Please select your home edition
Edition
WindtBot-PRO-720x90

The restoration of Dorothy - over a century old

by Dorothy Stern, Nanaimo Bulletin/Sail-World on 9 Jul 2012
Dorothy - hidden away for so long - look at those elegant lines! SW
The love for restoring an old boat is a many faceted thing - to keep her history alive, to see her shine again. Old boats are a bit like old sailors - with a great store of experiences, with many a tale to tell, if only they could.

So it's heart-warming news that Canada's Maritime Museum of British Colombia is funding the restoration of Dorothy, a 9.1m (30ft) gaff cutter-rigged sloop. At over a century old, she is considered the oldest sailing boat in the Pacific Northwest. But, as Rachel Stern writes, Dorothy is rotten.


Yes, Dorothy is rotten. Her insides are being eaten away. For more than eight years she’s remained hidden from the public eye.

She could be suffering from iron sickness, but shipwright Tony Grove, who is restoring the yacht, won’t know for certain until he takes a closer look inside the yacht's hull.

Iron sickness occurs when different metals are used and react in high-moisture environments, which leads to rust and wood decay in the areas surrounding the metal.

The museum raised $35,000 to restore the hull, but also wants to raise money to restore the cockpit and interior. John West, a Maritime Museum trustee said the restoration was also made possible thanks to Grove working at a reduced rate.


'I’m just a step in the history of Dorothy’s life and I feel privileged to work on her,' said Grove.

Grove said he can’t wait to take apart the boards and uncover the treasure of knowledge left behind by shipbuilders more than a century ago.

Even though Grove has been a shipwright since the 1980s, he said he still learns something new when he takes vessels apart.

He also loves finding remnants left behind by previous builders such as an initial on a plank or tick mark. It helps him discover techniques that past boat builders used.

The 9.1-metre sloop is considered the oldest sailing vessel in the Pacific Northwest.

'We’re pretty sure she is the oldest registered yacht in Canada. She really represents the birth of yachting in British Columbia,' said John. 'Yachting is such a huge recreational sport in B.C. on the coast and we’ve got an example of what it was like when it first started.'


Dorothy was designed by Andy Linton, a pre-eminent Victoria naval architect, said West. She was assembled in John J. Robinson’s boatyard in James Bay in 1897.

Dorothy is a rare craft, constructed as a pleasure yacht, while most vessels created at the time were working boats used in the fishing industry or as cargo haulers.

She was commissioned by F. H. Langley a lawyer and member of the legislature, who sailed the ship for five decades. Subsequent owners maintained the craft over the years until she was acquired by the Maritime Museum.

Grove will begin work on Dorothy this fall. Previously, grove restored Trekka, a sailboat built in the 1950s by John Guzzwell, for the museum.

The museum hopes to have her repaired in time to sail in the Victoria Classic Boat Festival in 2013. Dorothy will be on permanent display in the Victoria harbour and be used in various boat shows to educate the public about the vessel’s history and the museum.


More about Dorothy:
Dorothy’s sizes and build: LOA 30ft, LWL 24.3ft, Beam 8ft, Draft 3.5ft, Displacement 5.86gross tones, she is carvel planked over oak frames with copper rove a rivet. She was originally not built with a motor, but in 1920 was fitted with a 1cyl Kermath engine, and today has a 10hours Yanmar.

For more information on the Maritime Museum or to donate, please go to mmbc.bc.ca. For information on Grove’s restoration of Dorothy, please go to www.tonygrove.com. For more information and news in the Nanaimo Bulletin, go to www.nanaimobulletin.com

Sail Exchange 660x82 1RS Sailing BOTTOM AUSSealegs - On the water 660x82-1

Related Articles

J/122E Joyride tops Vic-Maui Race
The 2,308nm course went from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii The lone J/Crew sailing the race was the gorgeous J/122E Joyride from Seattle, WA skippered by her owner- John Murkowski from Seattle YC. They are one of the most successful offshore racing teams in the Pacific Northwest.
Posted today at 3:36 pm
Luna Rossa reflects on challenging 52 Super Series
Strong breeze challenges all on final day of racing in the third stage of the 52 Super Series Today was the final day of racing in the coastal town of Cascais who hosted the third stage of the 52 Super Series. Top photographer Carlo Borlenghi was on hand to capture the action as the nine string fleet was tested in the fresh conditions.
Posted today at 1:50 pm
J/122 Blitzkrieg blitzes Bayview-Mackinac fleet!
Slowest race in decades! Over fifty boats had dropped out of the race, many due to the consideration they wanted to complete the delivery all the way to Chicago for the start of the Chicago-Mackinac Race!
Posted today at 11:09 am
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13 preview
The final test for teams in a sprint to Liverpool An atmosphere of nervous excitement is building in Derry-Londonderry as Skippers and crew gear up for Race 13, the last test of the circumnavigation, which will return the teams to Liverpool, UK, on Saturday, 28 July.
Posted today at 7:00 am
J/121 flies on the Baltic Sea: Marstand to Malmo
Watch the fun video of the downwind ride The plan was for Fredrik and his father Axel to do the delivery/sail to Stockholm and it was possible for me to join them on the first stage. Watch the fun video from the downwind ride.
Posted today at 6:33 am
Rolex NYYC Race Week at Newport - Overall
Final results come down to the wire at Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex On the eve of the 11th edition of Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, J/109 skipper Bill Sweetser was faced with a tough decision. It wasn't about how to tune his rig or organize his crew.
Posted today at 4:43 am
Governor's Cup at Balboa overall
Price takes challenging win over Takahashi in the final Cementing his position atop the world of match-race sailing, Harry Price (AUS, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) showed his prowess in boat handling and tactics in a challenging 3-2 win over 20th ranked Leonard Takahashi (NZL, Royal New Zealand YS)
Posted today at 2:36 am
Varuna succeeds in Bermuda Hamburg Race
A happy birthday for Jens Kellinghusen in the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta On July 21, 2018, which marks the birthday of Varuna VI's owner and skipper, Jens Kellinghusen (NRV), the Race Committee confirmed that Varuna's overall win of the Bermuda Hamburg leg after corrected time is not at jeopardy anymore.
Posted today at 1:51 am
Images of the INEOS Team UK test boat
Further images of the INEOS Team UK test boat - we get a look at the AC75 foil and wing design More and better quality images have emerged of the INEOS Team UK test boat - a hybrid of a QUANT 28 hull and foils which mimic those to be used on an AC75. There are no images of the test boat foiling.
Posted on 21 Jul
Rolex TP52 World Championship overall
Quantum Racing masters of the art and science of execution under pressure Ten years after their first world title together in the class' formative years in Lanzarote, Quantum Racing today lifted the Rolex TP52 World Championship crown in Cascais, winning a spirited ding-dong battle with rivals Azzurra.
Posted on 21 Jul