Seaworthiness of this design is meant to use in calmer sea, or inland semi-protected water.. These Swampscott-type semi-dories are a lot easier to build glued lap rather than batten seam.
For an inexperienced boater, this boat will be seaworthy enough to row in protected areas in good weather. CLC lists the weight of the Chester Yawl at 100 pounds, which is very light for a 15' boat. In the following posting, please note that I separate the notion of seaworthy as a hull-form NOT filled with water yet and seaworthy after a disaster.
I own an 11'6" Lowell semi-dory, a semi-Swampscott in that its sides are more rounded than a Banks dory. A short dory sure does dig a hole in the water soon, though, and work to windward in choppy conditions is very iffy, even if it is swamping-safe, which is a separate safety issue. I prefer solid hull models, and enjoy modifying kits into unique, but historically correct configurations. In this course, boatbuilder John Karbott will lead students through the fundamentals of traditional wooden boat construction.
Throughout the course there will be ongoing discussions and detailed demonstrations of the construction methods being used, along with some alternatives.
This is an 18 foot version of the yawldory hull with high performance sails, centerboard, and rudder by Eric Sponberg. I also drew a sail plan, based on the practices of the time and a rough sailmaker’s sketch of the original vessel. Erik went over the details of this plan in great detail, even making sure that the block were exactly scale size. The deckhouses and topping lifts are not shown because my part of the project came to a sudden end.


The design fee was one of my double paddle canoes so we would have a second one for my wife. To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions. The hull ends up lighter for a given plank thickness and the interior is smooth, which eliminates a bunch of potential rot pockets and makes refinishing much easier. Trailering will open up a wide rage of designs that might be better suited for the conditions your folks encounter. It looked like a leaner (less DAS) Banks dory (complete with fake lapstrake ridges in the glass) but had a ~ 5-inch thick floor, foam-filled, and large scuppers where the tombstone transom met the floor. Fastening, tool sharpening, proper maintenance of wooden boats, paints and finishes, small-boat design, and the like will all be explored if there is interest.
I may add other boats from time to time as I find suitable pictures so check back occasionally. I designed this 39 foot, foam cored, fiberglass schooner in 1973 intending to start a boatyard with a friend.
Seems to me you won't be getting much weight reduction even building to JG's very light scantlings. Of course, it reaches its hull speed fast, and then makes a lot of exciting noise as you sail slowly (about 9 feet on the bottom!). It fills with water and floats, of course, but with the waves running, good luck ever bailing it out (though it is simple hydro-science, I still find it amazing how rough a lake gets if the wind has been running a while!). Over the years the dory has seen duty as a hard-working fishing boat, a lumberman’s log-driving bateau, a lifeboat, a recreational rowing boat, and a racing sailboat. The relative simplicity of semi-dory construction makes this type particularly attractive to the first-time boatbuilder. The source was a very detailed lines take off of the badly hogged and heavily modified hulk.


It took me 45 minutes in October water to get it bailed (I had to cling to the side and bail it, as every third wave filled it up again), before I could get it in a state where I could run to shore under the jib, half swamped.
As the skiff takes shape on the lofting board, students will quickly recognize the importance of this procedure and the integral information acquired from it.
With John Karbott’s able guidance and easygoing manner, students who sign up for this course are in for a real treat! The bottom rocker is reduced and the transom width increased, resulting in a boat that is more adaptable to the low-horsepower outboards.
Next, they will cut and bevel the stem piece and transom, cleat and bevel the planked flat-bottom, and make up the building molds, which also double as permanent frames in the boat. Combined with some under-thwart foam, we have something like a seaworthy semi-dory that useful on more than sunny zephery day. The lapstrake planking is hung onto knuckled sawn frames, which not only adds to the looks of the boat, but also increases its stability as it is loaded. Once the boat is framed, the class will set it up on the strongback, fair it, and begin the planking process.
Over time, semi-dories became a popular and widely used small craft type throughout New England, both as a workboat and for recreation. Because of plywood’s easy availability in most areas, this will be the chosen planking material, and students will have the opportunity to master scarfing techniques required to obtain the various lengths necessary.
As the week progresses, everyone will be kept busy installing seat risers, thwarts, inwales and guards, breasthook and quarter knees as the skiff nears completion.



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