While there are a number of great Grand Canyon Dory designs out there, most of them stick to the tried and true 16.5-17.5′ length with passenger wells in both ends. There’s a good reason- it’s a great design with a long history of successful design and development.
About 12 years ago I started experimenting with dory / driftboat designs. Most were inspired by the original Jerry Briggs design, but through guiding and running rivers I became exposed to later boats / designs by Lonnie Hutson, Derald Stewart, Renny Russell and others. I was lucky enough to spend a bunch of time rowing a big Briggs boat and a bit rowing a Derald Stewart boat. These are amazing boats.
But, I still wanted to play with dory designs and, living in eastern Oregon, wanted something better suited to the Grand Ronde, Salmon, Deschutes, Rogue, and other smaller rivers. So in 2012 ish I designed and built a smaller 15’8″ dory named Wallowa. I love the boat, kept it. I designed another for a friend back then. Then 2 years ago some other friends of friends wanted to build a dory, so I tweaked the design and they built another one. I’ve kept messing with the design, playing with the hydrostatics and various displacements, and built / rebuilt some other boats in the meantime.
So, long story short, that dory design is coming soon for anyone who wants to build it. It’s not perfect (no dory is), but I really like the size, it’s relatively simple to build, optimized for CNC fabrication, and will be available either as plans, to be printed on a 48″ minimum width plotter, or in the future maybe as a kit. I think that it’s a bit different from anything else on the market. I also plan to design and prototype a 14′ ish version with a very different interior and probably a mini boat, since they are easier to build and seem pretty popular.
Some renderings and drawings are included below. Don’t worry, it will have hatches. Get in touch if you are interested.