This entirely new boat design is definitely from the “and now for something completely different” school of design. Why not a family-oriented boat that incorporates a number of features from the inexpensive and compact, pop-up tent trailer designs? Pop-up tent trailers were introduced decades ago for motoring families and they opened up comfort camping to those who wanted a bit more in the way of amenities than ground-pitched tents could provide. We used one for many years when we camped throughout northern areas in our younger years BB (before boats).

Designer Ian Collombin had a similar idea for a boat – one that would be affordable and light in weight, but that could take a small family out on the water with minimum budget. The Footprint is based on a pontoon frame and is designed to need only a modest sized outboard for spirited on-water performance. Tent fabrics on aluminum frames are used throughout to keep weight low and provide weather protection. Slide-outs are used to give extra room for household conveniences. While underway the package is compact and easily trailerable as well as ramp launchable. At a destination the slide-outs provide extra space for weekend or extended cruising/camping. Probably restricted to sheltered inland waters, this new design is a intriguing approach to the never-ending “maximize space on a moderate budget” conundrum.

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