The Dory Shop

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

Stories from the The Dory Shop


Spring means it's time to build a dory!

A shot of the Dory Shop in Lunenburg UNESCO World Heritage TownHow has your winter gone? Everything started off great here in Lunenburg, but boy the last five weeks have thrown us all for a loop. More snow in this month than I can ever remember:  we just get snowstorm after snowstorm with no thaw. I am so very ready for spring to come and take all this snow and ice and slush away! And with thoughts of spring come thoughts of dory building classes…..

Maybe you’re a bit of a home handyman – you’ve built bookshelves or tables or picture frames or headboards and now it’s time to try something new. Maybe you are someone who has an interest in all things traditional and historic. Perhaps you have a love of the ocean, and it’s your greatest desire to one day sail off into the sunset in a boat you created with your own hands. Whatever it is that planted a boat building seed in your brain, if you are looking for a place to start then come to The Dory Shop this May and let our master dory builder Jay Langford guide you.

Dory Building Course at The Dory Shop in LunenburgLearn how to build a wooden boat in Lunenburg Nova Scotia

There are so many things to consider: which wood is the best wood to use? How can you ensure you get the most from the pieces you choose? What other materials are required: is there a better type of fastener; what do you do to prevent leaks; which type of paint is best? There are many questions that run through the heads of every new boat builder, and with over 30 years’ experience building dories, Jay the perfect person to answer those questions and tell you the ‘why’ and the ‘how’.

This May we will once again run our Handline Dory Building Course. Over two weeks our master dory builder will take you through the steps of building a traditional 17’ dory.

  • picking the best lumber and planing the planks
  • placing the dory base on the mould and installing stem & stern
  • installing the jigs around which the dory will be built – some of them dating back to the time of the original Bluenose
  • planking – lapstrake construction techniques
  • selecting, shaping and installing knees (frames)
  • constructing and installing gunwales, caps, breast plate, and more
  • creation of thwarts (seats)
  • priming and painting and more


dory class in lunenburg

By the end of the second week the dory will be read for an official launching at the Dory Shop beach.

This enjoyable, informative (at times entertaining) course will begin on Monday May 18th and run until Friday May 29th in our century-old shop on the waterfront of Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is open to men and women ages 18 and up.  Just six spots are available; a number selected to provide unparalleled instruction time and as much hands-on building as possible.

The class is designed for those with basic woodworking skills.


Lunenburg waterfront

Course fees are $950 and include all materials and tools along with hearty weekday lunches at a nearby inn and breaktime snacks. 

For more information, please email The Dory Shop or phone us at 902 640-3005.