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Old 01-11-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Porta Bote

I have a 12' Porta Bote and 5HP outboard.* This was actually my first boat.* I haven't used it much lately, but it occured to me that it might make a good dingy for my Camano if I could tow it behind.* In theory, I could break it down and stow it on deck but I know from setting it up on dry land that that would be difficult at best.

Use would be the AICW and adjacent rivers and sounds.* Speed would usually be 7 knots or so.

So - Any advice, suggestions,*or stories of towing a 12 foot rigid boat with outboard attached would be appreciated.

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 11th of January 2011 08:04:30 PM
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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RE: Porta Bote

Quote:
rwidman wrote:

I have a 12' Porta Bote and 5HP outboard.* This was actually my first boat.* I haven't used it much lately, but it occured to me that it might make a good dingy for my Camano if I could tow it behind.* In theory, I could break it down and stow it on deck but I know from setting it up on dry land that that would be difficult at best.

Use would be the AICW and adjacent rivers and sounds.* Speed would usually be 7 knots or so.

So - Any advice, suggestions,*or stories of towing a 12 foot rigid boat with outboard attached would be appreciated.

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 11th of January 2011 08:04:30 PM
We towed our 10' rigid hull inflatable with an eight horse 4 stroke on it for years with no real problems.*

My only experience with the Porta Bote is in witnessing friends tow theirs with a two horse for many years. They cruise 6.5 to 7 knots. Never a problem as I recall. They have towed it for ten years. They have on occasion broke it down for a long haul outside Vancouver Island.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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RE: Porta Bote

Ron, our 12' Porta Boat has to be towed very close into the stern.* Otherwise it wanders a lot, especially with the outboard.* We suck it up so that it is riding up the stern wave about 3' behind the stern.* In that position, we tow it in the open ocean.* On a long lead, well, you'll regret it.* Naturally, use floating line and rig a bridle through the two eyelets on the bow.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:14 PM   #4
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RE: Porta Bote

I've towed our 11' Puffin many times with no problems. I use about 25 feet of double tow line.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:59 AM   #5
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RE: Porta Bote

Thanks people. Now I realize why I haven't tried this before - I keep my Camano in a slip in a marina. I have to travel down a fairway and back into the slip.

How do you handle a towed dingy when dealing with a marina and slips?
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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RE: Porta Bote

Quote:
rwidman wrote:

Thanks people. Now I realize why I haven't tried this before - I keep my Camano in a slip in a marina. I have to travel down a fairway and back into the slip.

How do you handle a towed dingy when dealing with a marina and slips?
We almost always back into our slip.* When we are towing the dinghy, before backing in it is moved and tied off the bow.* If someone is onboard to tend the line, that is good.* Other wise just snub it close.* When you are tied into the slip there is plenty of time to move the dinghy by leading it around from the deck.* It works very well for me.* When the grankids are on board, I just have one of them follow us into the marina.* When we are in the slip they bring it long side to be tied up.

*
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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RE: Porta Bote

Why do some people like to back into their berths?* I find I have less property damage if I drive the car forward into the garage rather than backing in even without*having to deal wind and current.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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RE: Porta Bote

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Why do some people like to back into their berths?* I find I have less property damage if I drive the car forward into the garage rather than** backing in even without*having to deal wind and current.
For my boat and any sedan style or express style also double cabins I guess, backing in makes the access to the dock convenient.* If they are floating docks you walk right out the tramson door and step off the swim platform.* If it is along side, usually the lowest part of the hull is at the stern.* It makes it allot easier loading groceries and other things onto the boat.* Also, in some marinas like Hampton VA Public Piers the finger piers are so short.* We have great visibility backing in and seldom pull in.* My single screw (no bow thruster) europa style trawler was back in for the same reasons.

*
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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RE: Porta Bote

Thanks, Don, for making the world make more sense to me.*
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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Porta Bote

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markpierce wrote:

Why do some people like to back into their berths?* I find I have less property damage if I drive the car forward into the garage rather than backing in even without*having to deal wind and current.
If you look at the photo, there's no good way to get on or off my boat unless it's stern in.* All the boats at my marina back in.* Occasionally a dry stack boat will dock bow in because this is the first time they docked and they don't realize the problem they will have getting on and off the boat.

Since we spend a lot of time at the marina and on the boat without taking it out, stern in is very important.

