The Dory Shop

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

Build a dory with us!

Every year we hear from a number of people who are building dories at home. And why not? They are great boats and a fairly straight forward project to build. Still, many people confide that though they’d love to build a dory, and may even have had a set of plans kicking around for a few years, they just aren’t sure they’d know enough to complete the job. And let’s face it, who wants a half-built dory taking up space in the garage for the next 10 years?

That’s why we’re offering dory building courses, right here in our shop on the Lunenburg waterfront. We are holding two courses in 2017 (May 15 - 26, and October 16-27) and will have space for up to six people per course. This number was selected to provide unparalleled instruction time and also provide as much hands-on building as possible. We will not hold the course without a minimum of four students to ensure the dory is completed and launched within the two-week timeframe and the participants don't miss any part of the building process from start to finish.

We are happy to announce that our courses will again be led by veteran sailor and boat builder Gary (Bub) Dares who has built and assisted in building a wide range of wooden vessels ranging from small skiffs, dories of all shapes and size, a Scandinavian Faering boat, the Lunenburg Twin Schooner project and even a dory chair which is to be in the Schooner Lounge of the Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship. Bub honed his boatbuilding skills at Jack Tar Marine, where he worked for seven years, and spent two years in Bermuda working for West End Yachts. He is also a Dory Shop veteran, building his first dory 20 years ago with past owner/builder Kim Smith. Since then he has assisted on many Dory Shop projects and as well has assisted and lead dory building courses. He is keen to share his experience and knowledge and the skills required to build a dory, and makes each class a fun and learning experience for all involved.

As part of the course, you will build a traditional Banks dory. This dory will be sold to class participants at a significantly reduced price at the end of the course; all interested participants may enter a draw for this opportunity. If all six students have an interest in owning her, your chances will be 1 in 6!

The class is designed for those with basic woodworking skills. You needn’t be a cabinet maker but should be familiar with basic hand tools. All tools used in construction will be provided. Students will not be using power tools

During your time in Lunenburg we hope to visit other marine businesses including a sailloft and block shop. This will depend on scheduling and interest, both on your part and the part of the businesses involved.

The cost of the course is $950 (plus hst); and includes hearty daily lunches (Monday to Fridays) and breaktime refreshments.  Additional information and applications are available by calling 902 640-3005 or emailing You can also download our application form and email, post or fax(1-902-634-9985) it in!


Build a Lunenburg DoryLearn to build a dory in Lunenburg