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Thread: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

  1. #1
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    Default St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    So, before I get to the nitty-gritty... My dad and I built a Gloucester light Dory back in the 80's and I loved that little boat. We only used it a few summers before our bigger Sea-Ray got the family around. Now that I have a family I'm looking at building my own, with help from Dad. I've browsed different designs and for a time was taken with the Redwing design but felt something was missing from it. The St. Pierre Dory has fascinated me since I saw my first picture of one.

    So, now I get to it. I've read Mark White's 'Building a St. Pierre Dory' and tramped through different design styles for one I like. Keep in mind that I want to build it with the old style Haul-up shaft AND it's going to be Electric Powered. (either with an Elco system or one I build myself) I'm also planning on shortening the overall hull design to about 23' to be a little more towing friendly. Before I even get a set of plans are there any things I should look into that will help me along?

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Buy John Gardner's "Dory Book." Chapter 11 has plans for, and discusses, the St. Pierre working dory. Then you'll just need a place to build and sufficient available building time.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Ive got the Dory Book on the way. Does it delve into a little more detail than White's "Building a St. Pierre Dory" or just another perspective and some better illustrated plans?

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFritz View Post
    Ive got the Dory Book on the way. Does it delve into a little more detail than White's "Building a St. Pierre Dory" or just another perspective and some better illustrated plans?
    Page 148 to173, history, pictures, lines and offsets, construction details, plus lines of a widened model to suit the addition of a cabin. Consider it not just another perspective, but the actual source that most of the other authors rely on to provide you with their take on the St. Pierre Dory. You'll like it. It's been years since I thumbed through White's book and don't own a copy of it, so can't comment. Have you looked at other plans sources, for example Nexus boats:


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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFritz View Post
    So, before I get to the nitty-gritty... My dad and I built a Gloucester light Dory back in the 80's and I loved that little boat. We only used it a few summers before our bigger Sea-Ray got the family around. Now that I have a family I'm looking at building my own, with help from Dad. I've browsed different designs and for a time was taken with the Redwing design but felt something was missing from it. The St. Pierre Dory has fascinated me since I saw my first picture of one.

    So, now I get to it. I've read Mark White's 'Building a St. Pierre Dory' and tramped through different design styles for one I like. Keep in mind that I want to build it with the old style Haul-up shaft AND it's going to be Electric Powered. (either with an Elco system or one I build myself) I'm also planning on shortening the overall hull design to about 23' to be a little more towing friendly. Before I even get a set of plans are there any things I should look into that will help me along?
    Glen-L offers plans for a plywood St. Pierre, called Lucky Pierre. Might be better for keeping water out of the bilges (and the electrics)?

    Jamie

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?


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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    there are plans available from www.instantboats.com and pretty cheap too. They're from Jay Benford, and they come in 19' or 23' I believe.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Dave, I looked at Nexus, Spira, Glen-L and didn't even know about instant boats till Rat's post. For some reason the Nexus designs seem narrow and tall to me. Whether thats just from the small selection of pictures and lack of plans they show, I can't tell. Patience and Beatrice are beautiful boats but they just don't trip my trigger. The more open boats with just the forecabin are more what I'm looking for.

    Jamie, The Lucky Pierre was the design that I was leaning towards. Good cabin space and some nooks and crannies for the batteries and controllers to be stowed. I was toying with the idea of a small helm that held the compass and throttle just forward of the tiller as part of the 'engine' box. The haul-up lever would be at the bottom of the console. I've not seen very many designs for a 'modern' haul up shaft system. Any ideas?

    Ian, thats the one that really started this particular design project on my end. The construction photos in White's book are impressive for a backyard Alaskan build. When I do get this baby wet, I'll swing by from MV some summer.

    Rat, I wish they had more teasers for the 23' Pierre on instantboats.com it does look good for the price and I like the open design. It leaves plenty of room for whatever one wants to build into it.
    Last edited by BFritz; 03-14-2017 at 01:55 AM.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Don't forget Anthony Bailey's Thousand Dollar Yacht​ for building inspiration.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    BFritz, Gardner discusses proportions, straight sides vs slight curvature, presents lines for a modified design plus lines for a wide design. All of which is interesting and food for thought. If you're buying plans from some other source, Gardener's thoughts might help you evaluate them. I guess how various versions look is subjective. The real short ones that I've seen, with big outboard wells taking up much of the limited bottom space, and with very pronounced sheer, often look ungainly, the larger versions, 25 feet and longer, seem to look much better to me. Pick a size and shape that you like.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFritz View Post

    Rat, I wish they had more teasers for the 23' Pierre on instantboats.com it does look good for the price and I like the open design. It leaves plenty of room for whatever one wants to build into it.

