“Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown.”
― Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
About the Traditional Boat
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 traditional origami 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 diorama? You could make them several different colours:
Instructions for Folding the Traditional Origami Boat
I’d love to hear your views on this traditional origami boat. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!