What is a Dory? – Part 2

Stepping back aboard our small fishing dory, we take back to the water to try and understand better the different nuances between these popular crafts. In part one of our blog we learned all about the original grand banks dory, and how unstable it can be. In this edition we look at other types of dories, the differences between them and why they are built and designed differently.

St Pierre Dory

These dories were designed and first made in Newfoundland on the St Pierre islands. St Pierre dory’s have an engine and they are bigger and heavier than the dory’s we have already looked at. The design is to help the boat in the unpredictable waters off the islands. There are rowing versions of the St Pierre dory that have higher sides than the motorized ones. Also, they are higher at the stern and bow. Some boat builders even add a small cabin to the motorized crafts, but this is not too common.

Beach Dory’s

As the name suggest, beach dories were designed to be launched from a beach. There is a strong school of thought that these boats were based on wherry’s, and they do have many familiararities. But unlike a wherry the beach dory is not really designed to ferry passengers. The beach dory is much shorter than normal dory’s and hardly ever reach over twenty feet in length. The beach dory also has a narrower transom, which for some inexplicable reason is termed a tombstone. This transom allows the boat to navigate on different waters and when the waves get choppy. All in all, and because of its size the beach dory is much rounder than say a great banks dory.

Swampscott Dory’s

When you first glance at a swampscott dory it does not really resemble a dory at all. But on closer inspection you will notice a narrow transom and a flat bottom, the tell-tale characteristics of a dory boat. The sides of a swampscott dory is where the biggest difference can be seen, they are much rounder than a traditional dory which obviously gives a completely different look to the craft. Swampscott dories are very old and traditional, first built for fishing and then adapted for pleasure boats under sail.

Drift Dory’s

Our final classification of dory is a drift dory, which is sometimes known as the Mackenzie River dory. These boats have been specially adapted from the classic dory blueprint because of the rough waters they have to sail upon.

The boats are wider than normal dory’s and are able to sustain buoyancy in the Mackenzie River’s rough waters due to the rounder shape. These incredible boats can even be used on fast rivers and rapids, the design of a high rocker due to the high sides mean they simply bounce over white water effortlessly. We leave our boating experience in Canada with the drift dory, which is probably the most extreme version of a dory we have seen on our expedition to find out what truly is a dory.