Follow-up Porta-bote Review and Aftermath

February 23rd, 2007 by: cheyenne

We had held out posting our 1.3-year dinghy review until we heard back from Porta-bote on our inquiry regarding warranties (so we could include at least one piece of useful information for our “used porta-bote”-Googling friends). Since they didn’t respond, we just posted the review anyway and mentioned that Porta-bote was not being expedient about getting back to us (with a palpable note of irritation). We again emailed Porta-bote, this time to ask about outboards since we were looking to possibly buy a 9.8 Tohatsu and the company used to deal Tohatsu outboards, and we got a fantastically prompt response. So Joshua responded once more asking if they had received our previous email regarding the Porta-bote and if there was a warranty; again, no response. A couple days later, Joshua responded with an irritated ‘curious-you-respond-so-fast-to-a-potential-sales-lead -but-not-to-a-warranty-inquiry’ and gave the URL for the bote review blog post, in case they were interested. Within one hour, a lengthy rebuttal was posted to the blog by Sandy, the president of Porta-bote. Of course, I had to type out my lengthy response to his very defensive response, and well you know how it goes. And he still hadn’t answered our question as to whether there was a warranty.

But at last Sandy has responded to my response to his initial response and has confirmed that yes, there is a one-year warranty on the plastic seats and transom. He also added: “if you treated an aluminum or fiberglass or inflatable dinghy the way you described treating your poor porta-bote so vividly in your blog, you wouldn’t have a dinghy left to say nasty things about. 59,989 owners can’t be wrong! Yeah for Porta-Bote!” Which, for one: I have to say I’m surprised to hear he read so extensively in my blog because I only described one incident where the bote took a wave that trashed the transom. Another: what makes him think we treated our bote poorly? By exposing it to the harsh sun? By using the rowing set-up? By actually taking it in the ocean? That an inflatable or hard dinghy of another material would have survived the abuse we supposedly lash upon our poor bote is false, as any owner of such a dinghy could verify. And did I really say anything nasty? I feel I wrote a fair and constructive review.

But back to the warranty; our bote is 1.3 years old (although the seats broke at around 9ish months and the transom at 11 months), yet Sandy has generously offered to replace our seats and transom at no cost. We sent a reply asking to have the seats and transom shipped to my mom’s house so we could pick them up next time we visited but never got a response. Two weeks later and about when we had given up of every hearing from Porta-bote again, Mom sends me an email saying that a tall box full of some weird black plastic things just arrived!

So there you have it: all you broken transom/seat bote owners (provided you are in the US) can get replacements if it’s been less than a year. If it’s been more than that, well, I guess you have to assert yourself as a major pain in the ass to get any response.

Links to our other posts on the subject of Porta-Bote.

1.3-Year Porta-Bote and Kayak Review
Porta-bote Redux Redux
Porta-bote Again

86 Comments on “Follow-up Porta-bote Review and Aftermath”

  1. Steve says:

    Based on reports from the people who contacted me, a common source of failure seems to be when the Porta-Bote is decelerated quickly from wide open throttle. The weight and momentum from the outboard under these circumstances is greater the the transom is designed to withstand.

  2. Peg Bowden says:

    Well—all I can say is the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Glad you bugged them about this. We will keep the new seats and transom safe and dry in the garage. –Mom

  3. Jeff E says:

    So are you happy with your porta-bote
    i have a new 14 foot.
    open seas are not goood for this bote??
    have fun

  4. joshua says:

    Your 14 footer is probably a lot more seaworthy than our 10 foot model. However, seaworthiness is a matter of opinion. I wouldn’t go out in any real weather in it. For example we just came across the bay here at Isla Guanaja, Honduras. It’s blowing 25+ and there is a mile or two of fetch. It’s pretty hairy. If we took a wave it would be almost impossible to self rescue. It depends on your own comfort level. It will never compare to a 14 foot inflatable as far as seaworthiness is concerned. The coast guard uses those for a reason.

    We’re happy with it because it meets our expectations for performance. It rows well and we don’t like to put the motor on it all the time. A majority of cruisers always moter anyway. If you fall into this catagory an inflatable would probably be a better choice.

  5. vida_del_mar says:

    I have an 8 footer I bought about 6 years ago. I started out with an electric trolling motor and it worked just fine. Until one day……I was about a half mile offshore spearfishing, some weather came in and my battery was dead. To my surprise rowing the portabote in 4 to 6 ft waves was difficult but not unbearable. It handled well for such a small and light weight craft. Unfortunatly the pressure on the seat placed by my body from rowing broke the middle support. I never bothered to get it replaced. The seat still holds my weight and keeps the boat open, even with a broken support. I know eventually this will cause other problems, but I am still holding out. Now I have a 3.5 Tohatsu which I purchased from Portabote, and still run a mile or two offshore on calm days. Overall, for the price, this is a pretty damn good little bote.

  6. TimeMachine » Porta-bote Redux Redux says:

    […] So, fine. We requested information on warranty once upon a time. Sandy replied saying although our seats were out of warranty, we pissed him off enough that Porta-Bote would send replacement seats/transom anyway, just to make us feel bad happy. So we gave an address and a few weeks later they appear, unannounced (that is, until after they arrived), but appreciated. We sent a thank you email. AND we posted a follow-up to our blog explaining what Porta-bote offers as seat/transom warranty and what they were doing for us. Done. Everyone’s happy. Whatever! […]

  7. cheyenne says:

    Update: Replacement seats and transom arrived but there was NO transom. Only seats. I am assuming this was unintentional but I’m still pretty bummed out since the transom was the really badly broken part and the piece that prompted us in the first place to contact Porta-Bote about possible warranty.

  8. TimeMachine » Porta-bote Again says:

    […] is a follow up to older stories: 1.3-Year Porta-Bote and Kayak Review Follow-up Porta-bote Review and Aftermath Porta-bote Redux […]

  9. Jacky says:

    I had a similar problem with my transom, transom where the motor mounted cracked after I use it couple times with a small gas motor. I contacted Porta Bote and was told that it was my fault because I used a wrong (older) motor. I was told that out of 70,000+ Bote sold I was the only one that have a transom problem. I finally talked to the manufacturer and was told that a reinforement bracket was added to the transom since I bought it. They finally COD me a scratch-up transom after I bugged them long enough.

    By the way, I think the reinforcement bracket helps but not enough because it is in the wrong place (at the bottom instead of at the top). Transom should be redesigned with a different manufacturing process if they really want to fix the problem.

