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Old 11-18-2013
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Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

(Moderators I wasn't sure where to put this thread. Please move as necessary).

Does anyone have experience with the Porta-bote as a tender/dinghy? Good or bad? I priced them out at about $1800 for 8' variety. Was considering it as an option on a pocket cruiser.
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Old 11-18-2013
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

10' Porta Boat For Dinghy?


We have a 10 footer and we think it's a pretty good compromise. It has it's problems though. The seats don't hold up well after several seasons. The oars that come with it aren't suitable for full time oars. We can haul ours up on a halyard, assemble it suspended and have it in the water in under ten minutes. It's lighter than the RIB's we were looking at, so no davits and no big outboard required.
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

I've had a 10-footer as our dingy for the past six or seven years now. Love it. Is a really nice compromise between an inflatable and a hard dingy. Rows well, takes a small outboard, can carry a large load, and is a lot easier to carry and stow than a hard dingy or a RIB. Does take a bit of getting used to. Feels tippy at first, but really is not. Floor flexes, but the thing is incredibly tough and solid. Does take some effort to put together and break down, but we can do it in about 15 minutes.
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

Brian,

We are now (just) on our second 8 foot PB. LOVE IT!!

It's so ugly, nobody wants to steal it.
It's light by 8 Ft dink standards.
It will plane (with one of us in it) with our 3.5 HP To-hot-to.
It's almost indestructible!!
I can run up on ANY beach, rocks or not.

Got our first one back around 1995 or so and it lasted, full time cruising in Sea of Cortez summers and all for 5 years and up till last year.

Down side is....
The black foam flotation NEEDS to be covered and protected from the sun.
The black rub rail can leave marks on the side of your boat.
When full of water, you can NOT bail it out!

You can read our Gear Reports (with info on our PB) on our web pages at;
Guenevere's Position Reports top page
and see our mini Op-Eval of night storage of it on our Youtube page at;
Greg Delezynski - YouTube



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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

Look around, you can find them used much cheaper. Check rv camping forums craigslist etc. I've had a 12 foot and now have a 14 foot. I put a 15 HP two stroke on it but can't use full throttle. It gets unstable above 20 knots or so. I also have a 6 HP that is much lighter and will still go 15-16 with just me.
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

Lots of happy users, it seems.. friends of ours bought one to replace a dying RIB a couple of years back.. on one of the first weekends out they were passed a bit close by a smaller RIB and for some reason the portaboat simply flipped over, dumping two people and a dog in the drink. It wasn't a huge wave, but somehow she went over with no warning....

FWIW, they still have it
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

If you are overly concerned about stability, you can purchase a set of "dinghy dogs" for the PB. We had friends who added a set. It is then more like a RIB. I use 4 of our fenders when required, 2 on each side. It is now as stable as a deflatable. And, when at anchor, the fenders are not needed for the main boat.

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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

Would you ever want to swim or snorkel from your dink.

If so it is not easy to get back in to the dink. I would try this before you buy if you can.

I still giggle when I remember the demonstration of how to do this. It failed when the side collapsed and the seat shot several feet in the air as the dink folded up. However some people manage OK.
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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Would you ever want to swim or snorkel from your dink.

If so it is not easy to get back in to the dink. I would try this before you buy if you can.

I still giggle when I remember the demonstration of how to do this. It failed when the side collapsed and the seat shot several feet in the air as the dink folded up. However some people manage OK.
Have been doing it for years. NEVER one (well one that was my fault) mishap. We board from the water over the stern. If we want to use the sides, we use the fender there to support.

The mishap was when I rolled backward into the water over the stern and caught a belt loop on a cleat that I had put there for my lifting bridal.

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Re: Porta-bote as tender/dinghy

My 8' porta-bote for my 28' S2 cost me $200 (very used) and is dinghy experiment #5 (tried most types of dinks). After some serious re-build and re-thinking the fastenings, it works very well, I carry it along the lifelines. I row mine and do not have a motor. It will hold 3 adult men for a short distance. So far, I like it.
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