A traditionally built Adirondack Guideboat can easily last a lifetime. Add in proper care and a bit of restoration and it will last multiple lifetimes.
At Atkinson Adirondack Craft this type of long-term use and fulfilment is a defining aspect of why we are passionate about traditional wood construction and the guideboat itself. To us, the finest watercraft is one that can be restored to its original standard of integrity and beauty, endures generations of use, and is made from sustainable and vibrant materials. Add in a rich history and landscape-informed utility and you can easily see why the guideboat is our craft of choice.
" Traditional Boatbuilding is simply the construction of wooden boats using time-tested techniques, and, often, using tools identical to those employed in an earlier era"
The Adirondack Guideboat displays the utmost refinement of skill, experience, and necessity into one singular wooden craft. We carry on these attributes in all newly constructed models by placing a balance of function and form above all else. Our new construction Guideboats are built in two styles: traditional and contemporary.
Using only the best materials and the most thorough construction methods, traditional guideboats are planked in 8 strakes of feather lapped-white pine. These are laid over sawn red spruce knees harvested right here in the Adirondacks and dried for a minimum of three years. A quartersawn pine bottom board provides a secure footing and cherry or maple trims the decks, seats, oars, and wales.
These guideboats are akin to their traditional counterparts in frame and trim, but utilize a skin-on-frame technique in place of wood planking. The ribs and stems are also constructed of laminated spruce in place of natural sawn knees. These changes allow for a much faster construction while keeping the form, performance, and beauty of the guideboat intact. This innovation allows more individuals the unique experience of a guideboat while maintaining a more accessible cost.
No matter what state a wooden craft is in, whether the paint has started to peel or all that is left is a few good planks and ribs, it can be rebuilt. It can be cared for piece by piece and still retain the integrity and character that it had the day it first left the builder's mold.
Beautiful boats deserve to be used, filled with memories that shape both the users and the craft themselves. This is why restorations are our top priority at Atkinson ADK Craft. We are genuinely excited to help repair and breathe new life into any well-aged boat; and just as every boat is different, our restorations are specific each boat's needs.
Regarded as one of the most refined traditional watercraft to date, the Adirondack Guideboat was shaped by necessity and cunning. Every structural factor is a glimpse into its development and the era it subsequently molded.
Directly effecting the construction, shape, and properties of these craft; materials are an integral part of the Adirondack Guideboat. These resources are meticulously gathered and artfully crafted to blend the maker's hand with the material's qualities.
A slow and intentional undertaking, the construction of a traditional guideboat requires devotion and years of forethought. The builder must balance accuracy and precision with the tendencies and nature of the materials. Pair all of this with a vast knowledge of carefully honed hand tools and you have the makings of a fine Adirondack boatbuilder.
Above all else the Guideboat values function, developed over time to fulfill a specific role; the transportation of guides, visitors, and Adirondack residents throughout our water-laden landscape. All of this while maintaining a light, agile, and quiet manner that is equally swift over the carry as it is in the water; refined simplicity with purpose.