Heritage 15 Classic

“It’s one of my all time treasured possessions. Every time I look at it, I feel good.” – Bill Parsons, former president of Palmer Johnson Yachts.

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Reminiscent of the romantic rowing craft which graced the waters at the turn of the century, the Heritage 15 is as much a joy to look at as it is to row. All of our rowboats are crafted using hand-laid fiberglass.

This row boat will probably stay in your family for generations. Its timeless lapstrake hull, blue teak swooping sheer and wineglass stern give her classic good looks. At first, one just wants to look at it and imagine the quiet streams and golden sunsets where a Heritage belongs.

Row boat

What’s her best features?

Versatility to fit your lifestyle. Take a partner to row, or pile in the kids.

Row hard or just drift. Clamp on a two-horsepower motor. Pack a lunch and go exploring. Strap it on the car for summer vacation. There are even great sailing options.

Take her anywhere. Really! Just ask the man who rowed across the Baltic Sea. Or the fellow who rowed the entire coast of Texas.

The possibilities are endless…

Built with a wider hull than rowing shells, the Heritage is terrifically stable. This allows the rower to stand while launching or even at sea. One can even stand and cast a fishing pole (pictured below). The Heritage also has a prominent bow enabling it to charge into the roughest seas. The deep-tracking keel and high stern will thrill you as you surf down-sea. This is the first truly “ocean-capable” sliding-seat rowing craft.


Designer Bill Larson has rowed in 5-foot seas, reporting not only was she dry, but she was fast and stable. The low profile sides prevents nasty windage issues, yet she is so buoyant she “bobs like a cork” in the rough stuff. There are built in passenger seats both in the bow and the stern. All Heritage’s come standard with a sliding seat monorail and a fixed seat bench, so you may row sliding seat for aerobic exercise, or traditional fixed seat just for the joy of it.

New for 2012 – Carbon!

New for 2012! The Carbon Classic is super light and great for rooftopping. All carbon hull & deck make for an incredibly ridgid, lightwieght ocean-capable adventure craft.


Thanks to our patented folding rigger, set up and launching is a breeze. Slide your Heritage off the dock, push off, swing out the rigger and go… it’s that simple. Little River is the only builder to offer the folding rigger system. The rigger folds in to act as a handle as you sit down. Another plus: it has a built in safety feature where the rigger will collapse should you accidentally hit something, with no damage to the oars or boat. In the Heritage, the seat is much higher than that of a shell so it is much more comfortable to sit in than shells. If you like, you can row out to your favorite quiet spot and just take in the beauty.

The Heritage 15 Choices

heritage02The Heritage 15 Classic can be ordered as a Single, or as a Double. If you get the double, it comes standard with the ability to convert it into a balanced single. The Heritage 15 can also be converted to a sailboat.

Additionally, you may choose three different Construction methods: the Classic, which we have been discussing on this page, or the ultralight classic carbon hull, or the new economical Guideboat. To see all the different construction methods at a glance click here.

Don’t forget to visit our color design tool to custom pick your preferred look.

The Other Heritage Models:

The Heritage comes in three sizes, the Heritage 12, the Heritage 15 and the Heritage 18. The Heritage 15 and the Heritage 18 can be rigged to row as a single or a double station. The difference is that the Heritage 15 is a lighter launch, and thus easier to handle, while the Heritage 18 has a longer water line, and thus a better rowing double. Which row boat is best for you? If you will be rowing mostly as a single, the 15 is probably best. If you plan to row mostly as a double (and occasionally as a single) then the 18 is your best bet. The Heritage 12 comes as a single only, but can carry passengers. It is a good choice where space is a concern, for to use as a tender to a big boat. Also, ladies tend to prefer it’s smaller size.

