My first encounter with the Adirondack Guideboat Company (AGB) was at an art fair during a summer visit to Vermont. Coming from the Midwest, I’d never seen or heard of a guideboat; their cedar 15-footer was the most beautiful boat I’d ever seen. My wife and I bought one of AGB's navy-blue Kelvar guideboats as a “retirement present” and for 12 years I rowed it on lakes and streams and rivers throughout the Indiana countryside.We moved to Vermont, and as time passed and the AGB catalogs kept appearing, I was drawn to the company’s newest boat in their line of rowing craft, the Vermont Dory, a 14′ flat-bottomed double-ender. One day, giving in to longing rather than need, I drove to AGB’s North Ferrisburgh shop to check it out. In their lobby sat a magnificent Vermont Dory, with spruce-green sides, cherry gunwales and decks, woven rush seats, and furniture-quality 7′ cherry oars with wonderful grain-swirls in the blade ends. I bought it on the spot and rowed it that day. When I pole-pushed off from the shore, the Vermont Dory softly drifted into a lengthy glide while I slid the brass oar pins into the oarlocks. Then, with the first reach-and-pull on the oars, the Vermont Dory went out into the river quickly, quietly, effortlessly, and straight. I blissfully made a nearly two-hour maiden voyage.

Photographs courtesy of Adirondacks Guideboats

The Vermont Dory is a 14′ double-ender based on Adirondack guideboats dating to the 1800s. The bottom of the hull has a flat to keep it upright when beached. The wide, low chines contribute to the boat's reassuring stability.

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