stackable/foldable boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by b430, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. b430
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Location: Toronto, ON

    b430 New Member

    recently moved back to an area with water and the combination of beautiful days and water is making me very jealous of those with boats. I have no where to store a boat so am trying to think of a way to make a folding boat that can get me out on the water.


    carry 2
    sail because i'm too lazy to row
    be portable enough to to be carried to the water by 2 people and assembled there.

    as i see it the main issue is getting it light/small enough to be portable.

    other concerns are making it light would make it too weak and it would break up hitting a powerboat wake, or lack of freeboard would cause it to get swamped.

    right now i drew it up at 9'2" with a 3' beam but i think this would sit too low in the water with 2 on board. the idea was to fold up into a 3'x2'x1' package with the sail and mast folded up into a bag.

    here's kinda what i'm thinking as far as the folding, the segments would be bolted together and each has a full bulkhead at both ends so don't need to worry about making the joints water tight:


    for the sail was thinking a latteen rig of about 45 sq feet. right now i'm thinking of having the keel bolt to the bottom since i can't think of a good way to attach a daggerboad or centreboard. rudder would hang from the transom.

    any thoughts or input would be appreciated, thanks.
  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Welcome aboard the forum, b430 :)

    Have you seen Dave Gerr's "Nester" dinghy, or his "Piece Boat"? Both are similar in concept to what you describe, a small boat that comes apart into nesting sections for easy storage. , or dig out his book "The Nature of Boats" (a definite must-read for anyone nautically obsessed) which includes plans for the "Nester". Even if you do decide to go your own way from your own drawings, looking at a few successful designs of similar concept will be quite enlightening.
  3. kengrome
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Sorry, I'm confused ...

    Do you want a hard-shelled boat that comes apart in sections, or do you want a folding boat?

    There aren't many sailboats that fold, they usually need more strength than folding provides.

    If it comes apart in sections it will be easy to make each section light enough to be portable. Just carry each piece to the water separately.

    Hanging a leeboard over one side eliminates the problem of installing a centerboard or daggerboard.
  4. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    SeaHopper made folding 'el toro' shaped dingy

    of several sizes, with sail option.

    Their site seems to be down.
  5. rwatson
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

  6. diwebb
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    diwebb Senior Member

    have you looked at the Klepper folding canvas boats, also ther is an inflatable boat with a sailing rig, I forget the manufacturer, possibly Metzler?? Anyone else know of these. It is about 11 feet long and has a lateen rig, leeboard and rudder.

  7. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    I think building a sailboat that narrow would not sail well. I have sailed folding kayaks with sail rigs fitted to them and they were very clumsy to use, totally unsuited to sailing. A 9x3 hull would be worse, and not have any room for two people.

    I know that making it larger means more volume for storing it, but going to 12 ft x 4 ft beam would make a much nicer sail boat with a lot more room for two people to enjoy sailing.

    You might consider using the folding kayak construction method shown on this website (a free on-line builder's manual) at:

    But making it the size and shape of a dingy (12 loa x 4 beam). Use a simple sail plan and it would work much better, and actually take up less space in storage. It also would not be anymore work to set up than your take-apart concept. It need not weigh any more than about 80-100 pounds total.

    You also might consider making it an inflatable hull but with a folding solid keel, the above website also shows you how to make inflatable boats too.

    Good luck
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