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Thread: Grand Banks Dory.

  1. #1
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    Default Grand Banks Dory.

    I am contemplating building a grand banks dory that would be about 18-20' long.

    I would like to stick to solid wood and stay away from epoxy and plywood. I figure on a splined bottom so it could live on a trailer. WRC planking and white oak or PT SYP for the frames and stem.

    Ideally would be used with a low powered outboard and sailable.

    Could anyone point me to some plans that might work?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    John Gardner's Dory Book
    Happiness is worth waiting for!

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    There are many designs to choose from. The Freda M Himmelmann from Atkin might fill your needs.

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/

    Epoxy-ply would be my choice for a boat that lives on a trailer.
    Last edited by TerryLL; 08-28-2008 at 07:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Tell us what you plan to do with this boat -- carry how many passengers / how much cargo, what waters you'll boat in, how important sailing is, etc.

    I've owned two solid-planked dories, a Banks and my current Chamberlain dory skiff, along with two ply sailboats and a larger glass sailboat.

    There is a TON of mis-information and glorification about Banks dories -- the design was very specific for smaller boats that were stackable on deck, rowed for propulsion, and were loaded heavily with fish. Think "mini-pickup truck" for an analogy in the automotive world...

    The problem with a 20' Banks dory is that it is getting close to being too large to row except under the most quiet conditions, so you'll be motoring or sailing most of the time.

    Yes, they can sail -- but not as well as other dory (or similar) designs of the same size and materials. Yes, they can motor -- but with an outboard in a well, and slowly. If you don't like being that close to the noise and exhaust, you'll want a boat with a transom-mount outboard.

    Banks dories can be a hot-button topic, and there are certainly those on this forum and amongst my boating friends who both row and sail the standard length versions - usually 16-18' . I expect we'll hear from 'em...

    ;0 )

    But we also see new builders who get all starry-eyed about the reputation of the Banks dory, and build one for rowing. Surprise -- it is too tender and hard to row without 300lbs of ballast (remember it was designed to haul codfish). Then decide they want to sail it, but find it too tender. They then sometimes end up adding outriggers or whatever -- so the result is not the Traditional Banks Dory of their dreams...

    So if you clearly understand the benefits and drawbacks of the Banks design and want to build -- great! But please look at your requirements and also consider some of the alternate traditional and modern designs that may serve your boating needs better.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Dare I ask, what does a Grand Banks Dory look like these days?

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Wow, I stirred the pot.

    I want to primarily sail and power...rowing is just to get away from the dock .

    I live in VA and would be boating in the Chesapeake, Potomac, lower Rappohannock. I have 5 boys from 3 to 16.

    This is also a Dad and kids project, and I want to keep them away from epoxy for health reasons. I also want to teach them some carpentry/wood working skills and want a planked wood boat that I don't have to perform compound cuts on the planks. I have doubts about my skills and patience at spiling planks. Most of the banks dories i have seen have a conical projection and this should minimize spiling.

    I figured with a splined bottom and double planked sides (overlapped plank seams) the boat wouldn't be too leaky if it lived on a trailer. I have located a local source of WRC at a reasonable price and I don't have to go out and buy a pallet of lumber at a time or wait a week for shipping.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Mike -

    Well, any trad boat will probably "make water" (aka "leak") a bit when trailer-sailed, but usually not to excess and not a problem unless your crew tends to panic if their feet get damp.

    There are a number of traditional designs that can also be built without epoxy, although you may want to also skip the trad red lead primer used to control rot if health is a primary issue. In Gardner's _Dory Book_ he gives many good designs that both meet your needs (sail and motor) and will be as easy to build -- the dory skiff being a good example. As suggested above some of the Atkin designs are also worth considering.


    SB -

    Just the same as it looked years ago -- why do you ask?



    Last edited by Thorne; 08-28-2008 at 11:30 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    What is the boat in the lower picture?

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Mike,

    It might be more productive if you posted a picture of the boat you would like to build, and we can offer advice and direction. If you don't know how to post photos, just say so and I'm sure someone will walk you through it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    I finished a 16 foot (12 ft bottom) Banks dory last year using the plans on DoryPlans.com. I found the instructions to be useful and had no problem. The only major difference from Gardner's design is the use of marine glue instead of nails. The glue worked well and has held up. I don't think I could have done it the old fashioned way.

    I used splined 1 inch Doug fir for the bottom and Western red cedar for the sides, with oak frames. I indulged with mahogany thwarts. I guess it weighs a couple of hundred pounds.

