Porta-bote choice

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 17:55
ThreadID: 96250 Views:5845 Replies:2 FollowUps:3
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Hi all, I've been looking for a first boat to buy for the last couple of
months, and have ended up deciding to buy a porta-bote within the near future.
> I have decided to get either the 12 ft (with 8hp) or 14 ft (with 15hp)
> I am not sure which one to get, as I have been reading mixed reviews on the
stability of the 14ft and such but they were on forums a few years back. Can
anyone give me any suggestions on which setup to go with?
> I am hoping to use it in lakes and rivers around Melbourne(Australia) and
perhaps some fishing in saltwater too, somewhere sheltered and not too far from
the coast. Probably will carry 2 people usually, max 3 adults.
> Also, what are the main differences between the Gen. IV and the Gen. V? and
what are the differences between the 2/4 stroke engines?
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Reply By: jdpatrol - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:50

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 18:50
Hi Frank, I’ve got a 10’ Portabote with a 5hp 4 stroke Honda outboard. Suggest you join Portabote yahoo site and ask if any owners close to you with a 12 / 14’ bote would be prepared to take you help to try. 50000 botes out there – most owners fairly proud and happy to show it off I would think. 10’ big enough to handle for me – getting on and off the 4b roof rack, down to the beach etc. So depending on your use 14’ is getting heavy and big to handle. Regardless, dolly wheels likely to be important with one of the bigger botes.

Similarly, 4 strokes are heavier and for anything bigger than 6hp, well I’d want a 2 stroke – then you have to mix oil etc which I think is a hassle. My 5hp also goes on the roof rack and I couldn’t get anything much heavier up there without a lifting device.

I ‘shared a beach’ in January with a Gen 5, 12 footer. They often had 4 people in it. Main difference seemed to be seat connections – Gen 5 likely to be far more robust in that respect. But I know there were numerous new patents (20 or 30 I think) with the Gen 5 so check out info on the yahoo site. Gen IV has served us well without any problems, but you will read a bit about the issues some people have – again yahoo site helpful. Good luck
AnswerID: 488402

Follow Up By: Frank L4 - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 21:59

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 21:59
Hi jdpatrol, thanks for the advice. I am now leaning towards the 12 ft, my thinking the bigger bote will have more stability and space for two people to fish in comfortably, and there is not much price difference between the 12ft and the 10ft according to the distributors.

Do you take your bote fishing in seawater? I would be comfortable to take it in rivers and lakes, but I have done minimal fishing out in the sea in smaller boats, and this is also one of the reasons I didn't want anything smaller than the 12ft.

Thanks again.
FollowupID: 763599

Follow Up By: jdpatrol - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 07:55

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 07:55
Hi Frank, I was hoping a few other people might reply for you to get other opinions. Yes we have been out a bit fishing in seawater. Needs to be fairly calm and we don't go to far from shore.Places like Coffin Bay in SA can be brilliant depending on the wind. I find (about) 1-2' chop or waves is limit for me. We did 100km on Cooper Crk in 2010 and had wind spring up in one of the massive lakes that made things very uncomfortable so its not just the sea. I'm guessing the P'bote is a bit limited compared to tinnies when it gets rough but I've only used tinnies in fresh water / calm conditions. Other thing I notice is that it feels very uncomfortable with a bit of chop when you have no load (or other people) in the bote.

Anyway, I think you are on the right track with 12'. As much as 10' is right for me it is fairly limited in size. I get my 10yo and 17yo in it and with fishing equipment but its fairly congested. Cheers
FollowupID: 763607

Reply By: Charlie B2 - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 13:56

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 13:56
Hi folks,

I'm another Port-Bote owner. I've got a 12' Genesis IV with 5hp Tohatsu and really quite like it for the River Murray, but I don't use mine on the ocean - my wife reckons the big grey things down there are just waiting for her and I'm no big fan of them either. I personally wouldn't use mine any distance from shore on any open-water lake - the waves on these can get up pretty quickly and I had three cousins who drowned on Lake Alexandrina many years ago. Incidents like these do affect your mind-set. Besides there are different safety equipment requirements for these in SA.

I wanted a 14' originally, but my wife talked me out of it and, for once, I'm glad I listened to her. :-)

But even the 12' does have its drawbacks - at age 67 with a crook shoulder I CAN get it on to the roof rack alone, but it's not a lot of fun doing it. Carrying it folded is a struggle on your own, although no biggie for two people. Mind you, the folded shape doesn't make it any easier for the person at the bow end. I find the biggest issue is space and place for transporting the seats, transom, outboard, fuel and the safety gear you have to carry on board when on the water. We would normally take it when on the road for a holiday, but the Jayco Eagle Outback means that a few possibilities for transporting gear have to be set aside.

If I had my time again, I'd stay with the 12' but I'd certainly get at least an 8hp motor, because even with only two people and the safety gear I can't get it up on the plane. As a displacement hull it uses more fuel than I'd prefer and 9km/h flat out (according to my GPS) is hardly what I'd call scintillating performance.

If I do go to an 8, I'm concerned that this could be a bit of an issue because even the 5hp pushes the shank of the motor hard against the "keel" and jams the steering. it unjams as soon as the "power" is reduced. Whether this is an issue that's confined to the blow-moulded transom of the Gen IV, I'm just not sure.

I'd far rather have a full-height transom for any sea-going use, preferably made of something that isn't going to flex, to stop the steering from jamming. In a mate's tinny many years ago three of us nearly drowned when his underpowered boat got sucked back into the face of a big wave as we were coming in to the beach, the boat was swamped and there was only an inch of freeboard below his cutaway transom - if his transom had been full-height we would have had a far better margin for error. Sure, in retrospect we shouldn't have even been out in that kind of sea, but I'm sure a few of us have made mistakes in our youth that we wouldn't today.

I've also got a mate who doesn't fold his 12' Gen III up at all ! He transports his, ready to go, with all the safety gear, fuel, outboard, etc, etc, on a 6' x 4' box trailer. Suits him but wouldn't work for me - why buy a Porta-Bote if that's the way you intend to move it around?

So - to your questions. I don't have any knowledge of the Gen V so can't help there.

14' or 12'? That will depend on how able-bodied the players are and the MINIMUM number you're going to have with you at any one time. The 12' fits on my roof rack with 3"-4" hanging over the rear and extends well forward of the windscreen of my 100 series LandCruiser, not quite to the front of the bonnet, but far enough that it needs to be tied down to the bullbar. For that roof-top application, I'd argue that a 14' would be too long for my purposes. The 12' is heavy enough, and I'm pretty sure the 14' is a fair bit heavier again.

Would I go 4 stroke? Maybe. They are quieter than my motor and mine does vibrate a fair bit so would like to try one out if I was leaning that way.

Motor weight can be an issue - someone has to get it and the boat itself from the vehicle to the water, but it's going to be a call that you're probably in a better position to make.

If you're going with dolly wheels, maybe you need something better (larger diameter and more rigid) than the PB standard ones. I'm still looking!

Again, it's your call, but that's my two bob's worth (if it's even worth that).

If I sound a bit negative, don't be too concerned - I find issues with almost everything - I'd buy another one tomorrow, if I could get the flexing transom issue resolved.



AnswerID: 488448

Follow Up By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 18:33

Thursday, Jun 14, 2012 at 18:33
we have a 12foot with an 8hp and it is fine, hubby made some dolly wheels that would work better in the sand and we got an upholster to make up a cover like a surfboard cover with 2 handles to carry it and to keep the dirt of it when we are in the outback.
It suits our purposes looking forward to using in the Gulf and the Kimberey
FollowupID: 763628

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