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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-01-2009
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Porta Bote

Has anyone who has a Porta bote been able to partially assemble their boat on deck in a vertical position? I have limited deck space for assembly and disassembly. Also can an inflatable dinghy be partially inflated in this manner?
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Old 03-01-2009
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I wouldn't want to try this, because you need to spread the sides to get in that first thwart and gravity and a flat surface are your friends.

Beyond that, however, is the possibility of the opened Portabote acting like a windscoop and taking flight. I have had that happen with an 11 foot RIB weighing 120 lbs...a 55 lb. Portabote would probably catch air even easier.
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Old 03-01-2009
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Actually, we were going to give this a try next time we put it together. The portabote comes with a stick to spread the sides apart and hold them apart while you're assembling it. On a warm day, I can do this on my own without having to step inside for additional leverage. It's harder to do on a cold day. Anyway, I think a person could suspend the boat, bow up with a halyard and assemble it. It goes together pretty good once you get the stick in. Once that's done, I think you could completely assemble it and then use the halyard to clear the lifelines and throw it in the water.
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Old 03-01-2009
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I'm interested in this thread. Just bought a new boat and I'm on the lookout for a dinghy, its between a 10' RIB or the porta-bote (I want durability), but the prospect of fighting to open the porta-bote in a bouncy anchorage after a long passage is a bit daunting. That being said, the darn thing is so f-ugly, no one would dare steal it the dinghy dock ;-)
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Old 03-01-2009
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That being said, the darn thing is so f-ugly, no one would dare steal it the dinghy dock ;-)
You got that right. We put ours together on the bow of our boat all the time, but it's a 40 footer. We put down a couple boat cushions, put it together and then the wife and I throw it over the lifelines and into the water. We have the 10 footer. Lighter than a RIB, more durable, surprisingly stable, it rows, it's cheaper, can get by with a smaller out board and it has good interior space. Drawbacks are less hauling capacity as far as weight goes, when you break it down, you have to find a place to store the seats and transom, which take up a bit of room. Here's our boat stored on the lifelines this past December.

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Old 03-02-2009
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^ ^ ^

I agree with this. Portabotes are very good, but I'm not sure they are appropriate without the deck space, unless you intend on towing them or keeping one "deployed" on deck or in davits. Which defeats the purpose a bit, I think.

As for stowing the seats, transom, oars, etc., I am still working on this. I have plenty of headroom (seven feet), so it is possible to have them in overhead netting. I am thinking, however, of simply creating mesh bags I can keep on deck tied to my rails, probably in the aft deck area. Barring that, I can stow them vertically in the forepeak.

Right now all that stuff is just on an unused sea berth.
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Old 03-02-2009
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I cheat... I open the portabote up on the ama deck... got a lot more deckspace to work with than you guys do.
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Old 03-03-2009
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Stability issues

Has anyone used their Porta Bote for fishing, saltwater or freshwater? My wife and I were trout fishing on a lake in our newly purchased 12' boat. We were trolling and my wife hooked a fish. She brought the fish alongside and I leaned over the starboard side to net the fish, at which time the boat tipped allowing water to come in over the tansom , tipping both of us into the water. My motor is a 3 1/2 HP Merc, mounted on the plastic transom. I had a one gallon gas can as well as a 3 1/2' x 2 1/2' plastic cargo box placed on the floor between the rear seat and transom. The box was full of three life vests, oarlocks, motor oil, tool kit, etc. The weight of this box would be approximately 25 lbs. I am 185 lbs and I was seated on the right side of the rear seat to man the motor tiller. I am wondring if this much weight to the starboard rear could have caused the boat to dip enough to allow the water intrusion.
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It sounds like you had too much weight in the stern of the boat and too much weight to starboard. I've gone fishing in my 12' porta-bote with three people in it and never had a problem. I usually have the gas can between the rear two benches, not between the transom and the bench, and the rest of the my gear is evenly spread through the boat.

Also, how big is your wife, and where was she sitting?? If she wasn't on the forward bench, and was leaned over to starboard towards the aft end of the boat on the center bench, you leaning over may have pushed the center of gravity point too far over.

That said, I've also hauled swimmers into my portabote and not had them flip it. That said, it isn't going to be as stable as an inflatable, but it will be more stable than a lot of hard dinghies...but like all small boats, you have to use common sense and not overload it or unbalance it too much. Leaning way out over the gunwales is a good way to tip almost any small rigid boat.
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Telstar 28
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-03-2009 at 02:45 AM.
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