View Full Version : Rowing dory...

David Gendron
10-11-2009, 7:00 PM
Good afternoon boat builders! I don't have any experiences with boat building but it's something I want to try. I am looking to build a rowing dory that would be use on rivers and lakes to do multy day trip with family... I am looking into a boat of at least 18 feet long but light weight. Could be lap stack or stich and glue or skins on frame. I was wondering if any here know of a place where I could find plans for that?
Thank you for your help!

Brett DeFalco
10-11-2009, 8:23 PM
A quick search of "18' dory plans" gives up many possibilities.

I liked the look of this one:


Clarkcraft has one:


Here's the search return:


David Gendron
10-11-2009, 8:49 PM
Thank you Brett. I'll have a look!

derek sikes
10-11-2009, 9:02 PM
You should check out John Gardner's Dory book as well as Building Classic Small Craft; All of his books are great reads and have plans as well as building details in them. There is a lot to consider when deciding on a boat design... Good luck!


Mac McQuinn
10-13-2009, 4:28 PM
Nice boat w/ good write-up...



Bob Smalser
10-13-2009, 4:45 PM
... rivers and lakes to do multy day trip with family...

...light weight.

You get some rough water up there in those lakes, gravel rivers tend to be tough on bottoms, and the better the design rows (narrow, shallow and round-bottomed), the more tender and cramped it will be for the family.

So you have some choices to make. I have a 19' Gardner Gunning Dory that's a great rowboat but buries a rail easily under sail when caught in a blow, and is not the most comfortable for family outings. A wider, heavier Swampscot Dory is only a bit harder to row, but would be a better all-around choice.

I'd think a skin-on-frame would be too delicate and I'd lean towards plywood on sawn solid frames. Solid wood planking is often cheaper to build with than plywood but even then I'd recommend plywood garboards because they are often so wide they are prone to splitting.


Mac McQuinn
10-13-2009, 6:32 PM
One of my favorites would be Ken Swan's "Kahneeta", 18'-7" Sailing dory with option of using a small O/B well. A little wider in the stern although should row reasonably well still. I believe it's ply on frame construction.
Here's a couple links;



raul segura
10-14-2009, 11:18 PM
Here are several plans you can look through. Id like to build the last on the bottom.Its nine feet I supose you could double its size. In any case it has a nice little story as to how he came about finding the plans to this one.


David Gendron
10-15-2009, 1:28 AM
thank you for the link Raul. I'm still debating if a dory would be the right boat! We will see. And thank you to every one who chime in!