Building the TotalBoat Sport Dory: Launching & Rowing – Finally!


We have finally reached the episode you’ve all been waiting for! It’s time to launch the TotalBoat Sport Dory and take her for a row. Lou is excited to finally sit in the boat, pull on the oars, and feel the dory sliding easily over the water.  Catch the final episode in our series with Louis Sauzedde from Tips from a Shipwright and watch as Lou gleefully takes his first ride in the dory we’ve watched him build.

An original Sauzedde design, it combines a lifetime of methodology, with modern materials and products for a classic yet modern boat that is truly one of a kind. Don’t miss your chance to own this famous boat! Visit the eBay link below and place your bids!!…


Catch up on every episode of the TotalBoat Sport Dory build series – or go back and watch Louis build the TotalBoat Work Skiff. 

We appreciate you watching and supporting us at TB and Louis and his video team for this Dory build. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Lou! Stick around for lots more video goodness every Friday in this space.

Now let’s go for a row with Louis!


49 responses to “Building the TotalBoat Sport Dory: Launching & Rowing – Finally!

  1. Well Lou
    Just like the skiff build my favorite vid is the last one. Seeing the smile on your face and hearing the joy in your voice is just the best.
    This is what it’s all about in the end right?

    Thanks for everything Lou.


  2. Congratulations Lou! I knew it would float. Watching you row the boat is proof of the excellence of design and craftsmanship that you put into her. She tracks nice and straight and carries with a minimum of effort. And she looks beautiful. I especially like the contrast of the white frames to the inside of the boat. Well done!

  3. When Function and Beauty come together as well as this Sport Dory did, it is a wonderful thing. The lines, contrasts, wood grain, and the color white came together very well.
    The fact that you started from a sketch, makes the final result so much more impressive.

    Thanks for an amazing video series, enjoyed every video.

  4. Congratulations…. You are a true craftsman/designer/toolsmith/instructor. She is a beauty and would make any salt proud to own her. You are the last of a dying breed. Thanks

  5. “Believe me, in my heart I’m excited…” Oh, I know that feeling! Stepping into your little boat for the first time, feeling it stir under your feet like it’s ready to go. And just look at that beautiful bow wave, and the wake totally flat and smooth. Thanks, Lou, for sharing this moment with us.

    1. Just wonderful! I’ve watched every episode from the beginning, some more than once and the culmination is stunning. I have tears as I can feel your joy. This is why I build boats too. I don’t get the same satisfaction pushing papers around on my insurance desk as I do in the shop or when I splash a new project for the first time. I’m so happy for you and for all of your other viewers. I don’t think you can begin to imagine how many people you touch Lou. Thank you Sir.

  6. Sweet! The vertical overhead drone shots are spectacular. You look like you’re having a great time rowing and the carry was evident within the first few strokes. The closing shot answered a long standing question of mine: where’s the shop located? What’s around it? Thanks, Lou.

  7. Love the series, Lou. You can tell your sponsor that I’m now using some totalboat products on my current project. I learned about the totalboat line from you. Good luck and keep up the work. Never sit still.

  8. As the much anticipated launch of boat brings great joy we look forward for your next build. Great job! Any news on the new shop?

  9. Mill Pond and Wickford Harbor are two of the most beautiful places in the northeast to have a boat. Our J32 sailboat was kept on a mooring off Pleasant Street Wharf by the previous owner and we stayed at Wickford Marina for the month of October 2015 after taking possession of her. We passed by your present shop many times going back and forth to the marina. We brought the boat home to New Rochelle, NY but Wickford, RI holds a dear spot in our hearts. What a great spot for your shop. I will stop by to visit when we come to Wickford again. I am retired from years of architectural woodwork and share your love of carpentry and your videos provide hours of enjoyment. Your demonstration of craftsmanship is priceless. Good luck with all your future projects.

  10. That is a beauty. I know the feeling of gliding the boat through the water w/ one pull of the oars. Also, I enjoy watching the water drip off the ends of the oars during the stroke. I completed a 14′ Cosine Wherry in 2000; a similar design and a great boat to row. I’d like to send a photo, but I don’t see an option to do that.
    I appreciate watching the build of the dory; brings back memories. Louis; thanks for your expertise.

  11. Lou,

    I don’t know what’s more fun watching you ride the pan or the dory. the dory’s beautiful! Your craftsmanship’s superb. My 1st 4 years in the USCG were at Menemsha on MV, watching the series brought back a lot of great memories. Looking forward to the skiff.

  12. Lou,

    You have raised the bar for wooden dory construction. I hope whoever gets this boat realizes in addition to the boat, they are also getting a piece of your heart.

  13. Outstanding craftsmanship demonstrated in your videos while building this beautiful dory! What a thrill to watch you launch and row this boat! The launch video was very well done as well. Your location brings back memories of one of your neighbors–U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. I spent five months there from April to August, 1968, and fell in love with the area. Thanks, Lou, for being a great teacher of boat building.

  14. A beautiful boat, glides through the water almost effortlessly and looks great going through the water. I haven’t had the privilege of rowing a boat for over 30 years, except maybe paddling a canoe, still 25 years or so back. Terrible.

    Beautiful build and I learned a few tricks I can apply to building radio control models.

