1) I assume you do not apply bottom paint because it would not adhere well and would get on the mother ship when assembling, disassembling, stowing, etc.
One poster said it was easy to keep the bottom clean, but how often do you have to clean it in areas of high fouling? When I paint my rib I don't have to worry about it most of the time between annual coats.
No bottom paint or any bottom protection. In the Sea of Cortez
, summertime 85+ F water, full time cruising. I would beach the boat every 14 - 20 days, roll it over, and attack the growing stuff with a paint scrapper and scotch brite. Ten minutes later it would all be scrapped off and I would rinse the boat with water from a bucket.
2) How easy is it to get into from the water after a swim or snorkeling? Ribs are the best for that that I've had experience with. I should mention that I'm 70 years old and 240 lbs. Answers from young jocks will be disregarded lol.
I used mine a lot for snorkeling. The sides are flexible so I would just grab hold of the center seat while still in the water and pull myself up between the rear seat and middle seat. The edge would pull down about about 6" and in I would roll - along with a couple gallons of water. I kept an old yogurt container and manual bilge pump
in the boat and it took less than a minute to get the water out.
My personal experience is that they are not as easy to be set up as the company would have you believe.
My 110# wife and I can assemble ours on the foredeck in 25 minutes with no effort. It just takes practise. It can be difficult to assemble if the air temp/boat temp is below 60 as we found out in late July on the NW coast of Vancouver Island at 50 degrees North.
It is very easy, pliable, and flexible in 95 degree Mexican sunshine. I put it together on the foredeck by myself many times.
Once took the 12' Portebote from Coronando Island (off the Loreto BCS, Mx coast) six miles across open water to Loreto. Stayed in town to long (beer and lunch with friends?) and found the afternoon onshore 18 knot
winds had built some waves. Crossed back to Coronado on a full plane with 50 pounds of groceries and beers while surfing on every wave. What a Boat!
Did I mention load carrying?
Me and two other, even bigger, guys for a total of 700 pounds of manly cruiser beef. Surfed ashore in Bahia
Santa Maria on the west coast
of the Baja
peninsula - full plane down 3' waves with a old 6HP Johnson on it.
Surfed the NW coast of Vancouver Island with my 160# brother with a 2 HP Suzuki in 5' waves. Catch the wave with the motor
and surf away!
I've attached a picture taken at Tenacatita on the Mexican Gold Coast. No other boat anchored out could get the crew ashore. I surfed in with the Portebote several times a day - just for fun.