When you take it apart does it become a kit?
Well, yes. My first designs took several hours to assemble. Now I am somewhere at under an hour assembly time. But basically, my folding Greenland Baidarka still is somewhat of a construction kit.
But that is no real problem. My own design assembles a lot better than the two-place folder I have bought. Joints are a lot more precise and rigid, and the overall stability of my frame is worlds apart from that of the commercial product. So it definitely is worth the extra effort at assembling the Baidarka. At least, there is no commercially available folding Baidarka, and I think I know why. I designed my foldables against the structural strength of a rigid Baidarka. Problem is, I only have had two rigid aluminum designs of my own deviation from George Dyson's. This deviation makes it difficult to give absolute numbers.
Here is more on frame stiffness measurements.
Now that I have made a wooden foldable Baidarka, I can tell that my very first aluminum designs were a lot less flexible than this wooden version. This was due to my usage of tubing with very large outside diameter (20mm). Using 18mm tubing should give better results. Using thin-walled tubing will have the problem associated with it that during transport the tubes will get bent and dented.
Anyway. The Aleuts fixed their gunwales into the stem and stern deadwood and made sure they would not move within these joints. Gerald and I simply kept to this rule and made sure that all the foldable longitudinals are thoroughly interlocked to prevent them from changing their length, no matter how thick or thin they are. This was a major design problem for us since anything that interlocks is an attraction spot for salt water. This tends to transform a folder into a partly rigid boat that defends itself from being disassembled (as mentioned in Gerald's "bloody fingers" mail).
And don't forget the skin. A good part of the stiffness of the boat is due to the tension of the skin - it limits the motion of loosely assembled parts.
Contributors to this page: Thomas Yost (TDY), Patrick Poirier (PPR), Gerald Maroske (GUM) and Hendrik Maroske (HHM)