Allen E. Smith from Olympia, WA writes:
There is no other way to put it- I love my new boat! You and your crew have built a beautiful boat that has given me a new access to the water and the wilderness since rotator cuff surgeries of last year limited what I can pick up and do. I have no problem putting the boat on my car and taking it off.
I have even managed to learn how to get in and out of it without falling in the drink! Practice makes perfect and you and your crew have practiced making great boats to perfection. I highly recommend you boats to anyone!
Thanks again to you and your crew for getting me through all the details of selecting my boat and the issues of shipping it. You guys are the best!
With all my best wishes, I hope to see you out here sometime.
Mark K. Brown from Warrensburg, NY writes:
Just a short note on our Hornbeck Boats. I had a great summer and fall fishing back country ponds for Brook Trout. Our food and tackle weighed more than the boat. We will have to stop and tell stories of some of the luck we are having. Thanks again for an excellent product.
Mark K. Brown
Dale Bluman from Pennsylvania writes:
This is just a thank you note for showing us wonderful hospitality when we visited you on August 3th of this year.
I am back teaching in Pennsylvania after my 20th summer in the Adirondacks. Our summer home in Speculator is buttoned up for the winter and I am thinking back on the summer- reminiscing about the wonders we experienced there.
A high point for me (and I am sure for my friend Art) was the afternoon we spent with you. Thank you for the pizza and the iced tea. As delicious as it was, it paled in comparison to the time we spent with you. We appreciated the generosity of your time, showing us your facility, letting us “demo” the canoes and giving us person instruction in the purpose and the design and use of the canoe.
I am especially happy to have met you in person. Before that, you were simply a name in the advertisement in Adirondack Life. I sincerely respect and admire your vision for your work. I am reminded of the biblical parable of the man who found a treasure in a field. It is good to meet a person with such singular conviction and with authenticity so rare in our current world.
So thank you again for the "peak" experience. It will see me through the off season.
Dale Bluman (on behalf of Art Dauria as well)
P.S. Rudy and Phyllis Faust say thank for their two Classics and their two Black Jack---enjoyed in Speculator and Sanibel Island. They planted the idea that we should visit you.
P.P.S. Glad to meet Noel. What a guy. Hope you all had a good time on the canoes and the pontoon bat.
P.S. Thank you for the Yakima load bars. They will be put to good use.
Barbara Baker from Saratoga Springs writes:
Thanks for all of your help in getting my stolen boat replaced. I am especially grateful for the life jacket. It is far more comfortable than the one I had. What fun it was to once again paddle the pond and enjoy a great pizza lunch. The poster has been hung up and is a lovely reminder of days I spent on Blue Mt. Lake in boat #1 and of wonder filled days to come in boat #2. I’ll keep paddling so I guess you’ll keep on making boats! I’m off to Moreau Lake for “the christening”.
Thank you. Bless you.
Joe Geronimo from Endwell, N.Y. writes:
Pete Hornbeck and Staff,
I absolutely love my new Hornbeck “New Trick” canoe. The weather today finally cooperated and I was able to take it out this afternoon on a maiden voyage and make her dance. The boat handles like a dream, tracks like and arrow and the secondary stability is amazing.
Pete you and your staff make the whole experience absolutely wonderful. I am a customer for life. I wish you and your staff all the best and I thank you all for your time and effort.
Dick and I would like to thank you for your time and generosity when we visited you shop this weekend. The mounting hardware is going to work great and Dick is already wearing his t-shirt. In trying to think of a way to thank you tangibly, everything seemed to pale in light of what I could tell you about the Lost Pond Boat and what it has meant to me. So here it goes….
In 1998 I was diagnosed with breast cancer—shocking discovery as I was only 42 years old. I had surgery. Previously I had been paddling a plastic kayak weighing 34 lbs. and was having quite a time hoisting it on and off the car.
The Christmas Eve after my surgery, Dick disappeared outside…and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Saint Dick carrying a Lost Pond Boat through the snow and into the house to be placed under the tree. That was the only winter I recall wanting the ski season to end early so I could be on the water with my “Dreamboat”. Needless to say it aided tremendously in my physical and mental recovery. But the story does not end there.
Two years later my cancer had returned with much direr results. After extensive surgery when I asked the surgeon how long it would take to get back to paddling, she informed me I would most likely never be able to paddle again. That was more crushing than the thought of losing my breast. I was not able to imagine a life without my boat or the solitude of the Adirondack waters which had given me such comfort and strength after my first bout with cancer.
My surgery was on April 2nd. On May 1st I hiked into Moose Pond in Bloomingdale and met the Prata’s paddling by. They picked me up and I was a content passenger, but not for long. I asked Ralph if I could try to paddle the bow. I took my first tentative strokes but it was painful and I had no power but I could move my arm in that familiar motion and that was the start. In another couple weeks I could hoist the Lost Pond Boat onto the car, although at times it felt like I was lifting that 34 lbs. plastic kayak. I started with short paddles but each day I could go a little farther and my stroke became a little stronger. On June 14th I held my own mini-triathlon climbing Silver Lake Mountain (only 2 miles), then going down the road and dropping the boat into Taylor Pond and paddling 7 miles, ending the day with a swim. My “Dreamboat” and I were together again. There was no medicine that could have helped me more, physically or mentally.
So you see, it is much more than a boat to me. When I am with it, I think of the love my husband has for me as witnessed by this wonderful gift. I think of what it brought me back from and where it brought me to. I think of all the mystical places I have been in the Adirondacks in that boat and the eagles and ospreys, loons and wildlife I have been with as I paddled silently through quiet waters. And I think of a man and a boat shop in Olmsteadville that made it all possible.
Thank you. With gratitude,
This time last year you hosted us above the store when we picked up a thirteen-footer. Love that boat and use it plenty, and sometimes half the year.… Thank you.
Susan Worley and Dana Harlan, Coburn, PA, December 2013
Thanks for making such an awesome 12-foot Blackjack New Trick. After getting it last week I spent a few days in it on Fawn Lake, by Speculator. I was surprised how well it tracked and became more thankful the longer I paddled with the extremely light Werner paddle you sold me. It simply made me happy to be able to just take the canoe off the truck and walk it to the water. That said, I look forward to a time when you are happy with your yoke design and make another. I will find my way back there to buy one as the 12-foot boat is portable, but for longer distances I would like it above me. Again, thanks for the boat, the paddle, lunch and a few hours to just talk on Friday. Be well and take care.
Dear Peter Hornbeck and crew,
I want to thank you all for designing and building what for me has been the perfect boat this summer: the 12-foot New Trick. I purchased #139 on July 29 and I've used it nearly every day since in all kinds of weather in water bodies big and small. I've done a 2-mile portage with it and had it loaded down with camping gear. It's a total pleasure in every situation. I weigh 170 pounds, which seems to make for an ideal fit. Compared to my Blackjack and Lost Pond boats the New Trick just seems to paddle more… effortlessly. As beautiful to look at as it is to glide across the water in.
Bill Chamberlain, Saranac Lake, NY, September 2013