Old School Dory Cool

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Bob Triggs, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. This boat is based on a mid 19th century design called the: "Swampscott Dory". Originally the boats were used for beach and near shore fishing, primarily small commercial teams or individuals, though some were worked many miles from shore for days at a time. Some were rigged with a working sail, or spritsail. The early working form was as much as 24 feet l.o.a. and would carry as much as 1000 pounds of fish etc., and one or two men, who were often up to their hips in their catch on the way home. These boats are a development from the original Banks Dories, which were used on the fishing Schooners that worked offshore from New England.

    This version is significantly more stable and easier to use from a beach, and to launch into surf, or to return to the beach in surf, because of it's double-ended design. Later on the boats were popular with racing sailors, and the boats were modified in design considerably, evolving into the Beachcombers and Alpha Dories which were a serious racing class on the east coast and on the west coast too, well through the early 1940's. By then the boats had gained centerboards and boomed mainsails and jibs etc, and it took two at least to sail them, steering with an oar or rudder. These things were fast. Small boat building expert and historian author- the late John Gardener- writing in his famous work "The Dory Book", called the Swampscott Dory: "The aristocrat of the Dories". This boat shown is based on one design from that book.

    When I got this boat it was kind of smashed up, rotted, damaged and neglected for years. Over a period of a few years of occasional tinkering, moving it from shop to shed to barn to tarps in yards, from one friend to another, I ended up replacing almost 90% of everything to get the boat into working order. I used mostly salvaged materials except the copper roves and nails, and a few newer bronze castings. As a practical matter it was over the top for time involved. But I just wanted to do it, for the fun of doing it. I always loved the saltiness of the Doryies used in the New England and western fisheries for over 100 years. And I learned a lot from doing it this way. Basically rebuilding the boat in reverse. Oak, Cedar, Fir, Honduras Mahogany, Sapele, Ash, over 800 copper nails and roves, hundreds of found bronze screws, mostly good salvaged lumber, blood, sweat and tears.

    I row this thing from the beaches around here, go camping with it, fish from it. And it's just flat fun and handles wicked good. On milder nights I can row under the night sky, beneath the stars and moon sometimes, and the seals will tag along with me for hours on end. I can row along a beach in less than a foot of water and not touch bottom. In heavier conditions, wind and chop or breaking seas, it handles very nicely and will come into the wind or downwind handily from any one of three rowing stations. At a bit over 16 feet she handles very well with one or two on board. If I go on a longer trip the added gear is much desired ballast. Sea run cutthroat fishing from this boat is a sweet ride, but I still prefer to get out, beach the boat, and wade fish from shore mostly. I don't guide from this boat, I don't want to beat it up. And it is "tender", like a canoe, until you get used to it. I do use it for picnic trips, which I donate to the local salmon restoration program or Marine Science Center fundraisers. I am thinking it would be fun to row to Alaska someday http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com

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  2. As cool as the other side of the pillow. :cool:

    Long ago, some fellow fished out of Shilshole in a similar rowing dory. It was the perfect boat for mooching.
  3. Bob a beautiful boat. A great restoration. I have always admired the lines of the dory, and as you have well stated it is a versitile and beautiful craft.
    Thanks for posting and saving this work of art.
  4. She is gorgeous, Bob! Quite different than when I last saw her. Looks like all the hours of hard work were worth it
  5. Now that is what i call a "bitchin`" boat, Bob. Really nice job! I see you've got gudgeon & pintles installed for the rudder, too. She's gotta be a true joy to row!
  6. Sweet looking boat, Bob. I'm sure there were times during the reconstruction where you asked yourself if it was worth it. One look at it says "hell yes".
  7. Damn fine job, Bob. She's beautiful! And she has New England written all over her.
  8. Holy crap: that is what I would call;
    in both visual and literary tale; a great and beautiful story.
    Maybe this belongs in the Arts and Literature section. Just sayin'.

    I now want, thank you very much (or not!) a small boat.

    Great post.
  9. Beatiful boat, Bob. Great job. That last picture, in the moonlight, is truly fantastic. Thanks for sharing such a beauty.
  10. Bee-utiful boat. Glad to see it done!
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  11. I agree with the comments above. Beautiful lines and color! That is a work of art.
  12. Wow! I believe this would qualify as a "labor of love." Well-done, Bob, VERY well-done!
  13. That is an amazing boat!
  14. Beautiful restoration
    Is the planking cedar?
    Did you have to steam some new frames?
    Great stuff
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  15. It's a work of art Bob!
  16. The planks are cedar and fir. The ribs are steam bent, vertical grain, white oak. The frames are white oak "futtocked" sections, joined by white oak futtock plates, and Rivets and roves, and epoxy coated prior to installation. Each frame station was scribed and fitted flush to the planking and bottom, and bedded in a flexible adhesive, 3M 5200- easily the most evil substance known to man. The frames are also fastened to the planking with bronze screws and copper boat nails. The white oak was over 20 years old, air cured, from upstate New York, given to me by a friend who was crazy enough to have dragged it all over the country, from one shop, barn or shed to another for all of those years. It was easy to find the best pieces, with about 80% wasted to air checking and splitting. But the good stuff is really good. Sealed with epoxy to reduce moisture reactivity.
  17. It doesn't get any more impressive. You are obviously a master craftsman.

    Thanks for sharing.
  18. Wicked good, indeed. Kinda reminds me of the boats they troll/mooch with up in BC, near Campbell River. Looks like it was worth the effort!
  19. Man you got into it
    Here are some futtocks we are working on image.jpg
    We call 5200 52 million because its so awesome
    We also call it screw the next guy because removal is so difficult
    I think there are bonus point for catching fish out of traditional craft

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