Sunday, March 10, 2013

Doryman's Boatyard

You can feel the season changing, though the evidence is slim. I have reports of sailors in the Northern Hemisphere testing the waters for the first sail of the season. But here on the Oregon coast, where seasons bleed slowly into each other, spring is still in the offing.

Boat repair, renovation and even new construction has been lively this winter, which we hope is a harbinger of better economic times. The Oregon coast could use an uplift.

Tiding things over, this installment of Doryman's Boatyard is essentially a sales pitch. To start things off, I'm selling the quintessential sail-and-oar boat, Saga, the William Atkins Valgerada. What can I add to all I've said before? She is a wonderful, capable and beautiful craft. A lot of love has gone into her refurbishing, both of my own and many friends who have contributed. It's not easy when one has to part with a good friend and I hope she finds someone to love her as I do.

As you might suppose, the boats in Doryman's boatyard are currently among the favorites in a long life of boat ownership. It has taken many years of gleaning the best of the best and hours of hard work to bring them all to a state of perfection. A case in point is the Culler "Good Little Skiff" Paku. What a wonder of simple beauty! The perfect combination of mahogany framing and cedar planking, trimmed in mahogany just as the Good Captain intended. We've spent many happy hours rowing this skiff in tandem, an accent to the beauty of nature.

Perhaps the closest to my heart is the cruising dory, Mistral. She is the embodiment of my soul and represents years of personal design and sweat. Please indulge me if I insist she is the best sailing dory on the planet. Thirty-six feet of pure comfort and efficiency. I once imagined her living free on the Salish Sea and even as far north as Alaska. My sincere wish is that someone will realize that dream for me.

If you've dreamed of owning an Enterprise racing dinghy, I have just the one for you. This boat is forty years young and has been in the same family nearly all it's life. Anyone who has ever sailed an Enterprise from England will tell you, they are hard to beat. Contact me and we'll make the deal of the century.

Before I forget, I might mention the Doryman mellonseed. This boat is not yet for sale, since she is not finished. But I thought you might appreciate an update. Since we last saw her, the decks have been installed, the rudder hung and a tiller manufactured. Currently I'm installing her cockpit coamings and still trying to decide whether to build a foredeck hatch. Please note the hand-carved wood cleats. I can think of few more meditative recreations than making an attractive cleat. A great use of all the scrap hardwood that seems to accumulate around a boat building shop.

A major focus this winter has been the Stone Horse, Belle Starr. She is tightly wrapped in tarps, under a temporary lean-to, and photos are difficult, so you'll have to take my word for her improved condition. Hopefully she will hit the water this spring and I promise you'll hear all about it.

For now, I'd like to point out to my friend Webb Chiles, who is considering installing oarlocks to his new boat, that it's easy. He had some concern about how long his oars need to be. For a rowing vessel, I like to double the beam, but for a larger boat, one must consider the distance to the waterline from the shear, so an oar might be a bit longer. Longer is better, since the sailor will likely be rowing with one oar alone and steering with the rudder. I know there has been a lot of discussion lately about sculling oars and Chinese yulohs but I've tried both and nothing is simpler and more effective than the ancient oar. Even the five ton Mistral can be propelled at two knots with a single oar.
For Belle Starr, which has a beam of just over six feet in the cockpit, the oars will be thirteen feet long. You will note the oarlock is larger than you might find in your neighborhood chandlery, since the loom of such a long oar will be thick. An old, cast-off competitive scull works well.

If you see something here that sounds intriguing, please drop me a line: mbogoger(at)

Michael Bogoger (Doryman)


Patrick Hay said...

In the early 1960s I owned and sailed Enterprise 707. It looked exactly like yours - same colour, even.

My crew became my first wife. I sold her (the boat, obviously) to the Netley Sea Scouts around 1972 when class numbers had reached 15000 or so. My hull was still at class minimum weight, but the wooden mast was falling apart due to ageing glue.

doryman said...

So, Patrick, you need this boat!

Her number is 11533 and I haven't been able to discover how she came to be in the US. I restored her for a friend who's father bought the boat as the second owner. Don't know if the number is the original.

When I started working on her, she was red. I'm not a fan of red for a boat color.

I don't know how much latitude is allowed in the racing rules, but I would make a few rigging changes. For now, I left everything as I found it and concentrated on the soundness of the hull.

Laingdon said...

Not fan of red- now I see what happened to Finesse!

I'm hoping that the current sell off of Doryman's fleet is to enable you to concentrate on Belle Starr- last heard, you were thinking to spend a chunk of the upcoming season up this way aboard said vessel- is that still the plan?

doryman said...

I think I told you last fall of my red aversion. Besides, I had a gallon of this blue and I'm afraid a few of my boats ended up that color.

Including the Stone Horse. I know most Stone Horses are green but a friend who is an investor in that project has an aversion to green. Different strokes for different folks...

If several stars align properly, I will be cruising the Salish Sea this summer in Belle Starr. I think you should launch Oyster and come along, if she hasn't sold.

laingdon said...

Paint in the hand is worth, well, whatever you pay for paint at the store, which is generally a lot. Blue and on the water sure beats red and hanging in the rafters of my garage.

We'll see about this summer. If Oyster hasn't sold it would indeed be good to get her out on a trip. I should take it as a win-win, no? Either I sell the boat (preferred outcome), or I go sailing- one could find a worse second choice!

Brandon Ford said...

Well, Doryman, I just can't stop thinking about the Mellonseed! Thanks for letting me fondle her yesterday.

I do think you need to come up with a better name. I mean, the boat is so much bigger and better than other mellonseeds. Pumpkin seed? Seed of Light? (She will be fast, no?) Maybe a contest on the Doryman Blog is in order.

I do think she would be an ideal boat for almost anyone, but she would work especially well for a couple of former kayakers with one or two little kids. That would be a good target market.

Speaking of which, if there were hundreds or thousands of these boats built and used, the world would be a better place.