The Dory Shop

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

Stories from the The Dory Shop

Pirate dories

We’ve always thought our boats were things to be treasured. Well, now we’ve got confirmation from the folks who know booty best! I’m talking pirates of the oh-so-currently-hot film and television variety.

Firstly, there’s Pirates of the Caribbean, one of the biggest movie franchises in history. We actually had dories in all three films. In fact, if you remember when you first meet Jack Sparrow in the original movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, he’s standing atop the rigging of what turns out to be a dory, revealed when he jumps down to begin bailing. What follows is pure Hollywood fiction. That is, the dory progressively sinks until Jack is able to step from the yardarm to the dock. NEVER, we say! The scene has been listed as one of the most memorable entrances in film history.

The dory used in that scene was actually one built for the movie Mask of Zorro, so apparently Hollywood, like everyone else, is trying to be green and recycle. Later in the film, Capt. Jack is knocked out cold when Will Turner clocks him with one of our oars.

Before the filming of Pirates II and III, which were shot consecutively, we received an additional order for an 11-foot bottom sailing dory, as well as some more oars. We looked for this new dory during Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest but didn’t catch a glimpse of it and so wondered if it would appear in Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World’s End. You can imagine our surprise and excitement then when after three hours in the theatre, with the story lines all wrapping up, this dory finally makes its appearance in very possibly the loveliest footage of a dory under sail that’s ever been shot (and that’s without factoring in that it is Johnny Depp in the boat!). Yes, there was our little Black Rocks dory running along under gaff, main and jib, ferrying Capt. Jack to his next big adventure. Can you say Pirates IV, anyone?

Then, just days after seeing Pirates III, we all tuned in our televisions to watch the premiere of Emmy Award-winning producer and Survivor creator Mark Burnett’s latest epic reality series, Pirate Master. Currently airing Thursday nights on CBS, the show stars our friendly neighbourhood pirate barque, the Picton Castle. Plus, when the show’s producers and art people came to Lunenburg to check out the ship last fall, Capt. Dan convinced them they needed a couple of trawl dories (wasn’t hard, as I recall) to use in their various pirate challenges. I actually overlooked these boats when I first saw a promotional clip for the show about a month ago. How you ask? Well, they’ve got them done up so fancy in black and red paint with scroll work on the bow, I just didn’t recognize them. Plus, in the show, they row them four people to a side with paddles, not oars (also supplied by us to their spec). It’s a bit odd looking if you ask us. But hey, they’re the TV experts. We just build boats … for pirates.

Dory Plug
The Dory Shop
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada