The Heritage 15


Which Heritage 15 is best for you?

“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

 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.

What are 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.


Specifications and Features


  • 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 16 lbs and arms weigh 3lbs a pair


The Heritage Carbon 15 is now available with an ultra light carbon hull that weighs as little as 69 pounds. It’s ideal for those car topping and portaging. This is a refined, detailed high-tech rowing craft.

The Heritage Carbon 15 is now available as both a Single and Double. When ordered as a double, you automatically get the conversion kit to change it quickly into a balanced single. It’s ideal for a lightweight yacht tender, car topping and portaging. This is a refined, detailed high-tech rowing craft that is simple to use, stabe, solid with beautiful lines!

Like the Classic, it has a fully molded interior and Patented fold in riggers. This is our best gear, as in the Classic. The rowing station adds only nine pounds, and includes a comfortable oversized padded seat . The bench is also carbon fiber, and is removable. The sliding seat monorail removes with 2 hand turned knobs.

(an Ultralight monorail is available as an option: includes our lightest weight composite seat with a high tech gel pad and composite UL footrests, only 12 lbs.(+$250 )


The riggers pop out instantly to make carrying on you vehicle a snap. There is also a molded complete inner liner in the Carbon to add rigidity. Standard features include a forward storage locker, self rescuing flotation, molded in non-skid, patented Fold-in rigger system (this is the only system you can fold in with the oars installed– makes docking a breeze), bow and stern eyes, drain plug and wash down plug.

If weight is an issue in handling or transporting, the Carbon is the answer. Many options and accessories are available including teak rails, ulta-light aluminum rails, covers, launch wheel system, upgradable seating, ultralight monorail and oars. There is even a sail kit and a motor mount.



The interior and exterior color is a special marine vinylester, which allows us to apply very light, but gives the same UV resistance as on a typical family runabout. Standard color is white and sand.

Approx. weights unrigged:
Heritage Carbon 15 Single: 65 lbs.


Specifications and Features



  • Heritage 15 Carbon Single includes 1 sliding seat monorail with fold in outriggers, molded interior with nonskid, carbon hull, carbon deck, carbon flotation chambers, Carbon ribs, carbon sub-floor, carbon bench
  • Patented fold-in riggers
  • Massive Positive flotation, self rescuing
  • Ultra lite monorail now available for $250.00
  • Stable enough to stand in and cast a fishing pole
  • Black or white rails vinyl (alum. or teak optional)
  • Available as single or double.
  • 2 Year “bumper to bumper” Warranty, Standard factory 2 yr limited warranty included



  • Length 15′ 3″ or 4.64 m
  • Width 40″ or 101.6 cm
  • Ultralight Carbon Hull 64 lbs. Base Single
  • 79 lbs. Base Double
  • Carrying Capacity 431 lbs. or 195.5 kg


Newest to our Heritage line is the Guideboat. It is built on the same acclaimed hull shape and design as the Classic Heritage, but is lighter and is more economical. It is a single skin boat, which means it is made from a hull mold only, similar to a canoe. The inside has a gel coat finish. The Guideboat is available in the 12, 15, and 18 sizes. The 15 and 18 can be ordered as a Single or Double, or both! This economical, lightweight 15 is an incredable little boat, having undergone many generations to achieve the right balance of weight and strength at an affordable price. The Heritage hull is famous for its stability. One can even stand in it and cast a fishing pole. Most people looking for a rowing skiff do not need it to be as tippy as an 2′ wide shell.


Speed wise, the Heritage is certainly the fastest traditional design that can claim the ability to stand in. How fast is that? Between 25 and 30 feet per stroke. It’s inspiring. A recent GPS test found the 15 foot classic to be 7.9 knots top end and 7.2 knots sustained. Whether in a 15 or an 18, the Guideboat can be purchased as a single or a double. If you order the boat as a single, it can later be retrofitted into a double by ordering the seeking rowing station and adding the mounting brackets. The benches are wood for a touch of tradition without overwhelming maintenance. The sliding seat monorail sets on top of the bench just as in the Classic. One may remove the slider (or order it without a slide) to row in the traditional fixed seat way. For and aft are built in passenger seats, which function as the flotation compartments as well. The rigger design is fixed in the outboard position as in a shell. Top of the line Concept II oarlocks are standard.

With the rowing stations out, this boat can be fairly easily lifted overhead and carried to and from the car by an average man. Or it can be slid onto roof racks (never needing to lift but one end). The rowing stations can be folded (from a “t: shape to an “I” shape) to store or carry.


Specifications and Features


  • 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




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

The 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.

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.

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.