restored canoes & guideboats on deck upcoming projects our restorations contact us contact us home
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.

Winter/Spring 2016

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 19 of the 21 boats we’ve restored to date (the 22nd is in the shop right now) 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 will be repaired or reproduced this winter. 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 11 years".

* We expect to spend the remainder of this year helping our clients build their collections and complete the majority of the contract restorations now in the queue. As a consequence, we won’t have any of our own units finished and available for sale. Here are some of the more interesting crafts now in the shop:

- H. Dwight Grants’ no. 5 guide-boat from 1893
- c.1903 B.N. Morris, Model A, Type 1
- c.1910 B.N. Morris, Model A, Type 1
- c.1917 B.N. Morris, Model A, Type 1 Sailing Canoe
- 1923 Old Town sailing canoe with retractable centerboard

That said, if you have a project that involves relatively minor repair or a cosmetic upgrade please give us a call. Smaller jobs can always be worked into the schedule.

* 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.

2015 Show Results
On July 25, 2015 at the 37th Annual Finger Lakes A.C.B.S boat show our restoration of a c.1920 Keuka Lake duck boat scored 97.5 points to win Best Rowing Craft, beating out a field of 8 others. It is an extraordinarily cute 12.5' utility boat that was in superb original condition and took very well to a mostly cosmetic treatment. Photos to come!.

• All of our awards we've received over the years are now listed on one page and you'll find it here.

Customer Testimonials
• From time to time we receive nice letters from our customers (some are years after they take delivery). The very nice ones we've shown 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)