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Old 25-01-2019, 08:57   #151
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Here is a pic of my transom. At this point I am also 2”. It that is with a 3/4” starboard, not the 1” supplier and shown in your photo above.

The 1/4” is taken up by the barrel of the hinge. Somehow your hinge and mine are either attached differently or your starboard flap is cut out to fit around it. Something is different.

The orange line is para cord holding the starboard on.
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Old 25-01-2019, 09:27   #152
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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Works great for me getting to and from shore, fishing and diving from. Not sure what else you would use it for - but being on a humongous 60' power vessel you probably aren't the intended market anyway, having oodles of space
I'm with you on the utility argument. Because of our deck layout and length, we have room for a 13' Boston Whaler on the foredeck that is used for traveling distances and fishing with downriggers. On the top deck we have room for an 11' Port Townsend watercraft sailing/rowing dinghy we use for fun and exercise. And we carry a folded PB that we use to get the dogs ashore since we can drag it over rocks and barnacles without worrying about damage.

But if we could have only one tender, it would be the PB since as an all around dinghy, it is the most useful. Certainly not perfect, and if you couldn't store it so economically probably not a great choice, but it does store compactly, and is good enough functionally that it wins a bake off in my mind the the alternatives.. The Alpha 10' we just bought hadn't been used yet, but with just a 2.5 HP motor, my guess is we won't have a problem with rivets, but I guess we'll see.
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Old 25-01-2019, 10:08   #153
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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Hmmm, I normally tie mine to the front stanchions but I may give this a go.

When I'm offshore I actually stick it in the v berth as I am worried about breaking waves bending stanchions etc (though I have jerry cans lashed to the stanchions anyway, soooo)
This is my reasoning as well. I wonder about the forces against the stanchions from not just boarding waves, but also from the wind. Iíve seen some boats with much more substantial stanchions than mine, so Iím sure it depends on the boat. For me, itís better and easy to lash against the cabin.

I also donít tie my jerry cans to stanchions for the same reason. I lash the ones I carry to chain plates. But I have external plates, so again, itís an easy choice for me. If I didnít have these options, I guess Iíd use the stanchions.

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...But if we could have only one tender, it would be the PB since as an all around dinghy, it is the most useful. Certainly not perfect, and if you couldn't store it so economically probably not a great choice, but it does store compactly, and is good enough functionally that it wins a bake off in my mind the the alternatives.. ...


The PB is definitely a compromise, but for many of us it hits the sweet spot on the pros/cons balance sheet. Theyíre not for everyone, and you canít use them exactly the same way as an inflatable, but they can be an excellent option.
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Old 12-02-2019, 18:04   #154
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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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 without wind 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.
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Old 12-02-2019, 18:52   #155
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

I used a razor and gently ran along all the edges. It was a bit goofy to have to do that, but what the heck. Would love to see a picture of what you did to the stern.
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Old 12-02-2019, 19:20   #156
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

I'll have to take some photos tomorrow if it isn't too dark and rainy.

This is the PVC box adapter I used. It is supposed to snap into coupling or the coupling end of a 10' stick of pipe. I cut 3/8" slices off of a coupling to make a ring like a locknut that just goes over the adapter on the other side of the hole fastened with PVC glue. It just has to protect the line from chaffing on the hull and either cutting through each other.

http://https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-Box-Adapter-R5133715/202043360
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Old 13-02-2019, 16:47   #157
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Here are a couple of pictures. Happy with the results so far.





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Old 14-02-2019, 04:30   #158
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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Your pics aren't there. I have inserted the links. BTW, I like the modification.
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Old 14-02-2019, 05:55   #159
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Did you replace rivets with bolts on the transom hinge sides, or is that factory gear?

Also, you referenced 18 pix - wanna try again?
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Old 14-02-2019, 17:45   #160
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Darn I don't know why the pic links disappeared. This forum is a bit antiquated.

The hinges are bolted into the hull, not riveted. But they are not supposed to be removed for disassembly. They just pivot.
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Old 15-02-2019, 05:08   #161
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

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Darn I don't know why the pic links disappeared. This forum is a bit antiquated.

The hinges are bolted into the hull, not riveted. But they are not supposed to be removed for disassembly. They just pivot.
Thanks for the intelligence on construction; yours is the first I'd ever seen.

I'd found those curious as I expect those are the only threaded fasteners on the bote (?) - all the rest being rivets, at least as I saw...

The remain-on-the-bote transom simplifies assembly as well as reduces the amount of gear to stow on disassembly, so I like that a lot, but it seems a great deal less robust for serious long distance (such as offshore to a reef to dive) work that our older version sees a lot of when we're in the Bahamas...
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Old 15-02-2019, 06:26   #162
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

The transom is a little flexy, the folding piece that braces to the rear thwart seat helps a bit, but everything is made out of a starboard-type material which bends very easily. I have read reports that earlier Alphas only used the brace on the 12 & 14 foot Botes, and now they are putting them on the 8 & 10 too. Must have been a problem.

I think if we put a larger outboard motor on ours that brace would be much stronger and stiffer if it were made out of fiberglass instead. Starboard has got to be nearly as heavy as fiberglass but I suppose they use what they have. IMHO the entire folding transom should be made out of fiberglass panels and not flexi starboard. This might be a worthwhile mod.

The bolts on the hinges through the hull makes sense. If they eventually start to leak they can always be tightened up, and the rubber washers can be easily replaced if they start to fail. If they were riveted and started to leak because of being worked by transom flexing the only fix would be drilling and replacing them with either bolts or new rivets. Drilling out rivets is a bit of an art form, and most people don't seem to own rivet tools, especially the larger size.
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Old 31-07-2019, 10:08   #163
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Just got mine. Fits beautifully on the bow of our 37' sloop. We used floaties with line to pad the deck and lash her to the stanchions. Here is an interesting link on how to set her up on a sailboat: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...5&&FORM=VRDGAR
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Old 15-04-2020, 12:37   #164
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Is there a Porta-bote owner within a day's drive of Delaware, USA (MD, VA, PA, NJ, DE, ??) that would be willing to show us their porta-bote in person after this covid situation has passed? We live on the water and have an rv so we are interested in the porta-bote's lightweight and portable attributes, but have not seen one in person. From reading a lot of the forum feedback, it seems like it is a love it or hate it opinion; and it is a substantial amount of money to invest if never have seen one, setup or breakdown one, or rode in one. We have had and still do have fiberglass boat, but we are looking for something for our adult kids and us to launch off the shore and to also take when we are traveling in our rv trailer. We hope to hear from you. The Lloyds 302-399-8988 04/16/2020
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Old 15-04-2020, 12:51   #165
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Re: Porta-bote haters: what's not to like?

Marlin captain,

The issue you need to be aware of is that if you are buying a brand new PB the transom will be of the folding type. Significantly different from the older removable type. So just be careful you are comparing oranges with oranges.

If you don’t plan on installing a >3hp motor (or so) it likely makes little difference.
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