Onak takes on Oru, with compact low-cost Bato origami boat
When we last heard about Belgian startup Onak, it was debuting an improved version of its origami-style folding canoe. Now, Onak is back with a considerably smaller and less costly boat, called the Bato.
First of all, yes, Onak's watercraft are indeed quite similar to the origami kayaks which were pioneered by American manufacturer Oru. The introduction of the Bato even mirrors Oru's recent launch of the Lake kayak, which is that company's smallest and cheapest boat so far.
Although the Bato looks like a miniature one-person canoe, it's designed to be paddled with a double-bladed kayak paddle.
Its body is made up of a single pre-folded sheet of triple-layer corrugated polypropylene, called OnaCore. That UV-resistant sheet folds flat for storage and transit, but can reportedly be folded into its boat shape within about five minutes, once it's time to hit the water.
It's held in that configuration via integrated nylon straps and buckles, along with a set of four aluminum-pole side rails and thwarts. The lone paddler sits on an inflatable-cushion seat, which is attached to the hull via a Velcro patch – Onak claims that the boat can also accommodate a small child or pet.
The Bato reportedly tips the scales at 7 kg (15.4 lb), and can carry up to 120 kg (265 lb). It measures 1.2 by 0.5 by 0.12 meters when flat (3'1" by 1'8" by 4"), changing to 2.7 m long by 0.8 m wide by 0.5 m tall (8'1" by 2'8" by 1'8") when folded into shape.
Should you be interested, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of €476 (about US$518) will get you one. The planned retail price is €595 ($648). For comparison, the 8-kg (18-lb), 2.7-m (9'32") Oru Lake kayak – which is also on Kickstarter – can be had for a pledge of $499, and should retail for $699.
You can see the Bato in action, in the following video.