Rangeley Lake Boat vs. Adirondack Guide Boat?

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I am considering either a Rangeley Lake Boat or an Adirondack Guide Boat for pulling and fishing on Sierra mountain lakes, some of which can develop two-to-three-foot waves on summer afternoons. My perception is that the Adirondack will be faster, but less stable for fishing, than the Rangeley, based on the the lines, but I have no experience with either. Can anyone offer any advice on these (or other suitable) boats?

-- John Swensen (swensen@tdl.com), July 22, 2003


Dear John,

Your perceptions of these two craft are generally correct. The Adirondack Guideboat was designed to benefit the professional guide who carried the boat and provided all the propulsion for his paying passengers. It was in the guide's best interest to make his craft both lightweight and easy to carry over tne typically unimproved roads and trails between the lakes and streams of the Adirondack region. While it would be difficult to improve significantly on speed in such a portable boat, the stability of the Adk. Gbt. has often been described as merely adequate for the sporting purposes (hunting and fishing)for which they were originally built. The NY craft were famous for their on-center tenderness. For more on the Adirondack Guideboat see Robert Stephens' excellent article which appeared in WoodenBoat Magazine a few years back (www.woodenboatstore.com). While not a featherweight the Rangeley Lakes Boat could be considered as a cartopper. This would be particularly true if the boat were built of modern materials. The speed of the R.L.B. is very respectable when compared to any craft of similar length. The stability of the Maine designed craft is such that a flyfisherman, blessed with a normal sense of balance, might feel confident standing up in one to make a long cast. More can be learned of the R.L.B. by reading John Gardner's superb book Building Classic Small Craft (also available from the Wooden Boat Store). The lakes of both Maine and the Adirondacks are susceptable to severe, sudden storms, so both boats should be considered reasonably seaworthy in the hands of a rower who knows what he's about.



-- Andre de Bardelaben (middlepath@aol.com), July 22, 2003.

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