    It's a great boat, very stable and easy to row, despite all you may have heard to the opposite. I think it would be easy to stretch it to 18 feet.
    Last edited by Phil Dory; 08-29-2008 at 01:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    My brother and his Dory Shop Lunenburg dory. 12 feet on the bottom 16' overall.


    Photo by Barry Donahue.

    My guess is that the Dory in Thorne's lower picture is a 20' overall. Colors look the same.

    I'll second(third?) the Dory Book. Enough info there to build what you'd like.
    Adam

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    I owned a bank dory built by Gruenwald in Davenport from Chapelle's design in American Small Sailing Craft.

    I rowed that boat from Berkeley to Sausalito and back several times. I motored it out past the Golden Gate Bridge with a five horse seagull in the well.

    I hauled it to Alaska and motored from Juneau to Secret Cove where I spent the next half lifetime commercial fishing and living off the land. I hauled water in winter and venison from the beaches. I towed that dory behind my commercial trolling vessel through every kind of weather and she never shipped a drop. Well, not much more than a drop.

    Just last summer a young couple rowed the boat from Secret Cove to White Sulpher Hot Springs and return. An able vessel for sure.

    My comments: it's a pig to row in wind. You have to have trim ballast to control the powerful tendency to weathercock.

    It's burdensome and safe. It doesn't carry well in my opinion. You get about a boat length per stroke unless you get a little help from fair wind. And how often does that happen?

    An outboard in a well is, well, a mixed blessing. It makes a long range possible. It's less tiring to operate. But it's not a great motor boat either. It's slow. And when you redesign the dory so it isn't slow under power, it isn't a dory any more, is it?

    Dorys train their crews quickly and you settle into her routine. I hope you carry on the tradition...

    Grizz

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWinVA View Post
    Wow, I stirred the pot.

    I want to primarily sail and power...rowing is just to get away from the dock .

    I live in VA and would be boating in the Chesapeake, Potomac, lower Rappohannock. I have 5 boys from 3 to 16.
    This is what I'm talkin' about, guys. The Banks dory is designed for rowing. It is designed to be most stable when carrying a lot of ballast.

    This guy wants to fit possibly 6 persons in the boat, and either motor or sail.

    In my humble opinion, and despite owning and actively operating both a Banks and Chamberlain Dory Skiff, I don't think that a Banks dory is the best boat for sailing and motoring the waters he mentions.

    I'm not saying he can't do it, or that they'll all die -- just saying that he'd probably be better off building something with more reserve buoyancy aft, and possibly with more of a cockpit and maybe even fore- and side-decks.

    One of the larger sem-dory skiffs in Gardner's _Dory Book_ might be better -=- still a dory, but a much better sailboat / motorboat.


    http://www.oldwharf.com/projects-blog/blog.pl


    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/02/...llis/index.htm


    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/03/...fair/index.htm
    Last edited by Thorne; 08-29-2008 at 01:25 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    A dory-skiff sure seems like a better choice for what Mike has in mind. The bottom and garboard could be done in plywood and a non-epoxy glue and the top two planks done in solid lumber. A lot more boat there, with greater capacity.

    Here's another approach that came to mind:



    Pete Culler's Long John. All solid lumber, cross-planked bottom, lapped topsides on straight frames. A very conservative downwind sail plan, and easily pushed with a low-power outboard. And at almost 22 feet, plenty of room for those 5 boys.
    Last edited by TerryLL; 08-29-2008 at 04:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz_ View Post
    I owned a bank dory built by Gruenwald in Davenport from Chapelle's design in American Small Sailing Craft.
    Bill Grunwald (Aeolus boats) did take a bit of artists license with that Chapelle Dory.
    He knew the use would be pleasure, not cod fishing.
    Some of the deviations that I know of (aside from plywood) were that the bottom was narrowed for rowing ease and the sides were curved.
    He built by eye and the sheer was sweet. It used to astound me how he could do it.
    These were good boats in skilled hands. A couple of locals rowed one from Santa Cruz, Ca. to Alaska camping on the beach along the way...skilled hands.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Thorne

    Many of what are presented as traditional designs are unrecognizable, to me anyway, thought this one may be as well.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Just curious, but considering the intended uses, why not a sharpie instead.

    http://www.parker-marine.com/parker2_3.htm
    Still dreaming.....

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Where can I find Cullers plans? That is something along the line of what I am looking for.

