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View Full Version : Anyone got a "Porta-bote" to get you to that hunting spot?


FirstFreedom
July 28, 2006, 09:17 PM
Saw one demonstrated at a hunting/fishing/outdoor show - very impressive, for what it is - you can fold it up and put it on top of the pickup, throw the clamp-on motor in the back of the truck (or oars), and pull something *other than* a boat on your trailer, if you want to. One person can carry it also, or pull it along on the little dolly thing. And it looks to be very well made.

www.porta-bote.com

davlandrum
July 29, 2006, 11:49 AM
FF - I wish I would have thought about that long ago. While stationed in Maryland, I belonged to a lease group that leased an island in the Potomac. I bought a little 8 foot john boat and dropped an electric motor on it, but it was still a hassle.

FrontSight
August 1, 2006, 06:56 PM
A friend has one - I will ask him what he thinks & post...

jhgreasemonkey
August 1, 2006, 07:07 PM
Thats cool. Never seen one in real life though.

FrontSight
August 2, 2006, 11:06 AM
Well, here's the conversation I just had with him, read from bottom up:


________________________________________
From: Sal
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 12:06 PM
To: Scrap5000
Subject: Porta Bote

No way..lol


________________________________________
From: Scrap5000
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:58 AM
To: Sal
Subject: Porta Bote

good for duck hunting....lol

________________________________________
From: Sal
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 12:04 PM
To: Scrap5000
Subject: Porta Bote

On a smallish lake or pond this thing is a nice boat



________________________________________
From: Scrap5000
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:56 AM
To: Sal
Subject: Porta Bote

Aaaaah, gotcha...so if I got the small one and worked out and had a gradual then I'd be ok, huh? lol

________________________________________
From: Sal
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 12:02 PM
To: Scrap5000
Subject: Porta Bote

That is the small one and this guy must be strong..we have the bigger one..you have to unfold it and you need a gradual shoreline..not under your arm by any stretch

________________________________________
From: Scrap5000
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:52 AM
To: Sal
Subject: Porta Bote

what does it take to launch? it looks like you could pick it up and just put it under your shoulder, no?

________________________________________
From: Sal
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:58 AM
To: Scrap5000
Subject: Porta Bote

The boat is good..we just have very limited places where we can launch


________________________________________
From: Scrap5000
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:48 AM
To: Sal
Subject: Porta Bote

oooh, damn, no good, huh?

________________________________________
From: Sal
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:55 AM
To: Scrap5000
Subject: Porta Bote

We’ll sell you ours lol


________________________________________
From: Scrap5000
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:47 AM
To: Sal
Subject: Porta Bote

Hey, how do you like the porta-bote? Thumbs up or down? Would be nice to get one I'm thinking...

FirstFreedom
August 2, 2006, 11:46 AM
ok, scrap, does he have the 12' or what?

swampdog
August 2, 2006, 12:43 PM
FF,
You can find a used jon boat for around $100-200. A 12' is alright, a 14' is better. Mine easily fits in the back of my pick-up and I've also had it on top of my explorer. I can grab my 14' Lowe river jon, pick it up on its side, put the gunnel on my shoulder and easily pick it up. I can launch it anywhere. I have a 9.9 hp motor and have fished the Hampton roads bridge tunnel and the Monitor-Merrimack many times on calm days. It gets rough sometimes in the afternoon but I've always made it in, something I'd be worried about in that porta-boat. I run around in the rivers of NE NC and have had it out in Albemarle Sound. It will handle some rough water, but it can get wet and uncomfortable.

If you are only planning on using it for small creeks or ponds, that porta-boat is probably fine. If you ever plan on putting it into a big lake, or large river, I think you'll be better served by a jon boat. I think you'll find a jon boat is lighter and cheaper too. I believe a jon can handle a bigger motor for its length than the porta-boat, so it will be faster, if that makes a difference to you.

I wonder how that thing would handle a tugboat wake. I'd be scared to find out.

Those things have been out for a long time, at least ten years. I've lived on the coast my whole life and never seen one. Something to think about.

Have Fun

FrontSight
August 2, 2006, 01:38 PM
FirstFreedom, no, he definitely has the one that is larger than the one in the pic of the older guy holding it under his arm...

FirstFreedom
August 2, 2006, 03:31 PM
I've also had it on top of my explorer

Swampdog, thanks - that is the part I'm interested in - it's all about the space savings - I want to be able to put stuff in the back of the pickup w/ camper shell, or SUV, the boat on top (jon boat, for example, as you mention), and then a trailer for other stuff if needed (flatbed with generator & 4-wheeler, or popup camper). I won't be going in ANY rough waters, so that's not an issue. My questions would all relate to..... how do you secure it to the SUV? Type & expense of securing gear? Upside-down, I take it? When it's secured on top, does it interfere with the opening & closing of the rear door to the SUV? Interfere with the front or your driving view in any way? How is it while driving - can you feel the extra wind resistance? And how bad is it on handling & gas mileage? Was it a CF or simple when you had it on top? Would you go very far with it like that? Etc., etc. - can you shed some light on that stuff? I was under the impression that a 12' or 14' jon boat needs a trailer period - wrong impression? Thanks.

swampdog
August 2, 2006, 04:45 PM
It is kind of a pain in the rear to put on an suv. I have a luggage rack that I secured it too with rachet straps, upside down. I used cheap pipe insulation to pad it. I just had this in the garage, I've also used towels, rags, etc. A line to the front bumper keeps the bow from rising while your going down the road and is the only thing you see. It does interfere with opening the rear door all the way, but so will anything else that hangs over the rear. Depending on the type of suv you have and the type of rack, you can buy cross pieces specifically made to hold a john boat or canoe. You can "feel" it up there at highway speeds, but not too badly.

On a pickup with a camper shell, a built in ladder rack would work the same way. I've seen some camper shells with the ladder rack built in and I've seen some where the ladder rack is mounted first on extension brackets and then the camper shell is mounted to the bed with the racks around it. This would be the strongest type and a welder ought to be able to make one up for you cheaply. Look at the way construction guys mount ladders on their trucks, next time you're driving down the highway.

They make pads that go on the gunnels, similar to the pipe insulation I used, so you can mount a canoe or jon boat to your bare roof. Basspro used to have them. The boat is then secured with a couple of rachet straps that clamp to the rain gutter or the window tops.

Here's a link I found on car toppers. It has links to rack makers sites and links to different boat builders sites, including porta-bot and lowe jon boats.
http://www.campinglife.com/output.cfm?id=1049041

Searching on google for car topper will bring up some other links. I had no idea those porta-boats were so expensive, btw. Wow. They been around for 30 years, not 10, like I thought.

Most of the time my jon boat just gets tied in the back of my pickup. I've seen many, many ingenius and not so ingenius car top rigs while sitting in traffic on my way to Nags Head. I've also seen a couple bent up on the side of the road where they blew off. A trip to your local boating store or outdoor emporium should produce everything you need. Just tell them you want a car top rig.

If you know any construction guys with somewhat deeply tanned (red) necks, take a close look at their ladder racks. Lots of these guys have a jon boat they throw up there. They can also put you onto a welder to make you one. We don't all bite, some of us just look mean. :D

Have Fun

gfen
August 2, 2006, 08:02 PM
I've actually stumbled across that myself lately, too. I want something small I can put on the top of my subcompact hatchback, and that I'd be able to put up and take down on my own.

The porta-bote seems like an ideal answer, I've read some reviews and thus far each and everyone's been positive, despite what my common sense tells me about a folding boat. If I had a truck/SUV and someone to help me put it up and take it down, I'd probably not even bother, but I don't... and I may. :)