Video of the Week: Lou’s Intro to Dory Designs

We know you are counting down the days until Lou and the next great boat building project and video series get underway. We are too, and to prime you for the occasion, we give you this little overview from Lou of dory designs. As he pours over many popular dory designs already penned, he considers what’s most useful from each one and might “borrow” a little design feature from a bunch of the different loftings. From this research and introspective, Lou has dreamed up what will be necessary to build the perfect dory. 

As Lou contemplates his next Dory build, there is a lot to take into consideration. How will the boat be used? Will it have an engine or not? Even the rudder configuration is being rethought, and as one might expect from Lou by now, and he’s likely to throw conventional rudders to the wind and look towards sculling with an oar that will be on board for rowing the dory. A sailing rig seems likely as well, and with all of these unique Lou features, the TotalBoat Sport Dory will be imagined and then, before your viewing eyes, she will be born.

The full series should begin in a few short weeks with the regular Friday morning (Eastern Time) delivery that you had become accustomed to with the TotalBoat Skiff series. We hope you’ll like it and share it with your friends. And of course we really hope you’ll be inspired enough to take on your own boat building project. And TotalBoat products, customer support and videos will be here for you to help you along every step of the way!

20 responses to “Video of the Week: Lou’s Intro to Dory Designs

  1. I would love to build a 18 foot deepv dory with high sides for fishing with steering somewhere and a spot to lie down out of sun comfort and made for deep ocean water. My brother-in law owns a lumber company. I am just afraid to try and build it myself. Lou Casale

  2. Lou is a master teacher.
    The amount to be learned, even from this one video is quite amazing.
    Learning to see the differences between designs and how each difference specializes the boat in some way, is something that stays with you and enriches your enjoyment of wooden boats.
    The Production values are very high, but simple and unobtrusive.
    Weather audio quality, camera angle or the continuity of Ideas expressed, it’s a masterful job of educational film making.
    Thanks to all involved, especially the sponsor.

  3. You are such a great teacher, Lou. I learned so much in that 15 minutes. Thank you.
    By the way, I was eyeing that little skiff model sitting there.

  4. Lou,


    I’m a dory fiend. I just finished building a 10 foot Chaisson dory skiff which I use as a tender- found in the John Gardner book it looks like you’re using. That is abeautiful boat, although I made a number of mistakes, and had to use a bit of glass and epoxy to make it water tight, it tows and rows well.

    I had a 14 foot dory quite awhile ago. I loved that thing. I rowed it all over in Owls Head Maine, and after a summer or two of rowing, built a sailing rig for it and put in a centerboard. It was fun to use, but small for my wife and son and me, so I started to build a 17 footer. That was the boat of my dreams. Ala no longer with us- a tree branch in a storm while it sat on its trailer. I look forward to watching your next series.

    Paul Murray

  5. Good video. I recognize the plans from which Lou is working and have them also (John Gardner). I look forward to the progress of the boat and the series. I was greatly enlightened just by these 14 minutes. I’m going to pull up the plans on the gunning dory I built in ignorance and look at those plans differently. Thank you Lou.

  6. Great video Lou, but you never mentioned what building methods you will employ in your design. I’d have to assume there’s quite a difference in a drawing for a wood planked boat and a plywood or stitched design.

    I’ve built canoes and modded some kayaks, but a dory, skiff or Cat boat has always intrigued me. Mine would have to serve at least part time as a fishing boat

    1. Lou,
      I am about to retire and wiuld like to build a wooden boat. I lived on Bristol as a child and tecently saw you and the work skiff in Mystic. Would very much like to build it. I have built houses, decks & porches but never a boat. My questions are: how could the dimesions be reduced to produce a skiff of about 14′? Where can the rough materials shown in the first video be purchased? Thanks.

  7. What is the design significance of having the radius of the upper planks on the line connecting the high points of the sides versus not having it on that line? What if it is above the line and what if it is below the line?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *