A while ago I spent a season
cruising in a very capable light dory I'd designed, the
trips ranged from a week which took me from Dargaville down
the Kaipara harbour to Helensville, to an afternoon trip
up to Riverhead and back.
It's a lovely way to see
the coastline, surprisingly fast in the right sort of boat
and a lot easier than shouldering a pack through the bush,
a doctor friend tells me that fixed seat rowing is one of
the most beneficial and least destructive forms of exercise.
( I've no doubt that exponents of other disciplines will
disagree but few dogs will bother chasing a rowers)
I sold the dory to fund the
next design and build project, but I missed the ability
to be afloat within moments, and the glow of well being
after a good hard row down the channel. I missed being able
to take wife and daughter with thermos and picnic lunch
exploring places as dissimilar as Westhaven Marina and the
upper reaches of the Puhoi estuary.
Well, the workshop was empty
so it was back to the drawing board again. I fancied one
of the classic round sided dories, the last one had been
of the better known straight sided type adapted to plywood
and to our our local conditions. With this new boat I'd
a mind to try for the efficiencies of the the more complex
round bilge shape while trying to stay with the dories simple
Joansa, the name is derived
from our family, John, Jan and Sarina - there is now a Brendan
but he wasn't even a twinkle then if you know what I mean.
You try and do better with that lot!. She is an adaptation
of a late 1800’s Chamberlain Dory skiff, native to
the inshore fishing industry of the north east coast of
North America . Smart rowers, seaworthy, simple to build
and maintain, and nice lookers.
My modern day version is
light enough to roof rack on our old Toyota Starlet, fast
enough to win races and carries enough weight to take the
three of us and gear on a weeks camping holiday.
Joansa proved popular,
she is a very pretty craft that attracts a lot of attention
and plan sales have been so good that at least two boatbuilders
took them on as a stock boat".
Our Joansa did a lot of miles
for us, travelling quickly and easily - some of the mileage
done under power with our 2hp Honda outboard but mostly
under the oars she was designed for. We loved her lots but
inevitably the time came around for another project and
it was a couple of years later that we built Seagull to
LOA - 4.60m 15ft
BEAM - 1.180m 3ft 11in
WEIGHT - 38kg 85 Ib