Review 3 Review 4
I love fishing!
Trout, surfcasting, boat, deep sea, whitebaiting. I have tried them all.
This is the first fish I caught from a
Porta-Bote. This was at Lake Coleridge
Nearly eight years ago my wife Christine and I purchased our first motorhome. Never have driven anything larger than a Isusu Trooper the
idea of having to safety navigate the highways and back roads of New
Zealand in a 6.3m Motorhome was an daunting thought. No way was I even
going to contemplate hooking a boat on the back of it. So all I had left
to me was the odd boat trip with mates or fishing from the beach.
In some places the beach fishing was quite successful especially at
Bowentown after the late Graeme Black an ex. New Plymouth bloke and very
fine fisherman taught me the art of catching Bowentown Snapper. That was
the exception, because most places we visited edible fish were few and
After a few years of visiting the most fabulous beaches and lakes and
being anchored to the shore I decided I had to have a boat and seriously
started thinking inflatables. It came to a head when, a mate, John and I
couldn’t get a bite surfcasting at Tauranga Bay Northland. One evening 2
elderly gentlemen in an old wooden dingy rowed out about 400 meters to a
group of rocks. About 2 hours later they returned with 7 beautiful
snapper. (5 to 7lb range) I had to have a boat!
It was a trip to the Coromandel in the Winter of 2003 that changed my
mind on inflatables. We met up with Ron & Margaret from Timaru, Colin &
Shirley Opotiki and Trevor from Auckland. They all had these
strange, fold up boats. Don’t buy an inflatable I was told. They are
always puncturing!! Where are you going to store the wet sandy thing in
From here on in it is a long story with which I won’t bore you with. The
upshot of it is
That, instead of buying one folding boat we now have about sixty of
them. We were extremely lucky to be offered the New Zealand
distributorship for the American made Porta-Botes.
Our first serious fishing was done in the South Island in the Autumn of
2005. With close friends Rae & Mike we traveled together in our motorhomes for about 8 weeks exploring the breathtaking scenery and of
course, fishing. We fished Lakes Coleridge, Benmore, Aviemore, Dunstan
and Wakatipu. It was great to get away from the shore to where the fish
were. We were very successful in every lake we fished. Rainbow, Brown
Trout and landlocked Salmon were on the menu many nights.
The boat was really great. Mike & I could put it together, motor on, all
the gear in and on the lake in about 15 minutes. Even though we didn’t
strike very rough water there were a couple of times when there was a
good chop. Being flexible, Porta-Botes give a very soft ride. There is
none of the pounding you get with Tinnies. They seem to be a very dry
boat. The large tube chines throw the force of the water straight back.
the sides of the boat flexing also aids in this. Rae did let us use a
couple of her cushions out of the Motorhome to sit on. Even though we
are both well covered in the rear end the seats did get a bit hard. A
couple of recently purchased rubber cushions fixed that problem.
was really easy to handle and fish from. The 5hp Mercury
Outboard was quite sufficient to push the two of us along at a
reasonable speed. Certainly a heap faster than the walking pace another
mate John can get his inflatable up to at full throttle.
You don’t have to own a beautiful, sleek, expensive, high powered boat
to draw a crowd. Just get your Porta-Bote out and unfold it. It draws
people like bees to a honey pot. It is very interesting to hear the
comments changing from good humored jibs, such as, “does it fold up when
you are in it.” “Does it leak.” to expressions of genuine interest when
they see that it is a serious boat.
It has been great to get feed back from some of our Porta-Bote
We looked a customer up when in Queenstown. He fly fishes standing up in
his boat, no problems at all. Porta-Bote’s claims of Porta-Botes being
very stable are being proven.
The other night I spoke to a North Island customer about his boat. . He
said that he gets a bit of water in it when he goes out through the
surf. (Hello! -- Goes through the surf!!) But he just bails it out and
away he goes. when asked had he been out in a rough sea, he answered
yes. He said it suits him just fine for what he needs a boat for. I have
heard of another boat that for years (Porta-Botes have been around for
30 years) has regularly been lowered by rope down a cliff. The owner
then climbs the cliff with the rope, hooks it onto his 4 wheel drive and
hauls the boat back up again. At the Expos we have meet 2 people who own
Porta-Botes that are at least 25 year old and they still using them.
I find the best advertisements for Porta-Botes are Porta-Bote owners.
Never have I heard anyone who owns a Porta-Bote criticise them in any
There are many ways to transport your Porta-Bote. Some attach the hull
to the side of their Motorhome with the R.V. Mounts. Others put it
the roof rack of their 4 wheel drive. Some of these tow the 4 wheel
drive behind their Motorhome. I have seen customers put them on the roof
of their Motorhome. “Trailite” in Pukekohe now build a Porta-Bote Locker
under the floor, along the truck chassis in their Motorhomes
The most commonly asked questions we get are “Do you have an agent in my
area” or “where can I see a Boat”. We Import Porta-Botes directly from
the Factory in California and sell them direct to our customers (no
Middle man) If we are in your area we would love to demo a boat for you.
The next best thing we can offer is a DVD. We are now burning off
copies of the U.S.A. filmed DVD that we use at Trade Shows. It only
goes for a few minutes but it does give a good understanding of how the
boats fold/unfold. Also footage of them performing on the water. The
drop test of a boat loaded with 600lbs of concrete and dropped from 20ft
into the water is very interesting. If you would like a DVD. please
contact the Distribution Centre (see below)
Christine and I spend quite a bit of our time going to motorhome rallies
Trade shows etc etc. For this reason we use another business which we
have an interest in as the N.Z. Distribution centre
This is the” New
Plymouth Kiwi Outdoors Centre” They handle all the
inquiries, orders, sales etc. when we are on the road. If you are
interested in learning more, would like a price list, brochure or DVD.
please contact them.
New Zealand Porta-Bote Distributor