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The Bookshelf

FOLDBOAT HOLIDAYS Edited by J. Kissner. Greystone Press, New York. 316 pages. $2.50.


A foldboat is an Americanization of the German "flatboot" or collapsible rubber kayak, of which there are hundreds of thousands in Europe. Now, however, the foldboat seems to be one of the few German importations genuinely welcome in this country. Mr. Kissner, a pioneer in the manufacture of these sleek "downhill yachts," has gathered together a valuable storehouse of information on the technical and geographical aspects of this speedier form of canoeing. It is altogether necessary for already-enthusiastic fold-boaters, and is likely to make many new converts to the sport.

The prose of Mr. Kissner and most of the authors of the 40 articles in this book rarely flows as smoothly as one of his boats. But literary merit is of only incidental importance; the volume contains a wide variety of advice from how to turn a somersault underwater, Eskimo-fashion, to how to navigate the Forty-Mile rapid of the Mississagi. The great thing about a foldboat, Mr. Kissner assures us, is that in 15 minutes it can be taken apart, packed in two knapsacks, and stowed in no more impressive a boatyard than the hall closet. It is notable that every article is written with an enthusiasm for the sport so convincing that if the reader has the smallest particle of the watersportman in his nature, he'll immediately make for the nearest body of water, boat on back and book in hand and teach himself how to leap over a 12-foot dam or provision for a three weeks' paddle.

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