Thursday, 14 May 2015

Quickboat and Portabote maximum speed and benefits of each.


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.


After 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."

Deryck continued:

"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. :-)"

Kind Regards

Deryck Graham
Managing Director

For those that are curious, 22 knots equates to around 25 mph or 40 kph.


  1. David from Australia - Alpha Series Specifications (Speed)

    The specs for the Alpha series are available at
    ( )
    That sites spec sheet lists a cruising speed of 17mph, top hull speed 23mph for the 12' Alpha1 Series Pota-bote.

    The booklet that came with my 12' Alpha1 states a top running speed of 15-17knots (around 20mph), with one person + 8 hp motor. We reached 17mph (GPS) with 3 adults, 20l of fuel and all our safety gear on board. And that was our maiden run with a new bote and motor. We were able to cruise at an easy 15mph on half throttle. No 'strange' hull behaviour experienced, and the boat tracked in a straight line.

    Porta-bote say the Alpha series has a slightly different hull shape. Perhaps that explains the extra speed over the Genesis series.

    While Sandy has pointed out previously that the Porta-bote was not built to be speed boat, the new Alpha series is definitely no slouch in that respect. I found it easy to transport, it planed easily with 3 adults on board (8hp Merc outboard) used very little fuel and offers a good amount of space on a very stable platform.

  2. Thanks Dave for the input.
    I have to add though that when Sandy spoke about maximum speed of the Portabote, he was referring to the Alpha series and stated that the recommended maximum hull speed for the Alpha series is 15mph.
    He also recommended only using half throttle as well which is what you experienced.
    In a recent email that I received from portabote in regard to the Alpha series the following was pointed out:

    "Here is a paragraph that is part of instructions sent to U.S., UK. Australia and english speaking countries:

    6- “FLEXING”: when you step on the “floor” of your boat, you will notice a certain amount of flexing in the “floor’. This is normal. Also, when the hull begins to “plane”, the sides will flex out and the floor bottom will flex “down”. This, too, is normal. This “flexing action” actually absorbs and cushions much of the impact of strong waves that might capsize an ordinary rigid hulled craft. The transom will flex, also. However, if one or both of the sides of the hull begin to flex or deform “abnormally”, you are traveling beyond the “MAXIMUM SPEED CAPABILITY” of the hull. Immediately reduce engine rpm. This flexing will stop and you will find you are traveling at almost the same speed, comfortably. (NOTE: No matter how large an outboard you install, your Porta-Bote hull cannot go any faster than its “MAXIMUM HULL SPEED”. It will just start to flex abnormally.) Never try to make a sudden “sharp turn” when traveling at high speeds in this or any boat.

    So while the bote may be able to travel fster than the 15mph, it is still not recommended by Portabote due to the maximum hull speed.