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In Reply to: Dory Advice posted by MrBill on October 07, 2004 at 07:40:34:
Hello Mr. Bill
Rowing dories, so many -- so little time… Of course you have John Gardner’s The Dory Book a definitive on the history, building and designs of dories.
What first comes to mind is Paul Butler’s ‘Alaska Dory’ designed in the 80’s or 90’s for "Outdoor Life". She is a big double ender almost 20 feet in length with a 5’ 7” beam, weighing in at about 325 lbs. Based on an expanded version of John Gardner’s Gunning Dory she can carry an immense load, is built of plywood, but is not a speedy rower.
Next is the Hammond 16-foot Swampscott Dory from John Gardner’s Book. This design has a lot of the ‘right stuff’ and is an excellent rower. A couple of dories based on this design have rowed from Seattle to Alaska (look for the book "Row to Alaska by Wind and Oar" by Pete & Nancy Ashenfelter) One could expand the stations by a few inches each and stretch the length to about 18’ and actually gain some boat speed.
The Surf Dory type may not be the best choice for a rowing vessel. Though it has the looks and can carry a large load, it does not have enough carry between strokes especially into a breeze with those high ends… It’s a burdensome boat, not as svelte as needed for a rowing vessel.
A compromise to all this might be the design above “Youkou-Lili” from the French designer Francois Vivier. Here is a sweet small boat inspired by the double ended faerings of Norway and the American Swampscott dory. Her narrow bottom and rounded sides giving a fine sea boat for rowing. I would build it with the centerboard and the rudder saving the mast and sail for last. With the rudder, a person can captain the boat while a pair row. If a breeze springs up pushing one off course the centerboard can be dropped a bit to help keep the boat from drifting to much to leeward. She is built of plywood. Her Specs: LOA 18’ 5”, Beam at Sheer 4’ 8”. More info: www.francois.vivier.info
Anybody know of any Dory Kits out there?
Thom,thank you for your insights. Of course I DO NOT have Mr. Gardners book but will soon I suppose. It seems to be one of the best out there on the dory. Have my eyes on a few others too.
So, Paul Butlers dory kit. I have been looking at it as it is one of the very few out there it appears.It seems to fit my requirements and is a nice looking dory. Don't know why though, but I like boats with some lineage. Some history. That somehow makes it more interesting. But like I said there are few kits out there. You may have assertained by now that I have very limited experience with the whole "building from just plans" approach but am certainly willing to try if it is required.May I ask from what experience you base your assessment that Mr. Butlers boat may not be as speedy as others under oar? Not disputing,just curious. What about performance under sail?
The Hammond Swampscott, well, I guess I need the book, but thanks for pointing one out that I should consider.
The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has a beauty of a Fearing as well. Thanks for that link. They are really nice looking boats and I have pondered several times about one of these as a possible.Your first line does seem to say it all.
If you happen to stumble across any more shoot me an email.
Here is the profile of the Paul Butler Alaska Dory. Compared to the Vivier lines in the previous post she is a buxom girl. We have rowed and played in Paul's prototype before it was sold. She was the epitome of stability, at rest and under way. She was slow under oars (your primary stated propulsion). Most of the folks who built this design put in a small outboard well and used outboard power as primary.
Dories for rowing have less static stability and are considered a bit 'tippy'. However, that is the very quality that is needed for speed under oars. The Faerings and Adirondack Guide Boats are the most 'tippy' -- as well as they are fastest. The Vivier Dory is a fine compromise and many have been built as the design goee back to 1985.
As to oars, treat yourself to a decent pair. Nothing takes the pleasure out of rowing as a pair of 'water clubs' presently sold in the chandleries today. At the very least get the Barkley Sound Spruce oars... Better yet order up some Shaw and Tenney R.D.Culler style oars (have them put on the leathers and oarlock). These oars have a spring action and the end of the stroke that is difficult to describe,and the clean entry of these oars into the water is a delight.
I assume you are here in the Northwest...? You can get the plans and have a number of boatbuilding schools around here build out the boat. You can finish it. You can save money by getting a cash account (say you are building a boat) at Fisheries Supply and provide the Epoxy and fastenings to the school. The same with Edensaw Plywood for the wood stock.
Thanks Thom. I think you just saved me $27.50. This guy was so reluctant to provide any information on his design whatsoever. He would only provide the same description as is on his web page for it. I was almost ready to order the plans just to see what was up.I wonder why he doesn't just market it for what it is?
Not in the Northwest, yet. It is calling like Mecca though. Maybe someday.
Again thanks for the heads up and the links previously. They are some fine looking designs.
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