Dory Build--Finally!

I've been looking forward to this for years!  Started my NE Dory build Monday. I've received some great help already from CLC and others on this forum and look forward to more help as the build proceeds.  We'll be taking it to Maine in hosting for the summer there in our RV.  Will be great to have on the coast of Maine!

I'm keeping a photo journal if you are interested...feel free to shoot me any suggestions!  .

Mine will be a tanbark lug rig with 2 reef points.  Adding slotted inner rails.  Green hull with cream colored inside.  Rails/seats/transom/bulkheads will be bright.  I'll be adding lights too (hey, I am "Moonchaser").  Also bought the CLC version of the SUT250S Trailex trailer.

This build has personal meaning for me.  The CLC Dory is very similar to those my ancestors built in Michigan almost a century ago..see photo journal, first two pictures.  In honor of their craftsmanship and love of the water.


Curt Dennis 
[email protected]

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RE: Dory Build--Finally!

I have been building one since late October.  We can certainly compare notes during the process.  

I've been taking my time with the build and trying not to rush it.  I get a great mental release from being in the garage for an hour or two while building.  I'm lucky if I can grab 10 plus hours per week with all my commitments for family and work.  It really is enjoyable working with my hands.

I'm building the sloop rigged version and pretty much stock.  I am also considering the SUT250.  I look forward to your comments.

No choice on paint yet.  I figure if the hull comes out nice I'll be the spring bride with a nice shade of white to highlight the lapstrakes.  If she looks like an overweight belly dancer than she will be weary something dark LOL.

RE: Dory Build--Finally!

Hi Tim,
I'd be happy to stay in touch during our Dory builds!  How about you shoot me your email and phone number to [email protected]
Overweight belly dancer?  Now that's funny right there. 

Currently I'm spending about 5 hours a day, need to do more....sanding/cleaning up the bottom, #1 strakes, transom, and all bulkheads.  Then on to the rest of the hull panels.  I'll add pictures to the photo journal when I get so motivated...sanding and rasping has dulled my interest in that right now, but I'll add some when the current batch of sanding is done.


Are you finding there are a lot of things the instruction dont tell you to do?    Thank GOODNESS for prior builders that are so helpful, and the great folks at CLC to help during the build.

Anybody else building a Dory right now?



RE: Dory Build--Finally!

I started a dory on November 1st.  Also have the lug rig kit.   I have been building as much of the pieces as i can before i start on the hull, as my garage is so small that once the hull is assembled there won't be much room to do anything else.  So thwarts, mast Step and mast thwart, daggerboard and trunk, rudder and spars are already done and will need to wait until warm weather for Varnish.  

The hull will get started over the holidays. I've built two S&G kayaks in the past, but am finding this to be a LOT more woodworking... Shaping d-board and rudder, spars, thwarts.   Makes sense, this is really a wooden boat whereas my kayaks ( a Pygmy Tern and a Pygmy Murrelet) are really fiberglass boats with a plywood core.  


I hope to have it in the water by April and do a weeklong cruise in the Maine Islands this summer. It''s too long i have been kayaking to the exclusion of sailing and rowing.  

RE: Dory Build--Finally!


Wow...3 simeltaneous Dory builds going

You raise a good point about finishing all the non hull items first.  I just came in from gluing up the rest of the hull panels and was looking forward to beginning the stiching tomorrow, but (sigh) I too should likely build some other parts first so I have lots of room.  I'll be doing inner slotted rails so I dont know how the mast partner will fit up, but I could at least rough it out, and spars, rudder, daggerboard, seats, etc...Thanks for mentioning that.

Cool we both are going to have them in Maine this spring!


How about you shoot me your email and phone number to [email protected]



RE: Dory Build--Finally!

