Marine Surveyors Lexicon


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The traditional dory is a small, flat-bottomed fishing boat with high flaring sides, and considerable sheer. The commercial fishing dories of New England were stacked on a larger boat and transported to the Grand Banks where they were off-loaded with a fisherman, and later retrieved. The boats were noted for their sea worthiness. The term "dory" appears to have come from an Indian term for a dugout.
Over the years the dory has evolved to encompass various types of boats, usually characterized by flat bottoms and flaring sides. Some of the "improvements" of previous models have made them hard to recognize as dories. The "Pacific Dory" has a flat bottom, flaring sides, a wide transom and is capable of planing. The following designs are classified as dories:
Modern-Traditional DoryThe modern traditional-style DORY is rowed with oars. It is ideal for launching or landing through the surf in coastal areas, or for rowing across any reasonable size body of water. The relatively narrow bottom makes rowing easy, while the wide flaring sides make the boat dry and increases the reserve bouyancy. The dory-type boat has been in existence for hundreds of years. Fishermen the world over have used dories in all weather conditions.
Modern-Traditional Dory
St. PierreEvolution is sometimes responsible for the most versatile and respected boats, and the Grand Banks dory as exemplified by the famous St. Pierre type DORY is a perfect example. For over 100 years these seaworthy craft have been carrying their crews of two or three fishermen to the fishing grounds off Newfoundland with incredible reliability, safety, and economy. Returning with a ton or two of fish in any sea condition is nothing unusual. While the first craft used sails, most switched to power generations ago. In the event of a power failure, the boats could be rowed home. Because of limited mooring facilities, the fishermen pulled the boats up on shore, made easy by the flat bottom. To make this practical with an engine, however, a haul-up shaft and propeller arrangement was incorporated which has become a traditional arrangement.
Modern St. Pierre
Sailing DoryThe sailing dory is a rendition of the classic "Beachcomber-Alpha" club dories of New England at the height of their popularity in the early 1900's, and akin to the famous Swampscott dories. A close descendant of the rugged working dories well known for their seaworthiness. Features a centerboard and shallow draft rudder for easy launching and beaching. Steering is accomplished by a rudder yoke and stern sheets, however, a tiller can be fitted optionally.
Sailing Dory
Work-boat DoryThe work-boat DORY is a type of powered fishing dory that evolved on the Pacific coast where boats of this type are commonly used for pleasure and commercial fishing. This trailerable craft is quickly and easily launched directly into the surf due to its abruptly raised bow and broad flaring topsides. The dory hull has tremendous load carrying ability while the flat bottom assures a stable boat when loaded. The wide open hull allows unrestricted movement for easy gear handling and versatility. The boat can be outfitted with control console, seating, fish holds, bait tanks, cabin or shelter, or any manner necessary to suit the special requirements of the owner. While this may seem to be a specialized craft, the virtues can readily be appreciated where shallow draft operation is necessary, ease of beaching required, or where rapid river running is a prerequisite. The well-mounted outboard makes beach launching and retrieving easy and safe, and does not interfere with fishing gear as the motor can "kick-up" entirely within the boat. However, the boat can also be fitted with stern-mounted inboard engines driving through an outdrive or jet pump. In any case, the hull drives easily with minimum power and maximum economy.
Work-Boat Dory
Work-Boat Dory
Work-Boat Dory