NE Dory needs motor

Last week I went boat camping. I started with almost no wind, and moderate wind predicted. As I sailed, the wind picked up so I reefed and continued. A strong wind filled in and I dropped the sail and started to row. With about a half mile of fetch, I was rowing into 1 1/2' to 2' chop.  In the stronger gusts, I was barley able to hold my position or maybe gain a half boat length with each stroke. After about a half hour of that I set my anchor and got some rest till I was able to start rowing again. I finally made it to the shore. The dory did well even loaded with camping gear. However, I realized that for the future I need to add auxiliary propulsion; or find a new boat. Has anyone added power to their NE Dory?  Barry


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RE: NE Dory needs motor

Barry,

Might something like this, mounted on a short outrigger work for you? I've looked at some of the motor configurations for kayaks, like from Hobie, but they're awfully expensive.

Dories are usually pretty easy to row with the right oars. When I was a bit younger (I'm 73) I rowed a 16-foot dory up the Merrimac River from Newburyport to Merrimac Port, about 12 miles, against the current and it wasn't too bad. Do you have the recommended oar length? How much windage did your sailing rig create --- was it stowed below the gunwales as much as possible?

Cheers,

Dick

RE: NE Dory needs motor

We have thought about adding a Torquedo electric motor.  Unlike the trolling motor this has the battery pack as part of the motor which btw can be solar charged.  They are fairly lightweight.

 

 

 

 

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   Hi I meant to add this link to a video https://youtu.be/ETqHjZaNg9c

 

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   Thanks Dick, I am just 5 years younger so don't have what I did ten or more years ago. I do have recommended length quality oars and can move the boat well in less demanding situations. The sail was below the gunnels but the mast was still up. I thought of lowering it but that would have meant another anchoring.  I'd guess winds were around 15 knots with gusts of 20ish. I am thinking of rigging a trolling motor like you suggest (perhaps a 45 pound thrust Minn Kota) and figure I would need some sort of bracket across the gunnels near the transome.  Barry

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   Oceanluvr, That video is a great help; shows it will move the boat well and that perhaps the support should be further forward than I was thinking. The Torquedo is quite pricey at around two grand but having the battery self contained is a plus.

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Barry,

Back in the 80s I built an Amesbury Skiff, a kind of semi-dory. That's what I rowed up the Merrimac. Having almost been caught by a squall when under sail, I had already modified her with a tabernacle so I could quickly and painlessly lower the mast. In other boats, I've sailed under bare poles in heavy winds. You'd be amazed at the windage of a mast.

I think you're right that an electric motor on a side bracket is the way to go. I just don't know what thrust you'd need for a NE Dory.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Cheers,

Dick

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   You may be able to find a used Torquedo or their competitor, ePropulsion or alternatively pick up a used British Seagull.  One added bonus with the Seagull is it would  give the boat a lot of character and look like it belongs to the same era, versus some trolling motor.  I used one for years on a tender and they are bullet proof, self-contained fuel tank on top, light, and plenty of parts available.  Here is a reconditioned one in Florida for $300

https://www.ebay.com/i/264197304965?chn=ps

 

https://www.britishseagull.com

RE: NE Dory needs motor

It sounds to me as if you had a great adventure in your dory. Yes, if you have to get somewhere on an exact schedule, maybe you don't want to rely of sail and oars. But if you want a camp/cruising adventure, I don't see the problem in dropping anchor for awhile. Row when the wind drops; sail when the wind is good. Get there when you get there. Isn't that the way sailboats/rowboats have always worked and are designed to work? Enjoy the adventure and change plans as necessary.

But please don't add a motor.   

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   John at CLC will definitely avoid advising anyone about putting motors on the NED for regulatory reasons if nothing else.  The NED design doesn't have enough builtin flotation to meet regs for a motorboat.  Thus the Southwest Dory.  I don't know if the marine police or USCG would notice or harrass you on that basis, but they might if it's a bad day.  In MD, I didn't need any registration numbers on my skerry because it was 15' or less AND had no motor.  If it was a 15' boat w/ motor it would have to have numbers.

