top of page

Adirondack Guideboat (+ Oars & Trolley)
(Bristol, UK).


Beautiful, agile and fast, this skin-on-frame Adirondack Guideboat is a joy to row.  If you’re looking for a boat that combines light weight with stability, speed and elegance, this is it.

I’m a professional boatbuilder and made this for myself. It’s based on the classic lines of the 'Virginia', from the book 'The Adirondack Guideboat by Kenneth and Helen Durant'.

This is a rare watercraft that offers the lightweight and convenient launching of a canoe, with ergonomics and comfort of a rowboat.

Picnics, fishing, camping, or just drifting along for the day with a good book and a glass of something, the Guideboat makes any day a little more elegant.



The frame is built with laminated douglas-fir ribs, stems and gunwales, a spruce bottom-board and spruce stringers. All fastened traditionally with brass screws and silicon bronze annular nails.

The seats are sapele and hand-woven with natural cane. Decks are marine-ply with steam-bent sapele coamings. The skin is 9-oz ballistic nylon, coated in a 2-part urethane, specially formulated for skin boats.


The pinned oars are an exact copy of the Grant Pattern guide-boat oar,  very thin and painstaking to make. Made from clear, straight-grained spruce with the perfect amount of spring, they give each stroke the perfect extra ‘snap’. The original bronze guideboat rowlocks are imported from Shaw & Tenney in the U.S and are a treat at £300 a set.


I built this boat five years ago to use with my family. We’ve outgrown it, hence why I’m selling and the open price reflects this - I just want this boat to go to a good home!


The current skin has many more years of use. Or, if you want I can re-skin the guideboat with brand new ballistic nylon and 3 coats of urethane. You can choose the same translucent white, that mellows to ivory over time, (shown in the video and photos) or I can add a pigment to the coating in your choice of colour.

  • Length: 15 foot

  • Beam: 40 inches

  • It has 3 seats and 2 rowing positions to accommodate 1, 2 or 3 people.


Reasonable offers considered.

(Brand new I'd sell a boat like this for between £3800-4500, depending on spec. I'd be happy with roughly half that; if the buyer is right. Like I said - make me an offer.)

More photos of the build are here on facebook

And a video series: Building a skin-on-frame Adirondack Guideboat.

bottom of page