Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

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

Protector - 660 x 822018 bottom 660x82Fever-Tree 660x82

Related Articles

Laser Radial Youth Worlds at Kiel preview
Young Laser sailors from more than 40 nations in Schilksee There might be no other dinghy internationally as wide spread as the Laser class. The 4.23 meter long boat is just as suitable for the young sailors as for the Olympic sailors.
Posted today at 10:22 am
4000 Europeans at Lake Como
35 boats compete at the home of Italian 4000 sailing Whilst Lake Como can probably lay claim to having the largest number of 4000s in Europe regularly racing on it, the Euros – when hosted in Italy – have normally defaulted to Lake Garda.
Posted today at 7:36 am
Women's Match Racing Worlds day 1
A shifty day one in Ekaterinburg The racing for the 2018 Women's Match Racing World Championship got underway under cloudy skies with a light rain falling most of the day. But the dark skies did not dim the enthusiasm as the sailors and race officials hit the water
Posted today at 2:36 am
2018 America's Cup Hall of Fame Inductions
Ceremony and dinner to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame will induct John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson, Syd Fischer, and Ken McAlpine into the America's Cup Hall of Fame on August 31, 2018 at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England.
Posted on 14 Aug
420 World Championships day 4
Spanish teams hold four of top nine positions after today's tight racing Very tight racing at the top of all fleets on day four at the 420 World Championships. Heavy rain did not deter the competitors as they have proved they are here to race no matter what the weather.
Posted on 14 Aug
Welsh breathes new fire in Extreme Sailing Series
Team looking to prove themselves as hot competition on home waters Crewed by a mixture of Welsh and English sailing talent, Team Wales boasts an array of racing accolades, from Olympic campaigns to European and World Championships, with many of the team having competed on Extreme Sailing Series circuit in recent years.
Posted on 14 Aug
Ida Lewis Distance Race goes big on Friday
51 teams registered to compete in the 2018 edition With 51 teams registered to compete, the 2018 Ida Lewis Distance Race will create quite the spectacle of sail when it starts at 12:30 p.m. on Friday (August 17) between Fort Adams and Rose Island.
Posted on 14 Aug
Plenty captures Farr 40 class in Verve Cup
Great precursor to the Worlds held at Chicago Yacht Club Leif Sigmond called it a "great precursor" to the Farr 40 World Championship, and that assessment seemed spot on.
Posted on 14 Aug
Jo Aleh on the Sailing World Champs
Jo Aleh looks at the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark After Rio, three time Olympian and Gold and Silver Medalist Jo Aleh - decided to make a break with sport and take her chances in the corporate world Here's her take on the just concluded Sailing World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark.
Posted on 14 Aug
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race day 3
Battle in the Celtic Sea The cold front that brought tough conditions to the start of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race have now passed, with the fleet enjoying bright sunshine yesterday and a relatively calm second night at sea.
Posted on 14 Aug