Sunday, 13 July 2014

Alpha series feedback.

There has been some very good feedback on the new Alpha Series Portabote on the forum from a new owner.

This is what he had to say:

The good:
The PB is quick considering the 6hp motor. It planes in flat water with my wife, our 100lb dog and myself at 390lb. total plus 3gal. of gas. Or it will plane with my dog and myself with 1’ chop.
We have plenty of space for cooler, fishing gear etc.
The hull seems to be tough.
It behaves well on the davits with cross ties.

The fast folding feature of the new PB is for me an important advantage as I will not leave it on my boat while at the dock.

The not so good:
My first mate (and I) finds the PB unstable compared to our Apex. She does not like it so far.
When our dog shifts from one side to the other, both, my first mate and I have to do some shifting as well immediately to keep the boat stable.
Our dog just does not like it. He cannot find a comfortable position on longer rides and going in and out is not practical for him, especially at the beach. He loves the rides on inflatables or any other floating toy like paddle boards, Hobies etc..
Assembling would take 4 to 5 minutes if the locking pins on the seats would align well, they don’t.
The foldable transom looks not up to the task to me (at least not with a 58lb. OB); time will tell how long it will last.
After the first 20 minutes of using the PB I found some small nylock nuts on the floor. The bolts they belong to at the transomare too short and the threads never reached the nylon for locking. 
Put them on, once back at the boat, just to find them loose again after another half hour ride.
The 4 wing nuts locking the transom have to be constantly tightened. (missing pressure washer?)
The black seats get so hot in the sun that you cannot sit on them without putting a towel or similar on top.
Picked two friends up at the local dock and returning to the boat,about two miles into an 18knt wind with 1’ chop was very wet for the person sitting in front.
Going fast with one person on board, the ride feels wiggly as the boat does not track too well at high speed.

Once I get back home I will install proper ball locking pins well aligned, right sized screws and replacing the bolts with the wing nuts on the transom with ball locking pins and flange bearings. The seats I will flame treat as they are plastic and spray paint with grey epoxy paint including the black close cell foam around the inside of the gunwales. Once all this is taken care of I think the PB will serve me well having the choice to use the Apex when conditions require.
The dog and myself are getting used to the PB, not so the first mate, so far.
I don’t think I will ever use it to surf in 5 foot waves, as mentioned in some other forum.

Feedback Update.

There has been an update on the Portabote forum in regard to the information above.
Copperfire103 has had his Alpha series for 12 months now.

Due to issues he was having he decided to make a few modifications, including modifying the folding transom. After modifying the Alpha series transom he says that now it is rock solid and is a lot happier now.
His "First mate" and his dog seem to be a lot happier now too.

You can see what he had to say here.

Sandy's response to this feed back was:

Hi there,
Thanks for the detailed good and not so good issues with your new Porta-Bote.
I think once you get used to the important flexing you will be able to enjoy the Bote much more.
To see more important details, please click on:

I will notify the factory about the loose lock nuts.
Thanks again for taking the time to report to us.

Fair Winds,


It is interesting that I recall an earlier complaint in regard to the wing nuts coming loose on the Alpha series.
At that time it was suggested by Sandy that the wrong length screws were supplied and he offered to replace them free of charge.

It still appears to be an issue.

I believe that the "important flexing" is what is responsible for the high speed instability.
Again. it's a matter of "horses for courses".
What may be suitable for one person or situation may be unsuitable for another person or situation.