  10. Jeff E says:

    how is the port a bote now
    i still have my 14 thinking about selling it

  11. Lee says:

    Sounds to me like you might be better off making your own transom from marine plywood. A couple 3/4 inch pieces glued together and drilled to mount in the plastic transoms stead would probably solve this for good. I know they’re heavier, but weight and strength are sometimes tradeoffs. Short of building a transon using carbon fiber or kevlar…

  12. TimeMachine » 1.3-Year Porta-Bote and Kayak Review says:

    […] Follow-up Porta-bote Review and Aftermath Porta-bote Redux Redux Porta-bote again […]

  13. L S Miller says:

    I have a different problem, and am looking to see if others have had that. I had a wooden transom, so no problem there, but the so-called “bladder” (the folding bit that keeps the water out)has split virtually from top to bottom on one diagonal fold. It has had only light use and never been stressed out(I only used a Min-Kota electric motor, and mostly just rowed), so the only possibility is that it was unfit for the purpose. It is my belief that it was never properly “hinged”, so that each folding operation stressed it out further until it failed from fatigue. There is a ten-year warranty on the hull, but (based on the details of that), the only deal Sandy would give me (the boat is only 5 years old) would cost me about £650, which is too much. Additionally, he suggested “somthing may have slammed into that area”; this is nonsense because it would have left visible stress marks (white on the green)and becaause I know that did not happen. Please contact if you have any relevant information.

  14. mel shapiro says:

    I am fishing the rivers and inlets here in Alaska and saw the Porta-Bote as a practical boat for my purpose. But having read the above comments I’m left with the feeling that the company doesn’t give a damn about its customers or its warranty. Considering the cost of these things one would hope the company was more prompt to satisfy a sold customer. I’ve always had good performance from AVON Inflatables….

  15. Rob Davids says:

    I have been researching this boat because of it being so portable. I was interested in getting the 14′ model but after reading about how the company handles their customers in this review, I am definitely changing my mind and will be letting my friends know as well who were also interested in this boat.

  16. Ross Bell says:

    I am looking at the 12ft porta for fishing (standing up flicking lures) with 1 or 2 in the boat. Mainly river mouths and generally sheltered water. On a good day some open ocean stuff. Probably use a 6hp 4 stroke.

    Interested in any comments about the stability of the craft and ease of fishing/ maneuverability

  17. GB trading says:

    Hello Porta-Bote friends,

    I have read the comments above and this is my reaction. We are the Porta-Bote distributor
    for the Netherlands, Belgium and France for over 15 years now. Of course during this time we have had also a few customers with a warranty case. Just as it will be with any other product.
    But I can say that we have had no troubles at all with Porta-Bote USA regarding the warranty. We always could satisfy our customers again.
    It is always so pity that only the customers with a bad experiance show their problems and all the customers who are satisfied you never hear. As you can read above it is also always that the negative people are often to believed more than all the positive and happy one’s.
    Therefore,..happy owners. Please identify yourself. It must be more than 95%!!

    Many happy watersport and fishing time wishes to all Porta-Bote owners.

    GB trading – The Netherlands

  18. alouwomack says:

    Well, I’m not sure where to begin . . .

    First of all, I would like to thank Cheyenne & Joshua for this blog . . . without it I would not have “squeaked my wheel” so loudly in defense of the Porta-bote that my husband and I own.

    We recently discovered a crack in the fold of the bladder and contacted Sandy to find out what we should do. Shipping from Texas to California and back to Texas would be quite expensive–we both agreed. So, he suggested something called Scotch Weld . . . but I wasn’t sure . . . so I did a little research and that’s when I found this blog and a group on Yahoo called PortabotersWorldWide – I started a post on this Yahoo Group to see what others thought and told everyone that Sandy said this is not a problem he’s heard of before–just like he told me on the phone when we first spoke. He of course denied this on the Group and tried to turn it all around on me: I never sent the pictures of the damage like I said I would, I refused to ship the boat back, etc., etc., etc.

    The moral of the story is: Sandy is sending us a new hull . . . even though he doesn’t think we deserve it. Basically he wants me to hush up and in turn he looks like a respectable business man who went above and beyond to make the ungrateful customer happy. ((And he did in this instance–just like he did for Cheyenne and Joshua–but I believe it was solely because he was being held accountable in a semi-public setting where others would know the outcome.)) I’ve received some flack from other Porta-Bote owners for being a whiner and disrespectful, etc., etc., etc. You know that saying, “when you walk a mile in my shoes”? What a painful walk this has been! All in all, I think everything turned out okay. And I feel good knowing I didn’t lie or cheat to get justice!

    I love the Porta-Bote and don’t intend on tarnishing its name. And for the record, thank you Sandy for sending us a new hull. We are truly appreciative.

  19. Angus says:

    Interesting reading. I had similar dealings with the company. Short version: hull arrived damaged in shipping. The damage was not visible until it was unpacked. Sandy gave me a load of attitude about not marking the damage on the bill of lading (The damage wasn’t visible???). They replaced the hull. I was insulted & bitter and tried to sell the boat. Couldn’t sell it, so now I use it and like it. Good product – good service – poor packaging – poor interpersonal skills.

  20. alouwomack says:

    Hi Angus,

    I am glad to hear your hull was replaced . . . too bad it was not without a fight.

    Sandy has replaced our hull since I last posted here. I believe we received it around Thanksgiving (2008). We agreed to send in a sample portion of the bladder so it could be analyzed by an offsite company. He recently let me know that the offsite company has downsized and doesn’t do that sort of work anymore. But his own company analyzed it and he says it passed inspection.

    I would rather fess up and say we did batter or abuse our bote but that was never the case. Our damage started at the seam of the bote . . . not a random crack caused by trauma.

    However, I am thankful he did replace the hull . . . but it was a pretty painful process . . . and I was left feeling like an exploited/complaining customer. But, oh well, what do you do???

    Good luck to you and your Portabote. I hope you get to enjoy using yours as much as we have ours.

  21. Willy says:

    Well, it sounds like porta-bote is having some growing pains but the end result is still a good product. I’m a first time buyer looking to purchase probably in May.
    I don’t think this is the kind of craft that was meant to be tied up all day , day after day on a dock …. I understand you go out, use it … come back, give it a wash off fold it and store it inside somewhere.

  22. Andy says:

    I have a sailboat and look for a foldable sturdy and reliable dinghy whith which I can row in all conditons as it is the main power to propell us. I owned an old Banana Boot in Europe but disliked it as it was difficult to open up and the Sail and its rigging was useless. I wonder if PortaBoate is the same product? I am furhter really pissed to read about the CEO and his behavior pattern. When I buy a product, any product, and it fails due to weak parts or whatever I demand in all fairness a honest description as to what the products really can stand up to and mostly I expect excellent customer service, each and every time. I have a similar experience with the CEO of Pudget and shy away from good products because the owners or Managers had once a great idea but have no decency and courtesy to understand how to deal with clients.


