View Full Version : Gardner's: THE DORY BOOK

Lowell Bernhardt
11-12-2002, 09:11 PM
I'm going to be going on a trip to Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I can't decide on the book I should purchase to take with me.

I'm going to Indy this weekend and I'm taking " A SKIFF FOR ALL SEASONS". I figure that I'll pretty much knock it out this weekend.

I'm thinking of getting THE DORY BOOK, by John Gardner. What do you think about this book? I know WB's write up in the WB store catalog is a nice one. Any comments would be welcome as always.


Bruce Hooke
11-13-2002, 09:42 AM
Without a doubt The Dory Book is the definitive book on dories, so if you are interested in dories it is a book you should get. On the other hand it may not be a great 'read' for a trip. The first part is about the history of dories, and that is certainly a good read if you are interested in the history, but most of the book is devoted to detailed information on building dories followed by the plans for many dories along with some text about each plan. The plans would, of course, provide some great 'browsing' material, because if you are like me you can easily open the book to any plan and study it and think about what it would be like to build it and use it. However, I find it hard to focus closely on lengthy detailed 'how-to-build' information, when I am doing something like traveling, where there are frequent distractions, and if I don't see myself applying the information in the near future. Also, to me John Gardiner did not write in a way that grabs you and draws you along, like, say, Pete Culler did.

I should note that the 'how-to-build' information is not by any means step-by-step instuctions, it is more in the line of detailed information on the typical features of a traditionally constructed dory.

11-13-2002, 11:27 AM
Absolutely. What Bruce said. I've owned it for years, and doubt that I've come close to reading it all. It's not one I imagine you'd knock off in a weekend cover to cover. It IS a great reference book, and I imagine I pick it up every month or two and browse, or turn to it when I have some niggling dory question. It's a wonderful reference on dories, their history and many uses. It'll also get you through building more dories than you likely have time or budget for. A good one to have on the shelf.

So many books/boats/beers, so little time.

Cecil Nickerson
11-13-2002, 12:13 PM
What Kermit said. I have it and read it in the same way. I'm building the 11-foot Bank dory found in it. A great reference book.


gary porter
11-13-2002, 07:26 PM
Lowell, if your going to knock out "A Skiff for All Seasons" in a weekend while traveling then your clearly a better reader than I. Actually,now that I think about it, most people probably are.
A Skiff for All Seasons is a good book but is a step by step book on the building of the Tolman skiff as well as a good reference to that type of building. Have you read "Wooden Boats" which is about Gannon & Benjamin and their work in Martha's
Vineyard? I really enjoyed that one and would recomend it if you haven't already read it. There are so many to read. Like Bruce said , the Dory Book is also a great book but the good reading is in the first section. I do have the makings of a St. Pierre in my front yard probably because of that book so watch out. By the way,,, where is Mt Orab?? Is that in Indiana??
Gary.. smile.gif

Lowell Bernhardt
11-13-2002, 07:57 PM
Gary- Mt Orab is in OHIO. Turn left at the last sign of any REAL civilazation and drive for about 20 minutes and that'a MT ORab.

I probably won't get all the way thru Skiff for all seasons this weekend.

As for good reading, you all my think I'm strange but the only non fiction books that I've read in my almost 25 years you could count on one hand. "The Ghost of windy Hill" in the 3rd grade, Candid(sp) in college, The Millionare next door & Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I just really like to read "how to" books and working out all the details in my head. Call me strange if you will, SWMBO certantly does. For some reason that is just the way my mind works.

Can you all recommend a "good Read" for the trip?

Thanks again,

gary porter
11-13-2002, 08:57 PM
Lowell, not to worry about not reading fiction, I read technical books, and biographies, autobiographies, etc. How about,,"Understanding Wood" by Hoadley. Its not boatbuilding but is certainly related. "Building Cassic Small Craft" another by Gardner has some interesting stories in the first part and some hand plane building and half model building in the last part. "Buehlers Backyard Boatbuilding" will give you a couple of smiles and some plans.
Have fun!