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Old 28-09-2012, 16:08   #16
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Re: Seeking opinions on Porta-bote

Originally Posted by zUrchin View Post
Can you explain why you think a 12 ft porta-bote is too big for a 30 ft. sailboat? Am thinking it can be easily stored along the lifelines. Perhaps no issues with storing but with assembling?
It's just a personal perfrence of mine. Yes the 12 foot will store nicely against the lifelines folded up. It will also keep the spray at bay on that side of the boat. But, I usually carry my 8 foot assembled on deck. Got a photo here:
The 8 foot PB fits nicely on my boats deck assembled. So the 8 foot works for me quite well. Somebody mentioned it does not tow well but, that has not been my experience. Though I usually carry it on board. Anyway I think you will find that your PB is pretty rugged and light enough when hauling up on a beach for one person. It will also hold quite a bit of cargo especially for 12 footer. Enjoy!

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Old 29-09-2012, 08:16   #17
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Re: Seeking opinions on Porta-bote

Where and how I store it on my boat will depend on what boat I end up with next year. I can think of several options because it is so light. I can fully appreciate the benefits of being able to store it already assembled on deck or aft. The PO stored it in his garage already assembled and when he took it to the lake, simply loaded it on his truck and strapped it down.

Thanks for all your input!

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Old 29-09-2012, 08:48   #18
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Re: Seeking opinions on Porta-bote

Hi zUrchin, we have used a 10' Portabote for the past five or six years. It has been a very good dink for us, but it's not for everyone. The reasons we went with a portabote over a traditional inflatable are:
  • We can easily carry the boat on deck (boat on the side, seats in a bag on the foredeck). Since we don't have the option of davits, and are a cutter rig, this seems to be the best way of avoiding having to drag a dink astern.
  • While the boat may seem tippy, it really isn't that bad, and can carry a pretty large load.
  • One of the major plusses is that it rows quite well. In most cases we don't even bother with the engine, although to be fair, our anchorages tend to be quite close to shore most of the time.
  • It is light, and easy to muscle around when need be.
  • It's very tough.
The negatives we've found:
  • It can only manage a small outboard (actually, we consider this a plus, or neutral, b/c we don't want a big outboard, but it does mean we move slower).
  • The fact that we have to assemble the boat when we get to an anchorage sometimes deters us from bothering. If we're just staying one night we often don't bother.
  • The boat covers a few ports on the side deck when we're carrying it.
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:56   #19
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Re: Seeking opinions on Porta-bote

Originally Posted by zUrchin View Post
The asking price for both is worth the motor alone. And both are very lightly used, garage stored. Used in freshwater only.
I have the 10 footer, bought used. I run a Honda 2 HP on it. We got with it a length of wood with appropriate notches in it to hold it open until a seat can be installed, making quick assembly quicker.

My experience is this: I HAD a 10' 2" Zodiac RIB that was needing retubing in Hypalon before it could be taken offshore (on deck, of course) as the boat tender. We retired that in favour of a 10 foot FG nesting dinghy capable of being sailed, rowed or motored, and a 10 foot Portabote capable of being rowed or motored.

And a very clear, tidy foredeck.

Having two "compact" tenders gives up flexibility, and customarily, the nesting dinghy is used for people and the Portabote, being quite rugged, is used for "stuff".

Like a sportscar vs. a minivan, perhaps.

We are happy with our choices.
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Old 02-10-2012, 14:44   #20
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The portabote is great for securing on the struts of a floatplane on a fly in fishing trip. Low profile cost only 4 kts on our C180 and did not notice need for extra rudder. The bottom is too soft for standing and it is poor in chopy water. For a cruising sailboat like our Morgan 44 they are too light, cant carry enough motor and you'll get soaked in harbors of Bahamas, Caribbean. Hard bottom inflatable best choice for all round utility.
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Old 02-10-2012, 20:50   #21
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Re: Seeking opinions on Porta-bote

The trick to towing them is to get the bow out of the water on a short tether.

Been practicing and have turned them into torpedoes on occasion.

But towed as I mention they seem OK, at least in moderate conditions.

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