Every year, we heard from folks who want to build a dory, may even have a set of plans kicking around, but they’re hesitating, unsure they’d know enough to complete the job. And let’s face it, who wants a half-built dory taking up space in the garage for the next 10 years?
That’s why we started offering dory building courses here at The Dory Shop on the waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our shop has been building dories since 1917. That’s nearly 100 years. And our master builder, Jay Langford, while not nearly of that vintage, has been messing about with boats since he was just a young boy crawling around his grandfather’s boat shop. Guess what? It turns out he’s not only a talented boat builder but a gifted teacher too (which is never a given, no matter how expert someone is at their craft).
Our courses run for two weeks, Monday through Friday; a schedule that gives our visitors from away a chance to see some of the many wonderful things Lunenburg and Nova Scotia have to offer while they’re here. When you arrive the first day, you’ll be greeted by Jay and a pile of live edge lumber that you’re going to turn into a strong little sea boat. By the end of the first week, you’ll have the boat planked and be shaping the naturally-grown dory frames, known as knees, that are the signature of a Lunenburg dory. On the last day of the course, you’ll christen and launch the boat and if tradition serves, take her for a row around the harbour.
This course is designed for people with some woodworking experience. You need not be a cabinet maker but should be familiar with basic hand tools. We keep the class sizes small, accepting a maximum of six participants. This is to ensure that everyone gets as much hands-on building experience and instruction as is possible.
The course costs $950 CAD and includes all taxes, tools, and materials, plus daily lunches (Monday to Friday) at the nearby Greybeard’s Bed and Breakfast, as well as break-time coffee and snacks.XX Upon conclusion of the course, the dory that is built will be offered for sale to class members first. In the event that more than one person would like to buy her, we draw for straws (due to the distance many of our students travel, it’s only ever happened once).
For more information about our spring course taking place May 12-23, 2014, please drop us a line or give us a call.