I don't know the piece of water you were on and every storm is its own thing, but with the reef, really tight downhaul (assuming its the lug rig) and some careful management of the boat which can only come with time, you should be able to weather 15-20 knots and still make some headway.  That said, if you have an anchor and a bit of shelter, I've punted on passages before, both with the big boat (30', 5 ton keelboat) and the little one (skerry) because it just wasn't worth the work.  Also, I found in the big boat that trying to power into the wind in a bad blow was not often the thing to do.  Reef (double reef), sail carefully into the wind catching the seas on the side of the bow rather than square on, and I could make more time sailing and be more comfortable than motoring.

In the skerry the same thing was true.  The dicey bit was downwind because even reefed there was more power than I knew what to do with. I had to tack downwind (not jibing in that much wind).  Upwind on a close reach, not a beat, I could steady the boat against the breeze, dodge the steep chop and ride over the big waves.  This was on the Chesapeake off Annapolis where the wind driven seas tend to be very steep and short period.  Winds increased over an hour from 10 to 16-18 knots true out of the SE w/ gusts over 20.  It was a workout but I managed without much scariness.

Rowing into the wind and sea with the mast still up will be much harder due to windage than mast down.  It may not seem like much windage but it's surprising.

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Barry:

First of all, you are to be congratulated for (1) having the good sense to anchor when you did and (2) having ground tackle adequate to the task in the conditions you describe.  It's heartbreaking how many folks set out with neither sufficient seamanship sense nor gear to save their own bacon that way.  I tip my hat to you; you are already well started on the path of righteousness.  <;-)

The motor may not help as much as you hope when things get rough.  My own experience with a long, skinny, fine-ended boat which could only carry a motor as an afterthought (a rowing boat design which was stretched and widened to make her a better sailboat without totally spoiling her as a rowboat) suggests that, once the waves get big enough to cause the boat to pitch and roll, the prop is going to come out of the water enough that it's hard to get consistent drive.  Also, rolling a gasoline motor under will stall it, maybe kill it for good if much water is ingested.  Absent some motorwell arrangement like the Southeaster Dory (brilliant design, that), the effectiveness of the motor may diminish sharply in rough going.

Another reason to defer adding a motor might be that having one will become an impediment to your learning to get more out of the boat and yourself when sailing upwind in stiffer breezes.  Mind you, I'm not suggesting that you do the equivalent of throwing yourself off the dock to teach yourself how to swim, but if you work your way up the Beaufort Scale by degrees, you might find your Northeaster Dory capable of clawing her way up against stiffish breeze and chop better than you think as you gain experience.  It looks like you've had the boat for some years now, so maybe you don't have much more to learn that way.  By all accounts, the Northeaster Dory is no slug, though I'll concede that there are limits to what can be accomplished in getting a narrow, shallow-bodied boat like this upwind when wind and wave get up.

Am I correct in thinking you don't have a second reef in your sail?  If so, this might be the first thing to try.  Sounds like you have the lug rig?  That being the case, it should be possible to get a good set, even with the second reef tucked in, with the sail well flattened and pulling like a young mule rather than looking (and performing) like an old bedsheet on broomsticks.  The main tricks are (1) avoiding pinching, which'll kill your momentum, and (2) getting the sail well flattened with a taut luff so it doesn't go baggy on you.

Also, I'd echo what others have said on the value of getting the mast down when rowing upwind against a stiff breeze.  Even if you need to anchor to strike the mast (always safer if it's rough), you'll make up the time pretty quick.

Just to be clear, I am not some sort of "no-octane" sailboat snob.  If a motor can be mounted so as to be used safely and effectively, and if that will help you use the boat more or keep you from replacing her with something different, by all means give it a go.  All I'm saying is that hanging a motor on a boat not really designed to use one effectively (clearly the case with the Northeaster Dory) may prove to be a disappointment.

