PORTABOTE Fold-Flat Boats


Read more £1,995.00

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In stock

Read more £2,250.00

Out of stock

Read more £2,250.00

Out of stock


In stock


In stock


In stock


In stock


PORTABOTE make boats that fold down flat, to a package that’s only about 4″ thick and easy to transport. They are incredibly tough, and have now been in production – with little change to the fundamental structure – for over 50 years.

Portabote Nestaway Boats

The main benefit of a Portabote’s ability to fold is that you can store or transport a boat of a useful size where you thought it was impossible: strapped to the deck of a yacht, or on the roof of your car or motorhome, for example. At home you can store it down the side of your garage or shed, rather than taking up the whole of it. It may also mean you can choose one a size or two larger than you otherwise would; that means greater carrying capacity, comfort and speed.

But Portabotes are also famous for their near-indestructability. Made from incredibly tough Polypropylene plastic, with irrigation tube protection for the stainless-steel-stapled “living hinges”, you can treat a Portabote in ways that would destroy other boats. Drag it up a beach, hit rocks, drop it off a quay… your Portabote will just shrug it off.

This durability means Portabote offer a 10 year warranty, although in fairness we would point out that it’s a “declining warranty” ie you don’t get a brand new boat free of charge if something breaks at 9 years and 11 months!

Portabote 12
Portabote Nestaway Boats

YACHTING MONTHLY Magazine said of a Portabote 10:

“Its bulletproof construction would be great for dragging over rough, shingly beaches… very durable… spacious and a good load/crew carrier… stable at rest and under way”

Portabote Performance

If you are used to almost any other type of boat – inflatable or rigid-hulled – it’s almost certainly nothing like a Portabote! The hull is “semi-rigid” ie allows some flex once assembled, but not worryingly so when you stand in it. This flexibility allows the hull to absorb some wave energy rather than bashing up and down on top of them… and actually changes shape when planing (going fast), to form something of a tunnel hull – which improves the handling and tracking. It also seems to make it more stable than you’d expect; again the flexibility absorbs some of the energy that would otherwise go into tipping it.

Because of these characteristics Portabotes don’t need particularly large motors. A 1kW electric (such as the Torqeedo 1103 or ePropulsion Spirit PLUS found elsewhere on this site) will push them along just fine at displacement speeds of 4.5 to 5 knots. And a 6hp petrol should get a Portabote 10 or 12 planing into double figure speeds (again talking in knots), even with two on board. Smaller motors add further to the portability and convenience of the whole package. And having a semi-rigid hull with a much more defined, and finer entry, underwater shape than most inflatables also makes them better to row.

Please Note: Oars and Rowlocks are not supplied as standard with Portabotes, but available as an option (listed at top of page).

Portabote 12 opening
Portabote Nestaway Boats

Portabote Transport & Storage

Folded Portabotes are a couple of inches longer than when assembled, about 2ft wide, and only 4″ thick for most of its length (6″ for two feet at the transom). Many customers carry them on a car, motorhome, or yacht.

Weight-wise there’s an acquired knack to handling the folded hulls but as such (ie seats removed) even the12ft is still possible to manhandle alone.

Portabote Nestaway Boats


Assembling a Portabote can seem daunting at first but – don’t panic! – it’s actually relatively simple when you break it down into steps. First off you open the folded hull with the assistance of the all-important “Portabote stick” (included), then open out the transom (folded integral with the hull), and insert the seats (two on the 8, three for the 10 and 12 models). That’s essentially it, there’s also a “cosmetic bow cap” but a lot of people don’t bother with it!

With practice it’s entirely feasible alone, and easy with two.

The hinges “settle in” (become easier to open/close) with use, and it should also be noted that the plastic – like most plastics – becomes slightly more flexible (again, easier to open) in warmer temperatures. 

Portabote Nestaway Boats
Portabote Fold-Flat Boats Spec 2023

Portabote Specification

All Portabotes fold flat, to a shape that’s fractionally longer than their assembled length and about 60cm (12″) wide. The front end tapers to a blunt point. In terms of thickness they are approx 10cm (4″) thick for most of their length, with a bulge to about 15cm (6″) thick at the back end (where the integral transom folds in).

