Tuesday, April 6, 2010

St. Pierre Dory

George Waite is a semi-retired ex-Naval Architect turned bridge engineer and the boat that he is building is a 21ft OAL St Pierre et Miquelon dory.

He abstracted the design from old black and white photos and built a 1:17 scale model. The boat was lofted directly from the model.

The construction is marine plywood with Iroko framing, and the engine is a 30 hp Yanmar diesel inboard.

He tells me that as a boy in Australia a St Pierre dory was used as a shipyard boat where his father worked and it was there that he first became familiar with dory handling.

George now resides in the UK and the day he sent me photos, it was snowing. Very pretty, but how do you build a boat in the snow?

Since George has trouble getting into small spaces (oh, don't I know that one!), he has opted to build in all of his systems before completing the hull. The planking will be the last step in this project.

It appears that the boat project has taken over his garden and an observant person might wonder how he is going to get it out of there... We are assured that those details have already been worked out and it will be a cake walk.

I suppose one could expect no less from an engineer. Thank you George - please stay in touch, we're all looking forward to seeing the finished St. Pierre et Miquelon on the water!

St. Pierre dories have high bows and sterns and a jaunty shear. They're named for the communes of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, two islands in the rugged North Atlantic, off Newfoundland. The sturdy Basque fishermen of the area used these dories to work some of the most tempestuous waters on the planet, in the treacherous Cabot Strait.

The St. Pierre embodies seaworthy utilitarian elegance.

John Gardner documented the displacement grande dory, with detailed plans and building instructions, in his seminal "The Dory Book".
Another great resource is Mark White's "Building the St. Pierre Dory", first published in 1978.

While Gardener's plans are for traditional clinker construction, White's boats are strip planked.
John Gardner's book is still in print and George tells me that Mark White's book is available from on-line used book sellers.
Both of these fine books were instrumental in the development of my own Mistral. Great reading for boat builders and dreamers.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering if there are active st. Pierre boat builders on st. Pierre island? I always wanted to build one. Would be great to see process first hand

doryman said...

You don't say where you're from, but one active dory building enterprise is in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada: