Building an Adirondack Guide Boat (and Racing it…)

Richard Honan Winner of 2014 Best in Show for "I Built it Myself" category

Richard Honan Winner of 2014 Best in Show for “I Built it Myself” category

When the 2015 Wooden Boat Show rolls into downtown Mystic, CT in late June, you can bet you will find Richard Honan and his newest accomplishment front and center. After winning the 2014 Best in Show in the “I Built It Myself” category with his sweet little sloop, Proud Mary 2, Honan went right back to work building his next great floating thing, An Adirondack Guide Boat.

This will be Honan’s 10th boat building accomplishment. He is building the boat to compete in the six mile Essex River Race ( From there, It’s off to Mystic Seaport and the Wooden Boat Show in June, where he will again show his boat in the “I built It Myself” exhibit. Perhaps the best part of this story is not that this guy is a MAJOR fan of TotalBoat and JD (=winner), but that this particular boat for him is a labor of love with his grandkids. He is involving them with the build, and is naming the boat after his 2 granddaughters, Anna & Emily(Double Happiness). Awwww.

Now Richard is five months into construction and things are really coming together. The two small deck areas have been framed in. He has primed and painted the area on the deck along with the deck frames. Honan finds it is a lot easier to paint those areas before the deck is fastened down.  He is using cream colored TotalBoat Tread Paint, a non-skid deck paint, as a finish on the interior of the hull.

Honan wrote to us with an update and a few tidbits to share and he sent along some great photos featured in the gallery below. We will feature another update on Richard’s progress in the months leading up to the Race and the Wooden Boat Show. Richard will be keeping us up to date with his progress and with how he likes using the rest of the TotalBoat products he has lined up for his project.
May 18, 2015: Well, he did it – Richard Honan screwed in the last oar lock and installed a fancy new woven seat and off he went – into the sunrise. On May 16th, Richard and his beautiful Adirondack Guide Boat rowed in the Essex River Race. The boat, “Anna and Emily” and Richard look so good – see below – and be sure to check out the pics from the race added to the photo gallery below.
RH: What a wonderful day yesterday at the Essex River Row, six mile race starting across from Woodman’s Seafood Restaurant, down the Essex River, to the back side of Cranes Beach and then back up the river to the finish line. It was extra special because after six months of constructing of my Adirondack Guide Boat, this was the baptism, the first day in the water. Joining me on the water were my brother Bill Honan and nephew Matthew W Honan rowing in my 15’00” Duck Trap Wherry, the “William & Anthony”.

      For me, it was callused hands and a sore tail bone were the casualties of day. My rowing was also complicated by the fact that I had to learn a new rowing technique, crossed oars or one hand on top of the other. This took quite a bit of adjustment and is something that I have to become proficient at if I am going to complete twenty miles of rowing in July’s Blackburn Challenge.
     The addition of a better foot rest and and a Camelbak water hydration system are a few things that would make distance rowing a better experience. Back to more training for the July 25th Blackburn Challenge.
May 10, 2015:  With less than a week to go to the annual Essex River Race, I’ve finalized the painting of my latest boat building project. The next few days will be filled with last minute tasks, attaching the oar locks, attaching the seats, building a foot rest and attaching some sort of bow eye. She will be named for my two grand daughters, the “Anna & Emily”.
May 8, 2015:  One week to go before the Essex River Rowing Race. I’m in the final stretch . . . . . . six and a half months of construction and the Anna & Emily (my granddaughters) is just about complete. Considerable time is spent masking off the areas to be painted and then applying two coats primer and non skid paint to the interior and primer and three coats of a one part urethane finish to the exterior of the hull. Preparation is the key here, sanding(lots of sanding), vacuuming along with wiping the epoxied covered hull with a solvent to remove any wax or oil.

      The deck, rub rail and bow stem is two tone warm cherry, the inside of the hull is a cream colored non-skid paint and the exterior of the hull is painted Sea Foam(pale green), a one part, polyurethane made by Total Boat.
Here is his TotalBoat Product List:
– 1 Gallon Total Protect (grey)
– 1 Gallon Topside Primer (white)
– 1 Gallon Wet Edge – Sea Foam Green(ext of hull)
– 1 Quart Total Tread – Cream(interior)
– 1 Quart Satin Marine Wood Finish (rub rails, inwales, bow stem and deck)
        AND A BONUS for those living close to Gloucester, Mass – TONIGHT: (April 8), Richard will be taking the unfinished hull to the April meeting of the Traditional Small Craft Association up in Gloucester. They are having a “Show and Tell” night. Everyone is welcomed to attend these meetings. If you have an interest in small wooden boats, this is the place! (Gloucester Maritime Center at the end of Harbor Loop in Gloucester)
And one more bonus – this time for JD and the TotalBoat Team. It’s a compliment too nice to omit and who will have actually read down this far to see it anyway (this is a test!)??
RH: I was actually drawn to the Total Boat products initially because the great selection of colors offered with the Total Boat “Wet Edge” topside finishes. Previously I had used a lot of the Interlux Brightside and Pettit Easypoxy products. My Adirondack Guide Boat hull will be painted Total Boat, Sea Foam, a pale green. The interior will be Total Boat Beige Total Tread, a non skid deck paint and the rub rails, deck and other brightwork will be finished with Total Boat satin Marine Wood Finish.
Thanks, Richard. Doing business with folks like you is what this is all about. Nice to see you winning awards with your own handiwork. Hope you kick butt in that race. We’ll be rooting for you!

2 thoughts on “Building an Adirondack Guide Boat (and Racing it…)

  1. Pingback: Ready for the Essex River Race | TotalBoat Show

  2. Pingback: Here Comes the Snow….Row! | TotalBoat Show

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