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SURF DORY


$68

This is a slim cut-down hull, just over 14 feet long and compartmentalized through-out. Inspired by sit-on-top kayaks and surf-skis, this lightweight boat accelerates quickly and rows easily, yet has sufficient stability to stand and change position and even haul a passenger on flat water.

The hull can be made self-bailing by using a flush fitting “Swedish bailer” which siphons water with forward motion, or drain scuppers can be cut into the hull sides of the footwell to empty the hull even quicker. Freeboard is minimal to decrease windage and sealed compartments fill most of the hull to provide storage and flotation when swamped in surf. Compartments can be built to accommodate intended usage, and provide storage capacity for rowing trips and camp cruising, and can be accessed with small Beckson “screw-outs” placed wherever required. The Becksons also fit almost flush with the deck or bulkhead to help prevent injury in rough water and there are no internal ribs or frames inside the hull.

Traditional gunnel mounted oarlocks work best in rough water and tethered oars as short as four or five feet are most controllable in beach launching and landing through moderate surf. Equipped with the optional laminated oarlock recurve the boat is fast enough to provide enjoyable rowing on flat water using 6 to 8 foot oars, or even conventional 9’-6” sculls. The oarlock recurve is laminated wood veneer with strips of carbon fiber laid over the top or bottom. It installs and removes as fast as you can twirl two stainless steel thumbscrews, and provides optimum pin-to-pin oarlock spacing. For full-body workouts a sliding seat such as the Piantedosi drop-in unit can also be installed and easily removed. The surf dory can also be paddled kneeling or sitting, and is slim enough to use a double bladed kayak paddle.

Depending on how the boat is to be used the hull can be equipped with a short skeg to help prevent broaching, or a half length keel can be attached for distance rowing. For bottom protection and rough beach landings sacrificial rubbing strips can also be attached to the graphite bottom. Carefully constructed versions can be built to weigh between 40 and 50 pounds, which makes cartopping possible for one person and the boat is also easy to portage well above the tide line when camp cruising. The boat also has a tough slick graphite bottom which makes it easy to drag with a tether over gravel beaches and across cement launch ramps.

Building plans detail a very simple stitch and glue version, built of hardwood ply and epoxy and include many builders tips and options to customize the basic boat.

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