    Thanks Lou

  15. I didn’t think I would be so pleased when launch day came. It was like I had stepped back in time to Wickford in 1964 at the start of Johnson’s Boatyard. Bill Johnson was man building a business but he always took time when I came around to show me so many things nautical. There was a dory there that was about 20 ft long and two men would row it out often. The silence and the speed of that beautiful boat have stayed with me all these years. Much thanks to you and Jamestown Dist. for bringing us these videos.

  16. Thank you again for a most enjoyable adventure in boat building. Quite an educational experience to see how you took us from your ideas, laying out the plans, choice of materials, then showing us the techniques to build this boat. Jamestown is fortunate to have a shipwright that is down-to-the-sea and articulate. I hope when you will also do some sculling from the transom rowlock when you show us the surf ability of this dory.

  17. I enjoyed the video. Personally, I would like to see longer oars with this beamy a boat and have the locks set lower. Somewhat smaller blades would also work well in the lower position.
    Pete Culler’s formula from his “Boats, Oars and Rowing” suggests that the inboard length of the oars should be just about half or slightly more than half the beam and the total length of the oars should be x[the inboard length]/7x 25.
    I have found that rowing cross handed, with about a six inch overlap at the oar looms, actually gives the best control of a well designed rowing boat, which this clearly is.
    Rowing cross handed takes a little getting used to but it gets comfortable quickly.

  18. Congratulations Lou, I enjoy all your programs, in fact I am building in Guatemala where I live a wooden boat based on your techniks and experience, best regards

  19. Really fun to watch you row and your building inspired me to build a rowing skiff this winter of my own design but I made it 12 ft. long so I can haul it easily in a pickup. I built boats many years ago in Seattle and I picked up several tips from you that came in very useful. Beautiful job.

  20. Just wonderful! I’ve watched every episode from the beginning, some more than once and the culmination is stunning. I have tears as I can feel your joy. This is why I build boats too. I don’t get the same satisfaction pushing papers around on my insurance desk as I do in the shop or when I splash a new project for the first time. I’m so happy for you and for all of your other viewers. I don’t think you can begin to imagine how many people you touch Lou. Thank you Sir.

  21. Lou, I have been really impressed with your efforts and the dory turned out just beautiful- looks great on the water. Your teaching skills are as impressive as your boat building skills.
    I have one question. Can you tell me what exactly is the polysulfide bedding compound that you use? I cannot find the product here in Australia, nothing by that name at least. I want to use it for the gunwale and chine guards on a Pacific dory that I am building.
    Thanks again Lou for a great series. I’m waiting for the next build.

  22. Louis you are the man. Such a Beautiful boat. Thank you for sharing. I am rebuilding a 1960’s Raudaschl FINN sailboat. I will now paint the boat hull myself and use teak preservative on the inside. It will beat the old garish. Thanks also for showing how to get the Waterline. I am doing the paint stripping using a heat gun like you did in one of your old videos. Also used your steam bending method using a polybag. I have my own modified steam maker. You are my hero. Thank you

  23. Good morning Lou and Total boat team,
    Lou your dory is beautiful and I have really enjoyed this video series. Both your building and the video production is enjoying and professional to watch. Not to mention inspiring. As a cabinet maker and fine woodworker I have wanted to build a small wooden boat for many years now. This little rowing dory looks like a wonderful project that would be a delight for a small family of three to use and row on the lakes, calm rivers and New England shores that live near and we like to visit. I’d love to see a quick video of you rowing this dory in and out of some small surf on a beach if you have to time.
    Again I want to mention how well you build, instruct, and inspire the building of your wooden boats. I too am very impressed with the production of the videos. Very professional well planned and executed series. The photographs of you rowing the dory in evening were beautiful as well.
    Thank you Lou and Total Boat for this series of videos. Keep up the wonderful work.
    Kelly J.

  24. Outstanding masterpiece built by the master himself…well done Louis Sauzedde! What was the overall length of this vessel?

  25. Really enjoyed this series and especially the final episode. Such a beautiful boat but the most striking thing was seeing it move. It truly has a magical way of going!

  26. Great job Lou and also congratulations to your video crew!

    They did a great job through the series and a wonderful end with the drone shots of you, the boat and the great scenery. The background music was on point as well. You are a great storyteller and they make it easy and fun to hear your story.

  27. Beautiful dory, you have the eye for a sweet line.
    As a lifelong fixed-seat, open water rower I noticed two things and humbly offer these comments:
    From the video it seems that the rowing thwart might be a little too high. You might be more comfortable if it were one or two inches lower. Also (from the drone views) at the catch of the stroke the oar is about perpendicular and all the power is in the arc aft of perpendicular. Ideally you catch about 45 deg forward and recover about 45 deg aft of the perpendicular. I believe you should move the oarlocks a bit forward, toward the thwart.

  28. I’ve really enjoyed this series. I have a Chris Craft Connie I’m maintaining and refitting so I’ve learned things too so thank you for that. I would like to know what the plastic rib material is and where to buy it. I’ve got to replace some and I want to use that material. Thanks

  29. Thank you Lou , i would love to come out and learn from you ! keep up the Excellent Work . i’ll keep watching , there’s nothing like a wooden boat.

  30. Really terrific videos. Having built three Fair Isle type skiffs for our local rowing club here in Scotland, wish I had seen these videos 5 years ago when I first started building boats. Learnt a lot from these videos. Lou is so informative, practical & enthusiastic, a real inspiration.

  31. It is now March 2 and have not heard what’s coming up next. Can you give an update as to when the next project will start etc.

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