Swampscott Dory

Drawing of a dory boat

Swampscott Dory

The New England Swampscott dory is an excellent open water and expedition boat. It is known as a surf dory in New Jersey because they could be launched directly into the Atlantic surf. It is a derivation of the Banks dory, but the sides are more rounded and there is less of an overhang at the bow and stern. The bottom of the Swampscott dory is flat, allowing one to sit square on a beach.

They are designed to be used for commercial fishing and lobstering, primarily off the Grand Banks. But, they were also used as transportation between the costal islands. Author John Gardner calls the Swampscott Dory the “aristocrats” of the dory clan.

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It can carry tremendous loads of fish in all weather conditions. By the early 1900’s, this type became very popular for recreational use, both rowing and sailing, due to their speed, ease of handling and seaworthiness. Through the years, modifications were made to evolve the Swampscott into the Alpha Class then the Town Class.

The Swampscott Dory is usually between 14 and 18 feet in length. Noted for seaworthiness and speed; small enough to be very maneuverable, yet large enough to carry 3 adults and their gear. The hull is built so that the Swampscott dory can slide into the water with little or no wake. It moves well when using either oars or sail, even when weather conditions call for rough seas.

Dory Photo