  23. Will says:

    Well … Mr. Wau, few companies offer a 10 year warranty on their product ( try that with a 52″ LCD TV )… I think it’s great the CEO is able to email you and chat with you about the product. ( very rare these days ) …. he is even willing to take the time out to speak to you on the phone ( real time !! ) …..ALSO we see the CEO himself trying to keep everyone happy even though some folks may have abused their bote. Contrary to popular belief the public is not easy to work with. It appears that Porta-Bote ( made in america ? ) is doing their best to offer a quality product and Sandy deserves an A+ for effort and patience. I hope to be purchasing one soon!!

  24. Yang says:


  25. MY says:

    Whoops. THANKS to all who posted here. I have called them once as prospective customer and the sense I got on the phone was very similar to the complaints here. I got the sense that they were interested in the sale, but may not come through with the service. Of course one call does not an accurate judgment make. Hence my jumping on the web to check. There are plenty of other companies who will provide good service. These posts have the ring of believability and really does turn me away from picking one up.

  26. Don Bellante says:

    I have a two year old 12ft Porta Bote with a 3.5 Mercury. The second time I had it out was on a lake fishing. My wife caught a trout and was bringing the fish close to the boats starboard side so I could net the fish. I leaned over the side with a hand net to net the fish, at which time the boat overturned. As I leaned over to net the fish I was aware of the starboard side of the transum dipped under the water, that was all it took, there was no recovery. I flopped into the water imemdiately and my wife, who was seated on the center portion of the center seat, was catapulted over me and into the water. We were drifting with the motor in netural and there was slight wind with 6 to 8 foot chop. I could think of no reason for the boat to have overturned other than simply leaning over to net the fish. My wife suffered hypothermia and a mild heart attack as a result of falling into the freezing water and remaining in the water for twenty minutes until we were rescued. The boat was fully submerged except for the first foot of the bow was out of the water, hardly enough to hang onto without pushing the bow under as well. I haven’t used the boat sense. The boat was highly advertized and un-tipable and un-sinkable on their website. As a result of my incident, the Porta Bote site was changed in the stability section. Has any one else had stability or tipover issues? Needless to say, my boat is for sale.

  27. Mike says:

    I have been using Porta-Bote 12ft with my 5hp Nissan Engine since last 6 years, I can say this is an amazing boat, and today we have a porta-boters club and we really have best of fun.. It would have been extreamly difficult with inflatables and other traditional boat. Hey check out this site folks.. they have put some nice testimonials.

  28. cheyenne says:

    Sarah: We used email because we were in Panama.

  29. Sandy says:

    Hi Folks,

    Looks like our comments were cut off.

    Sandy Kaye
    Porta-Bote International

  30. Ellsworth says:

    I bought a used 1998 12 foot Portabote about eight to ten years ago. It had the original wooden seats and transom unitl 2005 when I replaced the seats with the plastic seats. They said the plastic transom wouldn’t work on my model so I built my own replacement transom with marine plywood though it needs replacing again after 5 years. Sounds like I will be making another with the past comments on the plastic transom’s reliability. Not only that but looking for parts on their web site is not easy…couldn’t find a way to do it. I spoke to a saleman at a sportsman’s show today and he didn’t know about the parts either.

    I have used the boat every year for at least two weeks straight in the Adirondaks. I use a Nissan 5hp with no problems. I have also taken it out around where we live in Maryland (Chesapeake Bay tributaries).

    The boat has served me well and has never flipped, cracked, or failed. It has made it through a heck of a storm on an Adirondack Lake that caused some serious praying but came out fine. The funny story was I was sailing on the lake in a small homemade sailboat when the storm hit. My nephew came to rescue me in the Portabote and the two of us ended up cowering in the bottom of our boats as the lightening storm hit.

    I recommend the boat for anyone looking for a good runabout or small fishing boat. Works great and stores easily. We camp so being able to tow the camper and throw the Portabote in the truck or camper is a big plus. I even have the sail kit, still brand new and never used. That I am not too confident about.

  31. Stefan says:

    I consider purchasing a 14 foot porta-bote, but I’m a 350lb guy and I wonder how the seats handle my weight?
    Dealer in canada assured me that would be no problem(???)
    Any advise please?

  32. Lorrie Glatton says:

    I fully stand against anyone commenting my favorate Porta-Bote. I love it, l Love it and I LOVE IT.




  33. Greg says:

    I’ve had an interesting experience here in Australia. I recently purchased a second hand 14′ and it looks in very good condition EXCEPT when I put it in the pool to test it the boat drew water. It isn’t a lot of water,about 1m long and 1-2cm deep over a few hours but that is unloaded. I’ve read they may take a little water through the bottom seam but this seemed excessive. When I contacted the Australian agent (I will add that he was polite and got back to me quickly) he advised the warranty only extends to the original purchaser . This seems a bit slack as car warranties pass on to successive owners but, so be it. He suggested the original owner may have damaged the stern seam with the motor (no damage visible though) and suggested using marine sealant on this seam. I’ve yet to source a small outboard so I can’t test it more thoroughly at this stage.

  34. joey from minnesota says:

    I just came back from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, by Lake Saganaga. This particular area allows motorized boats with 25HP or less motors. I have a 14′ jon boat that I used, but because I have a pop up camper, the boat and trailer had to be pulled by my brother in law driving a separate tow vehicle. I have been looking at the Porta-bote and am considering selling my jon and trailer to buy a 12 porta-bote so that I can take it when camping with the pop up….all that said, I am re-thinking all this because of the customer service experiences that many of you have posted. It’s a pity…to me good products are good not only because of design and quality but especially it’s customer service….

  35. Bill says:

    I am not affiliated with the company in any manner with the exception of being a satisfied customer. I owned a 12 ft Porta-bote for 6 years and used it often (2-3 days a week). I never experienced any issues whatsoever with the craft. Very stable and durable. I fish in reservoirs that do not allow motors or trailoring in a boat, so this met my needs perfectly. 36lb thrust trolling motor worked just fine. Never had it out in the ocean or used a gas motor, so I cannot speak to that. I now own a 10ft Porta-bote and can say the same about this model..(I would be hesitant to take the 10 footer out in the ocean). Two years, no issues. 8 years of being a satisfied Porta-bote owner. Everyone has different needs. Make sure you find a craft that suits yours. Do your research. Customer service has always been informative and friendly. PS the guy that purchased my 12 ft is still using it today (in the Ocean) and loves it.

  36. Dana says:

    Buy some rubber washers and attach them to the outside of all the areas where the bolts penetrate the hull (even up high). Make certain they are tight (hand-tight). Portabote should add these to all new boats. Even above the water-line, water splashes onto those spots and trickles in.

    That could be the source of your small leak (having experienced this myself).

    I love my portabote and I take it out on the ocean on the Northern East side of Vancouver Island (50 degree water, but sheltered) all the time. I have been in big winds and seas with no problems, but I actively balance the boat (years of windsurfing and canoeing) as I would with any small boat. I always pay due respect to the wind and waves and always assume any boat, once tipped, puts you in a life-threatening situation.

