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Old 12-01-2013, 13:18   #31
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

how many surf landings does a porta bote tolerate before disintigrating???
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Old 12-01-2013, 14:07   #32
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

I have used my 12' inflatable raft and my inflatable kayak, never stayed dry with either.
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Old 12-01-2013, 14:29   #33
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Our porta boat lasted us 12 yrs, before we decided to get RIB, it had some wear but was still fine!! biggest mistake I ever made was to sell it and buy a RIB Ive spent more time repairing the damn rib then I ever had to do with the porta boat !! I really enjoy our new to us hard dink, which I believe is an older walker bay type! 12 ft and rows and sails well! and gos just fine with an outboard! Ive just never had much luck with inflatables! might just be we are a little rough with them !!
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Old 12-01-2013, 14:49   #34
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Another happy portabote owner here. We've had the 10' version for the past five years. So far, it has proved to be a good dink for our needs on the Great Lakes. Our usage pattern is June to September, with typically a 30+ day journey each season, along with smaller 2 to 5 day hops. We almost always anchor out, so the portabote is only link to shore most of that time.

Likes:
  • Easily stowable on our boat. This includes the boat and seats. The boat stores on our side deck, snugged against the cabin. The seats stow against cabin on foredeck.
  • Rows well, and moves easily and efficiently with a small motor. In most cases we anchor close to shore, so usually row.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Light, and easy to lift. We easily haul and launch it by hand from our foredeck.
  • No drag when towing (but there is a downside).
  • Fairly easy to assemble/disassemble on board (but does take some practice).
  • B/C it is so easy to disassemble, we rarely tow it.
  • The optional sail rig turns it into a fun anchorage toy.

Dislikes
  • Assembly/disassembly takes about 15 minutes -- 10 if we push hard. It also takes some effort. This sometimes means we are to pooped, or probably to lazy, to assemble it at the end of a long sailing day.
  • When stowed on deck, it does take up valuable space. Our side-decks are wide, so it does not hamper movement much, but on our previous boat it did.
  • Same goes with seat storage. We can store them in an out-of-the-way location. If this is not possible, it would be a real negative.
  • Light weight means it is more vulnerable to flipping while towing.
It's certainly not for everyone, but for our needs, it is the best option so far.
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Old 12-01-2013, 15:24   #35
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

we use both. a hard dinghy is simply tougher than any inflatable - rib's included - and we use it the most. great for beach landings, tying to docks, and carrying 'sharp' cargo. but it's hard to beat an inflatable for snorkeling. easy to get on and off in the water, and easy to tow behind you when swimming.
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Old 12-01-2013, 16:18   #36
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by susswein View Post
I was planning to get a 10' porta-bote to use as a dinghy on my balboa 27, but changed my mind and got an inflatable instead based on a friend's experience using a porta-bote on his ericson 27. Some of the issues he had:

1) There isn't enough deck space on a 27' to assemble the portaboat. He had to put it crosswide on his cockpit coamings to assemble it, which was awkward.
2) You can tow an inflatable in a lot more conditions than you can safely tow a portaboat, so he had to assemble/disassemble the portaboat every day, even if he was just sailing a few miles to another anchorage.
3) The portaboat doesn't make a very good snorkeling or diving platform. It's a lot easier to climb into an inflatable than a portaboat.
4) while the portaboat hull is easy to carry tied against the rail, the seats and transom take up considerable space. He actually replaced the stock seats and transom with pieces he made himself out of plywood in order to save space.
1- set up can be a trick. We need to try doing it vertically, that may work better. But I can do it in about 10 myself.
2- the trick to towing a PB is to get the bow tight and up out of the water or they will fill and submarine. But yes, I would not like to tow one in rough conditions.
3- don't know
4- yes, they take up space. A quarter bert is perfect for them. I need to come up wit a better solution though. I have carried them on my deck house. Or perhaps make a carrier for the arc.
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Old 18-05-2013, 22:27   #37
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

We've been using a Portabote's 12' CRIB since 2009 in Mexico and then the South Pacific. While expensive it combines the best features of both an inflatable and a Portabote. It stores along the cabin on passage and has no seats to mess with. Very easy to deploy. We have both a 15 hp and 4hp outboard. With the 15 hp speeds around 16k are possible with 1-2 persons aboard. This makes long trips possible. The perimeter tubes really stiffen the Portabote hull and wind chop causes little concern. The tubes are made of Lecitron, a material far superior to all other inflatables, and probably responsible for the boats high cost. As to cost; we spent as much for the SSB or watermaker, or solar. If anyone wants photos of a 4 yr old CRIB/Portabote I'll be glad to send.

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Old 18-05-2013, 23:05   #38
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

I've been using a PorteBote in extended cruising since 1998. The stories and mis-conceptions about the PorteBote are really incredible.

1) I intentionally take the boat out to surf in waves up to 6' - my brother and I (total of 360 pounds) surfed all over the west coast of Vancouver Island in our 12 foot PB. We use a 2 HP Suzuki to get us out thru the break, turn into the shore, use the motor to catch the wave, lift the motor out of the water and have a great time surfing. I've been doing that since 1999 and never had a bit of trouble with anything breaking.

2) I've crossed 5 miles of open Sea of Cortez water in 5' waves in my PB with two cases of beer and five bags of groceries. Perfect control and not a drop of water got into the boat.

3) I have a custom made wood transom in our 12' and 10 PB and can do an easy 20 knots with my wife, groceries, and myself in the boat when using a 9.8 HP 2 stroke Nissan.

