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Quickboat foldable boat: From roof rack to water in 60 seconds

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July 25, 2013

From roofrack to water it takes only 60 seconds to get the Quickboat into the water

From roofrack to water it takes only 60 seconds to get the Quickboat into the water

Image Gallery (18 images)

Think it takes more time to build a boat than make a French omelette? Think again. The Quickboat is the first foldable boat we've seen that a team of two can put together in a minute or less. That's insanely fast compared to the build times of other foldable boats we've covered, such as the Transporter (10 minutes) and the Smartkat (20 minutes). In fact, the boat is so easy to construct says Deryck Graham, the Managing Director of Australian company Quickboats, that one person with a beer in hand could assemble the boat in three minutes even with friends around to distract them.

It’s impressive on other fronts too. The entire boat packs down flat into two separate bags, one measuring 3.6 x 0.7 x 0.13 m (11.8 x 2.3 x 0.4 ft) weighing 36 kg (79 lb) and other measuring 1.5 x 1.2 x 0.08 m (4.9 x 3.9 x 0.3 ft) weighing 18 kg (40 lb), making it easy to transport and store. It can apparently even be hung on the wall and carrying it around is similar to transporting a few surfboards on a car roof rack, the company states.

All the parts click into place during assembly and the boat opens out to be 1.7 m (5.6 ft) wide and 3.7 m (12 ft) long. It can comfortably seat four adults and cruise at a speed of 20 knots (37 km/h / 23 mph) powered by a 9.8 hp motor. The Quickboat doesn't come with an engine but any outboard motor up to 10 hp and weighing less than 30 kg (66 lb) can be used to power the boat.

The Quickboat compared to two surfboards

What makes it truly special though is the design. Foldable boats have been around since the 1970’s, but they’ve not really caught on because most are made of light and flexible parts and continue to be flexible even in the water. This results in vessels that tend to wobble or give the impression of walking on a waterbed.

In an effort to tackle these challenges, Quickboats hired industrial designers and aerospace material engineers. “Our brief to the designers was two-fold,” says Graham, “Our Quickboat had to look like an Apple and get delivered like a Dell.”

To get the boat to be stable, dry, safe and highly buoyant, engineers used advanced composite materials such as Kevlar, high-end glass and foam cores in its construction. Armour skins were also thrown in as top sheet materials to make the boat hard to penetrate and give it the ability to slide over sand and pebbles like Teflon. The end result, according to Graham, is a boat that is a "quantum jump" in technology. “It lays flat in a bag yet flexes sufficiently to open and be loaded with seats and deck to become rigid – the holy grail of a folding boat,” he explains.

Various features of the Quickboat

The simple five-piece click together assembly process and one minute assembly time is intended to do more than just please recreational boaters. The company is in engaged in talks with aid organizations and government agencies to use the boats in "first response" rescue efforts in floods and other disasters. However, its creators say it is only suitable for use in bays, rivers or lakes and not for ocean travel, channel crossings or commercial fishing.

Has Quickboats created an Apple of the boating world that’s not only beautiful and functional but also bucks convention? Attendees of the Sydney International Boat Show can decide for themselves when the boat officially launches there on August 1st. Deliveries for Europe will begin in the early summer of 2014, followed by the US and Asia. For now you can get on a waiting list at the Quickboats official website. The price is set at AUD$4,375 (US$ 4,045).

The Quickboat assembly process is demonstrated in the following video.

Source: Quickboats

About the Author
Lakshmi Sandhana When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.   All articles by Lakshmi Sandhana
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10 Comments

Yes, an excellent up-date to the folding boats used by UK commandos in WW2.

professore
26th July, 2013 @ 04:15 am PDT

There are small inflatable boats for $1,000 that are 10 times safer not to mention sea worthy. Would anyone really let their kids on the water in this? Not eye eye Captain.

Rehab
26th July, 2013 @ 05:58 am PDT

Very similar boat has been around for decades. I've seen several used as tenders, so those have been real world useful. I've no idea is one brand is better than the other, both should be looked at if interested in either one. See also:

http://www.porta-bote.com

Dave B13
26th July, 2013 @ 07:02 am PDT

I think it is neat since it looks sturdier than most foldable boats that I have read about. I think it is neat that it can be put together by two (or one?) in about a minute.

BigWarpGuy
26th July, 2013 @ 07:41 am PDT

I nice revival done many times though easily done for $300 in plywood/epoxy.

A good material selection for a lightweight but still strong and considering that, the price isn't bad.

I'd bet it would take real people 10 minutes to put together.

jerryd
26th July, 2013 @ 10:02 am PDT

@BigWarpGuy: One of the photo captions says one person can assemble it in three minutes, which is still pretty quick. This boat seems to be far better engineered with far better materials than all the previous foldable boats that commenters are mentioning. Very impressive.

Fritz Menzel
26th July, 2013 @ 11:00 am PDT

I'll take a Zodiac.

Slowburn
26th July, 2013 @ 01:01 pm PDT

Like many modern products the price is the spoil point. I realize that quality plastics can be quite expensive but still in all this boat at $500. would be attractive. At $4,000 only defective people would snap it up.

These days people want items that require next to zero maintenance and are still good twenty or thirty years into daily use. This is the same nonsense that we see in the auto and motorcycle industries. Companies seek huge sales prices on products and it drowns the industry. It's time to produce real goods and stop with the nonsense.

Jim Sadler
27th July, 2013 @ 01:10 am PDT

at over $4,000 a pop you've got to be dreaming I think i''ll stick to my tinny

Bert Mert
9th August, 2013 @ 08:46 pm PDT

No different in design than the 40 year old Porta-bote which costs half as much. The 66 lb. limitation on the engine weight means a limit of 6 HP as that is the maximum output available for engines under that weight. Hull deflection results in power loss so this type of boat will be slower with the 6 HP motor than a rigid aluminum boat of the same size.

Calson
31st October, 2013 @ 10:38 am PDT
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