Saturday, 28 March 2015

I bought myself a PortaBote

Since I started my blog, the relationship between myself and Portabote seems to have gone downhill.
I have tried and tried to get Portabote on board.
Mostly what I've received from Portabote has been misrepresentation and misinformation concerning the new Alpha series, To the point now that I prefer to get information from the users in the forum instead of Portabote itself.  I wanted to do a comparison between the Quickboat and the Portabote and while Quickboat has been keen, Portabote seems very reluctant and I think I know why.

Portabote still has a flexing transom, what I consider to be its Achilles Heel. Even with the new Alpha series and its folding transom. It still flexes.
The problem with that is the fact that you cannot set the outboard angle for maximum performance as the outboard will hit the back of the boat according to recent posts.
This in turn makes steering difficult if not dangerous and can cause damage to the bote itself.
For the life of me I do not know why the transom has been made so flimsy on the Alpha series.

Over the years there have been plenty of posts in the Portabote Forum praising the patented "Flexi Hull" but I have yet to see one post praising the flexing transom.
There have been quite a few posts in regard to the flexing transom, but not one positive that I have seen.
In fact, owners have gone to great lengths to try and strengthen the transom to prevent it from flexing.
They are still trying to strengthen the new Alpha series transom too.

Whenever the subject turns to the flex in the transom, a magician's sleight of hand trick (almost a Jedi mind trick)  seems to divert the conversation from the flexing transom to the "Patented Flexi Hull", thus ends the conversation with no further input from Portabote.
I agree that the flexi-hull is great in choppy water. It does absorb the wave action and gives you a smoother ride than in an aluminium boat.
It does what it says on the box but in my opinion, not as well as Portabote would have us believe.

Along with the flexi-hull comes limitations that Portabote seem to me to be reluctant to discuss.

One such limitation is the loss of performance in that the speed of the Portabote is reduced to around 15 mph (Roughly 24 kph).
According to Portabote, the bote becomes "squirrelly" after that speed.

A couple of people in the forum have even strengthened the hull on their portabote to improve performance.

When I first bought my Portabote, there was no alternative. It was a Portabote or nothing if you wanted a folding boat.

Now there are other options.

It is good for the folding boat market to have healthy competition, a choice.

Early on in my blog I was asked which I preferred, a Portabote or a Quickboat.

I still say now what I said then, It's horses for courses. If you are happy with the Portabote and it suits your needs then go for it. If you want something a little more rigid, then go for that too.

I have had a bit more experience with the Quickboat now and after owning a Portabote and having been in a Quickboat a few times this is how I feel now on the subject.

My Portabote

I bought myself a Portabote
about 6 years ago
If I knew then what I know now
That it would go so slow
Its hull does flex
And that's for sure
But its transom?
What's the go?
It appears to be an Achilles Heel
For my Portabote so slow
I've had my bote at quite high speeds
80k's or more
But that soon stopped
To my dismay
When my trailer reached the shore,
If only I could trailer it
Down the river too
I'd keep up with that Quickboat there
Disappearing from my view.

I would have to also say that there are many people happy with their Portabote.
This is obvious from a recent post on the Portabote Forum:

" I travel about 6 months a year in my rv and where I go there is water from Alsaka (fishing 10 miles out in very good weather), on most rivers in the northwest of the U.S. and a lot of lakes (lake mead, flaming gorge, lake Powell. Columbia River buoy 10 in not so good weather, but all in all I'm fishing on the water or sightseeing. That means a lot to have a boat that's safe and goes with you were ever."

Not everyone needs to travel at speed to get to where they are going. In fact sometimes it is good to be able to sit back and relax, take in the scenery. I do enjoy early morning treks on the river. The only issue I have is when I want to get to a favourite fishing spot in a hurry. Perhaps if I'd bought a 12' boat instead of the 10' boat, I'd be able to add a larger outboard but the 12' boat is too heavy for me to handle by myself. Even Col from Portabote here in Australia said that he would not sell me a 12' bote due to it being more difficult to handle with my medical condition.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Quickboats sold out until October 2015

I just received a newsletter from Quickboats, Australia informing us that the Quickboat has sold out world-wide until Oct 2015.
They are still getting plenty of inquiries including hordes of inquiries from USA and Canada as to when the Quickboat will be available there.
At one time a second hand PortaBote was as scarce as hens teeth here in Oz but there seems to be quite a few available now if that is your preference..

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Trim your boat/bote

There is an interesting article on trimming your outboard on the Club Marine website.
It helps to explain the benefits of trimming and the effects of not trimming correctly.

You can check it out here.

Folding transom.

Talk continues on the Portabote forum in regard to the new Alpha series and its folding transom.

The concept is brilliant and saves having to carry the transom separately. It does add extra weight to the hull but I believe that the seats have been made lighter to compensate partially for the extra weight.

Again a new Alpha series owner is trying to overcome problems with what may be its Achilles heel as the transom still flexes, allowing the outboard to hit the back of the bote unless set on the third hole.
This, according to both my own experience and recent posts on the forum also decreases performance, which is why some are trying to modify their new bote already.
While the owner still loves his bote, I feel that you should not have to overcome what some consider an inherent weakness on a new product.