At the close of the 19th century, and for several decades into the 20th, canoes and guideboats represented some of the finest examples of American craftsmanship in wood. These "ladies of the lakes" are to this day unsurpassed in both quality of construction and openwater handling. Vintage Canoeworks is proud to bring you a wide array of watercraft meticulously restored with great respect given to original materials and historical accuracy. These master pieces are completely functional, insuring many years of paddling pleasure.
Our website features photos and details of all our meticulously restored canoes and guideboats. You'll also find information regarding upcoming projects, and details on our restoration process. For more information you can contact us by clicking here.
Periodically we check in with our clients to get feedback on the condition and performance of our restorations. Since we continue to get notes and photos from many of our canoeists, who now number more than 120, this summer we decided to contact our guide-boat customers. We were able to contact the owners of 23 of the 24 boats we’ve restored to date and are pleased to report near universal satisfaction with our work. Our queries uncovered a broken seat cleat and two cracked seats, all of which we repaired or replaced. Our guide-boats are generally used extensively by their owners so this type of wear and tear just seems to go with the territory. During the course of getting back in touch with these folks many offered themselves as references. So now we have a long list and rather than have them write testimonials we’ll gladly make their contact information available to you upon request.
This is an exercise that we find quite valuable and plan to repeat every two or three years. Information gleaned from these contacts allows us to monitor, and adjust if necessary, our techniques and products. Be it a restoration using traditional or modern materials (at the behest of the client, of course) we can state unequivocally, "So far so good, after more than 12 years."
* We still have some white cedar on hand and can make it available for sale. During the last hunt we reviewed about 1,400 boards and cants ultimately purchasing 21 of them. This clear lumber, when re-sawn, will yield near perfect quarter sawn faces ranging from 3-7" wide in lengths of 8-10'. If you are involved in a restoration or new build that demands historically accurate materials please get in touch.
All of the canoes and boats that we've restored and listed previously on the website
can be found here.
For photos of many (but by no means all) of the craft that never made it to the site, please click here to view The Rogues Gallery. We'd like to think it's some interesting stuff.
2016 Show Results
We had three of our restorations at the 38th
annual Finger Lakes A.C.B.S. show held from July 29–31. All three won Best in Category, as follows:
Best Canoe- 1938 Old Town Fifty Pounder,98 points
Best Rowing Craft- 1893 H. Dwight Grant Adirondack guide-boat, 97.5 points
Best Sailing Craft- 1926 Old Town Sailing Canoe w/ centerboard, 97 points
Going three for three was a great honor made even more satisfying in that these were also the three highest scoring small crafts in the entire show.
• All of our awards we've received over the years are now listed on one page and you'll find it here.
• We received this note at the end of July, just before this site update.
“I have worked with Wendy and Todd over the past few years and have rowed many miles during the course of my work in 2 guide-boats that they’ve restored. Both boats were more than 100 years old and barely seaworthy before they started. They put them back to essentially original condition and looking as if they were brand new! These folks were a pleasure to work with, both prompt and precise. I’d rate their work as second to none.”
Eric Wells, Adirondack Guide
• Over time we’ve received many nice letters from our customers (some years after they’ve taken delivery). A few of them can be found here.
• The article is now a bit old but its ‘coolness’ hasn’t diminished with age (at least as far as we’re concerned). So check out the New York Times feature on us. Click here for a link to the article. (or download a PDF version- 40K)