Rangeley Lakes boat

15′ or 17′ Rowing boat

This is a copy of a boat built in the Rangeley Lakes area of northern Maine. The lines for this boat are from a boat built by H.N. Ellis of Rangeley, Maine circa 1930. This boat was used at the Red Spot Fishing Camp on Lake Umbagog of the Rangeley Lakes chain, where John Gardner took the lines from it in 1967. The boat was 17 feet long with a 4 foot beam amidships.

I have lofted this boat to be built either as a 17 footer as it was originally or as a 15 footer, leaving the center two foot section out. The 15 foot version has the same width amidships since the boat tends to be straight-sided in the midships. The 15 foot version will be a bit slower under oar, but be more maneauverable and easier to handle both on the water and on shore. It might also be car-topped if necessary, though a small trailer is recommended. This is decidedly the best “fishing boat” of our fleet, with a shallow “V” bottom with high initial stability as well a high final stability. There is a fullness in her lines to give her a high carrying capacity as well. While the water line is essentially that of a double-ender, which is what the original Rangeley boats were, she does have a small transom (two feet wide at the sheer) to support a small motor. While affording good inital stability her lines, full in the ends, and here shapely sheer line should keep this boat dry even in a chop. The Rangeley Lakes were noted for sudden summer storms and this boat was designed to handle them.

I build this boat with premium marine plywood lapstrake planking on White Oak steam-bent frames. Planking is rivited at the laps and to the frames with copper nails and roves. All other fastenings are silicon bronze. Gunwales are White Oak, though inwales are yellow cedar or sitka spruce. Seats are usually spruce as well and form a “tray” where fishing tackle can be stored that supports a round seat which can be cushioned for a very comfortable ride. The exterior of the hull is painted, leaving the gunwale and transom finished bright. The interior is finished bright with a high quality marine varnish.

Prices quoted are for Okume plywood. Sapele can be used for an additional charge. Mahogany trim is also available for an additional charge.

Rounded bottom with 1″ of rocker.


Length: 15’/17′
Width at gunwale: 4’1″
Height at bow: 29 1/2″
Recommended oar size: 8 1/2′
Weight: 155 to 180 lbs.
Depth at midships: 18″
Height at Transom: 23 1/2″
Price: $10,395/15′, $12,995/17′