While putting in at the Connecticut River the other day in Lyme, NH, I met Daniel Embree, owner of Bunker Hill Boatworks in North Pomfret Vermont. Dan was jut pulling up to the landing in a beautiful double ended rowboat, the likes I’d never seen. Then again, I don’t get to the Adirondacks that much anymore. He explained his boat was an Adirondack Guideboat, which is quite common in “the ‘Dacks”. Having started to understand the healing power and love of working on boats, (mind you, I only do minor repairs) I immediately noticed, as anyone would, the beauty of the workmanship of Dan’s craft, which is also…his craft. Dan built the boat.
Dan has been making boats since 1990, and has decided to build on and improve his traditional design based on 19th century patterns by D. Grant, and is considered by many the fastest fixed-seat rowing craft. The history of the guideboat is one of backwater travel for sightseeing and sport which was easy to row and portage, (unlike my beautiful but heavy Mansfield canoe which I just portaged to Morgan Pond the other day. My neck still hurts).
Dan uses a traditional wooden design with a the use of fiberglass. Each boat is first ribbed and planked and then coated with a fiberglass/epoxy resin. This increases strength and preserves the wooden look, and makes the boat easier to maintain. The Adirondack Guideboat is 16ft in length and weighs in at 75lbs. So make your portages short. The boats are made of cherry, birds eye maple, and white pine woods.
I was taken by the product I thought I’d include it in our blog and let you know about a nice guy doing good work. Dan seemed to have an aversion to websites, so you’d have to reach him by phone or email at 802-295-3552. He does have an email, but he might tie me up to the stern of his Guideboat and drag me down the Connecticut if I give it out..no just kidding – I’ll post it here later, if he’s interested in letting it out. For now…
Dan Embree – Box 331, North Pomfret VT 05053