*


-- Edited by rwidman on Thursday 13th of January 2011 05:46:00 PM

-- Edited by rwidman on Thursday 13th of January 2011 05:47:05 PM
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #11
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RE: Porta Bote

If you tow yours like we tow ours (described above), you ignore it.* It's made of plastic and when it bumps into the hull doesn't hurt anything, unless you back it into the dock, of course in which you need new thwarts.* If you want to, run the lead to a side cleat before backing down.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:55 AM   #12
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RE: Porta Bote

We are considering the porta-bote to be used as dinghy. We would prefer to keep it assembled and tipped on the swim deck. In measuring our swim deck we can handle a 10 ft. Is there any easy davit system or method to tip it up without damaging the wooden swim deck? Likewise we have wood toe and handrails (way too much teak in my opinion) that need some protection? Any ideas? We are so grateful for all the advice offered in this forum.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:16 AM   #13
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RE: Porta Bote

Quote:
rusbet wrote:

We are considering the porta-bote to be used as dinghy. We would prefer to keep it assembled and tipped on the swim deck. In measuring our swim deck we can handle a 10 ft. Is there any easy davit system or method to tip it up without damaging the wooden swim deck? Likewise we have wood toe and handrails (way too much teak in my opinion) that need some protection? Any ideas? We are so grateful for all the advice offered in this forum.
I have to ask. Why would you buy a Porta Boat if your intention is to leave it assembled on the swim step? IMHO there is not an uglier dinghy available. Sorry!! If you had need to fold it and put it on deck, then I might forgive you, but... *

*
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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RE: Porta Bote

Carey,
In the navy sailors used to paint boats while standing on a raft that does look like it's related to the Bull Frog.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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RE: Porta Bote

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nomadwilly wrote:

Carey,
In the navy sailors used to paint boats while standing on a raft that does look like it's related to the Bull Frog.
Especially my gray Bullfrog.*

*
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
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RE: Porta Bote

Quote:
rusbet wrote:

We are considering the porta-bote to be used as dinghy.
Why?* Porta-botes are, or used to be, popular with floatplane pilots because folded up they could be lashed to the float struts (in the states where this was legal) and used for fishing or whatever when you landed.

But for a shoreboat/dlnghy for a cruising boat I would think just about anything else*other than a kayak or canoe would be better than a Porta-bote unless you already owned one and wanted to make use of it.

We, and from I've seen, most cruising boat owners use their shoreboats for carrying several people, dogs, supplies, etc.** A Porta-bote is a clever design where a high degree of portability is desired and capacity and stability are secondary.* We see a lot of boats up here with kayaks on them--- Carey carries one, for example.* But it's never the boat's main shoreboat.

Given the nature of your boat I'd think either an inflatable or RIB or a hardshell dinghy would be a whole lot more practical.* Our boat came with a lovely Montgomery sailing dinghy carried in a cradle on the aft cabin top.* Nice little boat but terrible as a utility shoreboat.* So we added a Livingston that's carried in Weaver Snap Davits on the swimstep.* Easy to launch, easy to retrieve, stable as all get out.*

I'm not saying*a Livingston is the way to go--- it suits us for now but when we have time to take longer cruises up north we'll change it for 10' Bullfrog.* But I believe a "proper" shoreboat/dinghy is far more suited for most cruising situations*than a Porta-bote.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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RE: Porta Bote

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

Why do some people like to back into their berths?* I find I have less property damage if I drive the car forward into the garage rather than backing in even without*having to deal wind and current.
For the winter I usually pull in bow first. As the slip faces west and most of the winter weather comes in from the west

it regularly blows 30 to 50 knts. so having the bow in at least gives me less exposiure.

SD**
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:36 PM   #18
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RE: Porta Bote

Our Porta Bote is indestructible, so when we drag it across rocks on a beach, we don't worry about it.* Fiberglass gets damaged in many of the circumstances we don't think about with the PB.* When it gets dirty, I power wash it.* It's butt ugly and no one wants to steal it.* We carried it on the top of our Albin 28, tied to the lifelines on our Cape George Cutter, and tied to the bulwarks on Delfin.* It was primary on the sailboat and Albin, and proved ideal in most circumstances and pefectly adequate in all others.* Ask people who own them and see if you can find an owner who sees it differently.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:00 PM   #19
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Porta Bote

One question I would have about the Porta-bote is the matter of floatation. I've seen plenty of them, mostly folded and stowed, but I've never been in one or examined one very closely.

But before relying on one to be our main shoreboat I would want to know what happens to it if it is totally swamped. Our Livingston, for example, will remain at the surface of the water if it's totally swamped because of the foam in the hull's compartments. A dinghy like Carey's Bullfrog by virtue of what it's made of will remain on the surface if totally swamped. And the mutiple compartments of an inflatable or RIB make it unlikely that the craft would disappear completely if a chamber is punctured or ripped open. I would want to know that a Porta-bote has a similar degree of floatation so if it did flip or swamp it would at least remain at the surface and provide something to hang onto or cliimb onto.

-- Edited by Marin on Monday 21st of February 2011 03:01:47 PM
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:05 PM   #20
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RE: Porta Bote

I too think a PB is a GREAT dinghy. There's a 40' fish boat here in town that uses one. And I suspect a 5hp OB would push one to 10 knots. And when one hauls out on the beach it's easy to take the engine off, carry the engine up and then carry the boat up above the tide. Can't do that w a RIB. They have form follows function lines and despite the fact that the bow sheer line goes down instead of up the sheer line as a whole is rather pleaesing.
But in defense of what Cary said the PB does have the "I was purchased where fishing poles and guns are sold" look about it.
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