Thursday, 20 June 2013

A Folding Boat at Beale Park

Beale wouldn't be the same without a folding boat or two, and this year's highlight was the amazing Frankton Dinghy, developed by design engineer and sailor Martin Walford.
The hull is W shaped both for stability and to avoid the need for a centreboard to sail to windward, Martin says. 
But the truly wacky thing is the way the hull folds into itself to form a compact box for carrying on deck or on a car roof.
Boards at bow and stern fold in, then the side coamings fold over to bring the rowlocks inside the hull. Then both ends fold up and over. It really is small when completely packed up, but should be easy to deploy when needed.
Martin reckons it will be handy for yachtsmen who want a tender they can keep at home rather than left to the mercy of great British weather/thieves on the foreshore. Just open it out, row to the boat, fold it up again and stow it on the deck, where it will double as a lifeboat.
Apparently it rows well, but sailing trials are yet to start. The Frankton Dinghy will be available as a kit for home construction - more details here.

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