The dory was once a common sight around the harbors and coves of Newfoundland. These two man fishing boats were used to fish cod through the 1860's and into the 1960's. The Newfoundland version was a small 15 foot flat-bottomed boat with flaring sides and a sharp bow and stern. This provided a very stable floating platform and its design allowed easy stacking on the deck of a schooner.
Simeon Lowell who came from England to Massachusetts invented the dory in 1793. The name itself probably originated from a Nova Scotia redfish known as the "John Dory Fish". Some Newfoundland fishermen still build this "little Lady of the North Atlantic.
The majority of Newfoundlanders still have and use a dory. Although, most dories are outboard by now. It's a design that just works! My family still swears by the original dory design, which is something that they've been building for centuries. It just works and will continue to work for many years to come! Often the original needs no work and so no one 'builds upon it'.
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