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Couple in rowboat. This is not the Porta-Bote, the collapsible vessel. For photos, see here. (Jupiterimages/Getty Images/Comstock Images)
Couple in rowboat. This is not the Porta-Bote, the collapsible vessel. For photos, see here. (Jupiterimages/Getty Images/Comstock Images)

Small Business Briefing

Folding boat rides new wave of interest Add to ...

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Porta-Bote: a collapsible vessel at an affordable price

I’ll admit it: I’m a big fan of the boat show. But as a homeowner, with no money and zero storage space, I really have no business being there. Frankly, they shouldn’t even let me aboard those 60-foot, $900,000 luxury yachts – with their fine Sunbrella fabrics and polished cherry wood Formica cabinets in the cabin – even if I did have the decency to take my shoes off.

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But if you, like me, can’t resist the magnetic pull of the boats at the boat show – and the sweet promise of open air and freedom that they deliver – there’s an affordable, albeit less glamourous, boating option out there: the Porta-Bote.

It starts out the size of a surfboard, but in just four minutes becomes a fully functional row or powerboat when expanded. The Wall Street Journal shows you how it works in this video filmed at the 2013 New York Boat Show. There are four sizes – from 8 to 14 feet. The 10-footer (for three people) will put you back $1,899 (U.S.), so it’s relatively cost-effective. It’s durable too. According to the company’s website, the craft’s polypropylene copolymer resin hull is “remarkably tough” and “extremely difficult to to puncture.” Good to know.

While folding vehicles – like the electric Yike bike or the Hiriko folding car – are a growing trend, Porta-Bote has been around for ages (since 1973, to be exact). Presumably the collapsible vessel, devised by Mountain View-based engineer-turned-entrepreneur Sandy Kaye, is enjoying a new wave of interest thanks not only to an onslaught of boat shows, but also to the fact that more people are downsizing to condos and smaller cars.

Vancouver tech company sold for $83M in cash deal

Ultrasonix Medical Corp., a Vancouver-based tech company that designs ultrasound systems, is being acquired by Analogic Corp. for $83-million (U.S.).

The company was founded by Laurent Pelissier. More than 5,000 of these systems have been installed around the world, and are used by emergency medicine doctors, anesthesiologists, reproductive medicine specialists, physiotherapists and pain management specialists.

How will you spend your money in 2013?

Small business owners plan to open up their wallets this year, and they’re looking to spend on technology and marketing, according to a new infographic survey created by MyCorporation.

The California-based company, which aims to help small business clients and real estate investors incorporate their businesses in a reliable and affordable manner, created the ’spending habits’ infographic using data collected from 1214 small business owners across Canada and the U.S.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Inc.com’s 30 under 30

Are you, or do you know, an under-30 superstar entrepreneur whom we should consider for this year’s 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs list? Inc.com is calling for nominations from all industries to create a diverse list of companies led by young entrepreneurs who have the potential to become the next generation of rock-star CEOs. Deadline is February 22, 2013.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

The best way to outsource HR? Don’t

Despite all the arguments for engaging third-party companies to manage human resource functions, here’s why Chris Griffiths believes that HR should be kept in-house

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

The right time to start marketing

Startups often begin the process too early , or they neglect it, instead of finding the sweet spot

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