Well, it’s been two years (again), and a lot has happened. The local lumberyard has closed (but replaced by an offshoot of another), I added a sail to the dory (but no centerboard or rudder), and we had a pandemic (in case you didn’t notice).

Let’s talk about the dory 🙂

So, it turns out that you can sail a dory quite a bit without a centerboard/daggerboard/leeboard, and without a rudder. You just can’t go upwind very well.

Here are some pictures of the mast being formed…

After epoxying the two boards and measuring, – the cutting/shaping begins.

Little bit at a time…
Almost there…
and finally!
Mast partners and step.
Fancy mast partners support…
More “stuff” and another view of the mast step (all plywood layers)
It works! And you can sail right up onto the beach!

Note the Optimist training sail! It’s a perfect fit, and it is a traditional spritsail.

The regular Optimist sails have battens and a funny shape. Could not have that on my dory. Just wouldn’t do…

Perhaps I’ll cut or buy another spritsail that I can lace on at some point. I’d also like to try a jib, -which would require access to the mast under that sleeve…

But it works!

Here I am sailing along the beach. Here’s how it is done:

For downwind sailing => sit in the BACK of the boat, as far BACK as possible. Let the sail out. Down you go…

For upwind(ish) sailing => MOVE FORWARD => This puts more of the forward end of the boat in the water, as if you had a centerboard or daggerboard down (well, doesn’t provide sideways slip like those items do, but…).

To Steer: Lean left or right to “dig” the boat in where needed, and MOVE forward and aft. You’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.

Not rudder! No Board! NO OARS (read about using them to steer in all the “expert forums”, – they never worked for me). I think if you have a center/dagger/lee board, then the steering oar concept would work better.

So control of the boat is through bodyweight placement and sail control. That’s it!

I CANNOT SAIL UPWIND – OR ANYWHERE CLOSE TO IT. But you can point up to some degree – you just drift sideways quite a bit. Might try a leeboard w/ a fender against the side of the boat at some point. The issue w/ dories and leeboards seems to be the that leeboard should slant out, but the sides of the dory slant in, a lot… Will let you know how that goes.

Now, I have to decide if I want to put a hole in the bottom of the boat for a centerboard or daggerboard, -or just build a sailboat 🙂 Not crazy about changing the boat. It rows well (if slowly and like a pig). Not sure I want to mess with it. Then again, because it rows slowly and like a pig, I might want to use it for sailing more than rowing and build a real pulling boat.

So many decisions!

Life is good. Don’t forget it folks. I try to remember how lucky I have it everyday. Even if I’m not rich, I have it way better than many, many people out there. And I am extremely thankful. Especially that I seem to have my health, most of the time… I try to remember this when I get frustrated. Is whatever I’m worried about really that important? Think: Food, Water, Shelter, Security.

Life is good.