Way-of-life purveyor of the spirit of the Adirondacks

Young Stephen Gordon grew up in the Adirondacks, learning to navigate Lake Champlain, the Upper St. Regis and Loon lakes. Years later, Gordon, who founded Restoration Hardware, built his own guideboat — an affordable rendition of the authentic Rushton hull design, with American cherry trim and bronze fittings. That experience gave him the idea to launch Guideboat, with an online presence followed by a brick-and-mortar store, both of which deliver long-lasting products created in the spirit of the Adirondack adventurers.

Today, Guideboat’s flagship Mill Valley Lumber Yard is joined by stores in Jackson Square (San Francisco, CA), Stanford Shopping Center, opening soon (Palo Alto, CA) and Domain NORTHSIDE (Austin, TX), with another store under construction in Boston.

Guideboat beginnings

When the first settlers came to the Adirondacks in the early 1800s, they soon realized that the area’s waters were all interconnected lakes, ponds and rivers; in order to travel farther, they needed to carry lightweight boats between these bodies of water. The heavier rowboats of the day soon gave way to guideboats, which were lighter, faster and watertight.

These boats were used to transport goods, hunters, fishermen, campers and travelers. They acquired their name because wealthy hunters and fishermen would hire local woodsmen to guide them to the most lucrative spots to hunt and fish. As time went on, the design of these boats was cultivated and refined into their current graceful form.

Gordon's concept: Guideboat

Gordon paired with YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley to start Guideboat, a way-of-life purveyor. First on the list: exceptional renditions of American vintage boats, of course. The lineup includes four boats: The Guideboat, The Sabot, The Canadian Guideboat and the limited-edition Caleb Chase Late-1800s-Design Guideboat. All are fast, durable, precisely crafted and utterly gorgeous. Custom-made outside of Sacramento, the boats are individually blanket-wrapped and delivered with white glove service. These watercraft are sights to behold — and navigate.

Guideboat offers exceptionally made clothing for men and women, sourced from their country of provenance and “all with a focus on honesty, authenticity and longevity.” What that means is, for example, the Stowe Vermont Ski Hat is based on the hat a Vermont mom made for her son who was competing in Cortina’s 1956 Olympics. At the time, the hat became crazy-popular and was all the rage. Guideboat brings back the same design — and it’s still made of worsted wool in Vermont.

Need to find your way? Trust the Orbit 3 Brass Pocket Compass. Made in Germany by Kasper & Richter, makers of fine precision instruments since 1920, The hinged lid protects the agate-bedded needle and azimuth ring.

Stay warm in style — Italian style — with Guideboat’s Men’s Flight Line Jacket. The premium garment-dyed Italian nylon shell and 750-fill power European white goose down jacket is handcrafted by one of the finest producers of down outerwear in Italy.

Guideboat and Archer Hotel Austin

Domain NORTHSIDE in Austin, TX, is home to Guideboat and Archer Hotel. Guideboat is graciously offering guests of Archer several discounts:

  • $25 off of $150
  • $50 off of $250
  • $100 off of $450

Guests of the hotel only need only to show their keycard at Guideboat to receive the discount.

While you’re shopping till you’re dropping in Austin’s shopping mecca, Domain NORTHSIDE, remember to spend some time rejuvenating your soul, as well. Look to Archer’s blog post — “Beyond Shopping: Our 5 Favorite Things to Do at The Domain NORTHSIDE” — for some great après-shopping ideas.

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