St Pierre Dory - much touted seaworthiness

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Standpipe, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Standpipe
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    Standpipe Junior Member

  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If you went out in 12 foot seas, you'd be crazy, the only advantage I can see is that in a dangerous following sea, the double-ended shape may allow waves to pass under the boat with less tendency to send it into a broach. But really, there is not much seaworthy about a little boat that pinches in at both ends, the righting moment is pretty miserable.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Perhaps it is a way to see St Peter earlier than wished ?
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The dory in general and a few specific types in particular, have an earned seaworthiness reputation. Unfortunately, most don't take this in context and it's blown way out of proportion. A dory can be seaworthy, but only if heavily laden down with a load of fish, skippered appropriately and manned by a seriously skilled crew. In fact, most designs now called a "dory" aren't actually a real dories, but a modernized version of a narrow bottom skiff, that has some of the aestedics of a dory. If you head out into 12' seas in a real dory, you'll need to bring some really brave, very well skilled crew members along to help you bring this puppy home, without drowning everyone. This assumes you as the skipper have a clue about small boat handling in big seas. Can it be done, yep, sure can. Should it be done, not if you can avoid it, as small craft in big seas, is pretty much a guarantee you'll be fighting for you life in the process.
     
  5. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Size matters, dories originated as small rowers and any small boat will have issues in large seas but, it probably is one of the more seaworthy designs. Many variations from chine to round, flat bottoms or very rockered, high sheer ends or more moderate.

    The bartender boats seem to be very dory "ish" and were used by coast guard as surf boats. Very few built over 26' but some I know have crossed oceans. There was a sailing dory 50' called "Hunky Dory" that cruised the pacific, built by a motivational speaker you can search those keys words and read about him.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Anyone that thinks a dory (any type) is seaworthy, should just take one out (solo) into the ocean surf and see how long they hold up. I recommend a big greasy lunch before you go, just to reinforce the message the boat will quickly provide.
     
  7. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Any similar sized small boat will act similarily. Once u get to what i think is the largest nexus dory boat at 26' and about 3000# it would most likely compare well pound for pound in seaworthiness to any other engine powered boat of same displacement.

    From my recollection the bartenders are descended from older australian surf dories and tweeked through the years where it developed into semi planing eventhough, its very modified it still has strong dory traits.

    Same with the benford sailing dories, take away the keel and deck and its still pretty much a typical chine dory although much heavier than the rowers.
     
  8. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Improperly used, a dory will drown you just as quick as any other boat.
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Maybe you should stick with what you know Goodwill, as you're not comparing apples to apples, but generalities to things you don't fully grasp (seemingly). Lightly loaded, narrow bottom boats aren't very seaworthy, regardless of the hype you might have read. Further if you're at all familiar with Jay Benford's work (I am), he clearly explains the modifications he made to his sailing dory series, to make them seaworthy and other than some topside flare, really couldn't be confused with a real dory. This goes for anyone else that has taken on the dory hull form and run the numbers. Tad is quite familiar with the type, particularly the Bartender and (again) other than some topside flare, not much of a dory. And FWIW, the Bartender (the origional) is a full plane mode craft, not semi displacement.

    The best thing you can do is find a dory, row it into the surf and see how long you can take it, before making your grandiose statements about their seaworthiness.
     
  10. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Ditto --from one who actually used one in the North Atlantic to earn a living
     
  11. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    The original St Pierre dories were built for use by fisherman working from the French islands of St Pierre and Miquelon which are off the south coast of Newfoundland. The waters around the islands are exposed to the Atlantic. Large waves are common and many of the dories were kept on beaches but as far as I know the boats would not have operated over bars such in the US Pacific north-west.

    The original St Pierre dories powered by low power make-and-break engines for which the narrow transom works well. The have a retractable propeller which in combination with the flat bottom which allows the boats to be easily beached. Also, the original dory construction is relative easy and inexpensive to build.

    John Gardner wrote about the St Pierre dories and published plans in National Fisherman circa 1962. His lines were based on a plan prepared for the French fisheries. Gardner said that "Hundreds of these big dories have been employed in the St. Pierre fisheries since they were first introduced by the French government in the early 1930's. As a sea boat, in a region known for storm, ice and shipwreck, the French dory has earned a remarkable record: there is no remembered instance of a "grande doris" being lost, or of any fisherman being drowned from one. On several occasions these big dories have served as rescue boats, taking seaman from wrecks difficult to reach with ordinary lifeboats."

    John Gardner also designed two variations of the St. Pierre dory. One had a slightly wider bottom and some rounding in the sides. The other kept the straight sides with same flare, but widened the bottom and beam 14 inches amidships and 6 inches at the transom.

    After Gardner's articles in National Fisherman numerous "St Pierre" dories were built and assorted folks starting selling plans for similar boats.
     
  12. Standpipe
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    Standpipe Junior Member

    Thanks for all the interesting input everybody.

    I had a feeling that some of the hype ( like that listed below) was on shaky ground. Anyway, I'm not trying to diminish NA's who know far more about boat building than I ever will - it just seemed silly to call those boats seaworthy.....

    http://www.spirainternational.com/hp_lone.php


     
  13. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The word blurb is under-used ! Anything with that general shape and size would need a ballast keel to be called "very seaworthy".
     
  14. sprit
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    sprit Junior Member

    Lifeboats have a lot of buoyancy high up in their hulls, so that they can survive a rollover.
    Is it possible that the high ends of the St. Pierre dories have the same effect?
     

  15. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    "Seaworthy" depends on context.

    Seaworthy for a trip from Florida to the Bahamas in good weather is very different than seaworthy in the North Atlantic during a winter gale.

    The crew's experience and knowledge can also make a difference.
     
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