Portabote.Portabote has been on the scene for quite a few years now.
There have been competitors in the past but most seem to have disappeared over the years.
Here in Australia we had our own version named the "Flatout Boat".
It was very similar to the Portabote but for some reason it didn't seem to take off very well.
The main positives can be summed up in the words of Sandy Kaye, CEO of Portabote:
"The Portabote was never meant to be a speed boat but rather a safe vessel for both boating and fishing."
In regards to safety, the patented "Flexy Hull" has proven to be very effective in handling chop in rough water, something that I have experienced myself.
The Portabote has a level floatation rating which means that should the vessel be swamped and fill with water it will remain level and still float.
This floatation is achieved by the use of floatation foam fixed to the hull just above the seats.
The seats too contain floatation which adds to its safety factor.
The plastic hull itself has a certain level of boyancy.
Due to the flexible hull the maximum recommended safe speed for the Portabote has been limited to 15 mph (24 kph or 13 knots).
Should you decide on using a 9.8hp outboard for your 14' bote, it is also recommended by Portabote that the throttle be kept to a little over half full throttle as any more will have little effect due to maximum hull speed and it will result in excess fuel being used for no reason.
It is also recommended that you avoid sharp turns at speed in a Portabote.
QuickboatsAfter passing hands a couple of times, the Flatout boat was eventually bought by Quickboats who totally redesigned their folding boat.
Deryck Graham, one of the partners of Quickboats and brother of James, is an aeronautical engineer with quite a lot of experience with composit materials, which is what the Quickboat is made of.
The hull and transom of the Quickboat are both rigid, and result in a vessel that is safe, fast and responsive.
It too has level floatation capabilities but the flotation is acheived through the composit hull material from which it is made.
In regard to maximum speed of the Quickboat Deryck Graham had this to say:
"Two people on board at say 70kg each with 9.8hp sees the Quickboat capable of 22 knots. At this speed it hits the limit of the prop pitch."
In response to another review that stated:
"........ the faster it (the Quickboat ) goes, the more rigid the hull becomes."
"The Quickboat is high tech but i have to admit it does not morph into a more rigid boat than it already is at speed. :-)"
For those that are curious, 22 knots equates to around 25 mph or 40 kph.