Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Amesbury Dory Skiff

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 70's I had a couple of these in succession, a 14 footer and a 16 footer. Seaworthy, utilitarian and relatively fast with a modestly powered outboard, they were ideal boats for just banging around. Fishing, Snorkeling, running up creeks, pretty much everything you might want to do when messing about in a boat. Once ubiquitous, they were starting to become uncommon when I had mine, I can only think of a handful of others in our harbor at the time. The 13 foot Boston Whaler's and Aluminum Boats had largely supplanted the dory skiff as the default kids boats by that time. By now, most of the Dory skiff's have long since rotted away and been sent up the chimney by way of the wood stove. It's amazing how quickly an unmaintained wooden boat will disappear when exposed to the elements. Luckily, Lowell's boat shop in Amesbury, founded in 1793,  still makes them out of wood, a 16 footer will set you back around $10K.  Stur-Dee Boats also makes a kindof clunky fiberglass knockoff  as well.   Link: Lowell's Boat Shop


  1. The dory or in this case semi dory design has been around for a very long time. My father built boats in wood in the early years and went over to glass in the 60's. He used the wooden boats he built as plugs from which he made the molds. My daughter and I continue to build our line of small boats and he taught us, with integrity, no shortcuts and by hand. We're proud of our work and focus on quality not quantity. We've been in business for 63 years, must be doing something right.
    All the best,
    Heidi Reid
    Mackenzie Reid
    Stur-Dee Boat Co.
    Tiverton, TI 02878

  2. You're definitely doing all the right things, Stur-Dee boats have a great reputation ! Your boats differ slightly from the type that had been made on the North Shore of MA by outfits like Lowell's in that yours have a markedly more freeboard than those. I did have a 16' foot Vaughn dory that was very similar in design to the Stur-Dee.