    I have been down the sharpie path before...a Bolger design. Most of Parkers designs are ply and epoxy.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Mike,

    Mystic Seaport now holds Pete Culler's plan collection. However, they are not yet cataloged for online search. The plan set you're looking for is Mystic catalog number 128.41, and the title of the set is "21' outboard fishing/work boat Long John". It would be best if you contacted them directly by phone or email. Here's the link.

    http://library.mysticseaport.org/collections/ships.cfm

    In addition to the book Thorne suggested, you might also consider buying Skiffs and Schooners, also by Pete Culler. It has a good chapter on cross-planked bottoms.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Bill Grunwald (Aeolus boats) did take a bit of artists license with that Chapelle Dory.
    He knew the use would be pleasure, not cod fishing.
    Some of the deviations that I know of (aside from plywood) were that the bottom was narrowed for rowing ease and the sides were curved.
    He built by eye and the sheer was sweet. It used to astound me how he could do it.
    These were good boats in skilled hands. A couple of locals rowed one from Santa Cruz, Ca. to Alaska camping on the beach along the way...skilled hands.
    Actually the one I had was straight sided and looks substantially like the bank dorys in the photos above. It is plywood with glued laps on full length stringers. You could row that around the coastline of any continent. Hard to launch into surf tho if there's a strong under tow, but that's another dory story...

    Grizz

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Terry, the book Thorne listed contains the complete text of "Skiff and Schooners"



    I know it comes from a completely different design heritage but if I had five boys and were building a boat for those waters with Mike's other considerations I'd build a Caledonia Yawl.

    Steven

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    I've always thought this one from the Atkin drawing board was a beaut of a motor/sail dory:

    Pemaquid, a Banks dory with motor and sail.

    Very dory looking. Moves along nicely with 5 or 6 horsepower and the shallow ballast keel will provide stability and lateral resistance while still being easy to trailer launch and beach and as simple as possible to rig rigged with a single mast and standing-lug sail; no stay, no shrouds, a single halyard, : . http://www.boat-links.com/Atkinco/Sail/Pemaquid.html
    Last edited by JimD; 08-30-2008 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Terry, the book Thorne listed contains the complete text of "Skiff and Schooners"



    I know it comes from a completely different design heritage but if I had five boys and were building a boat for those waters with Mike's other considerations I'd build a Caledonia Yawl.

    Steven
    Steven,
    Thanks for that update. My Culler library dates from the 1970's and I wasn't aware the two books had been combined.

    The CY would be a good choice if it weren't for the fact Mike is anti epoxy, because of the toxicity issues. But if we start talking about really big bank-type dories like the Pemaquid (20'11"), then Culler's Cowhorn dory (26'6") and Chapelle's Cape Ann dory (23') should be thrown into the mix.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Two Cape Ann dories were built at the Apprenticeshop in the seventies and they were awful: slow, heavy, crowded, undercanvassed, and hard to row. (But if you want one to restore I can send pics.)

    Pete Culler's Dancing Feather with its numerous sail rigs would get you and your boys more bang for the buck and variety of experiences.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    ... Cape Ann dories....slow, heavy, crowded, undercanvassed, and hard to row.
    Absolutely right. I cruised this boat to Alaska from Seattle and it proved to be all of those things. But it was also reliable, predictable, and able to handle any weather I blundered into.


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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    I suppose it's a way to start a brawl, but a dory with a keel kind of defeats one useful feature of the dory bottom, the ability to slide off of wave crests or down their faces without tripping. I believe that's the reason there's no gripe under dorys, and I think once they have a keel they're more something else than dory.

    Only posted for information as not everyone is aware that the dory is known for NOT tripping in seas.

    Besides stacking issues if you berth your dory on a schooner's decks, and beaching issues if you berth your dory above the tide line.



    Regards,

    Grizz

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Grizz,

    My Cape Ann had neither keel, gripe, nor skeg, only the rudder and centerboard. Sailing downwind in big following seas she would surf contendedly down the wave face, wait patiently for the next wave to catch her, lift her stern, and take off again. Her cut-away forefoot never gave any hint of bow-steering, and I never once took water on the aft deck, or the foredeck either. In quartering or beam seas she would just lean away from the waves and roll up and over. I can't imagine a keel would have improved her performance. And she did draw only 10", board up.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryLL View Post
    Grizz,

    My Cape Ann had neither keel, gripe, nor skeg, only the rudder and centerboard. Sailing downwind in big following seas she would surf contendedly down the wave face, wait patiently for the next wave to catch her, lift her stern, and take off again. Her cut-away forefoot never gave any hint of bow-steering, and I never once took water on the aft deck, or the foredeck either. In quartering or beam seas she would just lean away from the waves and roll up and over. I can't imagine a keel would have improved her performance. And she did draw only 10", board up.
    You had an outstanding boat and made a great voyage in her. Your description of her seakindliness echoes my memories. Predictable I think you said. A great attribute for a boat to have. Inspires confidence.

