toerail, the boat is kept level (or more level) for boarding and loading/offloading.

Another idea is to fab up a pool noodle to go over the gunwhales either on lengths of line lashed to eyelets. It means you can run into things without dinging them, a friendly modfication if you have a "neutral-less" Honda 2.

Lastly, it is possible and desirable to replace the black plastic seats with white-covered (fabric or rubber sheet) planks. The benefit is that these seats are perhaps 1/2 inch thick and take up much less room and are cooler (but not lighter) than the "stock" black plastic seats. Also, then can take screws/bolts, if you want to sling emergency gear or extra line beneath them.

Hope this helps. They are cool little boats, and are near indestructible.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:38   #3
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Re: Portabote

We used a 10' Portabote as a tender for seven years. I agree that they are great little boats. They can haul a lot of stuff, people, dogs. The hull held up well even with years of being dragged up on rocky & volcanic tuft shores. I felt it was a stable boat too once you get used to the feel of the flexible hull. We were lake sailors at the time and didn't need to disassemble/assemble the boat on a regular basis. Which is good because I always compared it to wrestling an anaconda.

I would have to say the only drawback is the black tubing used for the "toerail" as it can leave black marks on the mothership's hull. We also tried the foam tubing approach, although we used pipe insulation and it didn't hold up great to UV. We had better luck using six small fenders that we attached so they lay horizontally just below the toerail. We acheived this by replacing the keeper pins at the ends of the seats with eyebolts. We tied light line to both ends of the small fender and attached the center of the line to the eyebolts. This kept the black tubing from contacting the hull 99% of the time.

Ours was powered by a 4hp Yamaha and it performed well. I also felt it rowed well, although it never won any races (yes, we did race it in blind dinghy races).

Enjoy yours! It's a great tender.
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Old 06-01-2013, 14:28   #4
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Re: Portabote

We have a 10 on the 33' and a 12 on the 44'.

This summer I reworked the silly oar locks with some mahogany backing and real oar locks and real oars. Now it rows much nicer. Took a couple of hours. Will eventually do the same to the other one.
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Old 06-01-2013, 16:24   #5
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Re: Portabote

We’ve had a Gen IV Portabote for a few years (since before yacht). It has performed very well. Haven’t used it much with the yacht yet but I am a bit concerned about its stability in waves. Most we have used it in is about 2’ waves, and that is not comfortable. It might depend where you are in the world but it just concerns me that it is probably not the best option for motoring ashore through waves. I would be interested in other opinions on this because I intended at some stage to replace Portabote with a RIB.

Anyone using Portabote Crib yet. The Unique Porta-Bote CRIB the Folding RIB ? Used Gen IV's cost over $2000 in Oz, crazy, so as much as I would like a Crib I doubt I would want to pay for it.

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Old 06-01-2013, 16:34   #6
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Re: Portabote

Is this the one?


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Old 06-01-2013, 18:18   #7
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I did receive the piece lf lumber to he assemble it and it works fine. I agree the black seats are a drawback, but will keep them for now as they are in like new condition. My transom is user friendly so I wont need to do anything special to board or exit the bote
. I anticipate assembling the bote on deck will not be fun and require some planning. Stowage is a minor concern as i plan to use my aft starboard cabin for stowage anyway. I plan to construct a bridle based on the two eyrlets at the bow and the center seat (without the motor of course). The Tohatsu 3.5 I have seems about right for tbhis puirpose and has performed well. I have the 3.5B with a neutral function. Its currently folded on the deck wrapped in a tarp. I will make a cover for it soon. I will stow it along the lifelines or on deck for passage sailing and tow it for island hopping.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:02   #8
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Re: Portabote

Michelson, yup, that be the one!
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:24   #9
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Re: Portabote

The CRIB looks really interesting. Sent them an email about retrofitting.
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Old 06-01-2013, 20:34   #10
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Re: Portabote

I agree. Makes the thing nearly unsinkable...although you lose the rowing aspect, no?
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Old 06-01-2013, 21:54   #11
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Re: Portabote

Anybody have any experience with Portabote's aluminum competitor Instaboat ?
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Old 07-01-2013, 00:07   #12
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Re: Portabote

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The CRIB looks really interesting. Sent them an email about retrofitting.
Hpeer, pls let us know the response.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:17   #13
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Re: Portabote

The CRIB would add a lot of weight. What I really liked in the video was the CRIB seats as a way to open the P-bote. Perhaps the best upgrade would be to get just the CRIB seats in place of the crappy standard seats, and ditch the hard seats (that don't stow well either).
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:15   #14
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Re: Portabote

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
The CRIB would add a lot of weight. What I really liked in the video was the CRIB seats as a way to open the P-bote. Perhaps the best upgrade would be to get just the CRIB seats in place of the crappy standard seats, and ditch the hard seats (that don't stow well either).
Yes, that was attractive.

Seat storage is the worst part of a Porte bite.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:33   #15
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Re: Portabote

Hmm...so the perfect Portabote would have the foam "rubrails" of the Instaboat and the inflatable seats of the CRIB.

I sense a project coming on.
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