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Vessel Number: HV000674
Date: 1962
Builder: Foldaboat
Previous Owner:
Vessel Dimensions: 3.66 m × 3.2 m × 1.37 m × 0.08 m (12 ft × 10.5 ft × 4.5 ft × 0.25 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
TONI is a folding dinghy built by Foldaboat in NSW, probably during the early 1960s. It is a production boat and represents the post 1950s period of the recreational boating market for simple, easily transportable craft that had existed for many decades. With its home-made outboard motor it brings out the social aspects of boating on limited resources and the pleasure gained from a simple affordable craft.
DescriptionTONI is made from plywood which clearly shows the arrangement of the veneers and has an interesting athwartships large tooth pattern at the scarph used on the sheets to make them 12 feet (3.65m) long. The flat panels have a neoprene and fabric material called Neolon as a watertight seal and joint for the edges where the panels fold, and it is secured across the hull with the transom, three frames, and three thwarts. It is an interesting comparison craft to the 1920s Pritchard folding boat HV000067.

A 1962 advertisement shows Foldaboat’s address as 163 Blues Point Rd North Sydney, NSW, now part of a series of commercial shops and the location suggesting they operated there in a small shop/factory during the 1960s. The company retailed a range of 8ft, 10ft and 12 foot craft. The 12 foot craft cost 72 pounds and 10 shillings.

The current owner bought the craft second-hand in 1965 for 70 pounds, and the oars were bought for 10 pounds. He named it TONI. The original outboard was home made from a truck generator and car battery, and after using the boat it was necessary to ensure the battery had enough power left to start the car. The outboard proved to be no faster than rowing, and was soon replaced with an Australian Seamaster outboard for 20 pounds. This became unreliable so they went back to oars. The owner noted that quite often in its folded configuration it was mistaken for a surfboard on the roof racks.

It has been well maintained and still has its original clear finish and is in excellent condition. It was on display and attracted considerable attention at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart in early 2015.

Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:oar
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Motor propulsion:outboard

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