    What was your destination in Alaska?

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Dory with center board and rudder? Perhaps cabin and ballast? When does it cease to be a dory?

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz_ View Post
    What was your destination in Alaska?

    When I left Seattle I had intended to settle in Port Alexander, but continued on up to Sitka. Stayed there for 25 years and last year moved to northern Idaho. I don't miss the rain, but the tides on the lake here are pretty wimpy, and none of the fish are keepers.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by S B View Post
    Dory with center board and rudder? Perhaps cabin and ballast? When does it cease to be a dory?
    SB,
    I'm kind of confused by your posts in this thread, and on another thread, about what constitutes a "dory". I was under the impression that the historical use of the name derived from having a flat bottom laid fore and aft, as opposed to a sharpie, which had a flat bottom cross-planked. With modern materials, this distinction is lost, with plywood dories and plywood sharpies sharing similar construction characteristics.

    Rudders, centerboards, cabins, and ballast were all used on historical dories since at least the mid 1800's, perhaps earlier.

    I'm very interested in dory history and evolution of the type in general. If you have some perspective on what constitutes a true dory, I'd love to hear it.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryLL View Post
    SB... I'm kind of confused by your posts in this thread, and on another thread, about what constitutes a "dory". I was under the impression that the historical use of the name derived from having a flat bottom laid fore and aft, as opposed to a sharpie, which had a flat bottom cross-planked. With modern materials, this distinction is lost, with plywood dories and plywood sharpies sharing similar construction characteristics.
    There's more to it than construction style. Others may see it differently, but I understand the two types as having different proportions.

    If you compared a banks dory to a sharpie with the same overall beam, the dory would have a more narrow bottom and more flare in the topsides. From what I've seen, those two points are the key distinction. In most cases the dory would also be longer. Most sharpies have a much wider transom compared to the "tombstone" stern typical on dories, but there are some double-ended sharpies.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 08-30-2008 at 11:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Paskey View Post
    There's more to it than construction style. Others may see it differently, but I understand the two types as having different proportions.

    If you compared a banks dory to a sharpie with the same overall beam, the dory would have a more narrow bottom and more flare in the topsides. From what I've seen, those two points are the key distinction. In most cases the dory would also be longer. Most sharpies have a much wider transom compared to the "tombstone" stern typical on dories, but there are some double-ended sharpies.
    Well, just considering dories as a group. In that group there are boats as different as the Gloucester Gull and the Alden Indian. And on the edges of the group are the batteau and the sharpie.

    What are the characteristics that make a dory a dory? What feature puts the Gull and the Indian in the same family? Is it their roots, some aspect of their construction, some balance of proportion and dimension, amount of flare, bottom rocker, or transom angle? Is it all of these things? I don't know. But I do know a dory when I see one.

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    Default Re: Grand Banks Dory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz_ View Post
    I suppose it's a way to start a brawl, but a dory with a keel kind of defeats one useful feature of the dory bottom, the ability to slide off of wave crests or down their faces without tripping. I believe that's the reason there's no gripe under dorys, and I think once they have a keel they're more something else than dory.

    Only posted for information as not everyone is aware that the dory is known for NOT tripping in seas.

    Besides stacking issues if you berth your dory on a schooner's decks, and beaching issues if you berth your dory above the tide line.



    Regards,

    Grizz
    Grizz, I suppose you are correct. But the poster says he wants to use it mainly for motor and sail, not bobbing around on the water, catching fish, and rowing for lack of a better way to get to and from the mother ship. Kinda sounds like he wants something that looks like a Banks dory but won't be used anything like a banks dory. There are numerous simple flat bottomed, slab sided ballast keel dory hulled sailing vessels with proven seaworthiness. So the hull form works very well as a sailboat but still the lateral resistance has to come from somewhere.
    Last edited by JimD; 08-31-2008 at 10:07 AM.

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