Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 3Di 60 - 728x90

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

Melges 14 2018 FooterWindBot-COACH-660x82Marine Resources BOTTOM

Related Articles

World premiere of the K2X allround catamaran
17-footer completes the new model range at boot Düsseldorf Germany's largest catamaran builder, TOPCAT – which has recently opened a showroom, warehouse and office at Inning on the shores of Lake Ammersee – is once again launching a world premiere at the 50th international water sports exhibition in Düsseldorf.
Posted today at 6:38 am
A big fortnight for Women .. Sydney Hobart Furore
It has been a great start to 2019 for Women's sailing - in multihulls and offshore With 68yr olds winning races in a multihull World Championship, and 14 year old and 17 year old helmswoman being outstanding in the same Tornado fleet, it has been an interesting start to 2019. Plus a look at the AIS debacle in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Posted today at 1:46 am
The Jacksons to headline at St. Maarten
Motown royalty to grace the Heineken Regatta The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world's top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Motown royalty, The Jacksons, will perform on Sunday March 3rd, 2019.
Posted on 18 Jan
Announcing the J/80 World Championship in Bilbao
75 boats and over 500 sailors from all over the world expected For the host nation, it will be a real fight for national honors for the top three teams from last year's 2018 J/80 Copa de Espana that were held on the same waters.
Posted on 18 Jan
Rooster's New Superlite Hybrid Jacket
Try Wear Me Out Fresh in for 2019, Rooster have designed the ideal lightweight, hard-wearing layer, constructed using a hybrid of materials to make this jacket both comfortable, functional and durable.
Posted on 18 Jan
Star European Championship entries open
SSL Breeze Grand Slam Registration also open Registration for the 2019 Star European Championship / SSL Breeze Grand Slam in Riva del Garda, Italy, is open online, and you shouldn't waste time and go to the International Star Class website and sign up for one of the best sailing event of 2019.
Posted on 18 Jan
RS Feva Class Association looking for a sponsor
Shape the future! The RS Feva Class Association has been fortunate to be supported by market-leading companies over the last ten years. Our sponsors have supported our Class because it offers a cost-effective vehicle for brand and product awareness.
Posted on 17 Jan
OC Sport opens international base in France
One of the first to take advantage is VOR-winning skipper Charles Caudrelier 'Le HUB by OC Sport' will draw on the company's successful track record in the organisation of major offshore events and team management, to offer a full-service solution for international offshore sailing campaigns.
Posted on 17 Jan
Tribal ethos stronger than ever
News from the foiling F101 community As you read this, the Toronto Boat Show will have an F101 on display on stand 1440. Our new North American dealer John Gronan will be there to answer all your questions and Foiling World's Rob Andrews will be there on January 18, 19 and 20th.
Posted on 17 Jan
Valencia Boat Show appoints new director
UEN has a new management team and a female board of directors Gómez-Zarzuela will launch an ambitious project, which will revolve around the sale of new boats and new features of the year, services, engines and accessories, which has been the key to the success of the show in the last three years.
Posted on 17 Jan