I bought an eight foot Porta Boat back in 2001 to replace a real nice fiberglass lap strake dingy that was lost in a gale. I have never regretted the purchase. It has been a real workhorse and has saved it's cost many times over in dingy dock fees. I don't abuse it but, I don't baby it either. But, over the years the wear and tear has taken it's toll. Namely on the plastic foam filled rear seat and the removable wooden transom.
The wooden transom really began to fall apart during last season as ten years of water, rain and sun started to delaminate the 3/4 inch marine plywood.
Happily, the Porta Boat people don't rest on their laurels and have continually improved the Porta Boat design over the years. Including a new plastic transom that is lighter than the wooden one it replaced and a stronger more robust seat. So I ordered one of the new plastic transoms to replace the waterlogged wooden one. It does require a little bit of retrofitting but, nothing too difficult. Here is what is required:
New holes have to be drilled for the screws that will secure the transom to the the Porta Boat hull. You can see the new and old positions for these screw in the photo below:
I refilled the old holes with some Marine GOOP and covered them with some tape. The plastic transom is lighter and floats and won't be damaged by water like the previous wood transom was.
After the transom was in place I moved on to installing the new stronger rear seat. This was a little more involved but not overly so. First you need to remove the old seat brackets which requires drilling out the rivets holding the older brackets to the hull.
Once the old brackets were removed I also needed to cut out a little of the floatation foam in order to fit the new seat brackets to the hull:
Two of the existing holes line up with the new bracket. But, I had to drill one additional hole for the new bracket.
I again filled one of the old screw holes some Marine GOOP. With the new brackets installed I refitted the new seat into the boat and then filled it with useful things I needed to take out to the boat. One of the nice things I like about the Porta Boat is how much it holds and how dry it is compared to an inflatable. With the upgraded transom and new seat it should serve me well for a number of years to come.