By Martin Adams - Prescott, Arizona - USA

I was driving home yesterday, and nearing my neighborhood, I passed a shiny wooden boat on a trailer in front of a house. I pulled over and knocked on the door. A young man with long, matted locks (nickname: Casual) answered, smiled and asked "What can I do for you?". I said, "You can introduce me to the person who made that fantastic boat. I mean, you can't leave something that beautiful parked on the street and expect that nobody is going to inquire about it." Kyle, the boat's creator came to the door and for the next half hour showed me everything I wanted to see on his boat.

Kyle's father is a boatbuilder, but this was Kyle's first attempt at boatbuilding. He's a student at Prescott College, and this was a college project. He designed it for one purpose: whitewater. He first made 1/12 scale models from heavy card, then, when he had the shape he wanted, scaled it up and built the boat. I think it's about 12'.

The rower sits facing the bow, holding two solid ash oars, and, using the river as other rafters do, he rows faster than the current and steers the boat around rocks and corners. The exaggerated rocker of the bottom lets the boat spin in place with little drag. A passenger, if any, sits fore.

1 - Standing just starboard of the bow, the Dory cuts a striking image, with its deep rocker and toy-like shape.
2 - Kyle has removed the aft hatch and is attaching four pipes to the underside flanges to create a camp table. All other hatches are hinged.
3 - Kyle puts his beer on the newly-created camp table.
4 - The bow, with two seats made from poly rope stretched over dowell. The rower sits amidship facing fore and has a storage just in front of him which slopes aft, in case he wants to sit on it. The port and starboard hatches cover dry storage compartments. In fact, the entire boat is storage, with five covered compartments.
5 - The aft section, showing the rower's seat, the aft hatch removed to make the table, which stands on the port side against the boat.
6 - The starboard storage compartment, hatch opened to show the PVC pipe which drains water from the seat area to each side through a one-way valve in the hull.

I told Kyle that there may be others who would like to build a boat like his. Fortunately, he took many photos of the construction, and I encouraged him to prepare a how-to DVD. If anyone is interested, I will find out his contact details. For a first attempt, I think he got a lot of things right. He said he's already done a lot of large rivers with his Dory and is very satisfied with it.

Martin Adams 

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