Video: The Amazing (Yellow) Tent Boat
Unpacking a Swiss design student's ultralight watercraft
It probably occurred to inventor types long ago that a tent is a lot like an inverted boat. Hence, you might make a boat that folds up like a tent. (No doubt someone has tried to float a dome tent before, and strong gusts of wind have put more than a few waterside tents to the test.) But props to Swiss design student Thibault Penven, who conceived and actually built this super-simple, backpack-able model, the Ar Vag dingy, made from fiberglass panels covered with sealed plastic tarpaulin material. Penven recently unveiled the design at the beopen exhibition at the Design Miami/Basel 2012 forum in Switzerland.
To be sure, folding boats have been around for years (see Folbot kayaks and this DIY craft). And there are dozens of small, packable inflatables designed for wilderness rivers and lakes. But there’s something elemental and tent-like about this one.
From all indications, the Ar Vag is still in the experimental phase, and intended for flat-water ferrying from shore to larger craft. It’s not available to consumers yet, and no word on price or weight. But Renven claims the heat-sealed seams are water-tight, and the flat wooden bench clearly adds taughtness, strength and cross-beam stability.
The video is as simple and well-designed as the boat, and watching Penven put it together is like watching early summer possibilities unfold before you.