Prout and sons folding dinghy

Photo of a lovely little dinghy

A Prout folding dinghy

My father and I have dug out our little red folding dinghy designed by Prout and Sons, Canvey Island, Essex. We were delighted to find this site and to read about the history of the Prout & Sons and their wonderful history of boats. My father too has built a few kayaks and row boats and he bought the folding dinghy for our Folkboat, small enough to go up in the bow and always ready when needed. It now resides in Toronto, Canada and is on hand for Nancy Blackett, wooden Folk boat.

Comments about this page

  • Hello

    I used to work on the folding boats at Prouts and had one myself.

    The model shown was called the Coracle



    By sparrow (25/07/2015)
  • how lovely to see your comment Sparrow!

    The Coracle…this is good to know.

    thank you, Lily

    By Lily Bergasse (25/07/2015)
  • I have a blue one just like this!  We were actually looking online today to see if we could find instructions on assembling it today.  After we brought it home (bought it off a friend @ the cottage) we took it apart to store.  BrotherInLaw wanted to borrow it to take on Holiday with his family and we wanted to make sure he would know how to put it together again…….that’s when our minds went blank!  LOL!  Saw this picture and were able to figure out where we went wrong, all good now.  Fabulous little boat!  When I saw it the first time, I kept calling it “The Coracle” b/c that’s what it reminds me of, not actually knowing what the model was called.  Apparently I was bang on!  We’re in Canada, so our little Dinghy has made a bit of a trip to eventually get to us.  Which is funny, b/c my Husband and his family are originally from UK! 

    By Heather (09/08/2015)
  • I could not resist buying a similar blue model last Saturday at a car boot sale. I was only really interested in the well made oars at the time, but the seller didn’t want to separate so I bought the lot without even knowing what I had bought. I looked up G.Prout as it had the makers tag. Off tomorrow to check it out properly. It is great to have the history of the coracle and to see a good picture. I have a small cottage on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry and will now endeavour to row it out to Skellig Michael, now of ‘Star war ” fame.

    By John O'Driscoll (18/01/2016)
  • Hello! I’m Geoffrey Prout’s great grandaughter (Roland’s granddaughter). So lovely to see this pic and hear stories of the Prout & Sons collapsible dinghies. I’d love to see one in real life. Despite being Roland’s grandaughter I, to my knowledge, haven’t seen one. Anyone got one in the South East I can come and take a look at? I’m currently working on a book and would be really great for research! Thanks

    By Kate Monson (12/10/2018)
  • Just to say I too have Little Red Boat as I call it now know it is called Coracle! It sits in my garden in Somerset this summer. My late father bought it probably about 50 years ago and I kept it when he passed 21 years ago. Always loved it and wonderful to read up on the company.

    By Bev Johnson (01/06/2020)
  • We have just bought a little blue folding Prout. We are in the south east if you still want to see it. We love it!

    By Beccy (22/08/2020)
  • I have 2 of these, both need work, they have been projects I haven’t got to yet. Interesting is that they have moved with me from Hertfordshire to Dorset and now burnham on crouch, so not far from their birthplace.

    By Toby (20/03/2023)
  • I am surprised that no one has commented on the remarkable similarity to the Origami folding dinghies, which are sold, as home build plans, by the WoodenWidget company. These can be found on the American site, Duckworks, though I think the company may be European. I recollect reading that the designer wrote that he was influenced by seeing an old folding dinghy of this design. Did he base his design on the Prout dinghy?

    By Neil (20/03/2023)
  • My husband and I have just been given a red and a blue folding boat. We have yet to try them out, and (living in SE London) don’t have any nearby easily accessible place to do so. I suspect they will be a retirement project for my husband when the time comes! If anyone has any tips on looking after them we’d be very grateful.

    By Harriet Johnson (25/07/2023)
  • Just brought a lovely Folding Proust sea swallow dinghy in great condition. A few repairs and some varnish but she looks good to go. All rigging in place but no sails. Any info on such boats gratefully received ?

    By Grahame (24/08/2023)

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