PORTABOTE Fold-flat Dinghies & Boats
8, 10, 12 & 14ft models, 3 colours 


Porta-Bote Hulls are designed to fold flat, making a package that looks a bit like a surfboard and is just four inches (114mm) thick.

The patented hinge design, and space-age plastic from which the hulls are made, have now been in use for over 30 years, with more than 90,000
Porta-Botes sold worldwide. 

Some advantages of a Portabote:
- Back home, you can hang it right out of the way, on the wall of your garage or shed (even a large cupboard!)
- On a yacht, you can tie it to the cabin roof or guardrails.
- Getting it to-and-fro, the lightweight hull can be strapped on a roof rack; you'll barely notice it's there. 
 
Here is a Portabote 10 assembled and ready to go. The removable moulded plastic thwarts (seats) brace out the sides of the hull, and are also double-skinned to provide extra buoyancy.

Once you've done it a few times, the unfolding-to-launch process takes about two minutes. 

This picture, and some others on this page, are borrowed from Hecht Jaeger's "predator angling website" - click here - where he has much practical information about using Porta-botes as angling platforms (he's owned three different models, so he knows them well!).

The hull is made from exceptionally durable, specially-engineered, copolymer plastic that has been tested to open and close at least half a million times without failure. You can bash it into quaysides, drag it over rocks, and go fishing in it without fear of puncture - at most you might make a slight scratch.


A Porta-Bote 10 under power - planes easily with a small outboard

The flexible sides and bottom might seem "wrong" at first, but in fact they are one of Portabote's best features, because when you hit a wave (or more solid obstruction) much of the energy is absorbed by the plastic flexing, rather than cracking/denting (rigid hulls), or puncturing (inflatables). You can - and people do - abuse Portabotes to an extent that would destroy almost any other boat.

Their toughness, relative lightweight, and portability, are the main reasons that the RAF chose a Porta-bote to take with them on an expedition up Mount Everest...
 
... setting a record for the highest altitude boating expedition on record!

The hull's flexibility, combined with relatively wide beam, also makes Portabotes highly stable in the water. When moving about inside for example, most of the forces (that would normally start tipping a solid boat) are absorbed by flex in the hull. The happy customer shown below - click here for full article - bought a 10ft version as a tender for their yacht, after struggling for years with an inflatable.



Another advantage of a Portabote compared to an inflatable "of the same size" is that it has a lot more internal space - getting on for half the footprint of a typical inflatable is taken up by air tubes.

You also definitely sit inside a Portabote (rather than on the sides), meaning that you tend to stay drier, and feel safer.

PORTA-BOTE SPECIFICATIONS

There are four sizes of Portabote. The variable characteristics are listed below but the common features are:
- All except the PB8 model are 60" wide when assembled (PB8 is 56")

- All models are approx 4" (11.4cm) thick when folded.
- All sizes have a folded width of 24" (0.61m)
- All models take a short/standard shaft outboard motor, but if you already own a long shaft motor that is not "on the limit" (for weight or power) it will probably be OK

Characteristic / Model Name PB 8 PB 10 PB 12 PB 14 
Length (folded) 9ft 4"
2.85m 
10ft 9"
3.27m 
12ft 8"
3.85m 
14ft 0"
4.28m 
Hull weight (ex seats/transom) 54-lb
24.5kg 
67-lb
30.5kg 
77-lb
35kg 
97-lb
44kg 
Capacity (people, motor, gear) 445-lb
202kg
585-lb
265kg
670-lb
304kg
807-lb
366kg 
No of thwarts (seats) 

NOTE ON ASSEMBLED SIZES... the "PB8" is more like 9ft long; the PB10 is actually 10ft 6"; whilst the PB12 and PB14 are approximately the length you'd expect. We've decided to stick with the manufacturer's official names, as if we start selling them under different descriptions it will probably be even more confusing!

Yacht owners tend to specify the 8 or 10 models as tenders, depending mainly on what length they can store on deck. Anglers typically choose between the 10 and 12 - the 10 is easier to launch/assemble/carry on your own, but the 12 has quite a bit more space when you're afloat and is just about perfect if there're two of you. The 14 is B-I-G, a bit of a handful on your own, but perfectly manageable for two or more.

