Northeastern dory open ocean capabilities

What type of wind speed(flat water) and sea conditions is this boat capable of handling both rowing and sailing by an experienced skipper?

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RE: Northeastern dory open ocean capabilities

I will let somebody familiar with this particular design answer your question, but this boat has lines quite typical of working and early recreational shore dories.  Such boats have excellent sea-keeping qualities - quite surprisingly so for one not used to the type.  Under sail, they can be rather tender in a strong breeze, but under oars than can endure amazingly rough conditions.  With their generous flare they rise easily to any sea, and have excellent terminal stability for a hard-chined, open boat.  Under sail in a breeze, I would never belay the sheet, as I would want to be able to ease it immediately when needed.  I would also not want to increase the Northeaster's sail area, or the height of the rig, as its sail plan is already rather generous for a dory.

I have more experience rowing bank dories (which were used in offshore fisheries, famously the great bank off the Canadian coast), which are somewhat beamier, heavier and have more freeboard, but are otherwise quite similar in form, and in my estimation they actually perform better when reasonably well loaded.  Dorymen would keep to the sea even when their catch loaded their boats to the extent that they had only an inch or two of freeboard!  Light, the dories I've rowed have terrible directional stability, but as you add load, that improves quite noticeably. However, the CLC Northeaster appears to have less rocker than the bank dory, so it should have more directional stability.

Bottom line: if you're going to put to sea in a small, open boat, there's probably nothing safer than a dory.

RE: Northeastern dory open ocean capabilities

My experience with my finished Dory is 10 to 15 knot winds are best. I wouldn't want to be out in much over that without being able to reef the sail. I believe the lack of a track system and reef points is a design consideration which deserves to be added to deal with docking considerations or being caught out in a blow

RE: Northeastern dory open ocean capabilities

Jim C.  Please take this as constructuve, as all input here is valuable.  This forum is read by many folks, both technically knowledgeable and not.  I therefore think it is important that all technical terminology be used correctly.  Much of our marine jargon is difficult for those who did not grow up with seaweed between their toes to grasp so, when we use it, let's do it right.  That having been said, I can tell you that in the 40 years I have been a practicing Naval Architect, I have never heard the term: "terminal stability". (although I have dealt with some boats I would call terminally unstable) Please explain.

Paul G.

RE: Northeastern dory open ocean capabilities


I have no knowledge of the Northeastern Dory, but do own a tiny, 12 foot Skene's Dory which I found in a terrible state in a boatyard 13 years ago.  Re-built it eight years ago and, very occasionally row it out into open water (sea). 

I do agree, dories are superb in chop and take a following sea beautifully. I have also found that my little Skene's tracks well. [it is flat-bottomed with a short (30 inches), shallow (2 inches) keel fin]. It has a slight rocker.

Downside, it is tender, and being small really a one-man boat. But very fast to row.


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