Adirondack Guide Boat photo, MASCF
About Guide-Boats
Guide-Boat Building
Particulars of
Secret Water

Love Story
Photo Gallery
Books and Links

"There is nothing-
absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing
as simply messing
about in boats."

The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame

Messing About In Boats T-shirt
Shirts & Tote Bags

Search Now:
In Association with

Adirondack Guide Boat Secret Water guide boat lines drawing by Steve Kaulback

Building Adirondack Guide-Boats . . .
Beginning in the later part of the 1800s the guide-boat had reached a level of sophistication that has come to define the boat. Typically, guide-boats are in the range of 15 to 17 feet, with a beam of 36 to 39 inches, and a weight of 65 to 75 pounds. On occasion examples of smaller solo boats and larger church or freight boats are found.
Guide-boats evolved to be a double ended boat built with a flat bottom board. The bottom board, usually pine, has a slight amount of rocker and takes the place of a keel. Spruce stems and ribs, typically fashioned from natural crooks, are attached to the bottom board and then the boat is planked with pine or cedar. The planks, also known as siding, are traditionally fitted using a beveled lap construction method. The overlapping bevels are fastened with two rows of clenched tacks. Use of this method results in a very smooth hull both inside and out, with no point of the hull being thicker than a single plank. Drawings of typical guide-boat construction can be seen on the Adirondack Museum web site.
Building Secret Water . . .
Secret Water was built in 1984 by Steve Kaulback of The Adirondack Guide-Boat boatshop in North Ferrisburg, Vermont. Steve has been designing/building guide-boats since 1979 and he brings both the eye of an artist and the skill of a seasoned craftsman to his work. His boats have won numerous awards including the H.I. Chapelle Trophy from the Antique Boat Show in Clayton, New York. The lines of Steve's guide-boats evolved directly from J. Henry Rushton's "Saranac Laker". The construction method used to build Secret Water employs the traditional beveled lap plank or "siding" technique, however it departs from traditional construction with the use of epoxy in place of clenched tacks, and laminated ribs and stems in place of sawn natural crooks. Specifications and details of Secret Water's construction can be found on the Particulars page. To learn more about Steve Kaulback and The Adirondack Guide-Boat boatshop, visit the Links page.

Home| Guide-Boat Building | Particulars | Love Story | Photo Gallery | Books and Links