PORTABOTE PRICING

Last year Porta-Bote announced the NEW "Alpha 1 series", which look much the same as the "Generation V" (and previous models) but incorporates several improvements, most notably a patented integrated folding transom (pictures below). That makes the package of removable components much smaller than before, but slightly increases the thickness of the folded hull at the stern.


Above: New "Alpha 1 series" - transom folds up with boat. This reduces the number/volume of separate components, but slightly increases the thickness of the folded hull at the aft end. 

 

NEW ALPHA ONE SERIES Porta-Botes:
Porta-Bote 8, £1,814
Porta-Bote 10, £2,030
Porta-Bote 12, £2,312
Porta-Bote 14, £2,670 

We usually have stock of the 8, 10 & 12 models and can get the 14s fairly quickly if required. We offer no obligation, on-water, demonstrations of Porta-botes, usually in Christchurch harbour (East Dorset), with petrol or electric motors.

We also stock most of the popular Portabote accessories including:
Oars/rowlocks (custom made, two-piece, floating) £106
Land transport wheels, or "Porta-Dolly" (clip-on, adjustable position for weight balance with/without motor) £247

If buying an outboard motor at the same time as your Porta-bote we can offer prices as follows:
- Suzuki 2.5hp petrol (suitable for all Portaboats) £549. At 13kg this is the lightest water-cooled (relatively quiet) four-stroke 2.5hp petrol outboard on the market, with a proper F-N gearbox. Five Year Warranty.
- Tohatsu 3.5hp petrol (suitable for PB-10 and up) £599. At approx 17kg this offers a bit more power whilst retaining good portability. Mechanically identical to Mercury/Mariner (Tohatsu make all three). 5yr warranty.
Tohatsu 6hp petrol (PB-12 and up) £995. Separate fuel tank, 25kg, 5yr warranty.
Suzuki 6hp petrol (PB-12 and up) £1010. Integral fuel tank with connector for (optional) external tank. 25kg, 5yr warranty.
Tohatsu 9.8hp petrol (PB-14) £1695. Separate fuel tank, 37kg, 5yr warranty. 
Torqeedo 1003S electric (all PB models) £1,249. 13kg including integral but removable battery (about 5kg of the 13). Advanced German engineering, not comparable with "trolling motors" - this is genuine electric propulsion. It also has a GPS/LCD battery status/speed/range panel, is waterproof, and quiet.

All petrol motors listed above are four-stroke but if you are buying for commercial use - we will need written proof of this - we can also still supply Tohatsu two-strokes, which are usually lighter and cheaper.

Email us: mail@nestawayboats.com
Phone us: 01202 423094
Mobile phone us: 07768 600595

 

Porta-Bote offer a lateen sailing rig with leeboards etc for the 12 and 14 models, price £889.

We (in the UK) have also developed something similar for the 8 and 10 models - pictured right and below - as we think many customers who buy one of the smaller Portabotes as a yacht tender would like to add this feature. This version doesn't need any stays, so it is relatively quick to set up.

In all fairness you wouldn't (or shouldn't) buy a Portabote purely for sailing performance. However the stable, easily-driven hulls go surprisingly well and it's a very pleasant way to spend a summer's evening - making Porta-bote even more versatile.


Contact details:
email - mail@portableboatshop.com
landline - 01202 423094
mobile - 07768 600595

SAILING TODAY CRUISING YACHTSMAN'S REVIEW, PORTA-BOTE 10, JULY 2012:
"I've taken the Porta-bote out on my own and got it to plane {with 3hp}, something I never achieved with our old {inflatable} dinghies... We can leave it anywhere, and its indestructability has been a blessing against the harsh concrete and rocks in India. Any liveaboard will know that trying to mend punctures is a challenge, especially in places where spares are not available... major headache removed with Porta-bote" 

Above and Below: A Brand New Porta-Bote 10 afloat in Christchurch, Dorset - with 
Torqeedo 1003 electric outboard on transom. (Note: The hull still has protective film
on the outside faces, if you wonder what the wrinkles are.)



Email us: mail@nestawayboats.com

Phone us: 0800 999 2535 (free from most UK landlines)
Mobile: 07768 600595