“Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown.”
― Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
About the Traditional Boat
This is the fourth origami boat I’ve included on this blog! The others have been the Full-rigged Ship, the Sailboat and the Sampan – two other traditional boat models. I was inspired to post this after a visit to the Maritime Museum in San Sebastian last week, where they had an exhibition entitled Women and the Sea. One of the exhibits was a diorama made up of several of these origami boats (picture below), each representing a woman that played a key role in maritime history.
This boat is one of the most well-known origami models, and one that a lot of people will remember making as a child. It is very simple to make and it will actually float – at least for a few seconds or so before the paper gets wet. Several people have actually taken to the water in one of these large enough to take a human being, as this BBC article shows. I wouldn’t recommend this – at least, not without a lifejacket!
Folding the Traditional Boat
This is easy to make and only takes a couple of minutes. Using a 2:1 rectangle (half a square) will produce a boat with the middle point about the same height as the sides. Any paper will do. I made the one in the picture above using a 7.5cm x 15cm (3.5in x 6in) piece of kami. If you have time, you could make an origami flotilla. If you happen to have a sheet of the stuff they use to make tetrabrik packs that measures 1884 square feet, you could make yourself a boat that is 30 ft long and sail it up the local river – like the artist Frank Boelter.
Why not try folding a whole flotilla of boats like the ones in the diarama? You could make them several different colours:
Instructions for Folding the Traditional Boat