Dory, Piscataqua Wherry, 17′

The long, lean, round-sided dory pictured below is of a type indigenous to the Piscataqua River region of southeastern Maine and New Hampshire. Heavier, more apple-cheeked models were commonly employed as water-taxis during the early 20th century,  before the first automobile bridge spanned the tide between Portsmouth and Kittery. Most of the boats were apparently built in Eliot, Maine, by either Cole or Staples. Original examples I’ve seen are pine planked on sawn white oak frames with apple breasthooks and excellent craftsmanship.

The light wherry pictured here was built in 1975. She is cedar on steam-bent white oak frames and copper fastened with rivets and clench-nails. A half-dozen were built for a rowing race held during the Bicentenial celebration at the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard in Kittery, Maine. Several survive and this is one of  ’em. I’ve been told that Bud McIntosh designed them and that several different builders were contracted for their construction. Paul Rollins, of York, Maine, built one  that’s still around and I can’t think of the name of the guy who built this one, but it’ll come to me. They all have about 48 inches of beam at the sheer, single plank bottoms, nice, narrow waterlines and row beautifully.

This one needs nothing and is for sale for $3500. with the trailer.

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