A folding or collapsible boat, of painted canvas stretched on a wooden frame. It first appeared in 1849, and was the invention of Edward Berthon (1813–99). Its naval use was largely confined to destroyers and submarines as it could be folded away and stowed in a small space. However, some were supplied to General Gordon when he was besieged at Khartoum and a number were used in the Second World War (1939–45) to attack shipping in enemy-held harbours.
Subjects: Maritime History.