Link to: Aix les Bains folding demo
Choosing a boat provided a big challenge. It needs to be able to face everything from wide sea estuaries with big ships down to narrow canal waterways. It needs to be light enough to portage and drag up steep river banks, but sturdy enough to face the rigours of weather from the top to bottom of France. Above all it must be easily and comfortably rowed. Some problem! Finally, I decided on a coracle. Not an egg shaped thing with a paddle that always seems to be everyone's idea of a coracle. Coracles around the world come in many shapes and are simply a skin stretched across wooden strakes, and are usually collapsible.
|On the water boat test at Aix-les-Bains|
I chose to buy my Coracle from Nautiraid, a French company that hand builds folding craft at their factory near Le Mans. It is dinghy shaped and rowed with oars. After testing one on Lac du Bourget at Aix les Bains, and above all after hearing that the elite British military use these and particularly Nautiraid's sea going kayaks, I was convinced it would suit my challenge.
|Hand machining the frames in the Nautiraid factory|
in April 2017 on the way home from our ski season.
|Hand over at the Nautiraid factory|
Link to Coracle by Nautiraid