Submitted: Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 18:20
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hi all. Any one travelled up north or west with a portabote instead of the tinny on the roof, seems like a fair way to go but i searched around some forum sites and find little feed back other than from sites that either make or sell them. cheers warren
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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 18:29

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 18:29
Warren G,
I have no direct experience with them but would be concerned with any low gunwaled boat in either choppy or crocodile infested water.
Other than that they seem like a good idea
Ross N

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AnswerID: 607815

Reply By: skulldug - Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 20:25

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 20:25
Hi Warren,

I don't have a portabote but have sailed around the top end. Our tender was much smaller than a portaborte which is common for a yacht dingy. I can't remember it being an issue among the cruising community.

Rooftop tinny owners seem to get a bit excited about salties which may or may not be warranted. I'd rather be in a portabote around Darwin than on a surfboard on the east coast.

The other issue is how much weight you can carry.

AnswerID: 607821

Reply By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 21:30

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 21:30
thanks for reply. weight or space is not a problem travel with a 14 ft off road van 100 sereis td landcruiser , we are very comfortable around boats have a jetty and boat docked in the back yard at home . would not launch at the Adelaide river but there are alot of places i have been to that a trip in a boat would be good not just for fishing but exploring away from the banks as well
AnswerID: 607827

Reply By: swampy - Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 22:22

Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 22:22
yes they are available in oz new but the cost is off with the fairies.
3000$ plus approx for a 12ft
Rather have a tinny if I were considering new .
Second hand market they drop there price considerably [limited use compared to a tinny ]. But not huge amounts of 12ft in ozzy.
If u do enough searches they go for as low as 500$ for the smaller units in oz and around 500$ for the larger units in the usa on the s/h market .
The larger 12ft is around 1500$ in usa
AnswerID: 607830

Reply By: kgarn - Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 06:01

Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 06:01
Caravaners forum has discussion group dedicated to the portabote which may be helpful


AnswerID: 607834

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 07:16

Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 07:16
We had one for years including the sail kit and took it all over Oz from up around where you are thinking of using it to the far south and everywhere in between.
Ours was the early version with the wooden seats and the tapered stern with the alloy bracket.
We took it to Coburg peninsula a couple of times and put it in at the boat ramp on Port Essington and then around into the open sea, also up along the Coast out of Gove, also in the rivers including the Roper and East Alligator upstream.
Work well even in roughish conditions, the biggest problem with the early ones was they were restricted to 4hp which meant you had to watch the tides and currents.
It took a while to get used to as they flex over waves and chop but very stable and if you don't use it it just sits on the roof rack causing minimal drag when folded.
They are a tough thing and we actually sold it for what we paid s/h over 20 years later.
AnswerID: 607836

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 11:06

Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 11:06
I've used my (12') Porta-Bote in FNQ and in the Territory. Had it in waters I knew held crocs (knew, because I motored past them!). I felt pretty safe but also was careful not to put my arms or hands over the sides (I might have ignored that rule a couple of times when excitedly bringing in a fish or two). I've launched in places you simply couldn't get a tinny into.
I wouldn't take it on the Adelaide River or to Shady Camp. Otherwise, personally, I say go for it. My son has the Bote now, I tend to prefer my Whittley 5.8 Voyager nowadays. He says it's something to do with age... little sod!

Edit, forgot to mention, I think they are a little safer (apart from low gunwales) than small tinnies. If the nudge something underwater (a log, or perhaps a "live log"!) they flex, unlike tinnies, which can tip alarmingly (speaking as one who has been alarmed).
AnswerID: 607845

Reply By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 13:10

Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 at 13:10
thanks for all your impute ,we have plenty of time to consider the usability of a porta boat ,it worth considering .as having 2 grandchildren being born this year one in Canada ,leave in 2 weeks until end of April. i dont think any huge trips will be planed however will do a 2 week trip around Ceduna later on this year. cheers warren.
AnswerID: 607849

Reply By: Member - Charlie B2 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 18:42

Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 18:42
Hi Warren,

I've had a 12' 6" Porta Bote for quite a few years now, but I've experienced some issues, in particular with regard to transporting it. Sure, they're relatively light in weight, at least the basic hull is, and it travels quite comfortably on our roof rack (even at my age, I can still get it up there by myself) when suitably tied down with ratchet straps and a rope from the bow grommets to our bullbar, but you still have to store the seats, transom, oars (or paddles), all the other (SA) legislated safety gear, including PFD's for everyone on board, anchor & line, bucket, floating torch etc, etc, and your motor and the spare fuel for that, somewhere. DO NOT MISPLACE YOUR SPLIT PINS FOR THE SEATS OR THE TRANSOM BOLTS! The boat won't go very far without either!

In our own case, we have a 100 Series 'Cruiser with Outback drawer system, a 60 litre Engel on a fridge slide and a cargo barrier, which really doesn't leave a lot of room at all for all the previously identified stuff. I can JUST fit the motor diagonally across the "empty" side of the cargo area along with most of the items mentioned above, leaving the seats and transom to be stored on the back seat, or in the rear footwell, or on the roofrack.

Let me assure you, that doesn't leave much room in the vehicle for other items!

The model I have (Gen 4, if I recall) is rated for a load of only 580 pounds, and is also limited to an 8hp motor, but with my 5hp, I can only get it up on to the plane one-up. With two on board, planing simply doesn't want to happen and, even then, I've found that full throttle will see the transom flex sufficiently for the motor to push forward and bind on the keel tubing, making the steering quite sticky. Not an issue at lower revs, but very disconcerting the first time it happened to me! Of course, this difficulty may be unique to my particular boat and others may not have had any such concerns.

OK so we might take our Jayco Eagle Outback too, which alleviates some of the storage issues, but I'm not sure I'd want to relocate any of the boat-related items from the 'Cruiser to the van - Murphy would suggest that, if I were to do so, those items would still be back where I'd parked my van, when I went to put the boat together and use it!

One other matter I should mention - the hull flex may take some people a while to get used to. It's certainly a very different sensation from using or travelling in a tinny. It's a little like standing on a water-bed, which isn't too bad in calm waters and I don't mind it at all, but I've only used it on inland waterways and, while I'd certainly defer to others with more salt-water experience than I [which is just about everyone, I'd say :-) ], I'm not sure I'd want to risk a beach launch, into even our SA "surf", any time soon. The cutaway transom doesn't help in that regard. The boat won't sink, but stuff will be floating all over the place and I don't like the idea of getting everything, including my wife and me, extremely wet.

I'm sorry for the overly long reply - it didn't start out that way!

Hope this post hasn't put you off too badly - I really quite like mine, for my purposes, but your needs and experience will differ from mine.

Anyway, all the very best to you, in whatever decision you eventually make.

AnswerID: 608003

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