Champlain Longboats Silent Auction

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Buy a Boat, Support Local Youth

The Museum’s Champlain Longboats program is our flagship youth development program. Built in partnership with regional schools and community organizations, the primary goal of Champlain Longboats is to develop positive, healthy behavior in middle and high school students by exposing them to the inherent team-building nature of boat building and rowing. Every year, over 1,200 young people in the Champlain Valley participate, either building a new boat or rowing in our growing fleet of longboats. This program is made possible through a combination of private contributions, foundation support, and donated boat sales.

With the unexpected rise of COVID-19, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, along with everyone else in the country and around the world, had to shift quickly. When schools closed, our youth boat building cohort and spring youth rowing season were cancelled, impacting hundreds of middle and high school students who participate in these each year.

Our boat shop staff and volunteers have found a creative way to continue their work from home in the spirit of Champlain Longboats. Since March, they have completed two beautiful, handcrafted wooden boats – an Adirondack Guideboat and a Wee Lassie. (Learn more about these two boats and their history here: A Tale of Two Boats.  And now, you have a chance to buy one of these boats and support our work!

We are auctioning off both of these wooden boats and all proceeds will fund hands-on programs for our local youth whose school years, activities, and lives have been interrupted by COVID-19.

How it Works

Silent auction bidding is open from June 17 through July 31, 2020. This page will show the current highest bid for each boat – submit yours using the bid form. If you would like to purchase one of these boats immediately, please contact us directly using the Buy Now button below.

We will arrange a pick up date for winning buyers to receive their boats. We welcome out-of-state bidders to join the silent auction – by bidding you accept that if you win a boat, you agree to cover shipping and delivery from Vergennes, VT to your location (We will work with you to arrange shipping and delivery).

Silent Auction

Wee Lassie

A 10’6” Wee Lassie built in a class at the Museum taught by Geoffrey Burke and finished by Don Dewees, Richard Butz, Ron Ulmer, and Smokey Hardison. Originally designed by the beloved boatbuilder Henry Rushton of Canton, New York in the late 1800s, the Wee Lassie was designed to be an ultralight solo paddling canoe. The lines for the Wee Lassie were taken off of a Rushton boat and drawn collaboratively by Mike McEvoy and Pete Culler.

View more photos of the Wee Lassie

Starting bid: $3,000

Current highest bid: N/A

Adirondack Guideboat

A 12’ Adirondack Guideboat built by Tom Erikson and others in a class at the Museum, and finished by Museum boat builder Charlie Beyer. Smaller than the standard guideboat but big enough to take passengers, this guideboat model is based on one originally designed and built by John Buyce of Speculator, New York in the early 1900s. The lines were taken off of a surviving Buyce boat fifty years later by John Ritter of Ancora Yacht Services.

View more photos of the Adirondack Guideboat

Starting bid: $5,800

Current highest bid: N/A

Don’t want a boat but want to support the Museum? Consider making a donation: Donate here >

Bid now!