Row Boats

Here are a few designs that I have built in the past. Scroll down to see them all. Hover your pointer over the photos in the slide show to see the captions.

Old Wharf Dory

Here's short construction sequence on building an Old Wharf Dory. Call or email me if you are interested in having one built for you. 


Phil Bolger's "Ticket to Heaven", the Gloucester Gull is one of the prettiest dories there is. I have built several, both in the original construction and stitch and glue. The stitch and glue version is lighter, about 90 lbs vs about 125 lbs for traditional construction. 


Savo 650

Above is a short sequence on building a Savo 650D. More info on this boat can be found on the designer's web site, Puuvenepiste . I am an authorized builder for the entire range of these fine Finnish designs. As usual, call or email to discuss building one of these fine craft.

Here is a list of available designs- 

Savo 650 D

The Savo650D is an excellent high performance wooden rowing double. Like the the other boats from the Savo series, the Savo650D is a 'dry boat' and choppy water is no reason for keeping its rower ashore. There are two versions of the Savo650Double, a 3 and a 4 strake version. The 3 strake is the best choice for teams weiging in at 160 kg and more while the 4 strake is more suitable for the lighter teams up to 160 kg.

Savo 650 S

The Savo650S is a stable, high performance wooden rowing boat with excellent tracking properties. It is a 'dry boat' and choppy water is no reason to stay ashore. The boat suits all rowers, male and female alike. Shorter lighter rowers might prefer the Savo575S.

Sprinting at speeds of over 15 km/h (8+ knots) the Savo650S can compete with most recreational shells. 
Cruising at 8-10 km/h (4.3 -5.4 knots) means that day trips of 40 to 50 km can be easily achieved.

Savo 575 S

The Savo 575 S is the shortened version of the successful Savo 650S and it has inherited many of its good properties.

Due to its shorter length the manoeuvrability of the Savo 575 S is excellent while it still tracks well in all conditions and on top of this it could just fit into your garage! Thanks to its light weight, handling the boat ashore is easy and when you want to escape your home waters, just put the boat on top of your car and you are ready to explore new waters.

Saauju 470 Skiff

The Saajuu 470 skiff has its roots in the Finnish province of southern Savo, where there are more waterways than roads. The glued lapstrake construction is light and rugged. With the optional floatation installed the boat is very safe and can be CE marked according to the Recreational Craft Directive in category D (sheltered waters). 
The boat is easy to row as it steers easily and tracks well. The boat can be rowed with two people both rowing or in shift-boat style, with one rowing and the other one paddling/steering. Two rowers and one paddler is another option. 

The transom can accommodate a 3 kW (4hp) outboard engine. Loaded with 200 kg A 3 kW outboard will propel the boat, loaded with 200 kg, to a maximum speed of approximately 11 km/h (6 knots). 
Fitted with an electric motor the boat glides along silently leaving wildlife undisturbed.

Siine 610 - This is an expedition rowing boat, suitable for long distance cruising. I am building one this winter (2015-16), and will hopefully be able to sea trial it before the owner takes it to it's home in Canada. Check out the photo album of the build on the Old Wharf Facebook page.

Swampscott Dory

The Swampscott Dory is considered by many to be the Queen of dories.It was developed in and around the town of Swampscott, Massachusetts, for  a particular reason. The town has no harbor, only a sloping, sandy beach. This design was developed/evolved for landing cargo from anchored ships onto this beach through surf, and for fishing from the beach. The qualities needed were the ability to carry a fair load of cargo, row easily, sail if possible, handle surf and rough water, and sit upright on the beach when landed. These original attributes serve as well today as they did then.The original design has been modified through the years to include pure light rowing dories such as the Gunning Dory and the Atlantic 17 to the original row/sail versions in several sizes, to the inboard powered Boston Power dories.

Construction styles and materials have also been modified . I have built 7 of these dories to the same lines using several different techniques. The first one I built (and the last one) I used a combination traditional/ modern method . To do this I used Marine Plywood for the bottom , and combined the first 3 strakes into one large plywood garboard. This assembly was sheathed in fabric and epoxy, then the top 2 strakes were made from natural cedar planking . I have built one boat totally traditional (it was built to Natant dory lines) using grown hackmatack crooks for the stem and frames, all cedar planking, oak rub rails, and pine thwarts, painted with Kirby paints. I have also built one using the glued lap system with all Marine ply. This boat is the light blue one with the oiled interior.

There are a lot of design variations available for this boat - here are a few possibilities:

The original Mystic Seaport design shown here, which I have built a number of times as mentioned above.

Pete Culler has at least a couple of variations- it was one of his favorites, he owned a couple.

The  Gunning dory as shown in John Gardner's "Dory Book". There are a couple of variations on this one.

The Atlantic 17, a combination gunning dory/LF Herreshoff pulling boat- I have rowed this boat, it's a good one.

Clint Chase's Deblois St. Dory, a modern CNC cut kit adaptation.

There are more, I will add some when I can. 

I think the Swampscott would make a great camping/expedition/raid boat. It has been used successfully on a number of such voyages.