The Adirondack Guideboat is a rowboat that was developed in the 1840s for recreational activities in Adirondack Park. It was designed to have a shallow draft, carry three people and their gear, and be light enough to be portaged by one man, the guide. Typical dimensions are 16 feet long, with a 38 inch beam, and weighing 60 pounds. While superficially resembling a canoe in size and profile, its construction methods are very different and are one of its defining features.
The stem and ribs are made from spruce, a wood which has a very good strength to weight ratio. The hull is planked up with cedar laps, with seams tacked with copper tacks. The hull has a bottom board, like a dory, typicall made of pine. Ribs are traditionally cut from spruce roots which have a grain following the desired curvature of the rib.
Since 1962 the annual Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race]] has been held on the closest Sunday to the 4th of July in Saranac Lake.. It is a 10-mile canoe and kayak race on Lake Flower and down the Saranac River.
Modern hand-crafted versions can sell for about 20,000 US dollars.
- Swanson, Rodger. "Guideboat". Small Boats Monthly. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "Construction of an Adirondack Guideboat". Adirondack Guideboats. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- Kurtz, Mark. "50th Anniversary Willard Hanmer Guideboat Races". North Country Public Radio. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- "Building on tradition". Adirondack Explorer. Retrieved 13 July 2018.