Boats

Check out the world's most amazing dory

A few weeks ago I missed the annual Wooden Boat Float on the Colorado river due to “old man back.” It was a bummer in many respects, as I had been looking forward to the event for many months and hoped to bring you all some stories and pictures. My friend Andy Toohey (creator of the polymer drift boat) was there though and relayed a lot back to me. He told me about a pair of mini-dory’s that he knew I would freak out about.

Now, if you’ve rowed a hard boat you get it. If you haven’t, you will once you row one. I have absolutely nothing against rafts as I own a couple and they serve a purpose—many times they’re better than any hard boat. But I am an unabashed dory and drift-boat lover.

So when Andy sent me a picture of these two unbelievably small — 9-foot, fully decked (can flip without sinking)— dories, I lost it. For years I’ve talked about making or finding a boat just like this and have tried to find plans or a builder who might undertake this task. It’s the kind of conversation you have after a couple of beers and a lot “what ifs” about your dream boat. Such a boat would be an absolute Ferrari on the river. You could surf the tiniest waves, sneak the big stuff with ease, or run the meat if you felt rowdy. I can’t even imagine how maneuverable and fun they’d be. Apparently you can sleep on them too…

Justin Gallen at Raindog Boat Works in Gunnison, Colo., understands the dream, as he’s the one responsible for this absurd creation which I’ve since learned is actually called a Doryak. Half dory, half kayak. The original design of the Doryak was actually conceived by Brad Dimock over at Fretwater Boatworks and Justin gives all the credit to Brad for the lines on his boats.

Head on over to Justin’s Instagram page for some incredible videos of Raindog’s boat in action surfing the Gunnison white water park, ripping the Lochsa, and an insane one-man rescue off a single man dory to flip another.

Seems like a little trip to Gunnison might be in my future…

By Tim Romano. 

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