"At the beginning I was a bit afraid,
but this boat is very stable"

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Movie: in our final movie from garden trade show Spoga+Gafa, French designer Thibault Penven demonstrates his folding boat, which won first prize in the Unique Youngstar competition for outdoor products by young designers.

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid, but this one is very stable"

Called Ar Vag, which means "boat" in Penven's native Brittany, the vessel is made of rigid fibreglass panels sewn into a foldable PVC skin.

The structure is stiffened by a wooden bench across the middle of the boat and two collapsible rods, which slide into loops along the rim like tent poles.

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid, but this one is very stable"

"This foldable boat is easier to use than an inflatable boat," says Penven, who demonstrates in the movie how quick it is to put together and take apart.

"When you have a rigid boat it is so expensive to keep it on the shore, so I decided to design a boat that you can carry from home to the lake or the river."

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid, but this one is very stable"

Penven developed Ar Vag as part of his course at Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Switzerland and admits that he was nervous when testing out his first prototype.

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid, but this one is very stable"

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid," he says. "But with this one, the yellow one, its very rigid and very stable. So you go straight and you are very [relaxed] inside."

"At the beginning I was a little bit afraid, but this one is very stable"

He adds: "It's very strong. The weight of the boat is around 20-25 kilograms but it is still in development, so I'm trying to make it less heavy."

This movie is the third in a series Dezeen made for Spoga+Gafa, which takes place in Cologne each September. See our movie about the Unique Youngstar design competition and an overview of the fair, including the trend for outdoor kitchens.

See all our stories about boats »
See all our stories about ECAL »

  • Allan

    Nice idea and execution.

  • mlk

    Just remember the Russian kayak “Taimen” for example. Very stable, and very good structure. Just Google some of the old examples, you don’t need to invent a bicycle, or if you do, do it right, so it could take the waves and the load of water and so on.

  • TPN
  • platy

    When can I buy a one?