The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 |

Stories from the The Dory Shop

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.

ImageWell, we don’t build dories with clinch nails any longer — we would but we cannot find a source for a consistent quality product. As a result Jay’s riveting all the time. And when it came time to discuss a tender for the first of Dawson Moreland & Associate’s twin schooners, the Martha Seabury, everyone involved was of agreement that while dories are wonderful (owner Billy Campbell has spent a lot of time in them too, most recently shooting the feature film, The Disappeared, premiering at the Atlantic Film Festival next week), their double-ended shape causes them to take up a lot of deck space, making a dory somewhat impractical for the role.

We discussed other options including a few prams. But Ollie is a big, tall fella’, and even our prams – built with solid plank and extra frames – seemed a little light weight. That’s when Jay mentioned Mora‘s tender. It seemed the perfect choice.

ImageExtending his original moulds, Jay created a boat that is just a bit larger than her older sister, measuring 10′ 7″ feet loa and a beam of 4′ 3″. The boat is beautifully made from Alaskan Yellow Cedar left over from planking the hulls of the twin schooners, exquisitely shaped with the help of a steam box.

Billy’s been clear all along that when it came to his schooner, he didn’t want a lot of prissy finish work to maintain, preferring paint finishes, also more in line with the vessel’s workboat past. Such is basically the same for his tender, though he agreed the slotted gunwale, sheer plank and transom, all made from the Tropical wood Dilo, could be coated with a matte varnish. The interior is treated with Black Varnish –  a superb contrast to her white exterior.

We think she’s a perfect complement to the schooner she’ll serve. But judge here for yourself!

Dory Plug