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Thread: ID needed for antique rowboat

  1. #1
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    Default ID needed for antique rowboat

    I am trying to help my father-in-law dig up some information about this old rowboat we pulled out of the cellar of their camp. It measures about 15'-6" overall. Can anyone provide any information on the following:

    Type:
    Year:
    Manufacturer:
    Value:

    He is looking to sell it and I was hoping to gather some information about it, to aid in that cause. Overall the boat is rather solid, no rot to any of the wood. You can see where it was patched a few times over it's life. I have more photos if anyone needs to see a particular view.

    Thanks,
    JJ
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Welcome!
    I haven't a clue.
    Somewhat unique in that the construction (ribs and planking) look like that of an Adirondack guideboat, but those are all double enders. It also has the double oarlocks set up like a guideboat. If it's a cut down guideboat with a transom added for an outboard, it would have originally been too long for any guideboat design I know of.
    Good luck with your search.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Here is another photo from the front. The camp is in the Adirondacks and was built in the early 1900's.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JJ-NY; 07-01-2021 at 06:50 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Yes, that is guideboat construction. Sawn crook ribs and beveled lapstrake planking.?? Seams tacked together between the ribs.??
    Where is the camp located? Saranac Lake area?
    The bow stem looks like a Bloomingdale profile.
    The transom could have been added on to cut off freight boat. If so the original boat would have been around 20'-22' long.
    The bottom board looks to be 12"-14" wide at the widest point. As Rich says it would have been a double ender so the widest point of the bottom board would have been the center of the boat. Easy to determine it's original length.
    The workmanship on the transom appears to be professionally done, so it could have been purpose built. However that would not have been before the 1930's and the boat looks older than that.
    Disclaimer: This is all based on these two pictures. A hands on inspection might change thing radically.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Thanks for the information - it's out in the Tupper Lake area. Here are two more photos that might help. It's neat to hear everyone piece together information and tell the history of something (in this case a old boat).

    I wish we found the piece that went over the front top. Looks like a flag pole maybe?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    That would be a deck cap on the forward deck.DSC_0027.jpg

    That little shelf that is visible would support the butt end of a staff that came up through a hole in the deck cap.
    It could have been for a pennant or for a light (jack staff) but this boat would not have been used to jack deer, it is a big, heavy boat used to haul freight (baggage, trunks, building supplies, etc.) across the lake to camp.
    Commonly called a "church boat" , used to row the families back and forth to church, you could put about 8 people in that boat.
    The well heeled families would have a highly varnished, fancy boat for a church boat, leaving the painted boat to haul freight.
    Last edited by Chris Woodward; 06-29-2021 at 09:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat


  8. #8
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    The transom is definitely most likely an add on.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    I'd be pretty sure that Adirondack builders did the same as Maine Rangeley boat builders and indeed canoe builders once outboards were introduced by Evinrude about 1910. We saw Rangeley boats with a stern modified for a small transom then full stern transom Rangeley's. Over to Grand Lake they developed the square stern Grand Lake canoe.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Not all guideboats are/were Adirondack-style double enders. Here in the upper Midwest the guideboats like the Rhinelander Guideboats and other row-trollers nearly all had transoms. Some were full transoms and some were wineglass-style, but they were all attached to rather narrow wooden rowing boats used by professional fishing guides. Much of it was for musky fishing back in the days before outboard motors began stirring up the lakes and making noise. There are still row-trolling enthusiasts who restore and use these old boats (mostly from the 1910-1940 era) and there have even been a couple attempts to market fiberglass versions over the years. I really doubt that the boat above has had the stern chopped off and the transom added on. I think it was born that way.

    rhi.jpg

    rhi2.jpg


    fiber-rhi.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Nice boat, but it may not row for beans with the bottom shaped the way it is for outboard power.
    From here it looks like a planing or semi-planing design.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Nope, it is a cut down freight boat.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    The fact that the bottom planking tapers toward the transom certainly suggests it once tapered to zero. The other question at the top pertained to the value of this hull. I'd be surprised if anyone would actually pay anything for it, but it might possibly find a willing restorer.
    -Dave

  14. #14
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Welcome!
    I haven't a clue.
    Somewhat unique in that the construction (ribs and planking) look like that of an Adirondack guideboat, but those are all double enders. It also has the double oarlocks set up like a guideboat. If it's a cut down guideboat with a transom added for an outboard, it would have originally been too long for any guideboat design I know of.
    Good luck with your search.
    So it seems I did have a clue after all!
    That bow just screams Adirondack guideboat. I was not aware of freight boats in the guideboat style.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    I was up to camp this weekend and my father-in-law was able to provide some information on it as well. He confirmed the Bloomingdale model and that it was the longest (or one of the longest) guide/freight boats in the Adirondacks (before it was cut down).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: ID needed for antique rowboat

    I'd love to get my hands on that…… A great restorer.

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