Note: As the article is in Dutch, we have translated the article to English from its original version. Link to the original article can be found here.

From bag to boat.

By Walter Knopper

Boaters know all about that wonderful feeling of being on the water on a sunny day. With the breeze on your face, something to eat and drink you can really enjoy the fun side of boating. Quickboats give you that same special feeling and much more.

The test

The boat was assembled in a few minutes from the roof rack. The outboard was hung on the boat and I stepped on board.  I was immediately surprised by the stability of the boat as I expected it to tilt heavily, but that didn’t occur.

The test boat was fitted with a 6 HP Suzuki outboard and quietly we ‘hummed’ through the canals in Lemmer towards the lake. I opened the throttle on the lake and even with three adults it went on a plane pretty easy. It hung it bit on its tail due to our weight, but when I briefly shifted my weight forward, the boat almost leveled out. Owner of Quickboats Europe, Wibo van Wier explained that a 10 HP outboard is a better choice when traveling with more than three adults at speed.

We returned via the “Friesland Park” and at a speed of about 6 km/h the Quickboat handles excellently.

The water displacement is minimal so we hardly created any disturbing waves. Traveling forwards, backwards, doing a figure 8, switching direction or doing a backwards U-turn are all very easy with the Quickboat.

We were soon back where we started and Wibo took off the outboard while his wife, Annegreet, pulled the Quickboat up on the side of the waterway by herself.

Within minutes the Quickboat was ‘toweled dry’ and stored away in its bags.

Before the test drive I wondered why I would pay 5000 euro and not just buy a rubber boat for a lot less. However the handling experience is just incomparable. A dinghy or even a modest rib does not offer the same handling characteristics like the rigid hull of the Quickboat. The boating experience of the Quickboat is equivalent to the sailing characteristics of a small “sloep” or “vlet” (small inboard engined tour boats).

Although we went out in calm weather, I dare say that even with some ‘sea’ or chop, you will remain completely dry. Conversely, in a rubber dinghy you would be soaking wet.

In general, dinghies are left inflated and stored outside by their owners. Over time, weather and UV damage will occur and cause the inflatable to become an irreparable boat. The Quickboat does not require any storage area. Instead, just put the boat in the bag and simply hang your boat on the garage wall. That makes the Quickboat much more durable than a dinghy.

The development

Quickboats began, as many incredible inventions, in someone’s backyard.

Inventor Gavin Ager figured out the concept of a folding boat, called Foldaboat in 2001. In 2005 his idea was fully realized and he applied for patents on the technology. The idea that Gavin patented is nothing short of revolutionary. The folding boat is made of super strong, double-hull sandwich panels. His Foldaboat was featured on an Australian television show about inventors and their products. He was the winner of the episode and the jury thought it was one of the coolest things they had ever seen.

In 2006, an aerospace company bought Foldaboat. One of the company directors, Deryck Graham, took over the rights and together with a composite technologist of Salomon (market leader in ski and surf industry) developed the Quickboat. They hired an industrial design agency to develop the ergonomic click connections. The company Quickboats raised $ 1 million including $65,000 from crowdfunding site Indiegogo. This gave Quickboats worldwide exposure and the very first Quickboat was sold to a Dutchman. He received his Quickboat last April in Utrecht.

The step to the Netherlands

Wibo van Wier saw the Australian project Quickboats, and immediately realised the potential of a folding boat made out of the best materials. In 2013 Wibo van Wier obtained the distribution rights for Europe.

In order to ship the boats Wibo was looking for financial resources and since in recent years banks are very reluctant to supply funds, Wibo found investors in crowdfunding. Within 1 day, 263 investors had invested, accounting for an almost unbelievable amount of 250,000 euro. To Wibo this confirms that the Quickboat is innovative and unique.

The Quickboat is a 3.7m long collapsible boat that packs down into two bags and weighs only 60kg. Bag one containing the hull can be transported on the roofrack. The second bag containing nosecone, seats etc measures 1.65 x 0.58 x 0.35cm and can be stored on the roofrack also or in the boot of the car. The click-assembly system, used to assemble the boat has been specially designed for Quickboats.

The hinges of the panels make it possible to fold up the hull to a package that’s only 0.70cm wide. These same hinges are made out of epoxy and Kevlar, which reinforce each other tremendously and provide a light but strong construction.

Two people can easily assemble the boat in less than five minutes.

The Quickboat is very suitable to be powered by electric outboard motors. With a 10 HP 4 – stroke engine the boat gets up to speeds of 22 knots (almost 40 km / h). Electric outboard motors can also be used.

In the near future, a shorter version measuring 2.4m in length will be released.

Quickboats is in the water sports market, but the caravan & camping markets are also interested in the concept. At this time, there are few or no start-ups in the water sports sector and Wibo van Wier expects the Quickboat to attract a huge group who’d like to own a boat, but do not have the resources or want the hassle of owning a boat.

Quickboats Europe is currently working on realizing a nationwide dealership network. They will work with partners who already have a strong network, like Suzuki outboards. The Suzuki 4 stroke outboard engines are the lightest in the market and therefore match the Quickboats. These partnerships strengthen both brands and make it easy for consumers to choose.

The very first customer demonstration by Quickboats Europe directly resulted in a sale. The proud owner, a mate at the merchant navy, made his first trip with his wife in the canals of Zwolle.

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