The Dory Shop

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

Stories from the The Dory Shop

Building & Racing & Dories & Whatnot

Can it be that an entire year has gone by already? It’s hard to believe, but it was a year ago I suggested you all make your way to Lunenburg because the dories were coming to town for the International Races. The Canadian elimination races were held last weekend, and the Internationals will be on 22 August – less than two weeks away. I’ll be there to watch it all and take some photos and videos – keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for the results. It really is a fun day, and if you haven’t been to see them before I really think you should try to come and be a part of it all.

Fortune Bay Dory at Lunenburg's Dory ShopThese past few months have been quite busy for The Dory Shop. We built a beautiful Fortune Bay dory for the television show Reign. I’m strictly forbidden from releasing any details on how our dory will be used, but I for one cannot wait to see her in her very important role.  There is also the possibility we will build a Faroese fishing boat which will be used in a movie (my family comes from the Faroe Islands, so this would be extra exciting for me). We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

New Dory at Lunenburg's Dory Shop

In addition to a few smaller builds (a Little Sister and a Black Rocks) we have just finished a Handline which will soon be shipped to Hong Kong – a first ever for the Dory Shop! We also had a dory show up on our doorstep that wasn’t very well looked after and needed some TLC. This might be a good time to remind all you wooden boat owners (whether you think you need reminding or not) how incredibly important care is. Wooden boats have a kind of beauty other types of boats simply don’t possess (at least in my opinion), but with ownership comes responsibility. Every year from the day you get her, she needs your attention and you should never let a year go by without giving her a very thorough going over with sandpaper and paint. If you ever would like some advice in caring for your dory, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. There’s nothing sadder than a wooden boat sitting somewhere, neglected and slowly turning to dust.

Something else interesting happened this summer. Within a few weeks of posting the dates for our Autumn dory building course, six people contacted me and signed up. Just like that the class was filled. Since then I have had a few people really disappointed that they will be missing out (I’m sure you can see where this is headed…) so we have decided to run a second course this Autumn which will start on Monday 2 November and finish up on Friday 13 November.  If you would like more information on what we will cover in this course let me know and I’ll send along the course plan and an application.

Finally – we would like to put a question to you. We have been putting together an interesting collection of pre-WWII commercial wooden boats. Why, you might ask. Well, building historic wooden boats is our passion. Jay has been building dories for over 30 years, and there are many little tricks and techniques he has picked up over the years which are not written down anywhere but simply live within his skills. This is perhaps true of all wooden boat builders: their skills and ideas are learned over time and passed down to apprentices. What does this have to do with a bunch of old boats at the Dory Shop? We will use these boats as fascinating tools which we will carefully take apart and re-build to absorb the wisdom of earlier shipwrights and designers. Our question to you is this: is there any interest out there in joining us on this voyage? We imagine we would spend one or two months per boat. What say you: Is a re-build of an historical pre-WWII wooden boat course something you would like to take part in? Let us know your thoughts!