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Thread: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

  1. #1
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    Default Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I still would love to build a boat one day, but current circumstances make that impossible. So rather than go another few seasons boatless, I decided to buy one. After much contorted gyration about which boat that would be best for me, I finally found one and pulled the trigger.

    I've never been that salty, doing most of my sailing in protected lakes, and rigor mortis has set in to whatever sea legs I had, but I'm looking forward to the journey to get them back. It's been suggested that I "Switch to Hempex®, get into splicing and Matthew Walker knots. Leathering, whippings, seizings, parrel beads and Turks Heads will take the appearance and sensation of a traditional watercraft to another dimension!"

    I'm going to have lots of questions.

    As the title says, it's a 1994 16' Lowell Sailing Surf Dory. I still need to make the 13hr excursion to pick her up, but here are some pics from the original owner.


    00m0m_e6kAePz13Gd_1200x900.jpg

    00T0T_lLWby3ziRkJ_1200x900.jpg
    00a0a_bI6wCF315HU_1200x900-1.jpg
    00t0t_60cegJ0sHxH_1200x900.jpg

    00U0U_diXdCoVrp5d_1200x900.jpg
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-21-2019 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    One more and some details about the boat. It obviously has spent more time in the garage than the water, but I'm hoping to change that.

    01616_dIwv2wezVOC_1200x900.jpg


    Includes all manufacturer's and suppliers' receipts, build photos.

    Specifications:

    Mast: 13' 6"
    Lug: 8' 9"
    Sail Area: 88 Sq. Ft.
    LOA: 16'
    Length Bottom: 12'
    Beam Overall: 61 1/2"
    Side Planking: 5 5/8"
    Bottom Planking: 7/8"
    Transom: 1"
    Seats: 7/8"
    Frames: 4 7/8"
    Weight: ~300 lbs

    Details:

    Lowell 16' Sailing Surf Dory includes bow and stern lockers, fully rigged lug mainsail with reef point ties, sitka spruce mast and spars, side and stern mahogany seats, mahogany thwarts, mahogany transom, mahogany rails, pine strakes between top strake and garboards, outside painted "Cape Cod" dark green with red on bottom and garboards, beige paint on inside, remainder of boat finished "bright" with Deks Oljie, sculling notch, and three rowing positions.

    Options:

    · Deluxe package (mahogany top strake and copper rivets)
    · Bow chocks and cleat for anchor
    · Jib sail with rigging
    · Retractable (haul-up) surf rudder
    · Two pairs of 8' spruce oars (made by Water Power)
    · One 9' Sculling oar
    · Two pair of removable horseshoe style bronze oarlocks
    · Removable thwart for aft rowing position
    · Hold-down grommet for sculling oar
    · Boot stripe on outside paint (white)
    · Upgraded high-spec sailing line
    · Custom Sunbrella covers: boat cover with wood cradles, mast cover, sail cover, anchor cover

    Trailer Details:

    Custom designed trailer designed by Tennessee Trailer (gloss black with white stripe).
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-21-2019 at 06:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    That sure is a nice piece of work. You'll want to haul and launch in the dark to avoid the crowds.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Wonderful boat. I had the near cousin, a Chamberlain gunning dory, and found that the type is not a brilliant sailer but is a bot that will take you there and bring you back. Hard to top that.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I was contemplating it's opposite for a long time...a nice wooden Thistle. A "brilliant sailer", but not as practical for my use. When I get an opportunity to get out, I want to be able to go wind or nil, crew or single-handed. At 280#+, she won't be a speed demon sail or oar, but I'm hoping she'll be a nice civil ride.

    I have the makings for a Goat Island Skiff sailing rig: mast, boom, yard and canvas. If I felt the need, I could add 105sqft boomed mainsail. But let's see how this goes first. I've never sailed a boomless main before. With the mainsheet rigged off the transom, it will sure make for less clutter.

