FOLDEROL2, FOLDING DINGHY, 6' X 43",
60 POUNDS EMPTY
I tried drawing a folding canoe
a few years ago but thought twice about it, thinking little
canoes are easy to stow even when they don't fold. But
I mentioned it to Dave Carnell who has been boating for
many years and never throws away a boating magazine. He
sent me copies of two folding boats that appeared in "how
to" magazines, especially Boatbuilder's Annuals that
Science and Mechanics used to put out generations ago.
One of those boats was "Handy Andy". How old
is the Handy Andy design? This year someone gave me a
1948 copy of the Boatbuilder's Annual and Handy Andy is
in there. I'm guessing many designs in the issue go back
into the 30's since one might think that boat designers
had other things to do in the early 40's. Handy Andy used
modern plywood, probably better plywood than we can get
today, and used canvas to seal the flexing joints.
Modern folding boats like the Portaboat look like they
use flexible plastic sheets at the folding joints, something
the home builder won't be able to use. So I went back
to the Handy Andy technology which used common metal hinges
to make structural joints between panels with waterproof
fabric to seal the water out. Where Handy Andy used canvas
I would suggest something like Aqualon which is very tough
and totally waterproof by my experience.
The layout of a folding boat requires that the joining
panels have exactly the same curve which is why most folding
boats look pretty spooky. Folderol2 is done that way and
to keep it simple I made it the same fore and aft. It
is very short at 6', the absolute minimum for two adults.
You can imagine a standard bathtub to get an idea of the
size. When folded up it will be 6' long, 18" wide
and maybe 6" deep. The usual talk will be that you
could carry it on your "cruiser" to walk the
dog or get the groceries. Maybe so, but I think the real
use will be for apartment bound folks who will keep one
folded up in the back of the vans, etc.. It could stay
there all the time ready to go, quite out of the way.
Well, I think Folderol2 is a very experimental boat. The
fact that the idea never caught on even though Handy Andy
has been around for fifty years might mean something.
The seals will be Ok given care in gluing to the panels.
I'm not certain how well the folding system will work.
I'm not certain how sturdy it will be since the panels
have to be flexible enough to stow flat and still bend
to shape on demand. But when used for minimum rowing the
structural demands should not be great. Forget about using
a motor or sail on it.
Folderol2 uses two sheets of 1/4" plywood and sixteen
hinges by my count. The amount of frabric required is
not a lot. I think the fabric will be glued with contact
cement and the seam battens bolted over the glued joints
just to be sure, as was done with Handy Andy. I suppose
today's glues are a lot better than the old glues and
the seam battens might be overkill. Then again, if I had
one of these I would be sure to have a roll of duct tape
with me just in case.