    Last summer we (4 adults) pulled in a 28 pound halibut into my 14 foot porta bote with no problem. We balanced the load as we pulled in the beast. It was quite the site to see us lift this beautiful fish out of the boat when we returned to the campsite!

    We regularly pull up fully loaded crab traps (25 crabs or more) with 4 people in the boat. Now that’s a challenge! Again, we make sure to balance the load.

    I have owned my boat for 3 years now and can say I really do love it. Sure it’s a bit of an ugly mutt, but that’s part of it’s charm. It is a small boat. You shouldn’t take it out in big seas unless you have to.

    I cannot comment on Porta Bote’s customer service because I have never had to deal with it, though it sounds like that is an area where the company should invest some extra effort. Getting a customer is difficult. Keeping a customer is easy!

    One day I will own a ‘real boat’ but for now I’ll continue to pull in halibut, flounder, sole, lingcod, rockcod, spiny dogfish, ratfish, cabezon, crabs and salmon as well as explore beaches I could not reach otherwise except by use my porta bote. (Plus it hangs on the side of my garage and can be carried on my roof rack when not in use.)

  37. Greg says:

    Hi Dana,
    Unfortunately the rubber washer isea won’t fix this issue because:
    a) it already has rubber washer on all bolts and
    b) even in my pool (with no splashing) it draws water.

    I have, since my original post, siliconed the back and main hull seam but to no avail. I’m assuming this was just a dud one out of the factory and am somewhat saddened that the agents and OEM wiped their hands of the issue (especially since it is under 4 years old)

  38. David says:

    Greg, that is rough re them not honoring the guarantee for you, and shows the sort of attitude that has convinced me not to buy a PortaBoat. Shame cause it would have suited my needs exactly.

    However, since the guarantee is OK for the original owner is still valid perhaps you can get the person you bought it from to lodge the boat in for repair under the guarantee under his name (you could do a ‘sell back’ to him for a $1 if necessary, but he is still the original owner and thus covered.

    It is sad that good products have to be bypassed because of lousy businessmen

  39. jack says:

    Had my folded hull stolen, along with the sailing mast and boom. Anybody have a 10 foot hull they want to ship to Naples Florida?

  40. alan robinson says:

    I purchased a second hand 10 porta-bote last year, it was two years old when i made the purchase but had only been on the water a few time, it had been kept assembled and on a trailer, i took it to my villa in spain to use on my holidays, it has been stored for 10 months folded up in the garage, today 6 jan 2011, i assembled it for the first time to use it and found the transom outer skin has a split from the top edge down to about 3 inches in length, I thought this material was bullit proof! now I face the problems of 1, patching it, 2 trying to get the whole piece replaced, before the split continues down to the water line. to say how much these cost and the claims about durability made in the advertising blurb, I must say I am very dissapointed with my purchase, if it were wood or grp it would be a simple task to repair, but this might be more than i am able to cope with, I am told the hull has a warrantie of ten years , if that is the case maybe porta-bote will come to my assistance. fingers crossed.

  41. rick agosta says:

    Hello-I have the 8′ model and would like to know if there would be any problem just leaving the boat always open and ready to slide in my pick-up truck? I will be keeping it in my garage. —thanks

  42. Hawaiian boat rentals says:

    Porta bote customer service is the wo worst customer service I have ever experienced in all my years of boat rental. allow me to explain, upon calling porta boats 1 800 number I was told that their units are in virtually. Indistructable and made out of the same material that bullet proof vests are manufactured from okay?Kevlar is what a bulletproof vest is made of these are not made of kevlar .The reason I called the customer service number wast to ask if the warranty is transferable and was told that it is not when I asked why I was told that they were not aware of what a previous customer could have done to their boat .I find that slightly ironic being that I was told previously in the conversation that they’re virtually indestructible. For the next 15 minutes I was told that anybody who would sell there boat would be selling it because it was no longer functioning properly “yet I thought it was infallible”.In all my years in this bussiness I have never been so insulted or berated while asking vaild questions about a product ,it is unheard of. These people are so incredibly egotistical that it was disturbing! I run a boat rental outfit on the island of Hawaii and had intented to buy 10 of these units for my bussiness but after dealing with these disrespectful rude individuals I would not consider a porta boat for anything more than a porta potty.

    Good day to you at porta boat and take a lesson in customer relations you lost a 20 K sale today due to your complete lack of the afromentioned

  43. Bob Wills says:

    Fellow Boat Owners:

    A comment about my decision not to purchase a 14-foot Porta-Bote I had planned to use in lakes and rivers; especially, after reading the discontent with the Porta-Bote Company.

    My comment embodies a simple methodology I successfully used with customers – both nationally and internationally.

    1. Demonstrate that the customers can trust you.

    2. Demonstrate that you have met with them (the customers) to help them solve their problems.

    3. Demonstrate that you will meet all stated and written statements regarding service, products and support, following the purchase, installation and commissioning of all products.

    In general, understand and practice the simple concept, “…customer, what may I do for you…”

  44. Roscoe Howell says:

    Thanks so much for this site and so much useful information. I was just about to order this boat until I read the customer service complaints expressed here. This site saved me several thousand dollars! Bad customer service is like cancer, it spreads fast. You would think that the owner of the company would have a change of heart and attitude when dealing with their customers.

  45. Bill Hart says:

    The multiple experiences shared here are disturbing and it does seem that Porta-Bote would profit in investing in a few customer-relations workshops.
    I have not completed my layaway for the ten foot eight inch Porta-Bote model. I have one last payment and as that payment is forthcoming in a few weeks, I am wondering if I should stop shipment and ask for a refund before it becomes a huge disappointment?
    My intent is to use the Porta-Bote for lake fishing, trolling with a 40 lb thrust electric motor. The transom problems sited certainly bother me, as well as the flexibility of the boat design and how that effects the electric motor battery. I would appreciate further information on how to construct a wooden transom. Weight distribution with the 61 lb. battery is another concern. Has anyone else experienced problems with the transom? What might be the best solution for weight distribution with the battery for an electric motor?
    And what about the Porta-Bote dolly? Is it a waste of money? The design seems well thought out. Is it?

