Living in the Caribbean
since 79 I am spending my time whenever possible sailing my 39í boat. I use as a tender
an Apex dinghy with a 6hp Tohatsu four stroke and a 2hp Honda
as spare. Wanting to go a little faster without changing motors and having more space available I decided to buy a Porta-Bote 10í Alpha 1 series from the local dealer.
Got my brand new PB a couple of weeks ago, installed four u-bolts with backing plates on the gunwales and off we went last Friday morning to do some cruising and trying out the new toy (left the Apex at home).
Here my impressions so far as we are anchored in the middle of a well protected large bay with variable winds of up to 22kts during the day and a max. chop of 1í.
The PB is quick considering the 6hp motor
. It planes in flat water
with my wife, our 100lb dog and myself at 390lb. total plus 3gal. of gas. Or it will plane with my dog and myselfe with 1í chop.
We have plenty of space for cooler, fishing gear
seems to be tough.
It behaves well on the davits
with cross ties.
The fast folding feature of the new PB is for me an important advantage.
The not so good:
My first mate (and I) finds the PB unstable compared to our Apex. She does not like it so far.
When our dog shifts from one side to the other, both, my first mate and I have to do some shifting as well immediately to keep the boat stable.
Our dog just hates it. He cannot find a comfortable position on longer rides and going in and out is not practical for him, especially at the beach. He loves the rides on inflatables so.
Assembling would take 4 to 5 minutes if the locking pins on the seats would align well, they donít.
The foldable transom looks flimsy to me; time will tell how long it will last.
After the first 20 minutes of using the PB y found some small nylock nuts on the floor. The bolts they belong to at the transom are too short and the threads never reached the nylon for locking.
The 4 wing nuts locking the transom have to be constantly tightened.
The black seats get so hot in the sun that you cannot sit on them without putting a towel on top.
Picked two friends up at the local dock
and returning about two miles into an 18knt wind
with 1í chop was very wet for the person sitting in front.
Going fast with one person on board, the ride feels wiggly as the boat does not track too well at high speed.
Once I get back home I will install proper ball locking pins well aligned, right sized screws and replacing the bolts with the wing nuts on the transom with ball locking pins and flange bearings. The seats I will flame treat as they are plastic and spray paint
with grey epoxy paint
including the black close cell foam around the inside of the gunwales. Once all this is taken care of I think the PB will serve me well having the choice to use the Apex when conditions require.
The dog and myself are getting used to the PB, not so the first mate, so far.
I donít think I will ever use it to surf in 5 foot waves, so.
What I do not understand is that with over 100,000 PBs sold, as advertized, those issues mentioned above were not taken care of long ago, itís a no brainer one would think.