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Adirondack dreamin’

Woodworking brothers Justin and Ian Martin have realized their lifelong dream of going into business for themselves. In 2012, they became the new owners of Adirondack Guideboat, a Vermont company that builds guide boats, sailing dories and rowing accessories from cedar. The company has been growing steadily ever since and adds new products and clients each year.

Justin and Ian Martin, owners of Adirondack Guideboat.

“As teenagers, we began learning the trade of boatbuilding, design and assembly at Mad River Canoe and eventually joined Adirondack Guideboat in 2000. Twelve years later, fueled by the love of boats and boatbuilding, we bought the company from its founders to carry on the craft of the guideboat,” Justin says.

“We’ve always been working on small boats. It’s just been a dream come true to own our own business.”

The business operates out of a 3,200-sq.-ft. shop in North Ferrisburgh, Vt. There are five employees, including the owners. The shop produces an average of 200 boats per year.

The company’s cedar Adirondack guideboat.

A large majority of the company’s sales are for Kevlar and fiberglass boats because of their durability. But customers can also order wooden boats built with western red cedar, spruce and pine.

“This is a niche market where people are interested in the boats because they either grew up using their grandfather’s guideboat or were introduced to one on a vacation,” Justin says. “We make an alternative to the wooden boat covered with fiberglass. We make all of the small parts for them, all of the wooden rims, stems, everything.”

Guideboats start at $2,400.

Contact: Adirondack Guideboat, 6821 U.S. Rte. 7, North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473. Tel: 802-425-3926.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue.

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