  46. Mike Hall says:

    I bought an older 12 ft Portabote from 1993 recently. All of the seats, supports and transom are plywood. I only recently noticed the newer Genesis models went to polyvinyl and steel rod supports. At first I tought this was an improvement, but I don’t think so now. Polyvinyl does experience stress fractures and fatique and can crack. I would replace only the problem areas with marine grade plywood. My transome is two layers of 1/2 inch plywood on the inside of the Polypropylene skin an another 1/2 inch piece on the outside of the skin where the outboard mount plate mounts on two stainless steel wing nuts. Plywood may look old fashion, but it will not crack like Polyvinyl will. I have layers of foam glued on my seets also which isn’t as attractive as the new seets, but I like the comfort also. Keep the new design, but fix only the problem areas with the old reliable stuff. Scotch Weld is one of 3M’s adhesives which I have used when repairing Koi Pond liners with. I think it would work on the PP skin also but look pretty ugly. Still I’d pick up some pond liner which is vinylized fabric, very strong and thin and probably call 3M directly and ask one of their engineers which adhesive would be best. (I think their Marine Adhesive 5200 slow dry (7 days) would be the best, but ask them anyway) apply a couple of sandwiched layers adhesive, liner, adhesive, liner and let it cure. It should still be fledible over the PP skin crack. If you put it on the inside of the skin between the skin and the plywood transom, it wouldn’t be visible. 3m 5200 is a rubbery white sealer once it cures. Apply that over the crack on the outside. Just a note, I fished all over a large lake with 1 dog and 3 anglers and a 34lb thrust electric troller Minn Kota C2 Enduro model. The boat & motor did everything we needed. You don’t need an outboard. I wouldn’t take it off shore for any reason, use some common sense. You can force anything to a breaking point and get away with it yep, until it breaks. The Portabote is a fantastic design and well thought out and practical, so if you are too, you won’t have any problem. 94,000 are not wrong. I also wouldn’t suggest ramming the beach and breaking a shear pin in the outboard, but one reviewer did. The test crew does that stuff, just because somebody will with theirs too. It’s still a bad idea though. Good Luck All

  47. ezat says:

    I just purchased a 12ft porta bote and a 6hp Nissan outboard and live in Brooklyn NY. I will be taking this out on Jamaica bay to fish for trout. sea fish and whatever bites my line and fits on my grill.
    I read good comments hear and bad comments. My focus is those people who take it out and fish in the ocean. Should i be terrified ?? Most of the people here take it out on lakes which does not experience the same problem and currents as the ocean.
    Anyone here can give me a word of advise on taking it out in the ocean???
    email me please .
    thanks .

  48. Rick Mullins says:

    I read with interest all the comments. I intend to see and maybe buy at a trade show in July 11.To be forwarned is to be forarmed. I will have many questians

  49. Mark Hall says:

    Well, interesting comments. I must say, we bought our 14 ft porta bote 5 years ago. Bought the sail package, 9.8 4 stroke, wheels for portability…the whole deal. When it arrived I had some questions, called and they were answered. 2nd time I took it out sailing, I had some questions, called, and they were answered. The small cover for the bow cracked – I called, they reminded me it was not a structural issue, I mentioned this was the only boat I have ever owned and wanted it to look nice (for my three boys, etc.) they replaced it.

    Boat is great, going out tommorrow with the family again (wife & boys), and expecting to make some more great memories. The only real problem I ever had was convincing a group of about four families on the shore the boat was safe. I after I gave about ten of them a ride (not all at the same time) two of them stated they were going to look into buying one.

    Life is good here in the Berkshires of MA, and our porta bote makes it better. Thanks for the safe boat for my family, the memories so far, and the ones yet to be made.

    See ya on the water…

  50. Herbert Little says:

    I bought an 8 footer three years ago to use as a tender for our sailboat. My wife and I and our dog use the boat for a month each summer on Catalina Island. We use a 2 Hp Honda. During the first summer it developed a leak of about a quart of water for each 15 minutes of use with any weight in the boat. The leak was not from the bolts securing the transom. I contacted the company. They inquired about the size of the motor (which was the right size for the boat) and said the only place the boat could be leaking was the seam at the transom that is sealed with stainless steel staples. They suggested I could seal that with 3M 5200 marine sealant. I tried that and it held for awhile and then began leaking again. I will next try a more flexible 3M sealant and see if that will fix it. Ultimately, I may have to admit that the product is defective. It is very tiresome constantly bailing and dealing with wet feet each time I use the boat.

  51. di day says:

    How disappointing,

    I have never owned a boat and felt this would fit my needs of just having fun, pooteling about off the coast of christchurch UK. We have a large natural harbour here too, however, after reading these comments, I don’t feel the financial outlay will be safe, especially if the manufacturers, knowing of recurring problems such as leaks and transome breakages, arent’t upgrading their products or addressing customer’s problems.

    Thanks for the comments, my money is safe!!

  52. edward says:

    Wow I was about to buy either a 12 or 14 footer. This boat has obvious defects and the company doesn’t appear to be addressing the problems. It’s a shame. The idea is a good one. I’ll be spending my money elsewhere.

  53. Karl says:

    Thanks for all the comments. I just received an e-mail from the company advertising a sale, good only until 5PM today – hmmm. Based on the information above, I’m going to pass on this. Too bad, because I’m looking for a lightweight portable boat for rowing. It sounds like there are too many problems with this one. (The internet is great for consumers, isn’t it?)

  54. Sandy kaye says:


    Hi, this blog started about 4 years ago. Since then, there have been many positive changes within the company and with the Porta-Bote products including newly designed “super seats” that hold 600 pounds, etc.

    So, we’re going to start forwarding some of the many positive comments from customers who are satisfied with our services and Porta-Botes.

    We’re doing this so that there is a better balance to this blog.

    We now have over 90,000 Porta-Botes being used around the world and selling about 10,000+ a year.

    If we have offended anyone we certainly apologize. At the same time there are always two sides to every story.

    Sandy Kaye
    Porta-Bote International

  55. Sandy says:

    I submitted more comments then are shown on the blog. But, was trying to show that there are “2 sides to every story”. Actually, we have hundreds of our customers who have taken the time to let us know how much they are enjoying their Porta-Bote and our service.

    Believe it or not, this blog has helped our company by illustrating some weaknesses which we have strived to overcome. So, for that we are grateful and pledge to continue to improve our service and products.


  56. Sandy says:

    To the BLOG “OWNERS”

    I was disappointed that you removed some of the positive comments we have received from Porta-Bote owners.

    I had hoped you were better than that. I was trying to show a better balance of comments as happy pwners rarely will go on a blog to express themselves.

    Guess I was wrong. Assume this comment will also be removed. Too bad.

    Sandy Kaye
    Porta-Bote International

  57. joshua says:

    Sandy, I removed about 10 of the customer testimonials you posted. I believe they are genuine but it’s not appropriate to mass post them here as comments. If you would like to host a page on your own site with these, you would be welcome to link to it here. I took a quick look but couldn’t find a page on the porta-bote website or I would have added it myself.

    It’s great to hear that the seat design has been improved. I took a look at the porta-bote site but couldn’t find the details. We noted the extra reinforcement on our replacement transom. Is this now standard? Has the warranty on the seats and transom been increased?

