Hello. My name is Walter Baron. I run the one-man boat shop you see on these web pages. I build boats using wood as the main structural material, one at a time, in my shop in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. 

Using techniques ranging from Traditional Lapstrake to Plywood on Frame to modern Plywood/Epoxy/Fabric composite construction, I can build a boat suited to your particular needs.

Most of my boats are based on traditional designs that have stood the test of time and sea. They are not the fastest or glossiest boats on the waterfront. They are comfortable and efficient, gaining character and patina with use, age, and care.In this age of rising fuel costs I would like to emphasize the advantages of wood boats. Most wood boats, especially those built with modern composite wood-epoxy-fiberglass construction, are much lighter than GRP (Glass-Reinforced Plastic) boats. This means that a boat of a given size can be powered with a smaller motor to produce the same performance. There are many designs, both traditional and modern, that fall into this category.

Another advantage of wood boats is that the main structural material, wood, is a renewable resource. Trees still grow, unlike oil, which is a finite resource . The use of nonrenewable materials, such as epoxy adhesives and coatings add to the longevity of a boat and reduce maintenance. Added benefits include the beauty of wood, and the increased comfort due to wood's ability to absorb vibration.I will be researching advanced methods of wood construction as they become available.

Recent boats built include a custom Nauset Marsh Skiff set up for fly fishing, a Swampscott Dory for the son of the owner of the first Swampscott that I built in 1978, Norrpa, a Savo 650D   Finnish racing row boat designed by Ruud Van Veelen, a Cotuit Skiff, and a 19' Drake expedition rowing boat, designed by Clint Chase. Since this original post I have built a Sinne 610 and a Savo 575, both designed by Ruud Van Veelan, an 18' work skiff designed by me 30 years ago or so,, and a 20' LYS, and am working on another Nauset Marsh Skiff , as of October 2017. After the 2017 NMS, I built another Nauset Marsh Skiff, #4. Next is a 16’ LYS research vessels for Woods Hole.

 Row, sail, or power, custom design or stock plan, contact me to discuss and build a boat suited to your particular needs. I can also build a kit boat for your if you don’t have the time or space to build something from Chesapeake Light Craft, Clint Chase, Hewes & Co, Puuvenepiste (Savo Boats), or others.

Lots of new info is posted on Old Wharf's Facebook page, so click on the little f's you may see on these pages.


Next Project - a 16’ LYS , to be used as a research vessel at Woods Hole…

I have started a build album on Facebook

 Those 11 sheets of 1/2” Meranti Marine ply on the left will become a boat…

Those 11 sheets of 1/2” Meranti Marine ply on the left will become a boat…

11/21/18- Check out the ash coffee table I have for sale on the Boats For Sale page ! Scroll down to the bottom.


Check out the photo album of the recently completed Nauset Marsh Skiff. This is the 4th NMS that I have built, looks pretty good. Options on this boat include a casting deck with storage under, console with gas tank storage under the seat, floorboards/cable chase, and hinged aft seat. Power is a 30 HP Evinrude E-tec motor.

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Thanks to all who made the Rendezvous a great success ! We had beautiful weather, about 15 boats including a 6 oared gig, 2 traditional Banks dories, a CLC Northeaster dory rowed in from Orleans (and back later in the afternoon!), and many more interesting boats. Here’s a link to a short video on YouTube, and here‘s a link to some photos on facebook.

10/11/18 - Just posted another video from the Rendezvous, aboard the Cornish Pilot Gig. It’s in several places including here on the On Rowing page, the Old Wharf facebook page, and youtube!


Another new item in the Boatshop Store!

I have added a 3 Fathom utility/dock line to the inventory. It is made of 3/8" Hempex synthetic 3-strand line, and is 18' long, with a 12" hand worked eye splice on one end, and a needle and palm whipping on the other. A nice addition to any small boat's gear.

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Just got in a new batch of Oarsman Marine Tallow  Kits, for your oar leathers, and anything else that squeaks while you  row...



New Item added to the Boatshop Store!

I have added the Mora Clipper Companion F, one of the best inexpensive knives for small boat use. Read more about it, and order one here.

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The next project is another Nauset Marsh Skiff. I will not be documenting the build, since I just did that on the Old Wharf Facebook page . This one will be very similar, same hull , side decks, console, but with a casting platform forward and one aft of the console. The aft one will fold up for access underneath. I will try to post some stuff from the archives, including Lumber yard Skiffs built from plans. Meanwhile, don't forget the Adirondack Guide Boat I have for sale . There will be a spring price reduction- check  it out!

 A great looking, and great rowing boat...

A great looking, and great rowing boat...

10/2/17 - Next Project-

...Is building another Nauset Marsh Skiff like the one in the slideshow above. This one will stay on the Cape, the owner is from Chatham. I will be posting photos of the build on the Facebook page, and some here also. Here's a recent photo...

10/25/17- I started the build album on Facebook...

3/27/18- The boat is finished, and out the shop door. I brought it to a local marina for motor installation and rigging. The owner has seen the boat and is very pleased.

 Headed out the door...

Headed out the door...

Old Wharf Dory Co. is the Official US Builder of Puuvenepiste rowing boats, including the race-winning Savo 650 and 575.

 The Savo 575 ready to row...

The Savo 575 ready to row...


Don't forget that I have a great Pat Brown Adirondack Guide Boat for sale on the Boats for Sale page...

 A beautiful boat...

A beautiful boat...

This year, 2017, is the 40th Anniversary of Old Wharf Dory Co. 

I started building boats in 1977, in my yard in South Wellfleet. I still have the second boat I ever built, an 8' Pram designed by John Gardner, from the pages of the old National Fisherman. I just refinished it, a photo is below. I have built over 165 boats, ranging from 6'6" to 35'. During that time I was also a carpenter, commercial fisherman, and timber framer. Be on the lookout for some special goodies to celebrate 40 years of boat building including T-shirts, hats, etc. Thanks to all my customers over the years, you all have excellent taste in boats!

Here's the refinished pram- exterior paint Kirby Green-Gray, interior Swedish pine tar -linseed oil.


My Next Build - 

               is an 18' Work skiff I designed around 1984 or so. It is wide and low sided, so it sits nicely on the flats at low tide, and is easy to get in and out of. The low sides also make it easy to load and unload gear, bags of shellfish, etc. This boat will replace a 30 year old boat I built in 1986. Here's a link to the photo album.

LOA - 18'0", Beam to inside planking, 7'1", Beam inside at chines, 6'0", Depth amidships, 1'8".

1/16/17 - The 18' Work Skiff is finished. Here's a link to the Facebook album, and a photo of the finished boat-

18' Work Skiff, on the rollers and ready to go out the door.





Next project is building a Savo 575 race boat. Photos soon.


The Savo 575 is finished, photo album here.

 Savo 575 on the beach at the 2016 Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous.

Savo 575 on the beach at the 2016 Wellfleet Rowing Rendezvous.

The Sinne 610 is finished and on the trailer. I will cover her up until the owner comes to pick her up. But first, as soon as we get some good weather- SEA TRIALS! 

5/27/16 - Sea trials have been done, and are posted on the On Rowing page.

Now, on to the next project- repair of a 17' Gardner/Herreshoff  style rowing boat that got damaged in a recent storm. 

17' Herreshoff/Gardner showing some damage...

More photos in the Facebook album...

The 17' Herreshoff/Gardner row boat repaired, repainted, and ready to go...