The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 | info@doryshop.com

Stories from the The Dory Shop


"I've spent more happy hours here than anywhere else in my life."

"In the last seven years of my life since I’ve been hanging out here, I’ve spent more happy hours here than anywhere else in my life." Billy Campbell speaking about The Dory Shop

A dulsing dory for Grand Manan

As explained in a post about a wooden boat we built earlier this year, there is a modification that can be made to the transom of a Banks dory that allows the boat to carry an outboard motor directly from the stern. We call the dories that have this feature Grand Manan dories as the modification has historically been most popular with dulse harvesters from this small but colorful island in the Bay of Fundy.

A perfect ten(der)

A few years ago, Jay brought a little rowing tender into the boatyard. It was one he had made for his beloved boat, the David Stevens-built Mora (now a schooner, then cutter rigged). The little boat was a stunning craft fashioned from steam-bent planks all neatly riveted in place. I can’t tell you how many people stopped to ask if that boat was for sale (it wasn’t) or what it would cost to build one. Suffice to say there were a lot of inquiries. And each time someone asked Jay would groan to think about all those rivets, preferring the much quicker clinch nails we were still using to build dories.

Stop and smell the cedar

Jay is still working away on a lovely steam-bent Alaskan Yellow Cedar dinghy for the Schooner Martha Seabury. It’s a much fussier project than a Banks dory, which planks up lickety-split using nice, wide planks fashioned from pine with no need for a steam box.

What a day at The Dory Shop!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am one hell of a proud Lunenburger. But let me tell you, to stand in the boatyard yesterday watching a handsome wooden schooner slide down the ways (not without a little hitch but that only added to the excitement!), well, to say I was proud does not tell the half of it. We’re a little town here, and we have this amazing history and heritage (significant enough that the United Nations recognized it). But it is moments like this – a real present day moment involving real people whom I have watched, assisted in only the most minor capacity and I suppose, some days harrassed as they crafted this vessel, the Martha Seabury, and her as-yet-unnamed twin, through two damp, cold Nova Scotia winters, using skill sets that many consider forgotten – that somehow marry this seaport town’s proud past with sincere hope for the future and I truly could not be prouder.

Join us for a schooner launch!

The Dory Shop Boatyard’s a hopping place this week as we complete all of the last-minute details for the launch of the first of our twin schooners, the Martha Seabury. The big event is slated for Tuesday, August 7 at noon and everyone’s invited to join us.

Dory Plug’s in love again

They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here goes. I, Dory Plug, have a problem. Please don’t just me too harshly. I’m not really the philandering type but, well, I do tend to fall in love with every new boat we build.

Motor dory for Maine

Jay’s hard at work on a new dory. Or trying to be. There are a lot of tourists strolling along the Lunenburg waterfront on this beautiful sunny day and while we enjoy having an open shop, it can make it a little hard to get to the job at hand.

Dory class outings

Participants in our spring dory course have been working so hard, we figured it was time they got out of The Dory Shop and visited a few of our neighbours in the greater Lunenburg marine trades community. First, it was off to the beehive that is the Michele Stevens Sailloft in Second Peninsula.

A little story about dory knees

The Hatts were here yesterday with our spring shipment of Hackmatack dory knees. Naturally grown frames, or knees as they are known in dories, are the defining feature of a Lunenburg-built Banks dory. While other ports built their frames using pieces of wood fastened together with a patented metal clip, ours are cut from a single piece of wood. They are not steamed, nor bent, but instead are cut from the lower trunk and roots of the very strong and rot resistant Hackmatack tree. For four generations the Hatt family has supplied The Dory Shop with this critical building material. Edgar Hatt, shown above, began cutting knees with his father Arthur and his grandfather. He now works in the woods with his son.

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