Handbuilding Adirondack Guideboats with Jon
  • Chappaqua, New York, United States
  • 42 hours over 6 days

Handbuilding Adirondack Guideboats with Jon

Learn the techniques of skin-on-frame boat building with master builder Jon Richer. Join him in his studio tucked away in the lower Hudson Valley, where he’ll guide you the process of building your own lightweight Adirondack Guideboat.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea
  • Other


One Guest
USD $4520
Additional guest(s) (max 2)

Meet the Artist

Jon has a deep streak of independence and resilience and is empowered by the sense that “You can do anything.” An expert craftsman who loves the outdoors, he has always been fascinated by the idea of making something out of nothing with your hands. His father is the inspiration behind his fervent passion for boat building. As a child, the two of them spent time camping and canoeing on the Housatonic River in Connecticut. As adults, they built Jon’s first canoe together – a sturdy and steadfast classic.

In the twenty years since, his love of the craft has only grown stronger. During his time apprenticing with a master boat builder, Jon learned the methods of steam bending and kayak making. He also turned to the building techniques of early cultures and their time-tested traditions for insight. These days, Jon primarily focuses on reproducing early 20th century Adirondack guideboats using the skin-on-frame boat making process. A thoughtful and patient teacher, he finds joy in passing on his knowledge of heritage boat craftsmanship to those seeking a deeper connection to the serenity found on water.

VAWAA Includes:

  • A brief history of boat building, Adirondack guideboats, Greenland Kayaks, and basic watercrafts.
  • All materials, hardware, cedar wood, and tools.
  • A selection of wood, nylon, and basic materials, including any custom colors, exterior customization, or design.
  • An introduction to the steam bending process.
  • Learning joinery techniques to build the frame.
  • Treating the nylon and outer surface for durability and waterproofing.
  • Guidance on care, storage, transporting, basic repairs, and maintenance.
  • Your own hand built Adirondack guideboat to take home.

Explore Chappaqua, New York

Jon’s studio is in Chappaqua, a charming, woodsy hamlet conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, yet blessed with the beauty and vibe of the Adirondacks. The scenic Hudson River provides a constant flow of inspiration to the artist communities throughout the region. As the birthplace of America’s first arts movement in 1825, the Hudson Valley is rich with history and culture. With Dia: Beacon, Storm King Arts Center, Bear Mountain, and countless restaurants, wineries, and craft breweries to explore nearby, you’ll have no trouble feeding your curiosity and appetite.

Additional Details

Built primarily with rot-resistant red cedar, ash, and oak and wrapped in a waterproofed skin, the versatile F1 kayak design weighs only 29lbs and is easy for one person to carry.

A background in carpentry is not necessary; however, participants should have some degree of comfort holding a hammer and using a hand saw. All tools will be provided.

This VAWAA is not suitable for children.
Jon's Availability 6 days