    I'm looking forward to getting acquainted and a bit nervous. It's my first wooden boat. I feel like a parent bringing home the first baby. I'm afraid I'll break it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    It will take some fiddling to get halyard positioned on the spar right. I'd also be tempted to experiment with a 'sprit-boom'. I just hate the way a boomless mainsail with centerline sheeting curls.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Congrats!
    That is a very beautiful boat. The flat bottom gives you the advantage of beach-ability. And the lug rig should be quick to rig.

    Where will you be using her?

    You might decide you want longer oars, otherwise she looks perfect. And you should definitely learn to us the sculling notch. It's fun, useful and Wicked Salty!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    It will take some fiddling to get halyard positioned on the spar right. I'd also be tempted to experiment with a 'sprit-boom'. I just hate the way a boomless mainsail with centerline sheeting curls.
    I would likely try that first. I would have to find an appropriate fitting for the snotter. Might be a good opportunity to contact Lowell and let them know ownership has been passed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    Where will you be using her?
    I'll most likely park her at my local reservoir, Spruce Run in Hunterdon Cty, NJ. I'll get my feet wet and work her out there. But it's notorious for low water levels come August and I'll bring it up to Lake Hopatcong and Lake Nockimixon in PA. They both have big sailing communities and would appreciate her. I need to make a trip to Raritan Bay as well and try some salt water and bigger seas. It's too late for this year's SRR, but I'll be making plans for next year.

    I remember many summers ago going out on a friends 19' fishing boat. It was 11am and we were heading to Sandy Hook. We had failed to notice that every other vessel on the bay, including the deep sea fishing boats were heading in the opposite direction! As we came around the hook we found out why. Suddenly we were in 8-10' seas, trying to figure out how we were going to turn around. I'm sure there is a name for the maneuver, but we came about at the trough of the next wave, completing the turn by the crest and surfed that wave all the way back to more settled waters. It was a most fun ride!
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-22-2019 at 09:18 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Nice boat! We had a Lowell skiff when I was a kid and I spent many hours rowing her. And the Lowell shop is definitely worth a visit.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Nice boat! We had a Lowell skiff when I was a kid and I spent many hours rowing her. And the Lowell shop is definitely worth a visit.
    I need one of those. I own a coffee roastery and bar in New Hope, PA.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Cohen View Post
    I need one of those. I own a coffee roastery and bar in New Hope, PA.
    Ah, then yes you do. It's my favorite cup. A good size, well-shaped, nice weight. And it has a dory on the side. What more could you want?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    The sprit boom is as simple as seizing a bit of line on one end for the tack and a loop under to accept the sheet shackle. The other end taper to a blunt point about 1/4 diameter and make a nice tight eye splice you can jam on to that. A round turn and tautline hitch holds it to the mast.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I just had a thought...I'll be driving this back from TN to NJ. 13+ hours and the weather's looking kind. Should it be shrink-wrapped? I was think the cover would be enough, but maybe not. Maybe just remove the cover and tie the gear down.

    Also, I'm thinking about re-rigging with Hempex and was looking at this line guide from Sailrite: https://www.sailrite.com/PDF/Rope%20...mendations.pdf

    It's showing 5/16" lines for halyards and sheets for boats up to 20'. Maybe 3/8" for sheets? I've never handled Hempex.
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-22-2019 at 05:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I towed a pine dory from NH to Long Island, a much shorter trip with just a good cover. I've towed a ply lap dory to Cape Cod and the Eastern Shore of MD. A well secured cover is fine. Make sure the sails are snugly furled and tied, or put them in the car.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Boat looks great--I hope you enjoy sailing it.

    From what I can see in the photos, the attachment point for the halyard to the yard needs to be moved. Right now it's quite a bit too close to the heel of the yard--needs to be closer to the center, maybe around 40%?

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Boat looks great--I hope you enjoy sailing it.

