Friday, September 16, 2011

Live-aboard Dory

DoryMan has been receiving visits from a discussion on the WoodenBoat Forum lately on the subject of St Pierre Dories and live-aboard dories in particular. But the Forum will not allow me to respond. Imagine that.

So, this is for you folks who come here looking for information on dories. Mistral is my own dory-cruiser and a fine live-aboard she is. She is my own design and I built her (by) myself. She is 36 feet LOA with an eleven foot beam and displaces five tons. For those contemplating such a task, let me warn you - it will take a lot of energy, time and commitment. At times, I was on the verge of cutting Mistral up for firewood.

But to live your dreams is worth every minute. In fact, I am convinced there is no other way to live. That's why I write this blog - to encourage others to live their dreams. It does not matter if you don't know what you are doing - you will learn.

Mistral is not a St Pierre Dory, but similar. Her bottom profile is flatter, which gives a comfortable walking area below (the St Pierre has the most severe bottom rocker of all the dories and walking around in one can be a challenge). For those who are contemplating building a St Pierre, we have been following two different stories this last year, click here.

You are encouraged to add to the comments at the end of this post (or any post - I love to talk about boats!) Or contact me: mbogoger(at) if you have a story to share.

Images of Mistral under sail can be found here.


smolin said...

I like the decor: a bottle of Yellow Tail! The shiraz? Nice choice.

A beautiful boat around it, too. I salute your vision and dedication.

doryman said...

Don't have any photos of the "decor" at present. This shot is after spraying the interior white. Now there are cushions and boat art. I'll try to remember to take an updated image.

The yellow tail has given way to Scotch and soda.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Reading Annie Hill's books about cruises on her Jay Benford (I think( designed Dory Badger can leave no one in any doubt about the suitability of the dory type for cruising.

My own hands on experience (or more accurately bottom on) is with a semi dory rowing boat I built - after 5 years it still does everything I wanted and does it well.

Congratulations on a great boat, Shiraz apart I like the no nonsense interior - definitely my kind of boat - she needs to go on 1001 Boats for sure.

doryman said...

Max. I think of 1001 Boats as a repository of classic boats and figure Mistral gets her day in the sun right here.

The interior was designed to be spacious and unencumbered. Of course, this is an early picture from around the time of launch and it is more cluttered now. There is a refrigerator and a wood stove not shown.

There is a comfy double berth forward and the head has a shower-tub with a roomy dressing area and a hanging locker. Lots of room for stowage.

The remarkable thing about dories is their endless carrying capacity. For sailing, this boat could use a few thousand pounds more of gear and supplies to make her less tender. I figure she could easily carry 5 tons and be all the better for it.

Someone loaned me Anne's book about Badger on Mistral's launch day. I had never heard of another cruising dory and was thrilled to find one so capable. It gave me the courage and conviction to carry on with rigging my own boat, which has proven no less capable.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and handy looking, too. Why do people say dories don't go well to windward? How high can you point? Anything you might do differently to improve her performance to weather?

doryman said...

With the marconi rig, Mistral points well, though with a long fixed keel she has a bit of leeway. A centerboard would be a good upgrade - at the time I didn't want any holes in the bottom of the boat.

The dory is tender, so when tacking to windward, she rides like a dinghy on her narrow bottom. I don't have any misgivings about this, but passengers sometimes do. Like I've said before, with more weight, such as on a long cruise, she would ride lower and probably be much more stable.

Unknown said...

What an awesome vessel! Yup she will do.

doryman said...

Yes, indeed she do.