Saranac Lake, Franklin County
Adirondack Guideboat Builder

Carl Hathaway of Saranac Lake is a master of the craft of building Adirondack guide-boats, which were originally designed, in Carl’s own words, as “pickup trucks, working boats used to go out for groceries, haul luggage…take a client hunting and maybe bring back a deer, take a family to church on Sunday.”  Today they are prized as examples of fine woodwork and are featured in many premium museum collections. Carl learned to make guide boats from the well-known Willard Hanmer and his wife. Following the Hanmer tradition, Carl was, until his recent retirement, the fourth generation of guide-boat builders to run the business in the small shop just outside Saranac Lake. Besides building and repairing boats, Carl has been a guide and caretaker for nearly 50 years, serving generations of one family on their private estate in the Adirondacks.

Click here to listen to the TAUNY/NCPR “Meet the Masters” story about Carl Hathaway.


In the video clip below, Carl’s mentor Willard Hanmer varnishes a guide boat.


Click and listen to the audio clips below to learn more about Carl Hathaway:

“The pickups of the Adirondacks”.


An old blue guide-boat that made its way back.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 1994
  • Location Saranac Lake, NY (Franklin County, Adirondacks)
  • Categories Woods & Water