Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Quick Boat Update

I just received an email from Deryck Graham of Quickboats and he informed me of the following:

“ Quick boats are at present looking to start production again, hopefully later this year, as they have sold out of present stock.

They too now have several patents in various countries, including the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, China, and Europe."

They are still receiving a constant stream of enquiries (close to 6,000), so interest has not waned.

There are many differences between the Quick Boat and the Porta bote and while a number of the patents on the Portabote have ended (You can now by a "Folding Boat" on the Chinese Alibaba site), the remaining patents do not affect the radical design of the Quick Boat.
So be patient and soon you will be able to buy the Australian Quick Boat.

UPDATE: (28/05/16)

I was just informed by Deryck  from Quickboats that they are in discussion with a very large manufacturing company at the moment.
Hopefully production will resume soon.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Alpha Series Folding Transom

Sandy from Portabote just sent me this animated gif file to demonstrated just how the transom folds.

Alpha Series Folding Transom

This folding transom overcomes storage and transport issues for the transom as it is now incorporated permanently in with the hull.
Additionally as Sandy points out, now there are 20 less components necessary to install the transom (Screw, washer, rubber washer, washer and then a wing nut X 4)

This I feel is a great innovation for the Portabote Alpha Series.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Transducer bracket for Fish Finder

Some may be wondering how to mount their transducer on their PortaBote so I decided to add some pictures to show what I have done.
I was given a suction cup by my brother's father in law and decided to give it a go.

Picture of transducer bracket
Completed transducer bracket

I wondered at first whether or not the cup would hold but it has never fallen off in 7 years.
The transducer is also supported by the rivet at the bottom of the bladder via a hole drilled in the bracket.
This prevents horizontal movement of the bracket when under way.

The cup sticks to the bladder quite well. It is available from a number of suppliers. A quick Google search for "transducer suction cup" should show you where in your area.

You can see the hole better in the picture below. The bracket is made from aluminium.

Support hole in bracket.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Rippled Alpha seats and transom "L" bolt improvement.

The case of the rippling seats.

My friend Paul from the Floating Log recently posted a request to Sandy from PortaBote in regard to the rippled seats that he is experiencing.

So far no response but hopefully Paul will receive a reply, either privately or through the forum soon.
It appears that the seats have rippled perhaps due to heat from the sun which is something that should not happen.
It has been suggested previously by Sandy that Paul had placed something heavy on those seats which resulted in the ripples.
This is something that Paul has not done so the ripples remain a mystery.


Paul has been in touch with Portabote and Sandy has referred Paul to the local distributer in Singapore for him to decide the best plan of action.

(8th of April 2016)
It is great to hear that PortaBote have agreed to replace Paul's seats free of charge.

"L" bolt improvement.

Paul also came up with a brilliant idea in regard to the 'L" bolts used to keep the transom locked into position.
He was experiencing a problem with the "L" bolts in that the nuts work loose with the vibration of the outboard and then he noticed the thrust bolt on his outboard motor, the one used to set the position of the outboard in regards to the transom, the trim of the outboard.

He decided to drill a slightly larger hole beside the existing holes in his transom brackets to accommodate the pin from his outboard motor.

The result?
A perfect fit!
This seems to be a good solution to the loose nut problem and is a lot quicker to install.
Well done Paul.
Hopefully Portabote will take this on board.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Feedback from Bruce Balan, 16 years a Portabote owner.

This information was kindly emailed to me by Bruce Balan who has owned a Portabote for 16 years:

A Cruiser’s Review of the 10’ Porta-Bote

First, a history of our 2 Porta-Botes:

I purchased my first 10’ Porta-Bote in 1999 and Porta-Botes have been our primary dingy every since. I sailed from California to Mexico and back from 1999 to 2001 and then left the USA permanently in 2005. My wife and I have been slowly sailing around the world since.
Copyright Bruce Balan

Many features of the Porta-Bote make it a great dinghy for full-time cruisers. We love that we can easily pull it up on the beach with just two of us. We like how well it steers and tracks compared to many inflatables. The bote gives a fairly dry ride, and goes really fast with a small outboard! It also stows perfectly on our 1969 Cross 46 trimaran.

Unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few problems with our botes over the years.

