Dear Porta-Bote Owner. Welcome aboard:

These 3 important Warning Labels are installed on your new Porta-Bote. If any of these should be lost please contact us and we will send a replacement free of charge. Please send notice to: sk@portaboat.com

Carbon monoxide can cause brain damage or death

Carbon monoxide can cause brain damage or death

Rotating propeller may cause serious injury or death

Note 1: There are 2 large “Dimples” in the center of each hull. They are created by the oarlock sockets pressing against the hull when in the folded position. On the Green & Aluminum Boats, they’re lighter in color. This is normal and in no way affects the hull’s strength.

The first time you open your new Porta-Bote, you will find it is a little “stiff” – like a new pair of shoes. This is normal. After several openings the living hinge will ease up and be easier to open. Also, polypropylene stiffens when it becomes cold. This, too, is normal. If your Porta-Bote is delivered when the weather is cold, keep the hull in a warm place for 24 hours or until it reaches room temperature. It will then open more easily.

Place your gas outboard on the transom so it cannot touch the rear of the boat when under power. Probably the 3rd or 4th hole from the bottom, depending on the outboard. If the shaft is allowed to press against the rear of the boat for a long period of time,  it could eventually wear a hole in this area and also harm you outboard shaft.

Now, Lets get Started

1- Open hull once so that the “sides” are exposed.

2- While standing on the “lower” side of the hull, reach down and pull open the “higher” side.

3- Place one end of the 2 STEP BOAT OPENER against the top tube of the side OPPOSITE you. Place the curved hook cutout against the side of tube nearest you. (See picture for approximate placement in the hull.

4- Use your leg to push away one side of hull until it’s far enough away to place other end of opener against the hull tube on opposite side.

Center & Rear seats are identical. Insert the center seat into the seat bracket on the opposite side of the hull. If you turn over a seat you will see several adjutment holes as shown. So, if necessary, these will allow you to adjust placing the stainless steel side upports to the bottom of each  side of the hull so they touch the bottom sides correctly. Make sure the stainless steel center seat support is off TO THE SIDE when doing this as shown. Insert the end of seat nearest to you into the seat bracket.


6- Line up hole at end of the seat with hole in seat bracket nearest you. Insert stainless steel locking pin as shown. Squeeze pin and twist as you turn. Now, Insert pin in other side of seat.

7- From outside boat, push the steel center seat support into center seam. If it is very tight, use the end of the boat opener to push it into place while you lift the side of the boat, slightly. Don’t do this when in the boat.

8- Each side of the transom is now ready to be swung out toward the rear of the hull just enough to allow installation of rear seat per sections 5 & 6. When you do this, lift both sections slightly so they rotate more easily.

9- As you rotate both sections together, make sure the motor mount is in the “up position” as shown. This part will flip over the rear bladder when the transom is completely installed. This is what the transom looks like when both sides are placed together.

10- While making sure the transom halves interlock with each other, pull them all the way back. Swing transom support arm until it locks into the bracket at the edge of the rear seat.

11- Align holes in rear seat bracket with the hole in the transom support arm and insert the pin.

12- Once the pin has been installed and the motormount block has been rotated over the outside rear of the boat, just add water and enjoy!

WHEN YOU CLOSE YOUR BOAT: First remove the rear seat. Then rotate the sides of the transom to their respective sides of the hull. Again … lift both sections slightly so they rotate more easily. Make sure the transom panels are snug against the sides before folding the boat.

Stretch bungee cords and insert each hook into hole. If no hole, drill a 1/4″ hole.

Never stand on bowcap or seats when entering or leaving the boat.

13- Boat shown fully assembled (no optional bowcap). Motor mount is in the “down”position overlapping plastic bladder.


  1. When 3 people are seated in a “3-4 seat model” – Only one person should sit on each seat for best performance and stability. Always sit in the center of the seat for best balance.
  2. When 2 people are seated in a “3-4 seat model” – One person should sit on rear seat and one person on center seat. Always sit in the center of the seat for best balance.
  3. Maximum Person Weight Per Seat: 300 lbs. (137kg) – Maximum total weight per seat: 600 lbs. (272kg)

U.S. Coast Guard Suggested Maximum Capacity Specifications + MANUFACTURER’S OUTBOARD ENGINE MAX WEIGHT LIMIT

14’ Max Capacity – Persons, Motor, Gear: 5 persons, 807 lbs. (367 kg) Max Engine Weight: 52 lbs. (25kg)

12’ Max Capacity – Persons, Motor, Gear: 4 persons, 580 lbs. (305 kg) Max Engine Weight: 52 lbs. (25kg)

10’ Max Capacity – Persons, Motor, Gear: 3 persons, 565 Ibs. (266 kg) Max Engine Weight: 52 lbs. (25kg)

8’ 9″ Max Capacity – Persons, Motor, Gear: 2 persons. 400 Ibs. (202 kg) Max Engine Weight: 36 lbs. (15.8kg)


NOTE: Transom will flex when an outboard is attached. This is NORMAL. It will immediately stiffen when under power.

