The Most Beautifull Rowboat Afloat


The St. Lawrence River Skiff is a typically 18 ft long double ended rowboat.  

It is considered to be of a class of boats known as "Guide Boats".  It evolved over time as a boat that was built in wood by the inhabitants of the 1000 islands area of the  upper St. Lawrence River.  

When the railroads brought tourists to the area in the late 1800's the boat became popular as a fishing boat, in which a paid guide would take out up to two paying customers, known as "sports" for a day of fishing.    At one point there were dozens of builders who built tens of thousands of these boats.

When power came to boating, the skiff slowly faded away.

It is still a design well known in the 1000 islands region, with a good number of boats carefully preserved as family heirlooms.  The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY has a dedicated display and celebrates the design every summer with on the water and boat building activities.

The history of the St. Lawrence Skiff has been documented in a book "The Skiff and the River" by John Keats, and it has been considered to be "Probably the Most Beautiful Rowboat Afloat" in academic research.