  58. Sandy says:

    Thanks for responding.

    Yes, the reinforced transom has been standard for several years.

    The new seats are of a completely different design. They will carry up to 600 pounds. The seats and transom now carry a 5 year warranty.

    Each one of the positive posts were genuine. We included their email address so you could verify.

    The problem with the original section of you blog is that it no longer applies. It did a good job of calling our attention to the problems which we have strived to correct. We sent just a few of the hundreds of positive comments to illustrate how much has changed, We are deeply grateful to you for opening our eyes to these problems.

    Hopefully you will update this blog to reflect the changes. Admittedly, it’s a lot of work. But, the tone should really be updated to reflect the product and the company as it exists today.

    One poor fellow actually cancelled his order which was on and interest free layaway and almost paid off after reading some of the early messages. Several submitted years ago

    We sell over 10,000 Porta-Botes a year so we didn’t really feel it financially. But, we do feel sorry for him in that he probably will miss many years of enjoyment using his Porta-Bote.

    Thanks again for responding.


  59. Sandy says:

    There are two blogs we belong to. They are both made up of Porta-Bote owners and “wannabees”.

    If you monitor these blogs you will see that there are both positive and negative comments. Mostly (99%) positive.

    In all cases, Porta-Bote is encouraged to respond to both types. As a matter of fact, some of the very positive endorsements we sent you were from Porta-Bote owners who subscribe to these blogs.

    Here’s the info on the Porta-Bote Yahoo Club Blogs.


  60. Dougal says:

    Interesting reading all. I recently brought a 10 year old 14′ bote with wooden seats second hand and have had it out 5 times now on the Wellington Harbour in NZ. Including one time with 4 guys on board.

    It rocks and is good fun basic boating – sure I broke a seat hole where the pin goes through, but thats what happens when you ‘sea-test’ your bote in 2ft swells to see how it will handle. No prob as will just fix this with about an hours effort. Am a bit disturbedf by all the people blaming Porta-Bote as boats do break and get hammered in the sea / river.

    Bote has been my way of being able to afford a safe, good sized boat to get out and have some fun – bring on summer!

  61. Ed Nieter says:

    Below is a comment (one of scores we receive all the time). We attached this one just received to your blog and you’ll probably remove it. But, your blog is now out of date as the company described earlier has not existed for the past few years and you are now inadvertantly misleading present day potential Porta-Bote owners.

    We really owe a debt of gratitude to you for helping to shape the way we now do business. But, now we need your cooperation in explaining to your viewers about the present company and how we now conduct business.

    Don’t have your email address so we have to correspond this way.

    Best wishes for the Holidays,

    Hi Sandy K. I must write to you to congratulate you on a really great product. I am 73, the temperature in South Bend, Ind is @45degrees and we still managed to grunt it together for the first time, inside our garage. We is my wife and I. Having spent my life with concept, design, document, fabricate, assembly, start-up and trouble shoot new automatic blast cleaning equipment (Wheelabrator, Pangborn, Erwin,) I have a good understanding of quality design. Everything with your Porta-bote is thoughtful and knowlegeable Ed Nieter

  62. Richard says:

    Question to Rick Agosta,

    Hi Rick, I read your question regarding leaving your 8′ ft Porta Bote open in your pick up. Have you recieved any replies?
    I am in the process of purchasing an 8footer for fishing local lakes and would like to know how you like your boat and if it is the right size for one man fishing? Are you happy with it?
    I intend to fold it each night and fit it into my Saturn Vue.

  63. Sandy says:

    Hi Richard,

    You might want to join the Porta-Bote Yahoo worldwide group. It has several thousand members, many of whom own 8′ Porta-Botes.

    They’re an independent group of owners and will answer your questions directly.


  64. kevin heitman says:

    I was very keen to own a 14 ft porta bote after reading the poor comments — sorry — no thanks — Kevin

  65. Sandy says:

    Hi Kevin,

    The Internet is a great form for receiving information. However, you have to judge carefully where it’s coming from.

    Our original company was getting going 5 years ago. But, it’s grown in product quality as well as stature. Over 90,000+ owners around the world who enjoy and appreciate their Botes.

    Suggest you join one of the many free Yahoo Porta-Bote groups so you get a more balanced view of how great this product really is and how well it’s owners are served. It’s made up of Porta-Bote owners who talk freely about their experiences with their Botes.


  66. RAy says:

    Just got a used 12.5 and like it alot. Hopefully the Porta-bote Co will help customers w/o making them feel guilty about needing help after reading all this.

    I’ve sailed for 30+ years and have never had a boat that didn’t suffer wounds and breaks. Just thought it should be said.

  67. Sandy says:

    Welcome aboard Ray,

    I wish you many pleasureable years with your boat.

    By the way, we have just introduced the first NEW Bote in 22 years. The new Alpha 1 Series Porta-Bote. It has many changes and improvements. In addition to the new ” SUPER SEATS” that hold 600 pounds each, it also has a fantastic FOLDING outboard motor transom that folds up with the boat. No need to carry a separate transom that needs to be installed! It’s made of a lightweight aircraft alloy!

    We’re all very excited about this latest boat that will once again shake up the small boating world.


  68. Just bought a new porta bote! says:

    Hi, is this true? Porta-Bote Alpha 1

    The new “2012″ Version of the Unique Folding Porta-Bote Dinghy offers 20% Increase in speed and new PATENTED FOLDING TRANSOM. On its 40st anniversary, Porta-Bote International has unveiled the latest Hi-Performance line of its remarkable folding Porta-Bote Dinghy. Over 41 major engineering advances have been incorporated that allow the craft to go 20% faster than the previous model.

    Because if it is its the first I have heard of it? And if it is true what else has been upgraded or changed that we dont know? thanks

  69. Sandy says:


    I have an interesting idea that I think the blogger owners will like very much.

    I ask them to contact me not on the blog bur at


  70. Concerned boater says:

    I own one of the 12 foot gen models. Beware as Mr kaye will use scare tactics about used boats. Told me that 7 years is forever in bote years and make a new transom out of plywood. This boat with the 6hp maximum size outboard with 2 adults and a dog will NOT plane slow and sluggish at 6-7mph max! I had to do a ton of mods to get the boat usable! This company will NOT state the terms of the so called 10 year limited warranty. LIMITED is the key word here. They wont tell you its PRORATED, THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY SHIPPING BOTH WAYS!!! They have a problem with the BLADDER CRACKING and wont admit that, Some have had this happen with 6 uses!! BEWARE. In my OPINION they post fake reviews and monitor and try to control posts on the net. The company and OWNER Mr Kaye has no intention of honoring their warranty.IMO they run PB yahoo like a shill site so people think its an active users group. Read posts there carefully. April 2013 on. Look there for the words Transom defect, Bladder Cracking, Defects. The list goes on. […] Bought the max 6HP motor and had to sell it at a loss and do alot of strengthening to use a 9.9hp motor. With alot of work it now usable. […]

  71. Concerned boater says:

    Please be aware that if you join Porta-Bote Yahoo group and post anything bad the Shills(Fake Users) will attack you there and if you continue the will send emails outside the group threatening you!!! If you continue the attacks will get worse and if they find out your identity they will then threaten YOU, your friends and family!! […] I have personally experienced this and have no stake in the game other than to warn unsuspecting Buyers and consumers of companies like this. In my OPINION they dont care about past customers and play dangerous games with real people!!

