Sunday, December 21, 2014

HACKING THE PORTA BOTE

I've been using a folding eight foot Porta Bote for my dingy for over thirteen years now. I'd have a hard time considering using another type of boat. Recently I lost the wooden setup stick that came with the boat. It fell out of the car unbeknownst to me at the time. I could have made up a new one of some 3/4 inch wood. But. looking around the garage I notice I had a bunch of 1-1/2 inch PVC tube laying around. I wondered if it would make a good replacement for the original set up stick?  So I cut one to the approximate size need to open the folding Porta Bote hull. It worked fine.

Plus since it was not wood it could not soak up water and split as my original stick did after several years. Though I repaired it with some epoxy type glue the PVC tube is not prone to water water damage. The only thing was it did not float like the original wooded stick did.  What to do? The answer I came up with was to fill the inside of the PVC pipe with some Great Stuff Gap Filler. This did two things not only did it ensure that the setup stick would float if accidently dropped into the water. It also stiffened the tube quite a bit structurally making it stronger and less likely to crack.

I very pleased with my improved setup stick homemade replacement and it should last longer than the original.

2 comments:

svsmitty said...

Nice fix. Just make sure you paint it. PVC pipe degrades quickly with UV.

Fair winds,

Jesse

Capt. Mike said...

Jesse:
Actually that has not been my experience with the PVC I've used. I'm still using the homemade PVC boarding ladder in made back in 2007 http://biankablog.blogspot.com/2007/01/boarding-ladder-extension.html Never painted it and is still holding up well. Though it is only exposed for half the year while the boat is in use. The Porta Boat rig will spend even less time in the sun.