The Porta-bote is a dinghy that folds down to the size of a paddle board. Our specific model is the 2009 Genesis IV. Benefits include durability, lightweight, compact, maneuverability, and stability. Disadvantages include storing the seats, transom, and motor separately and set up time.
Durability- This boat can be beached, dinged, and bounced around without damaging the hull. It’s made of polypropylene and has proved to be very rugged.
Lightweight- Our 12 foot boat is roughly 87 pounds once emptied. Once folded, the boat can be lifted with 1-2 people to be placed on a roof rack or carried down to the beach or boat ramp. This boat does have the option to put wheels on the back for even easier maneuverability out of the water.
Compact- Emptied and folded, the Porta-Bote is about the size of a paddle board. The folded thickness ranges from about 3 inches at the bow and 7 inches at the stern. The folded width is about 24 inches. We also have a rope that we place around the center of the boat once folded to help keep it in place, although this isn’t necessary.
Maneuverability- This boat turns on a dime. It’s got great turning radius and agility. Our 6hp Nissan rides out great and gets 2 people and an 80 dog up on plane.
Stability- This boat makes it easy for standing and moving around without feeling like you’re about to fall over. The flexibility of the hull actually makes the boat more stable in waves. We’ve taken this boat to Lake Tahoe on a busy Labor Day weekend, which created 2-3 foot waves coming in all directions, and this boat handled it without issue. The weight capacity is 670 pounds, including gear. We’ve pushed that limit and hauled 4 adults, 1 80 pound dog, and all the gear for a day without issue. When open, this boat is 60 inches across, 24 inches deep, and drafts 4 inches of water. It comes with 3 bench seats.
Storage- When the boat is folded, the seats, the transom, and the motor are stored separately. We keep the seats (and the emergency paddles) together; they all fit in an EZ UP storage bag we had lying around, so now all we need to do is grab the bag with all the accessories.
Set up time- Initially, it took 2 of us about 15 minutes to put the boat together when we were first learning. Since taking it out several more times, we have perfected our technique and can get it together in about 5 minutes.
Our boat in action can be found on YouTube: