Design: Cristina Borràs
Development: Cristina Borràs
Prototype: Cristina Borràs
Images: Cristina Borràs
In memory of Fina Guardiola.
Fina is a two-seat foldable kayak designed to be built in plywood and aimed for calm waters.
The idea of building a kayak that could be stored in any house with a parking spot came to my mind after a visit to my sister in Venice, Italy, city where she was living at that time. While walking through its narrow streets, my sister casually told me how wonderful it would be to have a little boat to sail the canals together. However, one of the main issues was the lack of storage room. At that time I had to come up with an idea for the final project of my design degree and her words kept me thinking that designing and building my own watercraft would be beyond cool. So, as soon as I went back to Barcelona, I decided to make my own foldable kayak. That's how Fina was born.
A self-imposed requirement was to design and develop it using plywood as I simply could not visualise a plastic kayak sailing along the canals of Venice. After all the calculations to achieve my desired aesthetic lines, the correct waterline and the center of gravity, the challenge was to turn the five-meter long kayak into a two-meter long, a dimension I specified that would make it ideal to store behind my car in my parking spot. The final solution to achieve that was to divide the watercraft in three different sections through two five-degree transversal cuts, so that the prow and stern of the boat could collapse in the center to their maximum length but without interfering with each other. While collapsed, these would lay on the back rests which would also fold thanks to the wooden ball joints I installed them with. Four hatch fasteners were strategically positioned to secure the prow and stern in place for sailing, and two ports would give access to a storage space apart from allowing me to remove any excess of moisture that could build overtime in the two enclosed sections.
After fifteen years, Fina still remains my favourite project to date.
The full development of the kayak took me from October 2004 when I started the first calculations, to April 2005 when I finished building the prototype.