    Here's some pictures and notes from someone who built a 23 footer to Benford's plan from the instantboats site:

    http://desireefjord.blogspot.com

    His comments on the need to add much extra ballast are probably representative for a lot of these builds. I remember years ago that there were study plan sheets of this dory included in packets of scores of designs from Jim Orrell's "Texas Dory Plans." Apparently lots of that stuff went to Harold Payson's "Instant Boats" upon Orrell's death. I have the packet of scattered sheets hiding on a shelf somewhere.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Bill, I got that book for my father for Christmas this past year. Hopefully he'll want to help me out building this boat.

    Dave, that's perfect. Good proportion of cabin to cockpit and his pictures give a great sense of scale! If I do end up going electric as I plan to, the batteries will probably fill the ballast role nicely. Also, please get out of my head... I was just musing about a curve to the sides or perhaps a more viking/clinker/lapstrake side. I guess with so many builders on a single design most ideas have been kicked round the block more than once.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFritz View Post
    . I guess with so many builders on a single design most ideas have been kicked round the block more than once.


    That's probably so.

    When I was making the transition from sail to power I developed a real liking for these boats and considered building one. It was not only a liking, but I would say an infatuation. Somewhere along the line though, I started questioning how it was that I became infatuated with certain forms, designs, materials, etc, that evolved or were developed by others to meet their specific needs and purposes, often specific to a past era. That's when I put aside my infatuation and decided that the boat probably didn't suit my real needs and wants (although I went back and forth on the issue several times). I still like the boats, but it's hard to say exactly why.

    This is not meant as discouragement, I appreciate your attraction to the type and I hope you build a nice looking St Pierre dory and I would love to see it. It's just that we seldom get to try out some of these designs before we build them, and building takes a lot of time. I hope you find just the right version, and that it meets all of your needs and wants. Best wishes to you.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    As long as your primary use is NOT to go sailing, build away. I have not owned a St. Pierre, but build a Banks Dory and adapted it to sail. Let's just say that any shape can be made to sail, but some just will never sail well.

    Good luck.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    It's fun to see how far some have gone with the St. Pierre theme:








    It was moored in Morro Bay for years, then up for sale and disappeared. I have the specs somewhere on some drive or other.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Just ordered the plans for a 23' St. Pierre from Instantboats.com. Now to get the backyard cleared... At least the wifey and kids want to help me build her!

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Good choice! Jay Benford has been around a long time and his plans are good. Post a picture every now and then as you progress.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    I found the big packet of study sheets. There's probably 20 different dory variants in there, here's the one you've chosen. It's interesting how young designers like Bolger, Benford, and others, back in the '60's would come up with all sorts of plans and sell the designs through various outlets.



  19. #19
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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    I got my plans yesterday and found myself slightly confused and maybe a little disappointed. The package was just an envelope which contained the study plan above and a full single blueprint sheet of the profiles and layout of the 23' SP. What it didn't have was a table of offsets or a similar set of info, so I guess that I'm going to have some work to do. That may be helped along when The Dory Book arrives (which is supposed to be saturday per USPS tracking). I will say that the blueprint page I got will look beautiful pinned up on a wall during construction.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    That blue print may discolor and fade if you expose it to bright light. I'm surprised that you didn't get more in the packet. About 20 years ago I ordered a 22 foot cabin skiff plan from Payson. The design was by Bolger and the packet included four blue print sheets, offsets, and an outline of over 50 numbered points describing materials, assembly, and finish. A lot for a very low price back then.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    Yeah, I was expecting a little more from the packet. Not a complete set of full-size plans mind you but at least the offsets and some kind of table with measurements and materials. I have to sit down with it and give it a good review rather than the 'Ooo Ooo Ooo, look what came in the mail' peep it got. I'll post a picture of it shortly.

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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    It's very helpful to others that you describe what you get in the packet. I don't imagine a lot of these plans are sold, and they must be kept in some sort of paper file folder. You might nicely ask the company if you got a complete packet, or if perhaps something might be missing.

    I can say the packet that I received for a Bolger design was complete in every way, no issues whatsoever, it would have been easy to bild from this plan (I never built this one). I've attached small sections of a couple of sheets below. You can see that details have find numbers which relate back to the written outline, wherein all detail are described. But who knows what the original agreements were back in the sixties as to what each designer would provide. Perhaps Benford didn't provide the same detail as Bolger? I hope you can sort things out for your build.




  23. #23
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    Default Re: St. Pierre Dory... For a greenhorn builder?

    So I took a closer look at the plan and all of the offsets and measurements are on there, tagged like in your example above. My quick look just didn't catch it, it is my first boat plan after all. Now to digest all of the information on it.

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