    BEWARE of ALL 3 PORTA-BOTE YAHOO Groups. […] Join look at the pics. statements by past users. Look at April – July 2013. […]

  72. Sandy says:

    The truth about Porta-Bote?

    Here’s an article about the company and it’s President that appeared in BusinessWeek:

    By Erin Chambers

    Porta-Bote’s Rising Tide

    If there’s a niche, expect an entrepreneur to fill it — men like Sandy Kaye, for example, and his unsinkable folding boat

    Of all the foldable things in the world — laundry, lawn chairs, paper airplanes — a boat isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. But Sandy Kaye thinks differently, and has built a thriving multi million dollar business worldwide around the idea of a collapsible water vessel.

    Yes, that’s right, foldable boats. Kaye is owner and president of Porta-Bote International, a Mountain View, Calif., purveyor of dinghy-sized boats that fold down flat to four inches in height. Last year the company sold close to 10,000 boats worldwide. “People may not recognize them folded up because they look just like a surfboard,” says Kaye, who was a Porta-Bote fan before deciding to buy the company in 1973. “And out on the water, the look just like an unfoldable boat.”

    TRADITIONAL LOOK. Porta-Bote International has racked up steady sales through grass-roots marketing to water enthusiasts all over the world. In addition to his own online outreach efforts and trade shows, Kaye says the unusual factor — the sheer oddity of seeing owners unfolding a boat before launch — has driven the word-of-mouth buzz for over 30 years.

    Believe it or not, foldable boats aren’t new. Kaye bought one for use as a dinghy on a larger boat in the early 1970s, and was less than pleased at his fellow boaters’ reactions to what he says looked more like “a pregnant canoe” than a workable boat. “When people laugh at your product, that’s a problem,” says Kaye.

    So in 1973, itching to get back to work after just two short years in retirement from a career as Executive Vice president of the world’s largest publisher, he bought the fledgling company with the intention of completely overhauling it. He put his degrees in engineering to work, redesigning the boats to look more like traditional dinghies, and began marketing them overseas (no pun intended).

    LIKE A CORK. Europeans, used to tight quarters and pricey gas, were particularly receptive to the space-saving, energy-efficient foldable boats. The flat design makes the various models easier to store than a regular aluminum or fiberglass dinghy (it fits on the side of an RV, the roof of a car, or hull of a larger boat) and less cumbersome than an inflatable. There is also no need to blow it up or patch inevitable holes of an inflatable boat.

    It even fits on a yak. Seriously. Britain’s Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service strapped a folded-up Porta-Bote on the back of the scruffy animal for a trek up Mt. Everest. The team wanted a lightweight, reliable vessel in case it was caught in melting glaciers, but when the expedition reached a lake they expected to be frozen, the climbers unfolded their vessel and continued. The Porta-Bote International team recently confirmed a spot in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records as the first boat to be sailed at a height of 20,000 feet. “There’s a Porta-Bote for everyone,” Kaye says proudly.

    Available in four sizes, from 8 feet to 14 feet, the boats can be ordered with Nissan outboard motors for those with a need for speed, Rolly Tasker sails and accessories for the skipper who prefers the wind, even in olive drab for duck hunters. Among its accolades, the Porta-Bote has passed all stability tests by the Tokyo Fire Dept.’s Water Rescue Scuba Team. Kaye says his boats are unsinkable, even when filled with water, and have exceeded the latest U.S. Coast Guard compliance standards.

    SURF AND SAIL. How does the foldable phenom work? Two big words: polypropylene copolymer. Porta-Botes’ hinges and patented “flexihull” are made from a resin material developed decades ago by NASA and used today in many car bumpers. Original manufacturer DuPont conducted tests and found the material actually became stronger after 500,000 foldings, and Sears uses it in their lifetime DieHard batteries because the material is impervious to acid. Kaye fields many inquiries on his company Web site, most asking how a foldable boat is going to hold up on the water. His response: “Nothing is indestructible, but this comes pretty close.”

    In the 1990s, Kaye noticed more people downsizing to condominiums and small cars and decided to start step up his marketing efforts in the U.S., a market he had all but ignored. Word of mouth alone would not have been enough, he says, “so we got on the Internet.” His site catches many random boaters surfing the Web, but the company also uses trade shows to spread the Porta-Bote buzz.

    It’s an approach that has paid off with a loyal following. Since 1999, professional photographer John Petralito has owned at least one of every size Porta-Bote, using them in “oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds from Maine down to Florida.” Now a permanent Floridian, he and wife Ellen were looking for an alternative to a pricey, high-maintenance inflatable boat.

    INVENTOR ENVY. “It turns on a dime, goes through the water like nobody’s business, and is half the price of an inflatable,” says Petralito, who has started something of a Porta-Bote fan club, operating two Yahoo! groups for Porta-Bote owners, who post information on aftermarket accessories, options, and ideas on new ways to use the boats. “When people at the campgrounds see us unfold it and ask if I’m the inventor, I wish I could say ‘yes,'” says Petralito.

    Since redesigning and relaunching the boats, annual sales have nearly doubled. The boats come with a 10-year warranty, but Kaye says no owner has ever filed a claim — despite 70,000 having been sold. And this year, armed with the new optional sailing package and a bigger 14-foot model, he and his staff of 39 will represent Porta-Bote International at over 400 boat, RV, and outdoors-lifestyle trade shows in the U.S. alone, more than ever before. For Porta-Bote, it looks like smooth sailing ahead.

    Chambers is a reporter for BusinessWeek Online in New York.

  73. Numbers says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Quick question, in an earlier post from 2011 you mention that over 90,000 boats have been sold and in this post it’s only 70,000. That coupled with the fact that you have been in business for 40 years and quote that you sell 10,000+/year (which also doesn’t add up) can you tell me the actual figure?

    Furthermore, how does this compare to the new Quickboat that I saw in the paper and why should I chose you over them?

  74. Newbie says:

    Hey Everyone,

    Wow there’s a lot of stuff going on here! I’m very interested in a Portabote but I must admit I’m a bit scared now after reading all these comments. I know nothing is unbreakable however customer service is more the factor for me. I’ve been on the receiving end of some poor service many times and it’s probably the most off-putting aspect for me about any company.

