My Philosophy About Dory Boat Building

I love what I do and row what I build.  It takes many strokes of sandpaper and miles on the oars to understand boat design.  Mass production is never involved, so that quality and pride of craftmanship shine through in my boats.

Fully finished McKenzie dory showing natural wood hull

McKenzie-Style Dory

Type of Construction and Materials Used

I use stitch-and-glue construction to form what’s called  a “composite  boat”.

I start with either marine plywood or foam-core, from which side panels, bulkheads, and the floor are cut.  I then sheath all cut-out pieces with fiberglass cloth and epoxy.  The stitch-and-glue effect is the result of “tacking” pieces together in a custom jig.  All seams are completely filleted, taped, and artistically faired to bring the hull into shape.  Extra layering of heavily woven cloth, such as biaxial fiberglass, dynel or core-mat, are applied to both sides of the floor and chine.  This creates an “I-Beam” effect to strengthen those vulnerable areas, that are typically subjected to impact and high-use.

The modern sitch-and-glue process to form a composite hull, virtually eliminate the need for ribs and frames compared to how original dories were built.  This technique results in a super strong, wood (or foam) core boat, that can then be finished with hardwood, such as ash, mahogany, teak, or cherry.  Hardwood is pre-shaped, finished, and then fitted throughout the boat for extra strengthening, adding function, and fine-tuning an elegant look.  Wooden finish items include bowstem/sternstem, gunnels, hatch landings, handrails, foot brace and other trim.  I use both West Systems and Resin Research for epoxy and related products.  Non-corrosive hardware such as bronze, stainless steel and aluminum are used for screws, fasteners, eye-bolts and hinges.  The oar station can be finished with a powder-coating color of your choice.  I use bronze oar locks fitted into nylon inserts for ultimate rowing control and finesse.

About Epoxy Products

I use both Resin Research Epoxy and West Systems for all glue-laminating and fitting. These products are commonly used for constructing and shaping surfboards, paddle boards, and sailboat hulls made for racing. My whitewater dories are among the strongest and lightest-weight on the market, largely due to modern-day epoxy inovations and high-density foam-core products.