Originally Posted by Beersmith
I purchased my Porta Bote due to their videos, they are some of my favorite voyagers
Us too. It was this video that put us over the top to buy a Porta Bote. Those guys are great. Real cruisers doing serious outback cruising far from civilization. With crocodiles too!
So far we are liking it a lot. We only have a 2hp motor
right now and we get about 3.6 knots in calm water
according to the Navionics
app on my phone
. That's an twice as fast as the 2hp pushed the Zodiac
Zoom 8' inflatible with wooden floor and blow-up keel
. Eventually we would like to get a slightly bigger motor, but nothing too heavy, a used 4hp 2-stroke sounds about right. Something I can lift
with one hand and climb over the lifelines
with. We board our bote midships. It is really easy to climb into. We have a step we hang from the chainplates, but we can climb up by stepping on the rub-rail in a pinch. The Porta Bote is easier to board than the inflatible by far.stepping on the tube made the Zodiac
seem like it was going to flip. We can step right down into the Bote onto the sole.
I really like that the Porta Bote goes where you point it unlike the inflatible that drifted course all over the place to 45-degrees port or starboard at the blink of an eye, causing us to constantly saw at the tiller to keep anything even resembling a straight course through the water
. The Bote doesn't do this and goes twice as fast.
Ours is a brand new 10' Alpha model purchased a few weeks ago at the last day of the recent "sale" for 2k and included the oars kit and the spreader bar and free shipping
to Vero Beach City Marina. We have had it now for a little over a week.
We get zero transom flex with the 2hp motor. The black gunnel pipe doesn't mark up our white gelcoat
at all. We have no trouble boarding the bote from the bow, which is the ONLY way to board here in Velcro Beach Marina's overcrowded dinghy dock
. It's actually a lot easier to stuff the Bote into the dock
with the V-shape bow than with a blunt,-nosed inflatible. I've beached it exploring the area here around Vero Beach and it is an absolute joy. It is so light and pulls over sand and even rocks like nothing. I don't worry about the mangroves puncturing it like I did with the inflatible.
It does feel a little odd, but as a kid we had one of those plastic Coleman canoes. It's no more odd than one of those. You get used to it. It is smooth in rough chop or wakes. The flexing of the hull
absorbes most of the wave energy.
I added extra grommets to the stern but didn't use brass ones, instead I used PVC conduit box adapters which are like plastic chase nipples. A very slick solution.
It is much easier to hoist the Porta Bote onto the foredeck than the Zodiac Zoom. It is lighter than the inflatible and lifts better. No worry about puncturing the pontoons on the rub-rails either.
I had no trouble mounting the little Yamaha 2b 2hp motor on the transom. There were only a couple of threads left on the bolts, but it fit over the thick transom with the hinged section that folds over the top and aft.
The cosmetic plasic bow cover is a joke. We left it off as well as the cheap
black condom that goes under it. We tried it and the first time we missed up to the dinghy dock the thing popped askew with the slightest bump bow-in. It also made entering or exiting from the bow more difficult.
The second more annoying negative thing that I can say was the protective film that the plastic panels
came with from the panel manufacturer was left on when they constructed the bote. All the staples, rivets, bolts, nameplates, and the black tubes on the hinges were put on over this film. Getting 95% of the film off took 2 minutes when we first assembled the Bote after unpacking.
That last 5% has been a real PITA. It hangs in shreds everywhere it is trapped by a rivet and especially along the black pipes. It is impossible to pick it all out. I bet 20 years from now I'll still be picking at that stuff. It looks like warmed-over arse, especially when sea life has started to try and grow in the shreds sticking out from the black pipe. It turns brown and shaggy.
Other than that, we love this thing. Well worth the money