    From what I can see in the photos, the attachment point for the halyard to the yard needs to be moved. Right now it's quite a bit too close to the heel of the yard--needs to be closer to the center, maybe around 40%?
    I thought the yard position a bit in no-man's land, but according to this pic and the leather protector, it appears that's the position Lowell intended:

    00x0x_hlZLHtc4UHv_1200x900.jpg
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-22-2019 at 10:56 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Did some calculations for center position oars...looks like 9.5'ers would do the trick. A trip to the lumber yard is in order.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    This rabbit hole goes deep...


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Lovely! Congratulations! My first boat was her 11 foot cousin (same semi-rounded sides, but cut off with a transom at 11 feet OA). It seems the yard needs to be re-laced to the sail (according to your photos) to even tension out -- or perhaps I mean, the halyard-method of attachment has to re-routed somehow? Also, install under-thwart airbags or you will probably never recover this boat from a capsize if there is any wind or chop (yes, I have experience). --Wade

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Cohen View Post
    I thought the yard position a bit in no-man's land, but according to this pic and the leather protector, it appears that's the position Lowell intended:

    00x0x_hlZLHtc4UHv_1200x900.jpg
    I wouldn't assume that--it sure looks off to me. If you attach the halyard farther up the yard toward the tip, I think you will find the sail sets better. I'd be interested in seeing if others here agree, but that's what I think when I see that photo, and the other photo in post #2 that shows the whole sail. Easy enough to fix, though.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Nice looking boat, but the rig looks like a the kind if disaster that makes people conclude that traditional boats don’t sail well. It might be no wonder that she spent so much time in the barn. Good news is that making spars and sails are the fun part of boatbuilding.
    SHC

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Alan if it were me I would tow it without a cover of any kind. Highway speeds and a cover can combine to make a lot of chafe on a boats finish. When you arrive at your destination just give her a good bath and dry her off with towels. She'll be good as new.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I was going coverless, but the seller already shrink-wrapped her! We’re half-way home.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    After a 26 hour road trip, The eagle has landed. It's hard to believe this is a 25 year old boat & trailer. It looks new. Original paint.

    IMG_1557.jpg
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-27-2019 at 07:04 AM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Everything was packed quite well.

    IMG_1545.jpg


    Included with the purchase is a box containing all the paints and finishes used on the boat:

    IMG_1565.jpg

    Lot of extra lines, Harken hardware and a nice unused anchor:

    IMG_1570.jpg

    A construction pic:

    IMG_1573.jpg

    The sail plan. Apparently the main itself is 88sqft. The jib adds a bit more.

    IMG_1578.jpg
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-27-2019 at 07:43 AM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    I also received a copy of Small Boat Journal from 11/85 with an article on the Lowell SSD:

    IMG_1575.jpg

    And WB Number 106 with the story of the Lowell Boat shop:

    IMG_1576.jpg

    Interesting highlight:
    IMG_1577.jpg

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Excellent.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    First things first, she needs to be restrung:

    IMG_1571.jpg

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Beautiful.

    Make sure the towing vehicle has good mudflaps to minimize stones/gravel/etc being flung up and chipping the hull paint.

    Alternatively rig a mat on the forward section to protect hull when towing.

    EDIT : Oops. I see it is already home.
    I live and drink rum where other people vacation.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Good tip. There are mud flaps on the Pilot, but they're not very long.

    Some more pics:

    IMG_1558.jpg
    IMG_1559.jpg
    IMG_1560.jpg
    IMG_1561.jpg
    IMG_1563.jpg

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    The registration numbers are painted on the sheer strake. Not sure what I'm going to do about getting them off without gunking up the finish.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Make a trailboard to hold your new number and screw it over the old number.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Got her rigged-up in the driveway. No surprises. Nice bronze oarlocks and an 8' and 8-1/2' pair of oars along with a sculling oar.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Alan Cohen; 06-28-2019 at 08:54 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Lowell Sailing Surf Dory 16'

    Nice package. You are probably aware that dories seem pretty tiddly initially but pick up stability quickly as they are heeled. You may want to make a longer tiller for single handling. Dories like to be balanced so you will want to be nearly amidships when sailing solo.

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