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Build Small Boat Dory: Super Car Topper 12-foot Nesting Dory

Nov 22, 2022 | Sailing, Classic Boats

Build small boat with backyard-build of 12-foot nesting dory

A quick internet search renders there to be several DIY build small boat builders out there offering various designs and blueprints for enthusiasts to follow and make their own little sailing favorite.

Click to view in YouTube. Watch the pieces come together as the owner does a build small boat of 12-foot nesting Swampscott dory (dinghy). The final product seems to be sturdy enough to support a motor, as well as endure an owner’s brisk rowing session.

”The vessel can motor at 5.1 knots with a 2-horsepower motor. She rows well. She sails well using the 89 sq. ft. Oz Racer sail with the balanced lug rig, and she can be stowed on-deck in a 7 by 4 ½ foot space… We have used the nesting dory as our tender for three trips up and down the East Coast of the USA. It was fun to build, has met our needs, and exceeded our expectations,” says book author Roy Timpe.

This RenegadeSailing blog post was inspired by another sailor who shared a lead detailing where to find a book (and digital book) on Amazon. Topic: how-to build your own 12-foot nesting Swampscott dory tender.

“A Swampscott dory is the epitome of a small boat. The jaunty sheer, the lapstreak planking, and the unassuming workman like construction are the definition of form following function. The Swampscott Dory Tender in The Dory Book, by John Gardner, is the perfect combination of these qualities in the smallest possible package and I have long dreamt of building her.” From Swampscot Dory Tender.

Clever amateur build small boat builders are taking this classic design, then cutting it in half to make a 2-part car-topper that is able to go from garage to lake with ease upside of even the tiniest automobile.


View this short video with progress photos for a 12-foot nesting dory small boat being put together: assembly of small boat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5ZOPknbGfk

View this short video of another builder explaining construction of his new vessel:
On the water and critique of another owner’s small boat build: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM9ZhUxUR4A

View this short video of the builder on the water, snapping together his completed vessel, then taking her out for a sail (as shown at top of this post):
Two-parts become one on the water as this new owner connects fore and aft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxAJNUKwV9E