4) The boat tows like a dream, IF - you manage the towing line length so the bow of the PB is on top of the stern wave when towing in calm water. When towing in rough water (I've done it in 5' waves) you want the bow of the PB pulled all the way up to the top of the stern rail or in my case with a big radar arch - I lead the tow lines (two to a bridle) up to eyes on the bottom of the arch - 8' above the water.

5) My little 1994 2 HP Suzuki will easily plane my 120 pound wife and will almost plane the 200 pound Captain (your current author)

6) The PB rows like a dream - I use 8' aluminum drift boat oars and row the boat miles at a time for exercise.

7) With fold down dinghy wheels and a big outboard we can come ashore in large surf breaks that no RIB or inflatable would ever consider. I just power over the top of the breaking wave - use the motor for control of location on the wave face, and go hard just before hitting the beach - the wheels keep the prop out of the sand, and the wave carries the really slippery PB way up the beach - I've come to rest 10 yards up the beach in a big break.

8) No one in their right mind would ever consider stealing a Portebote so they are the most secure dinghies in the anchorage

9) They are great dive boats - they are fast and dry when going to the dive spot and very easy to climb into when coming up from the dive. You just grab the flexible side, pull down the flexible side, roll in, bail out the gallon or so of water that followed you in.

10) They feel tippy but are very stable - I jump from the mother ship deck into the PB or even onto the seat - have never had it tip or flip.

11) They are indestructible! I park ours on rocks, tie them to floating logs, run them onto the beach at full speed, and never worry about hitting anything that might deflate them.

12) Nothing grows tightly to the bottom. I would take the boat to the beach (in 85 degree Mexican water) once a month to clean the hull. Just flip the boat over, scrape the bottom with a putty knife (can't hurt it - right!), and it is spotlessly clean in 5 minutes.

13) They are DIRT cheap - you can buy a used 12 footer in San Diego for $500 and since they are indestructible the age of the PB does not matter

14) UV or high temps do no damage - no need for covers or worry about the material aging or drying.

I had been sailing for 25 years when I bought our first portebote and had tried every know dinghy - some were OK, some terrible, and our PorteBote was perfect!
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:22   #39
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
We have had an 8' for 3 years now. It was eight years old when we got it and had been stowed on top of the flybridge of a huge dock queen, with no cover at all.
Now looking to replace our inflatable on our Gulfstar 37 and the 8' Porta-bote is what I am considering. We will probably mostly row it, but I'm also looking at a 2.5hp propane outboard that apparently will run for one to two hours on a small propane disposable tank. The spec weight of the engine is 37# and the 8' PB says 35# max. Any outboard experience with your PB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
Used on Craigslist is how to buy. Add a light weight out board. It's an excellent set up.
Craigslist is exactly where I started looking.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:28   #40
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sf-robert View Post
Now looking to replace our inflatable on our Gulfstar 37 and the 8' Porta-bote is what I am considering. We will probably mostly row it, but I'm also looking at a 2.5hp propane outboard that apparently will run for one to two hours on a small propane disposable tank. The spec weight of the engine is 37# and the 8' PB says 35# max. Any outboard experience with your PB?
We use a 3.5 hp 4-stroke with our 10-footer. Works well, Will plane our bote.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:42   #41
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sf-robert View Post
Now looking to replace our inflatable on our Gulfstar 37 and the 8' Porta-bote is what I am considering. We will probably mostly row it, but I'm also looking at a 2.5hp propane outboard that apparently will run for one to two hours on a small propane disposable tank. The spec weight of the engine is 37# and the 8' PB says 35# max. Any outboard experience with your PB?
I have a 10' PB that we originally we had a 4 HP on. It would just plane with one person in the bote. After upgrading to 8 HP we had no difficulty planing with the two of us in the boat.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:27   #42
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sf-robert View Post
Now looking to replace our inflatable on our Gulfstar 37 and the 8' Porta-bote is what I am considering. We will probably mostly row it, but I'm also looking at a 2.5hp propane outboard that apparently will run for one to two hours on a small propane disposable tank. The spec weight of the engine is 37# and the 8' PB says 35# max. Any outboard experience with your PB?
I dumped my Honda BP 2 outboard (actually Hurricane Sandy dumped it) and I bought an Electric Paddle outboard for my 13 year old Portaboat:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: THE ELECTRIC PADDLE: Part Two: Capt. Mike's Review
A little slower than the HONDA BP2 but MUCH quieter and no oil or gas to deal with. Easier to store too! Very happy with the switch.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:31   #43
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

SF-Robert A good friend had a PB that he powered with a small electric trolling motor. It was adequate as he didn't feel the need to go very fast. I use an electric trolling motor on my canoe and I'm pleased with it. A 2.5 hp. engine would definitely push it faster than the electric. The weight ends up about the same when you consider the battery for the electric.

I also own a Lehr 2.5 that I use on a couple of inflatables. I really love it as it is so easy to start after sitting in my garage for a few months. It also smells a lot better than a gasoline engine.

I rarely run mine on the little bottles. That can get expensive unless you refill them.
I have one of the 11 pound fiberglass tanks. One of the little 5 pound steel tanks that Northern Tools sells would be a nice match for a 2.5 engine.

Since I'm a Lehr dealer, I'd love the chance to quote you on a 2.5 Lehr.
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Old 05-07-2014, 23:37   #44
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

I just bought an 8' porta bote. I have a 28' hunter which has little space between the lifelines and the cabin. Light is an issue. But easy solution. They have stainless steel Kayak carriers that mount to the stanchions so I can carry the porta bote on the outside of the lifelines. They adjust to snug right up to the porta bote and can then strap the porta bote to the stanchions using the snap straps. Awesome idea and don't look bad either
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Old 06-07-2014, 00:54   #45
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Re: Porta-bote or Inflatible?

POIDH (appropriate happy face here)
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