Top five reasons to build the Echo Bay Dory Skiff for your first boat

#5 Quick to build

The tab-n-lock system

The tab-n-lock system

Time is always tight when you are teaching kids or adults and people don't have the time to commit to a multi-week class. The EBDS can be built in 3-days or a 1-week class. While going fast is the last thing I want to see teachers or parents doing while working with their kids, having a boat that goes together within kids' natural spans of attention is nice. The Echo Bay kit does this by employing features like the Wavy Scarf and the Tab-n-Lock System.

#4 Lightweight 

When a boat is light, it is easy to move on land and much easier to cartop. At 85 lbs, the Echo Bay can be thrown in a pick up or on a typical rooftop car rack. Moving the boat is not a chore. I can move the boat by myself and two kids can move the boat. Likewise, the parts of the boat are small and light and little kids can lift and carry them, becoming part of the build.

#3 Beautiful lines


We ought to be showing our children what beautiful is and means and why we should take care of nice things. Life is too short to own an ugly boat is a famous bumper sticker on the coast of Maine. Life is too short not to build a beautiful boat, is my saying.

#2 You can include kids in the project


When I teach with the Echo Bay, the first day of a week long class is spent preparing parts, such as:

  1. Shaping the stem
  2. Gluing the planks
  3. Preparing the bulkheads
  4. Making the midship frame
  5. Making the transom

Each kid has a job that they can get their arms around. They have a concrete project that teaches them skills and builds familiarity with the materials and workflow in the shop. After making their part, they can bring it to the group project when the sides of the boat are formed.

The EBDS is also a good project for using tube adhesives, specifically I use GelMagic or Gluezilla which is an epoxy in a caulking tube with a mixing tip. The glue comes out premixed and the work stays much cleaner which is always good when you have kids involved.

#1 The Echo Bay is simply a joy on the water, sailing or rowing

The Echo Bay Dory Skiff sails and rows beautifully and you can get a 2-3 kids into the boat comfortably or two adults. The lug or sprit sail drives the boat very well without over-canvassing it and under oars the skiff flies. In fact, the Echo Bay routinely won a rowing race (Compass Projects Rowgatta) I used to run in Portland years ago.