The Winter Olympics at Sochi have us feeling a tad patriotic these days. And so does our latest project – four new dories for the Canadian Dory Racing Association!
Since 1952, rowers from Canada and the United States have faced off on the Lunenburg and Gloucester waterfronts once a year as part of the International Dory Races. Now heading into its 62nd year, this event is a much-loved tradition and treasured part of our heritage. But dory rowing has also become a growth sport here, attracting an increasing number of men, women and youth who are taking up the oars for exercise, fun and friendship.
In fact, in 2013, the Canadian Dory Racing Association boasted a membership of 80 recreational rowers, more than half of them new sign ups. Recreational rowing instruction is held every Monday evening beginning in mid-April and running well into the fall season. Competitive rowers are coached Tuesday and Friday nights. And the association’s dories can be seen out on the harbour at many different times of day as rowers practice their stroke and enjoy an excellent cardiovascular workout.
This activity is a huge winfor Lunenburg! People are engaged in a healthy lifestyle activity that also strengthens the town’s appeal as a tourism destination. We can’t have fishing vessels landing fish every day, nor tall ships arriving at the dock, but visitors delight in the sight of rowers out on the water or the simple beauty of the dories tied to the floating dock or hauled up on the ways. And of course the International Dory Races, held each year in August, are an event that continues to attract a delegation from Massachusetts, as well as visitors from near and far.
All these benefits for our community, and the only infrastructure that’s required? The dories!
We here at The Dory Shop are busting-our-buttons proud to tell you we’ve been selected to build this new set of dories, which are much needed to replace aging boats and support expanding interest in the sport. And we’ve pledged to assist the association as they fund raise to pay for these new boats. To find out how you can help, please contact Dory Plug (aka Susan) at 902-640-3005 or email email@example.com
It seems like a poor way to start the New Year with an apology, but if that’s what it takes to clear the slate, then so be it!
We (meaning Dory Plug, ’cause Jay tells me he is blameless on this one) have absolutely, positively fallen down on making posts to this blog over the last number of months.
Now I could (I am sorely tempted…) offer the excuse of the all-new website we’re working on. I honestly did think this would be up and running by now, and the plan is for the blog to be placed within the new site. (Turns out that while I have a pretty good idea of how long it takes to build a dory, I am pretty out to lunch on the time it takes to build a website.)
So while I have been harassing Jay with the camera as he tries to work, and have posted the odd picture to Facebook, I’ve been remiss in posting here. Again, my apologies to our friends and followers. The good thing is I still have the pictures and will use them for posts in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, with the arrival of 2014, we wanted to announce the dates of our Spring Dory Building Course, to be held May 12-23 here in our shop at the heart of the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia waterfront. As always, participants will be working under the instruction of our master dory builder, Jay Langford, to construct a traditional, wooden Banks dory. There are just six spots available; a limit we’ve set to ensure everyone gets lots of hands-on building experience. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (902) 640-3005.
A change in programming plans at a Nova Scotia summer camp has resulted in the availability of a big, beautiful Banks sailing dory at an incredible price.
Built in 2011, the boat measures 17 feet on the bottom, 22’ 2 overall with a beam of 6’ 4.5 – so one of our Fortune Bay dories – and is outfitted with both a motor well and a gaff jib and main sailing rig.
She also has four thwarts and eight oarlocks for team rowing, a rudder with tiller for sailing or rowing with a coxswain, a centerboard to help keep her on course and four sets of oars.
The boat was used just two seasons at a site on the Northumberland Strait, was stored indoors during the winter and has been well cared for. The discovery of some bottom damage last fall resulted in a complete rebuild of the boat’s bottom by The Dory Shop, followed by fibreglassing, as well as an application of anti-fouling paint of the new bottom and garboard planks for added protection.
The boat is currently here at Lunenburg where she can be viewed by appointment.
This truly is a rare chance to get an almost-new sailing dory at a great price. For more information, including asking price, please contact Susan at The Dory Shop 902 640-3005
In the midst of what’s so far been a challenging winter, it’s always therapeutic to think ahead to spring. And one of the sure signs of spring around here is having a new group of would-be dory builders join us for one of our two-week classes!
Following on tradition, we’re offering a spring session of our popular dory building course in the two weeks immediately before Victoria Day weekend. That’s May 6-17, 2013, right here on the waterfront at Lunenburg.
Join our master dory builder, Jay Langford, to build a traditional wooden Banks dory like the ones shown here. We have places for just six participants; a limit we set to ensure as much personal instruction and hands-on participation as possible.
All of the tools and materials are provided, and as always we’ll work in some visits to the shops of other marine artisans in our area.
The course costs $950 – a price that includes hearty daily lunches with Bob and Rose at Greybeard’s Monday to Friday, breaktime snacks with Dory Plug, and a fun launch and send-off ceremony too!
For more information or applications, please contact us at email@example.com or call 902-640-3005
We’d love to have you join us!
The historic port of Lunenburg has a unique way of welcoming the holiday season. Like many communities, the town hosts a Santa Claus parade, but there’s something that makes ours just a little bit different. The parade here has a boat theme; specifically, parade organizers seek to place as many of the entrees as possible in dories and other wooden boats. As you can imagine, we tend to get a few calls!
Ironically, this year our shop did not use a dory on our float. Why? Well, parade chairman Howard Keeping needed a boat big enough to accommodate a six-piece band and the dories we have on hand (all 13-foot bottoms and smaller) were just a little too crowded. But our Cross Island skiff – featured in the latest edition of WoodenBoat magazine’s Small Boats edition – fit the bill, er, the band very nicely!
In fact, the next time someone asks about the capacity for this boat, I may just say: two trumpet players, two saxophonists (alto and tenor), one fellow on clarinet and another on the euphonium (baritone horn) just to see how that goes over!
Here are some more pictures from this year’s parade. And even though it’s still pretty early, Happy Holidays from all of us at The Dory Shop!
Two very pleasant weeks with our latest dory building class wrapped up Friday as the group launched the fruit of their labours, the HMLD NAK.
The what, you ask?
Well, as always, the dory built during the class is available for sale to one of the participants and in this case will find a new home in New Brunswick.
Her owner/co-builder, Stephen, requested the non-traditional, but very handsome colour scheme shown here and when I walked into the shop first thing Friday he was stencilling her new name in place.
Admittedly I too had to ask what it meant.
Stephen explained that NAK comes from the first initials of his children: Nadia, Austen and Keagan. As for HMLD, the vessels of the Canadian Navy are HMS for Her Majesty’s Shop. Well, this is Her Majesty’s Lunenburg Dory!
As always we had a little initiation ceremony Friday afternoon before the boat’s launch. Then it was all four of them into the boat for the inaugeral row, followed by solo trips for a number of them, including the Jedi Master, Jay. He declared her a job well done.
Sincere congratulations to all four gentlemen, and thanks for a great two weeks!
We are so saddened today to learn of the passing of Edgar Hatt, longtime supplier of knees for our dories and a gentleman whose kind smile and quiet wisdom was admired by all who met him.
For more than 60 years, Edgar has provided this most essential component of our Lunenburg-built dories. The work required to harvest Hackmatack knees from the muck of a bog is great indeed. Edgar began as a child working with his father and grandfather. In more recent years, he worked with his own son, Otho.
Knee deliveries were made late spring and early fall, and it was truly always a delight to chat a bit with Edgar. Without saying a lot you nonetheless knew here was a man who was living his life well, working hard but cherishing each day.
He passed away in his sleep at age 80.
We will miss him.