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What is a Folding Boat?

A folding boat ingeniously combines portability with aquatic adventure. Crafted to collapse for easy storage and transport, these vessels transform from compact packages into full-sized watercraft, ideal for explorers who value convenience without sacrificing the joys of boating. Intrigued by how these transformative boats unfold opportunities for spontaneous exploration? Discover the mechanics and marvels behind folding boats in our full feature.
Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

A folding boat is a small, lightweight vessel that folds to allow for convenient storage and transportation. This type of boat is usually purchased by those that don't have storage available for regular sized boats and/or just use a boat occasionally. The length of most folding boats is between 6 feet (1.8288 m) and 12 feet (3.6576 m).

Folding boats are not as widely used as the inflatable type. An inflatable boat may be lighter and need even less storage space than a folding boat, but it can be punctured fairly easily and requires time to be inflated and deflated. Folding boats also take some time to put together and take apart. Some folding boats are made especially for air travel such as on regular airlines or bush planes.

An inflatable boat may be lighter and need even less storage space than a folding boat.
An inflatable boat may be lighter and need even less storage space than a folding boat.

If a motor is desired on a folding boat, anything more than 10 horsepower (HP) is not usually recommended as these boats are small and light. Many folding boats require only a 2 HP motor. Folding boats often fold flat and some can be slipped under the arm and carried that way. A folding boat may come with a carrying case, while other types of folding boats may require a mini two-wheeled trailer lift.

A folding boat may feature boards that fit on the floor of the boat to add stability. Many different lightweight materials such as marine grade plywood, aluminum and synthetics are commonly used to build folding boats. A fol

Some types of folding boats are designed for use on commercial aircraft.
Some types of folding boats are designed for use on commercial aircraft.

There are several different categories of folding boats. Folding kayaks and canoes are used for light touring trips and some of these are extremely compact. They may fit into a car trunk and/or come with a carrying bag. Folding dinghies or tenders are popular with people with larger vessels as these boats can be used to carry people and supplies from shore back to the bigger boat. A folding dinghy or tender may also be an ideal small boat for use with a recreational vehicle (RV) such as a motor home.

ding boat may be commercially made or custom made by its owner.

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    • An inflatable boat may be lighter and need even less storage space than a folding boat.
      By: JCVStock
      An inflatable boat may be lighter and need even less storage space than a folding boat.
    • Some types of folding boats are designed for use on commercial aircraft.
      By: Pavel Losevsky
      Some types of folding boats are designed for use on commercial aircraft.