View Full Version : dory design

12-03-2000, 08:41 PM
I have been looking at several designs for a 21 sailing dory. I'm interested in coastal crusing here in Maine. All the plans call for a very wide garboard. I understand the reason(to carry up the hood ends), but why not shorten the width of the garboard by rising the forefoot?I've seen old dories with cracked garboards. Would I be doing something bad to do this? I want to avoid using ply.

12-04-2000, 06:41 AM
Raising the forefoot would affect her entry, slowing your passages and increase pounding under the bow. You can build up a garboard with two or three planks dory lapped. Most cracked dory garboards come from short grain where straight grain planks are cut with sweep to the bottom. If you have live edge stock with sweep to start with you can minimize the tendency to crack the garboard under the ends.

Wayne Jeffers
12-06-2000, 01:34 PM
I believe that if you raise the ends of a dory sufficiently, you will end up with a driftboat. http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif I can't imagine any circumstance where alteration of the bottom profile would be a good idea in a design for sailing. It would change the underwater shape of the hull, which would require corresponding changes to the other elements of the boat (sail plan, blades) to maintain balance.

Yes, the extra width at the ends of a dory garboard serve to carry up the hood ends. I think the real reason, however, is to keep the upper edge of the garboard relatively straight. With the top edge relatively straight, the subsequent planks do not have to be swept as much. Form follows function.

John Gardner noted that the good quality, wide planks that the old-time builders used are no longer available. In several instances he showed his dories with plywood garboards and the remaining planks made from natural boards.


Good luck,


05-21-2004, 11:56 AM

Paul Pless
05-21-2004, 01:38 PM

Where's the interest in dories coming from all of sudden? They do have character, don't they?

When you make it to Goose Bay how could you resist not going all the way to Hudson Bay? That would be awesome don't you think? Further North than I've ever been, I honestly don't know much about it other than the history.

Back to the dories. The more I've read about them lately the more I like their shape and seaworthiness (if properly ballasted). I talked with the people at the Dory Shop, interesting folk, cool shop they got too.


05-21-2004, 05:21 PM
I built the widened 17 foot swampscott from one of Gardner's books with white pine planking, and the garboards got out pretty nicely from lumberyard-width boards glue-scarfed amidships. We finished the interior out bright and I really like the look of the wood.

But, I'm thinking of building another dory, and I am certainly going to go for glass on ply. I built to plan but the trad style boat came out quite heavy; it takes four people to move it comfortably. Also if it's been out of the water a while it takes a few days to tighten up. From a practical standpoint there are real drawbacks.

I'd say just be sure that you want the style points of trad construction enough to outweigh the hassle.


Dave K
05-22-2004, 07:03 AM
I have mentioned this somewhere before, but a great design with dory-shaped hull and ballast keel is the "Grand Banks 22" by Ted Brewer (he designed the first for his own use in 1964). I think she may be the best combination of looks, economy, safety, and sailing ability I have come across - other designs may be better in one of those categories, but I have a LOT of respect for that design (have owned two, but family health problems made boats impractical at the time).