Northeaster Dory Mod/Repair Questions

Well, the inevitable finally happened. I flipped my boat!

I had intended on practicing righting/re-entry maneuvers when the weather was warmer, but never did (was always having too much fun).

Both air & water were about 55F, wind 15-20 and I thought it was a good day to try out my newly purchased dry suit, a 2 pc. Kokotat.

I was having a blast, as when you're not worried about getting wet, the boat handles pretty good upwind. I dropped sail and rowed under a bridge, but raised it again after the clearing the wind shadow. The wind was coming straight down the next river giving the waves more fetch, which were probably now about 1.'5 - 2'. It started to rain, but I thought "What do I care? I'm in a dry suit!"

After my 4th tack up-river, I decided I had had enough and decided on a controlled jibe, setting me up for downwind and then my reach toward the bridge. I had jibed the boat many times this summer in similar conditions and was confident. I pulled the sail in close, jibed, and as I was allowing the sheet to run out (most critical part of the maneuver on this boat) it got wrapped around my foot and over I went!

The boat stayed at 90 degrees to the water until I was able to right her. I stepped gently on the daggerboard, held on to the rail and she came up very easily. I dropped the sail (Lug Rigged) and began pumping water out of the boat, but her rails were riding flush with the surface of the water and she shipped more water as fast as I could bail.

Climbing into the boat from the bow provided enough stability to re-enter without flipping her over again. I quickly placed myself in the center of the boat and let the wind blow us to a clear beach, guiding her with a canoe paddle. Once I got the water out, I got back in her and sailed home.

Lessons learned:

1. I must be more tidy with the lines

2. 2-piece dry suit aren't dry when submerged

3. I have to add more flotation.


I installed the foam under the seats as recommended and it works. The boat did not sink. I would like to add more to allow some freeboard until I pump her out, enough for when I am carrying a load. I am considering the inflatable kayak type sacs lashed in the fore and aft sections under some bunjy mesh. I understand a mod is in the works for flotation tanks for the NE Dory, but until then . . . any better ideas?

Also, I noticed a crack about half way up my mast when I got home. I was thinking about opening the crack up a bit with my Japanese saw, stuff it with thickened epoxy and clamp it. Maybe even wrap some glass around it. Is this likely to work, or will I have to make a new mast . . .again, any better ideas?


Here's a link to a YouTube movie; shows you all what I'm working with:





5 replies:

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RE: Northeaster Dory Mod/Repair Questions

Love the videos. I actually found them before your post.

I still consider myself a novice sailer. Although any boat w/o ballast will go over (and some with) do you think the lug rig made this more or less likely and do you think it made recovery more or less easier? I am thinking the standard rig w/o sail tracks would be a bit messy in the situation you described.


RE: Northeaster Dory Mod/Repair Questions

Hi John,

I'm guessing the difference is negligible.

I think if a sailor made the same mistake in a std rigged NE Dory, he'd flip just as quickly.

I chose the Lug Rig because of it's simplicity - no shrouds/stays and one less sheet to get tangled up in on a small boat.

The Lug sail is 9sf bigger than the std rig main, so I guess it could hold more water if not free when righting, but I was pleasantyly surprised at how easy it was to right.



RE: Northeaster Dory Mod/Repair Questions


Did you mention you received some advice, assistance from CLC as far as modifications needed to go with the Lug rig? I too like the simplicity, which attracted me to the Skerry, but it looks like you can reef the rug rig a bit better (although I understand you can half the Skerry rig by "scandalizing"(?))


RE: Northeaster Dory Mod/Repair Questions

Hi John,

Yes, John Harris designed the Lug Rig for the dory. A couple of us that built our boats at a dory class in Annapolis saw Jim Kozel's video on YouTube ( ) and asked John to help us, which he did. If I'm not mistaken, I think John helped Jim also.

We were also able to buy the Lug sail from CLC and use most of the stuff that came with the stock rig. I am very happy with it.

CLC is very customer friendly and will help you with anything you want to do. This forum also helped me out alot with questions I had while finishing at home.

Good luck,


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