Looking for a boat that you can take absolutely everywhere with you? Check out what two London university students have come up with.
Apart from the fact that it’s hanging from a series of cables, there’s nothing remarkable about the boat pictured above at first glance. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving, however, and this is one such occasion. This is Foldboat’s Boat 1, an incredibly portable two-person row boat made from a single 8 foot by 5 foot sheet of plastic. As its name implies, it can be folded up for storage or transport. It collapses into carrying pack measuring 100x50x60cm — large by everyday backpack standards, but certainly in the same ballpark as the omnipresent Canadian hockey bag.
It takes just three folds, two minutes, and a handful of plastic clips to convert Boat 1 from pack mode into a boat, and the plastic hull can withstand around 6,000 total foldings. That’s plenty of durability to get you through 30 or so summers of leisurely paddling.
Foldboat’s designers, university design students Max Frommeld and Arno Mathies, have also developed another model: Boat 2. Like Boat 1 it’s made to be easy to transport and store, but it offers a slightly different take. Instead of converting into a pack, Boat 2 flattens into a sheet 250cm by 150cm. It’s not as though Boat 1 would be difficult to store, but it certainly couldn’t disappear along the back wall of your closet like Boat 2 can. It’s probably even slim enough to store inside your tent camper — even when it’s completely closed up.
Portability comes at a slight premium, of course: Boat 1 will sell for around $1,300 when it becomes available. You can pick up a sturdy little row boat for less than half that price in Canada, but chances are good that you’re not going to be able to tuck it in the back of your Ford Focus or strap it on your shoulders while you hike to your favourite secluded spot.
One of the trickiest parts about getting ready for a camping trip is making sure that you have enough space to take everything you want — and taking a boat almost always means reduced gas mileage. Neither of those will ever be an issue again if you pick up one of the Foldboat models, so how about it, Sync readers? Can you picture yourself shelling out $1,300 for one of these plastic water craft?