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SUBJECT: # 15741: porta-bote

Submitted by Rollie (166.82.52.46) from NORTH CAROLINA on 6/11/2000 7:24:00 PM

anyone had any expirence with a porta-bote ? looking for a lightweight craft that 1 person can carry to the water but will hold 2 poeple and an electric trolling mtr and battery. aprox 450 lbs alltogether for use on a lake. have been seriously interested in an 8-9 foot inflatable but the folding boat looks interesting also. Quite a lot of money to just take a chance on. any expirence or comments will be deeply appreciated.


  1. 6/11/2000 8:21:00 PM Submitted by Gw (152.163.197.54) from MARYLAND says Rollie
    I have the 12' version, and as skeptical as I was initially, I was very impressed with the thing after putting it thru its paces. And put it thru its paces, I did!!! I started out in the upper Potomac river, using it for float trips. The second outing was during a spring flood stage of the river, when all the warnings to keep off were in effect. You have to remember, this was during my younger and dumber stage of life. Anyway, after putting in we ended up down stream, with no way of turning around or portaging, and were in my experience running class 3 or 4 whitewater...it scared the shi* out us, but that damnded boat made it thru the chutes and hydraulics with flying colors. The Department of Natural Resources or Local Fire Dept. was running an Avon type rescue boat in a lower pool of the river at the time, and they too couldnt believe their eyes when we came thru the most serious rapids intact. They had never seen this type of boat before and they had alot of questions about it afterwards.

    Anyway, the construction of the boat, 1/4" structural polypropylene, keeps it from crushing or failing when struck and there is really no inside stringers or supports other than the seats, which just keep it from folding up from the side. I've hit many underwater boulders and obstructions with it...the bow would spring in slightly as it struck and then spring back out with not even a scar. An aluminum or fiberglass boat would have been history in the same conditions!!! I've also had it out in the ocean, thru the surf etc. for shark fishing at Cape Hatteras. A big wave comes in, and it might bend the front in slightly, but it pushes right back out. It really wont quit and nothing else in its class compares.

    With the motor bracket it will hold up to about a 7.5 hp motor, but I found that a 2 hp. air cooled gas motor will push it just fine, sip fuel, and is much lighter to carry. I've done numerous numerous, river and whitewater float trips with the boat. On most of the white water trips others who insisted on using canoes or inflatable kayaks would flip at least once during the trip, but not us. I only flipped it once, and that was surfing in on a big wave in the ocean, where I got turned sideways. Well it really didnt flip but it heeled over on the side and shucked me out...the boat stayed upright but was filled with water. Dont worry it wont sink.

    Considering what I put mine thru, you should have no problem with an electric motor pushing it and fishing in a lake. I had mine in the most extreme conditions possible and it did just fine. Also, this boat is suprisingly stable. A person can stand on the edge of one of the seats to fish, or take a piss off the side and the thing barely leans in that direction. Though I dont get it out much anymore, I am impressed! It was money well spent.


  2. 6/11/2000 10:44:00 PM Submitted by Vic (64.12.105.163) from ILLINOIS says Porta-bote
    I have the 12 ft. version. i am very happy with it. for getting the boat from the assembly area to the water i use happy wheels...require drilling thru the hull. but they work just great.
  3. 6/12/2000 7:54:00 PM Submitted by popeye (24.67.224.12) from Canada says Porta-Bote story
    Rollie, I was out salmon fishing in the Discovery Pass, off of the west coast of British Columbia. This is inshore saltwater fishing. We were out in a 32 ft. motor cruiser with twin diesels and 3 electric downriggers (a charter boat). We weren't catching any salmon after fishing all day. We went back to the campground and I met an old fellow with a Porta-Bote. It had a 6 HP outboard and he used 1 manual downrigger. He had caught a fish. I watched him for the next week. He consistently went out and caught 1 chinook every day, while others with the bigger, expensive boats were consistently getting skunked. We spent enough on charter boats that summer that we could have bought our own Porta-Bote! Still came home with no salmon! Oh well, I think that it just goes to show that it isn't necessarily the boat that catches the fish.
  4. 6/12/2000 8:27:00 PM Submitted by Thom/La (205.253.72.43) from LOUISIANA says porta bote
    I have a 12' that I bought second hand from an RVer. My parents retired and built a home on Dauphin Island off the Alabama coast and we keep it over there. Down the street from there home is a great saltwater marsh that boats with over a 5'' draft can't get into. I also bought the dolly which works well. I just roll it down the street and slip into the water. I don't have a motor on mine, just oars and a 10' pushpole. Its a great, very stable and indestructable boat. I pushpole mine with my wife and two girls over oyster beds almost every trip and it doesn't hurt it at all. Its not an effcient rowboat, though. The flex eats up your forward motion. I think that a 5hp would do great. One word - get the 12' if you can swing it. It has lots of room and is worth the cost.
  5. 6/12/2000 9:21:00 PM Submitted by rollie (166.82.48.122) from NORTH CAROLINA says thanks
    Gw, Vic, Popeye, and Thom/La, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. It sounds like this could be ideal for my needs. Rollie

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