If not already clear, the seats (either 2 or 3, depending on model) remove during the folding process, so they are not inside the folded hull and are separate items to store/transport.

Included in the price of the boat are the hull, the seats, the bow cap and an opening-assistant (stick!). On initial purchase you will need to bolt in the folding transom (also supplied), but it stays attached to the boat – and folds in with it when you fold the hull – thereafter. The oars/rowlocks and sidemount wheels you may see in some pictures are not included but available as options.

Nestaway Boats & Portabote

We’ve actually been involved with UK Portabote sales since 2012, but there was about a three year gap due to a “retaliatory tariff” on US-made boats imported to the UK and EU. Something to do with steel. We won’t comment on the politics but if we’d continued importing them it would have made Portabotes 25% more expensive, which we didn’t think was sustainable. The tariff is now gone, and we’re very pleased to have them back in our range!

Portabote Nestaway Boats

How can we help?

We understand there is a lot of information to digest when trying to decide which product is for you. We have a lot of knowledge in this space and would love to help you make an impartial, informed decision.

Email: mail@nestawayboats.com or Phone: 0800 999 2535

Additional Information and Advice


FRIB Folding Hull Specifications

The F-RIBs are all rated in (RCD) Recreational Craft Directive category C (max wind Force 6, max wave height 2m), which is reassuringly high (or ridiculous, depending on how you look at it, we wouldn’t choose to take a 6m RIB out in that!). If rated in category D (ie for calmer waters) the person capacity would typically increase by 40-50%, so the 275 for example could take at least 4 adults (and does, we’ve tried it, with 5 in fact).

Model 275
*boat only
Length - 9ft
Beam - 160cm
Weight - 36kg
Tube Diam - 40cm
Max load* Cat C - 300kg
Max Engine - 15hp
Recommended - 1kW elec or 6hp
Folded Size - 90x85x40cm
Portabote Nestaway Boats
Model 330
*boat only
Length - 11ft
Beam - 165cm
Weight - 43kg
Tube Diam - 42cm
Max load* Cat C - 450kg
Max Engine - 15hp
Recommended - 1kW elec or 6hp
Folded Size - 100x90x40cm
Portabote Nestaway Boats
Model 360
*boat only
Length - 12ft
Beam - 165cm
Weight - 48kg
Tube Diam - 43cm
Max load* Cat C - 700kg
Max Engine - 25hp
Recommended - 6hp to 20hp
Folded Size - 110x90x45cm
Portabote Nestaway Boats
Model 430
*boat only
Length - 14ft
Beam - 190cm
Weight - 68kg
Tube Diam - 47cm
Max load* Cat C - 800kg
Max Engine - 30hp
Recommended - 6hp to 20hp
Folded Size - 115x115x50cm
Portabote Nestaway Boats

What is included?

F-RIB Prices include as standard: oars; foot pump; hull and accessory storage bags; repair kit; and removable seat or seats (depending on size).

Options include: Bow Canopy (£185 DIY fit see accessory fitting note below); Transom Wheels (£160 also DIY fit): Davit Lifting Points x4 (£120 also DIY fit); Seat Cushions £50 each; Bags that hang underneath seats £50 each; 12V-powered Electric Pump (£95). NB If you want the underseat bag(s) these only work in conjunction with the cushions, and need to be ordered at the same time.

Accessory Fitting Note: Price for bow canopy, transom wheel and davit lifting points are for the items supplied loose for you to fit. All are relatively straightforward DIY jobs, but we can do them if you wish us to. However it does take time, and we have overheads and staff to pay for, so we have to charge for it.

Fitting charges if you want us to do it are: £65 for transom wheels; £80 for bow canopy; £120 for davit lifting points.

We are also agents for Torqeedo and Epropulsion electric outboards. Our recommended motor will depend on which size F-RIB you choose, what you want to do with it, and of course budget. This is something we’re happy to discuss over the phone or by email, if you want us to supply the motor.

Portabote Nestaway Boats
Portabote Nestaway Boats


FRIB Folding Hull RIB Accessories


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