Specifications and Accessories


  • The most popular of all
  • Incredibly stiff (fully molded liner with nonskid)
  • Massive Positive flotation
  • Fold in oarlock arms
  • 2 HP engine capacity
  • Stable enough to stand in and cast a fishing pole
  • interchangeable from one rower to two (when ordered as a double)
  • Molded in bow seat and stern seat
  • 2 Year “bumper to bumper” Warranty, Standard factory 2 yr limited warranty included


Length: 15′ 3″, 4.6 m
Width: 40″, 101.6 cm
Freeboard @ ends: 25″
Freeboard amidships: 15″
Pick-Up Weight * 100 lbs. Single
110 lbs. Double
Draft (depth in water): 3″ – 4″
Carrying Capacity: 431 lbs.(coast guard rating)
*Pick up weight equals boat without Monorails, or what you would normally pick up on your car. Monorails weigh 8 lbs and arms weigh 3lbs a pair:
Carbon weight: 69 lbs.
How stable is the Heritage Skiff compared to shells?
All shells are unstable without the oars, where skiffs are stable enough to stand in. The well kept secret about shells is: if you let go of the oars, you will tip right over. Shells need to be about 3 feet wide at the waterline (30″ for women) before it is stable enough to safely climb in without holding onto the oars. This is wider than kayaks because in a shell, we must sit higher than our feet. So all shells, by name, have an element of balance involved. Active people can learn to balance a shell in a half-hour or so, especially the open water type shells. Flat water types take a good bit longer to master If you don’t want that instability, considerHow fast is the Heritage Skiff compared to shells?
The Heritage is only about 1 mile an hour slower than shells at cruising speed. A typical hour long row in a shell averages 6 mph, and a Heritage 5 mph. Even crew coaches are amazed of the speed for such a stable boat.

Is the Heritage available lighter?
Yes, the Heritage 15 in carbon weighs in at about 69 lbs, and the Guideboat as low as 70 lbs.

Suggested Purchase Order

Heritage 15 Classic Single WITH sliding seat monorail and swing out riggers $5695.
1 pr. Macon sculling oars carbon/glass $599
Heritage 15 Double rigged as a Single $5995
Heritage 15 Classic Double with 2 sliding seat monorails and swing-out riggers $6995
2 pr. Macon sculling oars carbon/glass $1198
Teak Package $1495


Cover $399
Motor Mount $125
Mirror and mast $99
Heavy Duty Sling Dolly – 15′ $629
Removable Hardbar Rack $225
Build Package for in-water storage. Permanent in water boats should have thicker gel coat (adds 15 lbs) on Vinyl ester skin coats $195
Princess seat for passenger,wicker & wood $175
Oarbag $149
Keel Skid Plate. While the keel is extremely strong, this exterior Dynel and Graphite skid plate will hide scratches and dings from running into rocks $195
Teak Bench Slat $499
Color: White / Bone No Charge
Color: Yellow $200
Color: Any Other $400
5 yr Extended Warranty, Extends “bumper to bumper” limited factory warranty from 2 yrs (std) to 5 years $395


  • Drop-in Unit row station
  • Ideal for car-topping
  • Stable enough to stand in and cast a fishing pole
  • Black or white rails
  • Sold as single but converts to a double by adding options
  • Built-in passenger seats bow and stern


Length 15′ 3″ or 4.64 m
Width 40″ or 101.6 cm
Approx. Weight unrigged aprox 70 lbs
Approx. Weight for rig Add 16 lbs


Suggested Purchase Order

Guideboat Heritage 15 Includes 1 sliding seat monorail with outriggers, and 1 mahogany bench $4695
1 pr. sculling oars carbon/glass Macon-Spoon $599/pr
Cockpit Drain, installed $55
Porthole and Storage Bag (holds knobs and drain plugs when dismantled) $65
Bow Eye or stern eyes, through-bolted, installed (helpful in cartopping) $20each


Guideboat Double, 2 sliding seats,2 wood benches, ability to switch from Double to balanced single$5995
2 pr sculling oars$1198/2pr
Motormount/Transom reinforce packing Thicken transom and reinforce it to handle adding motor and motor mount$225
Teak Package$1495


Princess passenger seat, made of Cherry and wicker $175
Big Wheeled Dolly, now with fat tires for mud and sand (not needed to row, but after a good row . . .) $299
Fixed seat rowing: Attached mounting blocks and oarlock bases (need one set for single, 2 sets for double and 3 sets for single/double converting) $95/ set
Standard bronze oarlocks for fixed seat rowing $125 pair
“Front-view” Mirror and mast $99
Large dolly for Heritage 18 for storage and launching $629
Oarbag $125
SUV/CAR Kit $119
Cover $399
Build Package for in-water storage. Boats may be kept in water a few weeks. Permanent in water boats should have thicker gel coat (adds 15 lbs) on Vinyl ester skin coats $195
Color: White / Bone No Charge
Color: Yellow $200
Color: Any Other $400