boat models I have made

First Water Trial

The boat is together and ready for its first float.

cut down chair on boat floor

The floor is ready and I cut an old lawn chair down. I'm a bit doubtful that using thin plywood is going to work. I've added a few strips of wood to make it stiffer.

folded-coroplast boat.

The boat folds nicely with all the parts inside. I used dollar store straps to hold the package closed. This fits nicely on my bike trailer and was easy to transport. The boat measures 2 x 4 feet when folded.

boat is launched

The boat is assembled and in the water ... floating ... upright!

Getting my butt in the chair was surprisingly difficult. I don't have good knees and the boat is somewhat floppy. Eventually I stepped down from the dock onto the chair and unfolded myself in the boat. It is too wide to straddle and just sit down and it is quite floppy so no big jumps that could damage the boat.

Paddling in the boat

The boat is very light on the water and easy to move. I forgot my kayak paddle so I used my tender oar. Not particularly good for this but it worked.

I had to slide the seat around till I found a good balance.

First water trial

If the video won't load it's address is
When I eventually use the oar like a kayak paddle it works quite well.

It's very easy to move and comfortable. I did not put in the supports from the thwarts. They will go in later. I still have to paint and fiddle a few things.

So what do I think about this boat?

PROS: I think this boat is a great success. You have to remember what it is. An experimental minimalist boat designed for quiet waters. It floated well, moved easily in the water, was adequately stable and has a high "cool factor". For about 50 dollars of materials I had a great deal of fun and a lightweight easily transportable folding boat to show for my efforts. Nick and I paid more for fish and chips and beer this week. I don't think it was as much fun either.

CONS: I had trouble getting in. Ok, I'm an old lady with stiff knees. Getting out was easier though.
The boat is smooth on the bottom and so when I paddle it tends to not track straight. I think a proper kayak paddle and better technique would help. I also think that a small panel clamped to the side would help, next time I'll try this.

One technical point, one of the thwarts T Nut started to pull out from the end of the board where it had been epoxied in. I think I will drill a hole in the board and just tie the thwart on and not worry about the nuts. I certainly know how to make boating knots. Right now there is a hole in the hull to allow the fancy bolt through. A grommet could reinforce the plastic and allow a rope to go through. I will also add the stiffeners that I did not have time to add. This will improve the rigidity of the boat, although this is not really a problem.

The Scotch tough tape has been on for about a month and is not showing any signs of coming loose and peeling off. This is good.

I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. If you decide to build a coroplast boat remember its an experimental boat and you need to use it in safe water. Wear your PDF and have fun.

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine