15-ft Adirondack Guideboat

Weight: 70 lbs. 550 lbs. capacity.
Item #: K15
50% deposit charged for boat when you place your order.
  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Boat Colors
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Depending on the season we are usually a few weeks ahead or a few weeks behind in our manufacturing. We usually have a few boats in stock....but whether they are the size and color you are seeking.....well, a phone call or an e-mail can answer that question. Also, we now have a Current Inventory page on our website....click here to see what we've got.


Last year we were making a delivery in the Florida Keys....a rough job, but everybody has to be somewhere in February....where better than the Florida Keys?.....and we shot some video footage of our guideboat....a new owner bringing his boat back to the dock for the first time.

To the casual observer there isn't anything interesting in this video. However....boat-heads will easily see the boat's relationship to the water. This new owner is barely doing anything...but the liveliness of the boat is clear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqwvbIlPmZ0&feature=youtu.be

15 years before Lincoln became president, the first Adirondack guideboat slid into a pristine lake in the Adirondacks. That boat was built with pine and spruce and cedar and 8,000 tiny tacks and screws. The guide at the oars knew the woods and the lakes and the wildlife of the Adirondacks like he knew his own hands. Guideboats flourished for perhaps 60 years, 1840-1900, with a peak perhaps in the 1880's and '90's. The Adirondack rowing boat influenced and developed sport and commerce and civil culture in the mountains. And then, with the advent of roads and pick-up trucks, the guideboat fell into decline. The boats were as wonderful as ever and occupied a place of high esteem in people's memories and imaginations. But the boats were no longer needed.  By the 1920's and 1930's guideboat production for all the boatbuilders in the Adirondacks fell to perhaps a boat or two per year.

And then, as sometimes happens, a culture discovers an object from its past that is so wonderful and so emotionally and aesthetically satisfying that, even though practical applications no longer apply, the object is brought back from the past. The Adirondack Museum played an important part in saving the Adirondack Guideboat, as did the Adirondack League Club near Old Forge, and the Au Sable Club in Keene Valley. They are family compounds with hundreds of families and huge boathouses filled with hundreds of these wonderful rowing boats.

Shortly after he began building his cedar guideboat, Steve Kaulback realized that, wonderful as his boat was, he couldn't build an enduring business based on so-precious a craft. His solution was to teach himself to work with fiberglass. With one of his wooden boats as a physical template, a mold was cast. A process which had previously taken months could now be reduced to a week. Then, when Kevlar became available and affordable, Steve incorporated it into his hulls, making his boats 10 pounds lighter. This blending of a relatively ancient hull with space-age technology produced lovely rowing boats with properties on the water or on your shoulders indistinguishable from wooden guideboat.

Without intending to, Steve became the most prolific guideboat builder in history. Aside from boats that we've built, we estimate that there have been perhaps 300 guideboats built by all other builders. We build approximately 200 boats each year and ship them all over America. With the globalization of the web....we've started selling our boats internationally ....England, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Scotland, Korea and Germany being our most recent shipments.

If you would like a hi-res version of any of the photos on this page, send us an e-mail specifying which photo you'd like.

Oars are not included in the price of your boat. Click here to be taken to the guideboat oar page.

Thank you
Sep 26, 2014  |  By Erin
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Hi Justin- Great talking with you this noon. I would like to go ahead and purchase the used Ivory 15' guideboat as a surprise birthday present for my husband ($3,400 plus $395 shipping, correct?). Thank you for delaying shipping until Oct. 15! It was such a pleasure doing business with you! Thank you for making this such an easy process. I will be sure to let you know of Jeremy's reaction to this huge birthday surprise! Best, Erin

On the Ohio River
Jun 10, 2014  |  By Steven Slyter
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Ian and Justin, Want to drop you a note to thank you for my wonderful guideboat. I've been able to get out on the Ohio River a couple of times each week and the boat is everything I expected and much more. I switched to this boat from a Whitehall design. I had liked the Whitehall very much but find the guideboat to be mush lighter and easier to row. Able to sustain a great cruising speed in this boat. I have been going out early, around sunrise so there is not a lot of traffic on the river. So far, the boat has handled the wakes from barges - they are everywhere - and the motorboats I've encountered. I haven't been out in the crazy afternoon traffic and will probably avoid that since it just isn't fun to dodge and weave around inattentive drivers in overpowered boats. Thanks again. Steven Slyter

Thank you
Sep 30, 2013  |  By Bob Errico
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Hi guys. I have been meaning to write to thank you for building such a great boat. I have been out in calm conditions, 20-25 knot tailwinds and typical summer chop and boat wake in Barnegat Inlet. She seems to take rough water in stride as if to say, "Is that all you got?" Everywhere I have taken her, I get compliments on the shape and the woodwork. Of course it goes without saying that these boats are chick magnets - women know beauty when they see it! Bob

Thanks guys
Oct 1, 2012  |  By Russell Paul
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I just wanted to say that I am really enjoying the kevlar guide boat I bought from you back in July . . . I couldn't be happier with it and the service and helpfulness of your staff . . . this boat makes friends everywhere it goes, I always get compliments about it ( a lot of "what a pretty canoe" remarks) . . . I'm hoping to get out in it at least a few more times before the weather stays cold. I took it over to a place called Timberlock in Sabael NY on Indian Lake. The owner has one of your dorys and took my boat for a test ride, he came back smiling. I've attached a photo of me and the boat on the lower Otter Creek this last August and on the beach at Watch Point, Indian Lake NY in September. Thanks again for making such a great, enjoyable, and beautiful boat. Russell Paul Burlington VT

A Work of Art
Aug 24, 2012  |  By Jim Hely
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Dear Steve and Dave, I first rowed your boat on Father's Day on the Hudson and about a month later I ordered one. It was delivered to me here in Northeast Pennsylvania in August and I've had the enjoyment of it since. The boat is a living work of art. When I row it I feel as if I'm part of a work of art in motion. Every detail of design and build has been thought through to perfection. The boat, equipped with a sliding seat, is just the right combination of speed, stability, balance and rhythm. Many boaters have called to me, asking about the nature of the of the boat, I call back to them "adirondack-guide-boat.com." The cost of the boat? For the level of functionality and craft, your boats are way under-priced. In the month that I've had it I appreciate that fact more and more. Sincerely, Jim Hely, Westfield, NJ

Wonderful boat!
Jul 22, 2012  |  By Brian Conklin
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I've owned my guideboat for 3 seasons now and I'm still totally in love with it. Light and responsive, the guideboat is an absolute joy to row. You can move along at a relaxing pace with almost no effort at all - but you can also open it up and really HAUL. This boat can really move! It is very easy to row in all sorts of wind conditions and punches its way upwind like a real champ even with the pinned oars. You might not be able to stand in it but I've had it out in pretty choppy conditions and never felt unsafe in it at all - it feels very seaworthy and rides the waves like a leaf. It is also a very comfortable boat for fishing. Being fast and easy to row you can really cover a lot of water looking for fish - and when you find them, you can point the bow where you like and stop the boat dead in its tracks with ease. Bring the backrest up, set the oars on the aft seatback and sit back and relax - the boat is so well balanced that you'll find it turns perfectly broadside to the wind and you get a nice slow drift through your "fishy spot".

Very Stable Boat!
Mar 19, 2012  |  By Cinny
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This is a fabulous boat for going out on the lake with my whole family. Even the kids moving around don't tip the boat over!

Our colors are rich and deep and durable. The particular color of your boat will vary from day to day, hour to hour, by light and shadows playing on the hull. The interiors of our boats are tan. We find this to be a nice in-between color, if we went darker; the boat would absorb and reflect heat; if it went lighter the reflection would be blinding.

We are frequently asked which is our most popular color. The answer is dark green. The following percentages are just guesses...but are probably kinda accurate.

30% dark green
15% dark blue
15% burgundy
15% ivory
10% black
10% red
5% light blue
5% yellow
2% sea foam green

And, yes, the numbers don't add up to 100. Don't let any of this limit you...they are all beautiful on the water... pick the color you like:

Dark Green

Dark Blue


Light Blue

Jet Black


Bright Red

Bright Yellow

Sea Foam Green

We build these boats in the sequence in which orders are received. Depending on the season, we may have the boat you want in stock, or the wait may be 2 or 3 months. We ask for a 50% deposit when you place your order. The balance is due when we finish working on your boat. (If you would like us to hold delivery till spring, we are happy to oblige. However, we will still require payment when we finish working on your boat.) Order early, plan ahead.

If you would like to order one of these lovely boats, please call us at 802-425-3926. We prefer personal checks... but we'll also accept Visa / MC / AMEX / Discover.