Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fold Your Own Boat

You are running out of time for that last summer vacation, so you are trying to cram everything in at once. You're pickup is packed with two different tents, a cooler, a couple of cases of beer that didn't fit in the cooler, rods and tackle boxes.

You'd love to throw a boat in the back of the truck - you don't want a trailer to slow you down, and you definitely don't want an inflatable because they're a pain in the ass when they get a leak (and they ALWAYS get a leak).

Space is at a premium, but you know you are going to need to pull over and row across that remote pond, or down that river, either for exercise or to catch dinner. What are you going to do?

Why not get a folding boat? We've found three different companies on the web, each specializing in a different type of folding or "instant" boat:

All-Purpose Boat
First and most ubiquitous (you've probably seen these at boat shows) is the Porta-Bote. With 50,000 boats sold over the past 30 years, these versatile aluminum rowboats seem to be most functional for fishing or for boating atop Mt. Everest.

Canoe
Similar to the Porta-Bote, but claiming assembly can be done in under 2 minutes, is the folding canoe manufacturer InstaBoat of Quebec.

Kayak
Lastly, you've got your sharp looking kayak manufacturer, Folboat of Charleston, which doesn't really fold so much as it disassembles. While these seem to take longer to put together than the other two brands, Folboats folding boats seem to be the best looking vessels of the class.

If just looking for a boat that you can always have with you (because you never know when you are going to need a boat), or if you need a rowboat that you can hang flat on your garage wall like a plasma TV, then you should seriously consider a folding boat.