Adirondack guideboat

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The Adirondack Guideboat is a rowboat that was developed in the 1840s for recreational activities in Adirondack Park.[1] 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.[1] While superficially resembling a canoe in size and profile, its construction methods are very different and are one of its defining features.[2]

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.[2] 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.[3]. 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.[4]


  1. ^ a b Swanson, Rodger. "Guideboat". Small Boats Monthly. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Construction of an Adirondack Guideboat". Adirondack Guideboats. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  3. ^ Kurtz, Mark. "50th Anniversary Willard Hanmer Guideboat Races". North Country Public Radio. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Building on tradition". Adirondack Explorer. Retrieved 13 July 2018.