Hudson Folding Boat on the National Maritime Museum stand at the Beale
Park Thames Boat Show this year. Click on the images for a larger photograph
One of the most fascinating objects on show at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show this year was this amazing folding boat. I’ve posted a photograph of this boat once before, when the National Maritime Museum Cornwall included it in a display of folding boats.
However, I hadn’t realised it was such an exquisitely complicated piece of engineering. This is a real mass of hinges and brackets, sealing wax and string, and deserves admiration!
The folding boat was designed by a gent called Dick Hudson in the early part of the 20th Century. Intended for use as tender that could be tied onto a yacht’s roof without obscuring the helmsman’s view, it folded down to 20cm in thickness and with the help of a couple of brackets would sit on the running board of a car of that era.
10ft folding dinghy plans at the Svenson free boat plans site
Attention boating enthusiasts – is this folding boat the half-forgotten answer to the eternal tender problem?
Tenders tend to be be a nuisance as we all know – the nasty rubber things cost a fortune, take ages to inflate, take up a lot of space on board and row like psychopathic milk jugs, and of course a solid tender is a can be a pain to tow.
So some people might like to consider this folding alternative, which I’ve just spotted. Plans can be downloaded at the Svenson website.
Follow this link for more free boat plans.
Hudson folding dinghy ready to travel
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s latest study boat area is dedicated to folding boats, and one of the exhibits is this Hudson folding dinghy.
Donated to the Museum by the Hudson family, the folding dinghy dates back to the 1930s.
It was designed and made by RJ Hudson, who originally came from Dublin and later moved to Devon, and folds down to make a flat object approximately 10 inches thick
Perfect for carrying along the running boards or roof of a car, or on the side-deck of a yacht, the boat was designed to open and fold in less than 30 seconds by means of a single lever. Each element slotted into place upon opening, and required no other form of securing.
Its strength of construction was gained from a rigid frame consisting of its stem, keel and sternpost. Specially prepared sheets of marine plywood were used for the planking, and the entire boat was said to have no fragile parts and no exposed canvas.
Promoted for fishing and duck shooting boat, the Hudson folding dinghy was one of the earliest folding boats and started a huge phase of easily accessible and transportable folding boats.
Two folding canoes designed and made by the Granta Folding Boat Company also feature in the display.
The display at the NMMC runs from the 28th January until the 30th April.
Go to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall website for more information about the organisation’s events.
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