so, this is a personal question, and my dirty little secret, but I'm just wondering.  For those of you who know, how much does your boat weigh?  If you want to share?  Since my boat is bigger than a Briggs I expected it to be a bit heavier, and it is.  It's the only thing I would try to change if/when I do it again.  For the record my boat has 1/2 inch bottom, 1/4 sides, 3/8 bulkheads, 3 layers of glass total on the sides, 7 layers total on the bottom, cedar for the stems and coaming around hatches, oak trim, very thick chines of colloidal silica and west resin.  The chine is where I probably added the most weight, the radius runs about 3 inches up the side and across the bottom.  My integrated oar pocket is also overly thick plywood and overbuilt a bit.  So to sum up, I was very thorough on building a structurally strong boat at the cost of some extra pounds.  I was expecting to take 2 full size adult passengers on a Grand Canyon trip but I think for that length of trip I will downsize expectations to just one passenger plus all necessary gear.  My 1,500 pound gross weight drafting 8" of water has proved to be accurate so I just need to allow for more boat and less other stuff.  My baby is 600 pounds when balanced on pair of bathroom scales. 

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My 1754 McKenzie came out at 290 without an interior. I need to weigh it with the side trays and seats in. I’d bet 350... if you’re carrying 1500 lbs what’s an extra 150-200 for a passenger?

Great question.

I have not yet weighed mine. Wifey and daughter have a vet/hog platform scale that I can use. Waiting until it gets closer to launch time and final weight for my new little boat.

Will also get a weight on the Great Falls and Lil Bastard...and have to get the LB off the GF and the excess gear out of their hatches, too!  But I have calculated weights based on materials used:



Buddy of mine recently asked about weight, so I just thought through this--
"Is there a formula/thought process to determine how much is too little? Like if it's too light it will be fragile/prone to cracking? On the opposite side is there a point where too much serves no benefit?"


My big 17' S&G Andy Hutchinson GC design boat is not built like a tank, but is probably on the conservative side of average. 1/4" meranti sides with (2)x 6oz inside and out for 4 layers, 1/2" doug fir floor with (2) 17oz Biax in and out for 4 total layers, 3/8" doug fir decks and bulkheads with one layer 6oz plain weave inside and out.  Ash Gunnels.  I did not use thick fillets.  I used 8 or 9gal of epoxy.  I calculated 550# but would not be surprised by 575#.
The little boat is about the thinnest/lightest I would build to survive the occasional rock hit.  1/4" doug fir ply everywhere--floor, sides, and decks.  1x 8oz inside and out of sides and decks, 1x 22oz Biax in and out of floor.  Big bulkheads are 1/4" cedarstrip with 8oz on both faces.  I will probably hit 170#.  Ply is 100+#, glass and epoxy are 40+lb, and the other 30lb is gunnels, decks, and hardware.
My buddy Blake built the Lil Bastard with thicker plywood (9mm bottom and decks, 6mm sides) but thinner glass. 150#-ish. There's no perfect solution or formula and it's a fun discussion among boatmen around the campfire or boat shop.

I don't think you could go "too heavy" as the river carries your weight. On the big boat, I could have a 450# light boat, the 550# boat I have, or a 700# tank. But for a week+ trip, we'll add 500-1000# of bodies and 300-500# of gear and the 250# delta in boat weight makes little difference.
Great question!

I'm also drawing about 7-8" when loaded at about 1400#.

This is all reassuring, I thought Bo was overweight.  I just got done with my first overnight trip on lower Deschutes at 5,200 cfs and I will say the boat handled AMAZING.  We punched through some decent size stuff with no loss of momentum.  This was my first time rowing a Dory and I was thoroughly impressed.  It feels like a serious whitewater weapon as long as I keep that mass going where I want.  GC launch in 16 days!!   I'm about to start the Costco food runs to build the supply pile.  I'll post GC pics in April.  

I don't know if you're a kayaker, but to me (only started rowing dories in 2019) it feels like a big kayak.  I LOVE the way a dory moves in whitewater, and yeah, they really do part big waves. 

You bob over waves instead of plowing into them as you would in a raft.

Some advice that I got from other dorymen:
You will go downstream faster than the rafts in your party.

You really need to plan ahead and look downstream because you will get there quickly.  Watch for downstream rocks, give yourself time to get around them.

It's a drift boat, let it drift.  Don't try to upstream ferry while in the meat.  Point and shoot.

Downstream ferries are your friend.

Your ferry angle isn't in relation to the river/banks.  It's in relation to the current.  If you need to make a 45° move and the current is going 45° to the channel...you might need to be going 90° to the shore.

There is a lot of good dory footage on YouTube.

I think this is a good video of some things that could be done better.  IMHO the oarsmen treated their dories more like rafts...lots of late strokes instead of planning ahead, hitting waves sideways instead of T-ing up to them, and generally not letting the dory do the work in the current.  I think their rides could have been a lot more fun with only slightly different lines.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUabufQlnWM

Here's a really interesting contrast between a good doryman and a great doryman (Andy Hutchinson in the 2nd boat) if you can see the FB video
https://www.facebook.com/tim.payne.7505/videos/3407509535975154

Notice how many fewer strokes Andy makes.  He's planned ahead for where he wants to be -- and uses that top eddy to scrub speed going into the 2nd drop.

I also have a long history with kayaks, I think hitting diagonal stuff at 90 degrees will be the biggest change for me from rafting.  I already use eddies and reverse entry spin moves in big rapids so I have that much going for me.  That video of Skull at 2,500 cfs looks very tight, I think my solution to that would be to leave the dory in my garage and take my oar raft ;)

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