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Old 12-26-2020, 07:56 PM   #1
Gatorman
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RIP Pete Hornbeck

Copying this from the Hornbeck Boats Facebook page.
It is with immeasurable heartbreak we must share the news our founder, Peter Hornbeck, died today. His family is in shock. Pete enjoyed Christmas with Ann, Leigh, Josh and his grandsons Rushton and Devlin. He died of a heart attack after a walk in the woods with his family. There was no warning; Pete had a clean bill of health from the cardiologist just this month. We take solace from knowing he went quickly, in the place he loved, with the people he loved most. No services are planned for now, we will host a memorial service in the spring.
I only met Pete once, when I purchased my canoe in 2006. He took me to lunch and talked to me about backcountry canoeing and how he came to be a boat designer/builder. He was a fine man and he will be missed.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:08 PM   #2
Wldrns
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I have three models of Hornbeck as part of my fleet hanging in my garage. I'll never forget the day I first met him. I was planning on a making a diagonal across-Adirondacks canoe trip back in 2005. I settled on getting a Hornbeck for light weight on the many planned carries. One spring day I went to Pete's with a friend who already had a Hornbeck and knew Pete. On the floor of Pete's "office" was a shiny black beauty. i said 'what's that?". He said it was an experiment, a hybrid carbon/kevlar layup. The very first one ever made. It weighed only a single pound lighter than the standard all kevlar. He said he did not know how it would perform or last. Then we went upstairs into the loft where he kept all the boats he had built that winter. Dozens of yellow kevlar boats hung vertically like so many sides of beef. Pete said, see why I want to try something different? So how much is the hybrid downstairs? "It will be $100 more than the standard". I'd like to try it out on your pond. I knew right away that I would take it home with me, and so I did.

After my trek from Boonville to Lake Champlain beyond Plattsburgh one hot dry July week, my boat had suffered a number of scratches and crushed cheeks. 185 total miles with overall 62 miles of carries including a very rocky lower Saranac River will do that. I took it to show Pete and he reinforced the crushed fabric. How much do I owe you, Pete? Nothing he said, "I would do the same for any customer."

So that's the kind of guy Pete was. I am sorry I had not visited him recently. I shall miss him. I'll strap my Hornbeck on my back and head on down the road to remember you as I easily get to the water. See ya later, Peter my friend.
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Last edited by Wldrns; 12-27-2020 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:22 AM   #3
nutmeg creeker
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I drove my Forester into his driveway one day in 2010 and Pete came out and said "This car needs a boat on the top." I said "That's why I'm here." I ran into him at various times throughout the years and really regret that those days are now over. Condolences to his family and friends. This is very sad news.
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Old 12-27-2020, 09:13 AM   #4
2505
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Very sad news. My parents bought two of Pete's early boats, and they (and additional ones) are a huge part of our family's outdoor adventures. I just paddled one of those originals Dec. 23 on a stream in the southern ADK, and have taken it to Henderson and Avalanche Lakes, as well as to Boreas Ponds before the road opened. Priceless memories, thanks to the vision of a true Adirondack original.
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:12 PM   #5
Cold River Bob
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Here is a Article wrote about Pete

https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:13 PM   #6
snapper
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Pete worked with me when I wanted to purchase a boat for my Mom's 70th birthday. To help me save money he offered to make the boat on his new mold. He told me that the first boat made on a new mold was always done in fiberglass because if there ended up being a problem, it was cheaper than having to toss a kevlar boat; no carbon fiber at that time. It was a very generous offer and allowed me to get the canoe for my Mom; who paddled it until just after her 90th birthday. Even though the boat was still under 20 pounds, I remember him apologizing for it being "so heavy." Quite the guy...

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 01-08-2021, 09:28 AM   #7
mgc
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The North Forest Trail Record

In 2007 my son and I ran into a paddler on the Allagash...on Chesuncook. We spotted his Hornbeck making the crossing to Gero Island towards the end of a very windy day. Anyone who has paddled that stretch knows how dangerous it can be in a wind. We helped him to shore after his crossing, shared a bit of bourbon with him around the fire and talked about his adventure. He raved about his canoe, a "beck". He planned to take it back for repairs after his epic trip. Chip was hammering! The next morning my son and I hit the water early. The upcoming carry is a PITA. Based upon previous experience I wanted to get it over with early. We were paddling a 17 1/2 foot W/C Traveler that neither of us looked forward to carrying. We weren't a third of the way to the carry when Ckip pulled up next to us in his beck. We weren't exactly coasting but he had closed on us in a flash and was not having any trouble keeping up. Apparently he was no slouch and his canoe was well up to the task. We helped him over a few beaver dams and over the carry. He hit Mud Pond with determination and once his canoe pulled free of the mud (really) he was gone in a flash. Here's a link to an article about that. https://www.mensjournal.com/adventur...t-canoe-trail/ We were in touch with him after that...Peter sorted out the cracks, breaks and damage FOC.
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