    Numbers what’s a quick boat? I’ve never heard of one before but that’s not entirely unusual for me.

    Can anyone give me more details and whether I should be concerned about PB customer service or if it’s just a case of people will tell everyone when they’re upset and noone when they’re satisfied?

    Thanks for the help!

  75. Sandy says:


    This site dates back to 2007. 6 years ago. That’s the reason for the discrepancies. We now produce over 10,000+ Botes a year.There are now over 100,000 Porta-Botes out there being used around the world. Many for rescue pruposes.

    While it has some honest comments from obviously concerned people, it has also attracted some individuals who are obviously jealous of our success.

    The Quickboats has been around for about 12 years. It started with the name Flatout boats and this is the third owner.

    Porta-Bote is the time proven folding boat. If you go to: you can learn all about third magnificent marine product.

    As far as how the company treats it’s customers, here is an email just received this week from a new customer:

    Hi Mr. Kaye,

    I just wanted to thank all of you guys there at Portabote for going out of your way and getting the boat here as quick as you did for my fishing trip with my brother. I thought I would just give you a update and let you know that the spots that started showing up on his lungs were not there previously but are small and they are just going to keep a watch on it for the time being and let him continue with his regular
    Chemo. He was afraid they might change his
    Chemo and it be like the one he was originally taking that made him sick afterwards. So, for now he is content.

    Because of his stage of colon cancer ( 4 ) some of the side effects of the chemo are loss of feeling and nerve damage in his hands and feet, so I guess since the boat flexes it actually may have made it a little more comfortable for him. Besides trying to work thru tying knots ( with the loss of feeling ) which got frustrating at times he actually hooked a 15 inch Black Bass. We didn’t know for sure what the length had to be to be legal but I told him I’d keep it. he threw it back. We later checked and the legal length was 12 inches.

    At night we swapped stories while around the fire and I was able to find out some things that I never knew about him.
    weekend was made possible
    by you guys there at Portabote and I thank you so much for going
    out of your way and doing all that you did to make it possible. God
    willing, we’ll be
    able to do it again next year.

    I sincerely wish everyone there at Portabote a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

    Chris Auter Sr.

  76. Terry says:

    Newbie, Like yourself I am rather concerned about the transom, seat and back skirt problems. It is all very well for Sandy to say that PB has sold many PB’s without a concern about reliability. That being the case, the small percentage that do strike a problem should be looked after better. If they are a minority. We have procrastinated 6 months about buying a new PB. And the after sales service and warranty is what has stopped us from making a purchase. Especially that back skirt cracking because there is no way of repairing it successfully.

  77. Konstantin says:

    I just bought 12′ model. should arrive in April. I have been reading blogs to see what to expect and this one makes me worried. So knowing my experience in dealing with bad support and dishonest business I went to see what BBB has in terms of porta-bote (BTW consumer laws in CA are tough). So there was 1 complaint in last 3 years which was resolved. Did any of you unsatisfied customers try BBB? if not, please do so we have a record and not speculation.

  78. Sandy says:

    Hi Terry,

    I rarely get to look at this blog. So it’s always best to contact us directly to see what can be done to help. I would appreciate knowing the HIN serial number of your boat, also.



  79. Peter says:

    Comments from an owner of two portabotes.

    I originally bought the old-styled double-ended portabote some time in the 1980’s. Surprisingly sea-worthy because it was so flexible. Hard to tip because the boat would flex with you, leaving the rest of the boat upright. Would plane and really scoot on a 5-horse OB with the planning do-hickies down. I used to hit face-on 5-6 ft ship wakes in fairly shallow water and then surf down the other side.. No problems. Eventually, the seats went (as they will) and I made some new ones.

    Impressed. Then bought the old/new style (with the plywood transom) so that I could stand up and fish. Considerably less flexible. So a bit harder riding. Hardly-used. Foolishly, left outside so the transom rotted. Now looking for a replacement and/or to make a new one to get back out again. Portaboat needs to have such parts on-line.

  80. margaret ketelsen says:

    I just dont know what to think?

  81. Serge says:

    Well, I bought a portabote that is about 10 years old now that I bought used and that has not been abused. We use it as a research vessel that students use to sample coastal waters and lakes. The boat was great for that. I wrote “was” because the plastic at the stern where the transom mounts is now open at the seam where the plastic folds. It is about a 12″ cut and the boat is now inoperable. The boat was always stored in the container pod and I do not think UV could have affect it since it is in the fold where UV do not reach when folded.

  82. Greg says:

    Hi. I thought it was worth saying that I have a porta bote from 1976 and I still use it. I recently took off the trim to check the metal stables and the folding parts for structural integrity. They seemed fine so I used the boat another summer. I have also owned a 12 foot gen 3 model. It was great, my family had so much fun on it. The only thing I didn’t like about the gen 3 is that all the plywood parts took up a lot of space. I plan on buying an alpha model as soon as I save enough for it. They make fantastic dinghys on other boats, and great fishing boats. They are very easy to transport. Its true after use some things break. Rather than whine about this I just repaired what was wrong. I absolutely love porta botes.

  83. Alan says:

    I just bought an older Gen porta-bote and have no idea of its age or where to get spares or advice on repairing it. if anyone reads this and know any sort of info on older models or where to buy parts or how to make parts would you please email me and I will send you some photos and maybe get some or any advice please?




  84. John F. says:

    Can the sailing rigs be used with the 8′ model? Where can I get repair advice for me 1990’s boat. Re; stern leak @ center. Thank you.

  85. Jason says:

    When I bought my new alpha 1 boat it was a pleasant experience. I called with a couple questions afterwards and the people I talked to were very helpful and polite.

    As for the boat, it is very well constructed, and performs exactly like they claim. Stability is pretty much on par with an inflatable boat (at least the 14′ model). Cuts through chop easily, and goes great with a 6hp. I much prefer it to an aluminum or inflatable for fishing since it combines the best of both.

    Only downside is limited speed. Top end is limited to 15 mph, but then again I’m not in a big hurry, and that will get me anywhere on the lake fast enough. Even if you could put a larger engine on it, those get a bit heavy to lift if you are folding it up.

    Overall I am extremely happy with it, the wife and kids love it, and it seems to do everything they claim.

  86. CAPT BOB says:

    It is now January 2016 and only one comment, pro or con, (Jason 6/19/15) about the newly redesigned Alpha Series of Porta Botes that came out in 2014 which according to propaganda from the company flex less due to thicker material used and have a newly redesigned transom built in to the hull which eliminates a heavy board and its assembly onto the hull. What gives? Has the company fixed the obvious problems listed above with its redesign? I would not consider buying a used one of the old design, but have not heard enough about their redesign. Any Alpha Owners out there? Tight Lines

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