I'll be starting a dory soon up here in Alaska.  I will be building from plans and am currrently waiting or my plywood coming up on a big boat from Seattle. A friend of mine has some Sitka spruce that I will use for the mast and spars of the lug rig.  I think I will use long lengths of mahogany for the rails and seats. I think I will do an outwhale with spacers and then an inwhale.  It looks like maybe the bulkheads need to be cut down a bit to include an inwhale? I'm looking forward to sailing but know very little about it. I have the stock lug sail. Does that have any reef points?  

And thanks Moonchaser on checking out the sculling hole specifics on the transom. I'll probably do very little sculling but if I find myself with only 1 oar, no wind, or on a narrow waterway then I'll be giving it a try.

Dory Build--Rails and lug sail

Good luck on your build from plans...more adventerous than my build from a kit!


Good point that the bulkhead will need to be cut out a bit for the inwale for the bulkhead to kill into the underside of the inwale.  Sounds simple enough.


CLC outrails in the kits are two rails outside the hull.  I will be only doing one outside the hull and the blocks for the slotted rail attached to the inside of the hull then one rail on the outside.  A boat builder (Paul Kerwin) recommended I not do the 2 outwale rails plus blocking rail and inner rail...would look too massive and I agree, so just one outwale rail plus the blocks and inner rail inside the hull.

Also, I will not be putting inner rails in the areas on each side of the center seat.  Someone on the builders forum said that if I liked to sit in the bottom of the boat while sailing and lean back against the hull (which I do!) the inner rail can be uncomfortable, great point.  So my inner rails will go from the stern to just forward of the removable seat,  above the center seat (and a little fore and aft of it) and from the aft side of the front seat to the bow.  Let me know if you'd like more details on this but I'm still designing on the fly on this.


Lug Sail:
I dont think the stock lug sail comes with reef points, but make sure with CLC.  Also, decide for yourself if you want 1, 2, or no reef points.  I've sailed for decades and my engineering brain likes adjustments so I like reef points for lazy sailing when not in a hurry (AKA drifting) and also for times when it gets dicey in a blow.  Also, with one set of reef points, you can do single line jiffy reefing, two reef points gets a little more complicated but it can be done without jiffy reefing at all which was CLC's recommendation.


Good luck and I'm sure we'll see each other again on the builders forum


Curt Dennis [email protected] 830/997-8120

RE: Dory Build--Finally!


Sounds like the Maine islands will be rife with dories this summer.  I'm starting one soon (hopefully in the next week or so) and planning a trip to Penobscot Bay around July.

I like the idea of leaving the inner rails off in the areas where you would sit for sailing.  You'll probably get to the rails well before I do; any chance of sending along a couple pictures when you do? I'm still trying to work some of the finer points of my build.

A couple of things I came across while sifting through the last couple years of relevant forum posts was an idea for hinging the tiller so that it can fold flat against the rudder for easier transport, and a reference to putting a slit gasket on the underside of the daggerboard trunk to reduce the amount of splash you get up through the trunk while rowing.  Both seem like potentially good ideas, particularly the one about keeping the ocean on the correct side of the hull. My experience with a sail canoe taught me that constructing a boat that can switch between wind and human power efficiently and easily is a tricky business. Any thoughts?

To Billyboy

My $.02 about reef points is to have enough that you can reduce your sail to about the size of a pocket handkerchief, doubly so when you only have a mainsail to work with (such as a lug rig). The reason being that if, for example, you happen to find yourself out on the ocean, 8 miles from your destination in a canoe with an unreefable rig and the wind unexpectedly freshens to around 20 knots you only have 2 choices: A) drop all the rigging and start paddling like mad, or B) run with it and hope the rig can take it. Both choices have their drawbacks, in particular Option B may result in the Coast Guard showing up (possibly more than once) and politely asking if you need assistance finding your way back to whatever mental institution you obviously escaped from. Not that I would know...

The stock lug does not come with reef points. One set of reef points on the lug sail cuts the area to about 75%, the second set drops it to 50%, and the center of effort of the sail stays more or less the same. It's easy to add reef points after the fact, so no worries if you already have the sail.



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