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Thread: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

  1. #1
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    Default Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    The Nahant dory, shown in one of John Gardner's books, seems to be the cousin of the round-sided Swampscott and the Lowell surf-dory, by all accounts decent sailers. I have been looking for a ~17 foot (overall) sailing dory to have built, and the Nahant was recommended to me, with the addition of rudder and centerboard. However, I note that it is narrower than the Lowell surf-dory (it is about 4 feet beam). In Gardner's book he details a rowing design, but says nothing of sailing applications. Is anybody familiar with this boat, or know of sailing versions?

    My intention for this boat is to bring up to 4 adults rowing (usually two or three, though) and up to two adults sailing (for those days I want a break from my outrigger sailing canoe). I am a little familiar with dorys, having previously owned a round-sided but short (12 feet OA) dory skiff from Lowells BoatShop and having rowed others. Thanks for any ideas/info. -- Wade

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Just don't tie off the sheet and turn up into the wind in a gust. It will be like every small boat.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Dories typically have a narrow waterline beam, and a 17' x 4' dory would exemplify this. Narrow beam means a tender boat, but fast. I don't have any information on the Nahant dory, but I would suggest that you opt for a steel centreboard for its inherent ballast weight when down, and put a low-aspect rig in it (a gaff or lug rig would be ideal) so that the sail area has a low centre of effort.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    I own a Dion Swampscott with similar dimensions. She sails on her ear and two would be maximum sailing, unless children are included. I don't mind the heeling, but others have found it alarming.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Some would hate the idea, but perhaps sponsons would make it more possible. You may be able to do better than these, although they do look to be pretty durable.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Here's an old thread that supports the concept with some good ideas.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...for-Stability&

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    http:http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/a...attach/jpg.gif My boat has the same bottom as a Swampscot Dory and also 3 strakes above . The transom is much wider and the stem more vertical.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    http:http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/a...attach/jpg.gif My boat has the same bottom as a Swampscot Dory and also 3 strakes above . The transom is much wider and the stem more vertical.
    --- Nice boat -- but the transom gives the hull of this boat more power to stand up, than the Nahant dory. -- Wade

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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Thanks, Wade

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    dories.lunenb.1955.jpgHere are Lunenburg Nova Scotia banks dories, still being used commercially as late as the 1950s. Sprit sail area was meager. It was a long swim back to the schooner.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    I suppose the question relates to the expectations of the enquirer.Compared to a 505 of similar length,it can hardly get out of it's own way.It may move through the water given a breeze-what do you expect?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    First, I eagerly take this opportunity to disagree with Michael. Live ballat (you and any crew) good. Dead ballast bad.

    Dories are quirky. Traditional banks dories are harder to row light but get 500# or so aboard and she settles in. The more round sided types, Swampscott, my gunning dory, the Nahant if I remember it correctly, have little initial stability when light by my gunning dory "Leeward" could handle my 230# strolling the gunnel without shipping water.

    I don't think you can fit four rowing stations, if that's what you mean. Put in three. One dead amidships which puts your weight forward of amidships to nicely balance one passenger in the stern, and then rowing stations fore and aft of that. Plan it right and those will be spots of identical beam and you can row with two people using the same length oars. If you try to add a third in the center station, it will be too close for comfortable rowing and you'll need a slightly longer pair of oars to keep pace with the other two.

    These dories can row fast when light. They hit a "hull speed" wall when laden but if you are content with a gentle walking pace you can do that all day long with ease.

    The narrow stern makes them less than gallant sailors. But they make up for that in wonderful seaworthiness.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Thanks for the responses. My main concern was that the Nahant seemed a bit narrow to sail with non-salty passengers, perhaps even less initially tender than something like a Lowell surf-dory, which I believe is more like 5 foot beam to the Nahant's 4 foot beam. Perhaps it would make little difference. I would not sail with non-salty passengers in anything projected be lively or dramatic.

    For myself, I can deal with a tender sail boat well enough, but I have been tossing around ideas for a second boat to let people come with me once in a while, something with easy set-up time. (My personal solo preference tends toward outrigger sailing canoes. Sure, I could build a 20 foot outrigger that would take one or two passengers, such as the Tamanu (Gary Dierking design) which is somewhere on my schedule, but for the sake of variety I wanted a monohull for the second boat.

    I would not intend to row with four people rowing. Here, in just the rowing mode, I would want two adults to be able to row (third station for single rower, yes) , with something to do for child who is easily bored and wants something to do (who can blame him?). He might steer, or be given one of the rowing stations as growth and tendency permit. When I mentioned four people, I was thinking of those uncommon times when I had visitors who expressed an interest in an afternoon diversion on the lake -- and then just for rowing, and only two would be rowing -- though I think this would be rare indeed. Two adults, or two adults and a child would be far more likely. I wanted something built locally, and I have worked with Lowell's Boatshop in the past, and I also know another dory builder on Cape Ann, and thus the exploring of the potential for a round-sided dory as a versatile sail-and-oar boat that would fit in my small garage for storage (limiting me to a 17-18 foot boat). I am sorry if my initial description was not clear. -- Wade

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Nahant Dory, could it sail well?

    Dories are small boats for their length, which may be why some old timers judged their length by the length of the bottom rather than overall length. Keep that in mind in terms of capacity.

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