Folbot Building the Appalachian Trail


Howard Davis, manager at the Appalachian Trail Museum in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park, in Gardners, PA has acquired a Folbot dating back to our earliest days in the 1930’s.

Turns out the Folbot belonged to Myron Avery, one of the two early founders of the Appalachian Trail. “The trail was completed in Maine in 1937 and we believe Avery padded the Folbot while working in that area.” We are thrilled to hear that “since the boat is in pristine condition it is [the museum’s] intent to hang it from the high ceiling of the second floor level of the museum.” See pictures of the very kayak that Avery used while building the Appalachian Trail here.

We believe the kayak is a “Super” or  may have been called “The Sturdius” during that decade, but was the same boat.  It was made in Long Island before the company moved to Charleston is 1953. We understand that they used neoprene hull and cotton canvas deck during the time of its construction.

Thank you Howard Davis and Charlie Duane for the info and photos!

***Update: Thanks to one of our ambassadors who is very well versed in all things Folbot, including the company’s extensive history, we now know which model belonged to Myron Avery.

“That boat is a rather rare 2-seater Super Clipper … which morphed into the “Super” model after WWII. The folbots used in WWII by the U.S. forces — Navy, Marines — were the 2-seater Clipper model. The early 2-seaters from the 1930s were labelled the “Sports” model and had sharp cockpit fronts. The Super Clippers used the rounded fronts as did the early Supers. The standard Clipper retained a sharper cockpit front like the earlier 2-seater Sports model.

The only record I have for those Super Clippers is a 1942 ish catalog that has a (hand-stamped) red ink message advertising it on the normal Clipper page. The easy identifiers marking that boat as a Super Clipper are the aluminum longerons — that was the first time, to my knowledge, that the American Folbot company used metal longerons and the red ink stamp advertising specifically points that feature out. The standard Clipper went for $89 (bargain!) in the early to mid-1940s while the Super Clipper was a whopping $119.

My guess is that the Super Clipper might have been mil-spec and developed for wartime operations. Those longerons reverted back to wood after the war.”

A HUGE thank you to Wayne Wegner for sharing your expertise. Happy Paddling!

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