A dory in winter

Doris 480

This is a dory, for those who haven’t come across one before – which will include most boating enthusiasts in my country, as this is by no means a British Isles boat.

The origin of the dory is clouded in the mists of time, but this kind of boat became economically important in the Grand Banks fishery in the 19th Century, and later spread to northern France, Denmark and it seems Finland also. The history and design of the dory is explained in John Gardner’smagnificent volume The Dory Book. It’s now a collector’s item but I see there are a few copies available at Amazon.

The drawing above shows a dory I designed to be made lightly in plywood, and which I built some years ago. I called her Doris the Dory -the name is a kind of joke, as the French call a dory a ‘doris’, but I must say the joke doesn’t now seem so original as I’ve subsequently seen a dory in France named Doris.

I’ve used Doris a lot over the years and today we took her out for the first time this year. It was no ordinary outing, for we took her for a photoshoot on a small lake belonging to some friends.

We got some great shots, but I must say that the most rewarding part of the exercise was the expressions on their faces when they tried the boat – it seemed as if Doris was the first really good rowing boat that either of them had ever experienced.

I’m sorry to say I can’t yet show you any of the shots we took, but I can show you this one from the day we first launched Doris some time ago.

Doris launching

And here’s a zip of a set of FREE BOAT PLANS Doris download including all the information required to build her. Vive la Doris!

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