1- SEAT SUPPORTS: Make sure each seat support is firmly aligned over the seam of the hull before sitting on any seat.

Never sit or stand on the optional “bow cover”.

2- SEATING BALANCE: Always SIT on the rear seat when installing or starting outboard. Never stand in the area between the rear seat and the transom during motor installation. Keep your boat properly balanced at all times. Only one person may sit on the seat nearest the outboard while it is being installed or started. Otherwise you could lose your balance. Always sit in the center of any seat for better balance.

2a- ROWING: When one person is rowing in the “2 seat model”, sit on the rear seat for better balance.

3- MAINTENANCE: Your Porta-Bote’s copolymer polypropylene hull is not adversely affected by salt water. It will come clean with soap (Bon Ami or Simple Green) and water. At least once a month during the season, apply “Armorall” or similar plastic protectant to the outer sides and bottom (the part that touches the water) of the hull and tubing and plastic seats and transom. If boating in salt water, always rinse all metal fittings with fresh water. If your boat will be stored so it Is constantly exposed week after week to the UV rays of the sun, protect it with a suitable light covered tarp or cover.

3a- DON’T continuously drag your boat over sand or gravel. Over the years, it will eventually wear the hull material.

4- GAS OUTBOARD INSTALLATION: The outboard must be installed so that the shaft has the pin inserted in the third hole from the bottom.  The engine shaft should not be allowed to touch the edge of the hull, especially when underway.


4a- Always secure your outboard to the rear seat with a safety chain or bicycle chain to prevent it from accidentally slipping off if the motor clamps should loosen due to vibration. Check the tightness of the transom wing nuts at regular intervals.

4b- Disregard the 2 pre-drilled holes in the motormount. They are to be used when attaching the “sail rudder”.

5- ELECTRIC OUTBOARD RECOMMENDATIONS: Porta-Bote will accept ANY SIZE ELECTRIC OUTBOARD when it is installed on the rear Transom/Motormount or on the optional Porta-Deck Motor Mount.  Minimum shaft length is 30”.  If installing an electric motor on the optional Bow Trolling Mount, maximum power is “30 pound thrust”. Minimum shaft length is 30”.

6- “FLEXING”: when you step on the “floor” of your boat, you will notice a certain amount of flexing in the “floor’. This is normal. Also, when the hull begins to “plane”, the sides will flex out and the floor bottom will flex “down”. This, too, is normal. This “flexing action” actually absorbs and cushions much of the impact of strong waves that might capsize an ordinary rigid hulled craft. The transom will flex, also. However, if one or both of the sides of the hull begin to flex or deform “abnormally”, you are traveling beyond the “MAXIMUM SPEED CAPABILITY” of the hull. Immediately reduce engine rpm. This flexing will stop and you will find you are traveling at almost the same speed, comfortably. (NOTE: No matter how large an outboard you install, your Porta-Bote hull cannot go any faster than its “MAXIMUM HULL SPEED”. It will just start to flex abnormally.) Never try to make a sudden “sharp turn” when traveling at high speeds in this or any boat.

7- READ CAREFULLY: If an accident occurs and your boat should fill with water, immediately shut off the outboard. Evacuate and hang on to the boat It will remain afloat. Never go out in any boat unless each occupant is wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest and you have plenty of line (rope). If you are already in the water and wish to board, Do so from the rear side of your boat. It is the widest part and the boat will not capsize. Do not try to climb back in from the transom.

8- WATER IN SEAMS? After a short period of time, you may notice some water in the seams. This is probably the result of spray from waves or the outboard propeller or rowing action, condensation, etc. To check this out, come to a complete stop. Take an absorbent towel or sponge and dry the wet area. Wait one or two minutes. If this area remains dry, your hull doesn’t leak. Also, the foam gasket seal located at the bottom of the membrane will absorb a small amount of water which has come in from outside sources. When the hull flexes, this water will “squeeze out” and appear at the bottom of the hull near the transom. This is normal.

9- SCRATCHES/GOUGES. Porta-Bote’s engineered resin hull is remarkably tough. Extremely difficult to puncture by accident. But…it does scratch and gouge easily. This is normal and does not weaken this incredible material.

10- THEFT! Always secure your boat to a permanent “immoveable” object when leaving it unattended. Use the bow grommet holes to attach a bicycle wire/chain. Its obvious portability makes it a tempting object for thieves.

OPTIONAL INITIAL BOW TROLLING MOUNT INSTALLATION: Remove the Optional “Bow Cap”. Slip Bow Trolling Mount over the open front bow area. Now, drill two 1/4” holes through the hull. Use the two predrilled holes in the mount as a guide.  Insert bolts through bracket “forks” at front of mount and through the holes you just drilled.  Hand tighten wingnuts, securely.