“Swampscott boats are the aristocrat of the dory clan…” — John Gardner

16' Dory Rowboat
16' Swampscott Dory
16' Dory equipped for tandem rowing
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These Dories were originally designed in Swampscott, Massachusetts, for commercial fishing in New England and the North Atlantic. They carried tremendous loads of fish in all weather conditions. By the early 1900’s, this type of dory became very popular for recreational use—both rowing and sailing. They were noted for their seaworthiness and speed, accomplishing some remarkable open water voyages.

Our Swampscott Dory is ideal for those afternoon picnics at your favorite island in the Sound. If you are a kayaker and are tired of having to scoot to get off the beach, and if you dread those one-foot waves soaking you before you can fasten down your spray skirt, perhaps you should consider this Dory. A Swampscott Dory can eat a two-foot wave for breakfast; you won’t even notice those one-footers when launching from the shore.

This dory is small enough to tuck into those coves between the headlands, and it’s manuverable enough to skirt those shore rocks and mangrove trees. Yet it’s large enough to carry three adults and host of gear for an adventure in the islands. A dory, with its flat bottom, pulls right up on the beach, and glides right over the kelp beds. Tired of doing all the paddling alone? Starting a family and wondering how to bring the kids along in your kayak? Want to row on Long Island Sound out to Fire Island and back and not have to worry too much about the weather? Knees showing those miles? Like to be able to stretch and relax without worring about upsetting and rolling? A Swampscott Dory fits the bill. Love to fish, crab or lobster, and want a boat that will get you out there in style and back safely? Swampscott dories were designed and time tested for this.

With a Swampscott Dory, you still have room to bring along the luxuries of life when adventure calls. You can read about one such adventure a customer of ours took in the November 2005 Newsletter.

Though we did at one time offer the Dory in a sailing configuration, we have found that its tenderness under sail makes the Dory suited only for highly-skilled sailors. We believe that most customers looking for a sailing boat in this size range would be better suited in the wider 17′ Jersey Skiff.

“In 1997 I had the good fortune to have Gig Harbor Boat Works build a 16′ Swampscott Dory. I rowed it almost daily in Puget Sound and it handled like a dream. It sailed remarkably well even in light air and moved smartly when powered with a small electric motor. In 1998 circumstances necessitated my making a quick move accross the US and I brought my boat to Dave Robertson to put on consignment. Dave sold it within 30 days…. This outfit has my highest recommendation and appreciation.”

– T. Blanchard (16′ Swampscott Dory)

“The boat is dream come true. Although I wasn’t going for distance, we covered many miles and really made quite a respectable dent in the lake’s vastness. My hands were the limiting factor. Tape and gloves helped. The dory swallowed up all my gear with ease and was a pleasure to row. After a couple nights worrying about the boat at anchor in windy conditions, I beached her (a snap as it turned out) on rough nights and slept better. On my last night her name came to me: Simplicity.”

– T. Kitting (16′ Swampscott Dory)

“Dave, what can I say, she’s a beaut! Everything I hoped it would be. You guys make a great boat and I can’t wait to row it…..Thanks for making my lifelong dream come true.”

– J. Lord, Virgina (16′ Swampscott Dory)

Click here to read more customer testimonials about the Dory

Swampscott Dory Owner Photos (click to enlarge):


Click here for full specifications

Dory Specifications
LOA: 15’8″
BEAM: 57″
Fiberglass Kevlar/Composite
DISPLACEMENT: 250 lbs 220 lbs
DRAFT: 7″
SAIL AREA: N/A
Model-specific Options:


All Our Boats:

17′ Jersey Skiff |16.5′ Melonseed | 16′ Dory | 15′ Lobster Boat | 14′ Whitehall | 12′ Scamp | 12′ Point Defiance | 10′ Navigator | 9.5′ Captain’s Gig | 8′ Nisqually