.....Michael

 

RE: NE Dory needs motor

áááOne thing I've experimented with is a loop of cord around the upper yard of my lug rig and the mast to restrain the yard at the mast. When hoisting or dousing the yard can flop around and get out of control. And when reefed, the yard tends to blow off the mast because the halyard has more length from masthead down to yard. I got some pastel beads and will try them on the "leash" to see if it makes it smoother to hoist. Also it helps keep the sail shape and position better when reefed in a blow.

RE: NE Dory needs motor

áááGrr. "Parrel " beads. I hate auto orrect.

RE: NE Dory needs motor

   Thanks to all for the input. One of my thoughts was to wait, at ancor, for the winds to drop but I'm glad I didn't go that route as the wind stayed up through the night; unusual for the area.

I really should have dropped the mast and kept thinking about it as I rowed. I do not have a 2nd reef point in the lug sail and may try that as an option. I have sailed the dory for several years and have managed fairly well. The thought of adding auxiliary power comes from using it on previous boats; 12, 17 and 26'. I do have the yard "tied" to the mast with a line with parrel beads which I have found very helpful as noted when both lowering the sail and when reefed.

I am also considering closing in the bow and stern to gain both flotation and storage and to be able to add coaming on the bow. I am trying to figure how to have the mast simply pivot against the forward "compartment" so that it would be easier to lower when needed. The question does occur to me as to whether to make such modifications or build another boat.

Barry

 

RE: NE Dory needs motor

I use my NED many times as a row boat.  Napa River, SF Bay, Sacramento Delta.  I have a 40yr old Minn Kota 12v trolling motor that I use sometimes attached to transom with a couple of pieces of 5/8 plywood on each side of transom. One piece, I used a router for the transom screw clamps to clamp into.

Napa River is tidal with afternoon winds 20 knots perpendicular to current.  I can easily get stuck in a slough when the tide is coming in.  With the little motor on full and rowing at 85% it will take me about 1.5 hrs to go less than a mile against the stongest flood tide each day.

What is nice about this transom motor is I can easily help kayakers in distress around structures such as pilings, bridge piers/abutments, channel markers, etc. when the tide changes and they get stuck in the eddies or are not strong enough to paddle back to launch site when going between bridge piers.

I toss a bow line.  Put the motor in reverse and row.  NED rows forward as well as reverse equally well.  I have found that reverse is best during our outings each week if someone needs help.  Must lock motor straight.  Had it happen where it start to turn while I was at the oars once. 

My NED is sloop setup.  I want to explore the Sacramento Delta doing overnighter camping.  I purchased a tent for us and our dog.  I do not want to "drop anchor"  during inclement weather/tides.  I have decided to get a small gas motor for emergencies (such as meeting my kids for lunch at a shoreline cafe) and figure a way to beef up the NED whereever/however I decide to attach it. 

 

RE: NE Dory needs motor

I would love to see pics of your transom motor mount system.  I am building a SW Dory without the motor well, gonna make a removable cabin basically just a watertight box that fits in the center well, but there won't be room for both that and the outboard well.

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Barry wrote:

I am also considering closing in the bow and stern to gain both flotation and storage and to be able to add coaming on the bow.

Sounds familiar :-)

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Maybe a partial spray skirt rigged around the bow with a curved batten for support aft or maybe just pulled up to a peak at the mast might help?  Been thinking of something like that for my Passagemaker Dingky for trying to keep some water out of the boat beating into waves.  Not that I've done much of that sort of thing...yet.

.....Michael

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Yes Lazio, if it weren't for the cost, I would love to build the faering and try it out.

Unnamed with the NED near Napa, do you know what the thrust is on your Minn Kota?

Barry

RE: NE Dory needs motor

Sorry Barry, I was actually trying to make the point that it's a valid modification since there's already an example of that hull shape of the same approximate length with those mods.

Laszlo

 

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