One of the oarlocks on the first bote pulled out within a year. I repaired it myself. This first bote came with the terrible wooden seats which were heavy. They soon began to delaminate. I upgraded to the first generation plastic seats but they failed in a couple of years. The bote also developed a leaking transom after 7 years. We ended up negotiating to buy a new boat from Porta-Bote for a discounted price. We were in Ecuador at the time so shipping was expensive. That was 2007/8.

The first bote’s black hull flotation had begun to deteriorate badly in the tropical sun so we made canvas covers for the new bote’s flotation.

At 9 years, one of the original oars broke. It cracked at the holes where the two pieces join. We bought a new set when we arrived in New Zealand. Now (2015), the new set shows it is heading toward the same end.

In 2010, the 2008 bote’s hull split at the bow. Using 3M 5200 and rivets provided by Porta-Bote we were able to repair it. Looks a bit dodgy but it is holding well. In 2012, the plastic seats again began to fail. Several of the plastic support brace holders cracked as well as the bottoms of the seat where the metal braces pushed up through the plastic into the foam. We asked Porta-Bote for a new set of plastic brace holders and they refused, saying repeatedly that we were the only ones who have ever had this problem and that we had abused our bote. We were told the braces would cost $144.

After much discussion and additional accusations of abuse, Porta-Bote finally sent some brace holders free of charge. We fiberglassed the seats to repair them.

Copyright Bruce Balan

In early 2013, our bote was put in indoor storage in Thailand for 2 years while we did a refit on our sailboat. When we took it out, the transom split. Now in 2015, we have a temporary (leaking) repair and will try a more permanent repair with some Eternabond tape per Porta-Bote’s recommendation.

We treat our boat with respect as it is our primary means of transportation off of the main boat. Until this month we have used a small 2-stroke 3.3 HP engine (we now also have a 2-stroke 5 HP). My wife and I together weigh about 280 lbs., so most of the time (but certainly not all the time) the boat is lightly loaded.

So, after owning Porta-Botes for 17 years, and using the bote daily for months on end, here’s my take: 

The Porta-Bote is a great boat for the occasional weekender. It’s light, fairly rugged, easy to put together, gives a good ride, and is reasonably priced (if you are in the USA). But the botes just can’t handle daily use as a primary dinghy, especially in the tropics. Moving provisions and jerry jugs back and forth, scuba diving, surf landings, long trips in very choppy conditions – these are all common in our life. In our 10 years of full-time cruising, we’ve run across several other cruisers who have had Porta-Botes. Most people like them and most everyone has had problems with them. Most notably: leaking hulls, broken seats, broken oars, deteriorating foam.

It’s a shame because, as I said, there are many good points to the bote. I have to admit that I have also been very frustrated by the uphill battle that we’ve had in the past with the Porta-Bote company. I get very tired of being told that we are the only people in all the world who have ever had that problem. Though some have had good customer service, our experience has been that the first response from Porta-Bote is you abused the boat and it is your fault.

Since we are very far from the USA, I’ll probably try the Australian Quickboat when I can no longer keep this bote going.

Bruce Balan

s/v Migration

July 2015

West Coast of Malaysia

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

If it were not for those inflatables that are constantly cracking and tearing,.......

Well, it's come up again from Portabote bagging inflatable boats with claims that they are constantly cracking and tearing.
I pointed out to Sandy Kaye via a private email that if it were not for those inflatables that he keeps on bagging, Portabote would be in trouble due to the tearing of the bladder on a Portabote.
I have never heard on the forum about inflatables constantly tearing and in fact there have been quite a few mentions over the years of Portabotes requiring the said tape to repair the bladder, etc.

Sandy's reply to me was that almost 70% of Portabotes sold have been to ex-inflatable owners.

I personally find that difficult to fathom as one would think that you would get shouted down by the many ex-inflatable owners on the forum when you suggest that the statement from Sandy is a gross exaggeration.

I have not been shouted down.

I know a few inflatable owners and they definitely do not agree with Sandy's comments about inflatable boats.

If you are wondering, the product that Sandy mentions is made by Eternabond and is also available in Australia. Sandy recommends the Roofseal Plus from Eternabond's product range.

I'd like to also point out that in his latest post on the forum, Sandy refrained from bagging the inflatable boat but instead mentioned that the tape is also used for RV and caravan repairs. :)