The use of paddleboats has accompanied the Adirondacks through every stage of the region’s evolution. Guide Boats are as iconic as the chair that bears the name of the park. Guide Boats are still built and used today. They are light enough to portage but seaworthy enough to be loaded with a client gear and still travel 20-30 miles a day depending on the guide. The guide-boat, and with it the guide, were necessary companions for any penetrations into the wilderness of the Adirondacks of the 19th Century (Bond). Without roads or marked trails, visitors were dependent on their guides for transport, exploration, fishing and hunting. In their inception, guides were apt survivalists with expertise not only in trail and game but also shelter and hospitality.
The guide-boat itself was borne out of Long Lake and adapted precisely to the needs of the guides and their guests. Credit for the design of the boat goes to a guide named Mitchell Sabattis, who is said to have created the boat in 1849 as the demand for fishing in the Adirondacks increased (Terrie). The boats are made in the Adirondacks for the Adirondacks. The ribs are cut from Adirondack spruce and tamarack; the planks are made from pine or cedar. Screws and varnish are added and the boat is complete. You can still get them made out of cedar, although the kevlar option is more popular. These boats are so versatile you can even sail them if necessary.
Bond, Hallie E. Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: Adirondack Museum, 1995 Print.
Terrie, Philip G. Contested Terrain a New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks. Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.: Adirondack Museum ;, 1999. 136-137. Print.
Schneider, Paul. The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness. New York: H. Holt, 1997. 175-253. Print.
"History of the Adirondack Guideboat." History of the Adirondack Guideboat. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.