We’re not sure what particular situation requires the need for an 8-foot-long sheet of plastic that can fold into a rowboat. But Foldboat is exactly that: a standard-sized flat sheet of plastic that uses live hinges held with knurled screws at three angles–left and right sides in the rear, one at the nose–that will fold and unfold into a two-man DIY yacht.
Most of the folding boats on the market, like Folding Boat Company’s K-PAK, and the original portable boat, Porta-Bote, are for outdoor enthusiasts and can require setup times of up to 10 minutes–and with multiple pieces to put together. The Foldboat designers, Max Frommeld and Arno Mathies, think their boat could be used in both urban recreational and disaster relief situations without taking up much space. The designer’s second version of the prototype, “The Dock Edition,” debuted at Tom Dixon’s “Multiplex at the Dock” during the London Design Festival recently and was designed specifically with NGOs in mind. It can be assembled by two people in about two minutes. When not in use, it folds back into a flat sheet of plastic for easy stacking.
If you live in London, where the designers are based, or Amsterdam or Venice or Copenhagen, then maybe a quick row for some milk isn’t such a far-fetched idea. And if you’re an ambitious camper, then putting a boat together is about as difficult as pitching a tent. Huck Finn, the original DIY raft master, would’ve loved this.