The Dory Shop

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

Stories from the The Dory Shop

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 11 - Below decks in the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA

"Now, many folks do not realise this but due to the sheer genius of Master Designer & Builder Steven Slaunwhite that while the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA is 26’7” on deck, she is 138’ below decks. And about 122’ on the waterline. Never quite sure about this number, hard to get it sorted, seems to change a lot. No one knows why. But this OD to BD size differential is pretty handy to be sure. Docking rates at marinas aren’t so bad but she can still put a payload under the hatches. That is, she could if she had any hatches. Or any pay to load. Intense research, only now bringing facts to light indicate that on and off over the ages, there has been plenty. Stay tuned..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 10 - CALANOVA's engine

"The first most obvious question is this. Why sully such a sweet model of a perfect sailing schooner like the Amazing CALANOVA with an internal combustion engine??? Why cut a hole right where you don’t want one to put in a propellor to drag along like a bucket? Ruin the sweet run of water past the rudder?  Why, indeed? Is the wind being rationed or rented out elsewhere? Does not the sun and the moon keep these winds stirring over the seas and oceans for the express purpose of soothing the sailing ships soft ambitions? Why jam a chunk of iron down in the bilge? Here it will be doing its damnedest to blow up in a cloud of fire, shrapnel and smoke – and guaranteed to spew oils and fuel over time into the otherwise sweet bilges. This is a certainty..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 9 - The Magnificent CALANOVA at sail

A gallery of photos of the Magnificent CALANOVA at sail in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.


"The day had come. The amazing schooner CALANOVA had been laying at the dock. She was all ready for sea, or sea trials anyway. Sea trials are where you take a vessel out for the first time and sea how she does and to see if everything works right. Slaunwhite and gang had done a fantastic job on this schooner. Let her magic loose! Beware the seas! There she was. All beautifully built, painted, launched, all swelled up and did not leak a thimbleful. Masts stepped, bowsprit fitted, rigging set up, running rigging rove off, sails bent, steering tested (you know, move the tiller back and forth and look over the side to see if the rudder moves at the same time in the same direction – it did, YAY!). Wood stove had a crate of dried split birch to keep the coffee and chowder hot. A couple anchors on the buffalo rails as a proper vessel should have, ready to let go as needed. The auxiliary engine was not quite sorted out yet – but who needs a cranky engine when ya gots a fine sailin’ schoonah under your boots?" (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 7 - Crewing Up to Sail the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA

"When last we met, we had shared accounts of how the Amazing schooner CALANOVA had been designed, built, launched, rigged, sail bent on, mostly fitted out and made ready to sail for the first time. Provisioning and more kitting up for a voyage will come later. We needs to sail she. Its about time. Keen to sail she we are. Anxious to sail this snappy schooner, flash packet, rocket sled…WE WANTS TO FIND OUT IF SHE IS FAST AND ABLE. Is she? Should be. All figure CALANOVA should be pretty slippery. But time will tell. And a breeze of wind laying her down. Get some sea foam over the rail..." (Click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 6 - Rigging CALANOVA

At the old stone crib wharf, the freshly painted CALANOVA is swarming with riggers. These venerable deep-water seafarers, veteran shellbacks of the Horn and hauling trawl on the banks off Newfoundland in burning summers or many a winter blow, these riggers look like nautical cowboys, and swagger with the same confident grace. What appear to be oiled leather scabbards on their hips that might secure a “pyrat’s” cutlass instead hold a select few rigging tools, knives, spikes, grease packed cow horns clacking and dangling. Under ragged sleaved, faded halibut shirts, tanned fore-arms of corded muscle power thick calloused hands brandish long steel marlinspikes, so well worn they flash like silver in the morning sunlight... (Click READ MORE to read the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 5 - Schooner Launching Day at Mader's Cove

Launching the Amazing Schooner CALANOVA It’s launching day for our beautiful new-built wooden schooner at the Slauenwhite Yard on the shores of Mader’s Cove, Lunenburg County, in fair Nova Scotia. When did this auspicious event take place? We are still trying to pin that down. The Halifax Herald says 1987. But let’s not worry about this small point for now... (click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 4 - Caulking, Mysterious Caulking

Here’s the deal. You gotta caulk wooden boats. Most of them anyway. Think about it. You take all these pieces of wood, tie them together somehow and you got a boat? Almost. Looks like a boat, but it ain’t no boat until ya caulk ‘em. That’s the deal - If you don’t caulk wooden boats they fill up with water. And ya don’t want that. Makes your sandwiches soggy. And other stuff too, not good. So you caulk ‘em up. Well, not all wooden boats... (click READ MORE for the rest of the story)

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 3…the amazing stories of an Amazing Schooner…

So, the builders went the through the forest, axe in hand, searching for the finest timbers possible to build this amazing schooner. Only the best woods would do for the construction of this epic craft. Trekking in the shade under the canopy of ancient trees, mature timbers for excellent wooden shipbuilding is part of the magic and majesty of bringing a wooden ship to life... (click READ MORE for the rest of the story).

A Sneak Peek!

Click "read more" for a sneak peek at the cabin on this beautiful Seine Dory!

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