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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The Porta-Bote can keep you afloat almost anywhere



dogsboat2.jpgOn Tuesday we had more than three inches of rain in Tampa and some areas in Pasco and Citrus counties had up to 7 inches of rain. The forecast for Wednesday is a 70 percent chance of rain and advisories are up all around the area, warning of potential flooding. The street in front of my house looked like a river for most of the day Tuesday, and my lowered MINI Cooper definitely would not do well in water that deep. That had me thinking thinking about alternative modes of transportation. How about a fold-able boat?

The Porta-Bote is a real, fold-able boat that you can keep in the garage for emergencies and take to the lake for some fishing. When folded it's just 4 inches thick and 24 inches wide, so you can easily store it and when needed, carry it on top of your car with no need for a trailer. It's available in lengths ranging from 8.5 feet to 14 feet, so it also will fit inside some vans and SUVs or in the bed of some trucks.

According to the manufacturer, the Porta-Bote needs only a small 4-6 HP outboard motor to go up to 15 mph with one person and will get up on a plane in just over four inches of water with as little as 2.5 HP and one person aboard. Typical inflatable boats require much larger engines with more power because they don't cut the water as well. Inflatables also are vulnerable to puncture by rocks and other objects, but the Porta-bote's hull is made from a tough co-polymer and polypropylene mix that comes with a 10-year warranty. And because the hull material is so light, these boats are really easy to haul around. The smallest boat weighs just 54 pounds.

If you're looking for a stable boat that you can easily take almost anywhere, you might want to check this thing out. They even have a picture on their site showing one of the boats on top of a classic Mini Cooper. Cool!

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:31am]


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