Welcome to Manins motorohome project

A Porta Bote for Applause

We don't expect a lot of use from a boat with the motorhome, but to have the possibility is overwhelmingly attractive. The problem is of course, how to carry a boat! A trailer is not a good idea for us. And there is no room on top of the Ducato. So its either an inflatable (but they pack up to too much space in the house) or a foldup boat mounted on the side. The Porta Bote (www.porta- bote.com) is ideal for our needs.

We managed to obtain an older 3.3 m Porta Bote at what seemed to be a reasonable price. Just how old only became clear later — it turns out to be about 20 years old! Its the older canoe style with stabiliser fins for motorboating. An example is shown at Don's Place.

How to Carry the Bote

Porta Bote, the Company, appears to offer a pair of mounting brackets for use on recreation vehicles, and shows several examples of this at www.porta-bote.com/rv-mounting. But on the Ducato, the only space available is on the driver's side and then the bote would partly cover the power inlet, water inlet and battery vent. Nor could we realistically provide strengthening from the inside for the mounting points.

Australian Road Safety regulations require that the bote and its mounting frame must not project more than 150 mm from the outermost part of the Ducato, and in any event the maximum overall width of the Ducato and its load must be no more than 2.500 m. We must comply with these requirements. Many other installations appear to not.

Mounting the Bote

At least the van is long enough. By hinging the mounting brackets we could provide access to the essential services. And if we mounted the brackets close to body seams then there would be an expectation of sufficient rigidity to carry the weight — most importantly, the shock load on corrugated roads.

See the description on the boat_mount page of how this was done.

Outboard Motor

The Porta Bote has a transom and motor that must be carried. Construction of the bike rack for the far side rear door showed how to proceed with a mount for these. This is described on the motor_mount page.

Dolly Wheel Carrier

Once assembled the Porta Bote has to be moved around, so some kind of wheels or hand trailer is also needed. Dolly wheels for a "tinnie" are suitable. How they are carried and used is also described on the motor_mount page.


Porta Bote

in the bote (77 kB)

What its all about: in the water under power.

boat on shore (97 kB)

We're off boating (after a brief call)

rowing the Porta-Bote (61 kB)

Rowing the Porta Bote in Port Sorrel (Tas)

Boat on Dolly (101 kB)

A dolly for a 'tinnie' makes a good road carrier for the bote. Stabiliser flaps are not fixed here.

Applause waiting for Bote (63 kB)

Waiting for the return of the Porta Bote

van and bote in camp (99 kB)

The Applause with Porta Bote in camp. Brackets hinged out for services connection.

Porta Bote assembled with outboard motor and clamp on wheels in place (82 kB)

The Bote fully assembled with outboard motor, sitting on the clamp on wheels, ready to be pulled to the water at Anglesea River.