Skin-on-Frame Folding Boats, Kayaks & Canoes, from France
Lightweight... Tough... Elegant... Easy to Assemble...


NAUTIRAID is a French company specialising in the design and production of skin-on-frame canoes, kayaks and dinghies, from 6-18ft in length. 

Their reputation was established in the military stealth commando market - to which they still cater - so the quality of workmanship and materials is exceptional.
The range is extensive, including for example the Coracle 250 (8ft) dinghy/tender (pictured above); and the Beach 390 (13ft) open canoe (below).
 
The basic concept of stretching a pliable skin over a rigid frame, to make a flexible, seaworthy craft, is older than written history. You may already be familiar with Eskimo-style sealskin on whalebone kayaks, and/or Celtic-style deerskin on willow coracles.

With modern materials such as PVC, Hypalon, and aluminium, Nautiraid have been able to adapt and update this technology for the 21st century. Perhaps most significant is that all the Nautiraid designs can be folded up (dinghies), or dismantled completely (kayaks and canoes), for easier transport and storage. Hence we were delighted to be offered the UK distributorship - they have a very obvious place in our range.

Above: A Nautiraid Coracle 180 dinghy folded, with bag containing removable components behind. 
Nautiraid dinghies, and higher-end kayaks, have Hypalon skins on ash longitudinals, with birch plywood transverse frames. The use of wood requires careful selection, and a high level of skill when manufacturing the hulls, but is still the best option in terms of strength, stiffness and weight. 

On some models of kayak there is also a cheaper "Touring" version with an aluminium frame and PVC skin - but it's interesting to note that military users still opt for the wood frames, which are stronger and quicker to put together.

All models feature Nautiraid's unique, and very subtly integrated "Stabilair" tubes, for buoyancy, heeled stability, and fendering when coming alongside other craft. As these have separate inner tubes they are extremely unlikely to get punctured, but if this does happen you still have a perfectly viable and usable boat.

Besides the ability to fold up, another important feature in the portable boat market is weight. And skin-on-frame craft are light; the one-person Beach 325 canoe for example is just 9.5kg
 
Besides paddling (kayaks/canoes) and rowing or motoring (dinghies) there is also the option to add sailing rigs. For the kayaks these are mainly intended as assistance when going downwind; whilst for sailing enthusiasts there is the Coracle 300S dinghy (below). This makes the 300S a very attractive option as a yacht tender: plenty of capacity to carry crew and gear, with added fun for the kids (well that's the excuse, probably Dad or Granddad as well!) once you're anchored up for the afternoon.
We usually stock the more popular models in the UK and can obtain others with about six weeks' notice (depending on time of year, factory is very busy in summer).

UK prices range from £995 for the Beach 325 canoe, to £5200 for the Coracle 300S sailing dinghy.

We are still building this page; meanwhile for further information please visit our main website Nautiraid pages as follows:
Nautiraid Coracle Folding Dinghies
Nautiraid Folding Kayaks
Nautiraid Folding Canoes

Call or email Ian (in UK) to discuss further and for prices etc:
- 0800 999 2535 (free from most UK landlines)
- Mobile 07768 600595

- nestawayboats@yahoo.com