Flat Pack Boats

The Flat Pack Concept

This technique has been in use at low volume for many years, largely in marine ply construction. Ply parts are pre-cut to their required shapes, and are joined largely by stitch and glue, using temporary  cable ties, resin putty, and fabric in resin over the putty. 

HFBWA flat  packs have the flat panel components nested in layers onto a chipboard backing sheet, with packing materials as required. Non-flat items (resin, fibre, etc) go  into a separate small package. 

These kits are to support home assembly by the purchaser, professional assembly, or otherwise to suit the purchaser and the support environment. Note that this does involve the use of resin and fibre, and resin putty, and is supportive by building instructions and small practice pieces. 

Outer and interior surfaces of the hull are in fibre reinforced resin, with  good strength, wear and weathering resistance. Marine paint in anticipated, with weathering durability governed by paint choice. 

The outer surface of panels is supplied smooth, essentially ready for painting. Exterior filling and smoothing is required only over the seams.

The inner surface of the hull requires a layer of fabric in resin, sheer to  sheer, faced with peel ply fabric. When this is removed from the set resin the surface is essentially ready for painting.1

Why Flat Pack Boats

Distribution.   A small completed boat (as the Mosman 5.2 canoe) is light, bulky, fragile, and relatively low value per unit volume. This results in a disproportionately high cost for packing, and long distance transport. The flat pack, based on the 2400 x 1200 sheet module, generates an easily handled package, dense and robust, for stacking on the back of a truck. The “bulkiness” can be generated by the assembly of the flat pack into the boat at a site convenient to the purchaser. 

Design Flexibility. The HFBWA flat pack construction method, supported by computer aided design, allows the development and evaluation of design concepts to meet client needs. The same technology  supports the templating and tooling to support the development of such designs into completed boats. Check out our Design Projects.

Durability. Exterior panel surfaces are supplied essentially paint ready, avoiding the resin and fibre sheathing process commonly applied to plywood or strip planked boats. This gives good weather resistance to the completed boat; costs dependent  upon the paint system selected. 

Explore the material as well as the fabrication process and selection election.

Participation. Many potential boat owners derive considerable pleasure and satisfaction in taking a major part in building their own boat. The HFBWA flat pack is a means to support this objective. 

Panel templating and layup, and the drilling of the cable tie holes in the flat pack component manufacture removes both this work content, and the risk of error from the (likely inexperienced) intending builder, and enhances the prospect of a timely and reliable build.

The Mosman Canoe

River and ocean hemp resin fibre canoe. 17ft x 5.2 m with a single or double fin. WA designed and made, with a capacity of 1 – 3 persons/paddlers.

The Herreshoff Swift Rowboat

This design will be offered in 2 length variants. The primary (17 ft) boat is intended for single person performance rowing (single sculls) and family use. The alternative length (14 ft) boat is offered for single person rowing (single sculls), and family use.

Get in touch

Contact Hemp Fibre Boats today for more information.

We welcome all enquiries, whether it is about a concept design, current design, implementation of an idea, or have a view of a concept design to bring to production!