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Part 7 of 7

For those who have been interested in the Dorothy documentary, the filming will resume, as an ending to her restoration is now happening. Since it’s been a while from when I last worked on Dorothy we just have to find someone who can CGI my face to make me look as young as when we left it off.

This letter was supplied to the board and staff of the BC Maritime Museum.


The MMBC Board has given the green light for Shipwright Tony Grove to resume work on Dorothy at his boatyard on Gabriola Island. This 30-foot (7.41m) gaff cutter or sloop has been at Tony’s yard for several years but restoration was suspended during the uncertain period after MMBC was evicted from Bastion Square. Dorothy was built of red cedar on oak frames at a small boatyard on the site of today’s Laurel Point Inn. She quickly established a reputation as a fast racer, had several local owners over the decades and was donated to the museum in 1995. The museum has extensive documentation about Dorothy, which has held unbroken official registration since first built.

Tony has already done extensive repairs to the boat’s stem/keel, installed several new floor timbers, and replaced several keel bolts. He also fitted several “sister frames” where the old ones had deteriorated (see picture). All the paint was stripped off the hull and caulking material removed from between the seams (“reefing out the seams.”). Tony then repaired several of the plank seams; from finding different caulking and paying materials he could tell that Dorothy’s seams had never been completely reefed and re-caulked, but rather “spot caulked” over the years where problems had occurred.

Dorothy is now back in Tony’s workshop where over the next several months he will be caulking the seams with oakum and cotton and “paying” them with putty. He will be doing several other tasks including installing and varnishing a new rub rail, fitting and chain plates (metal plate on deck to take shrouds), inspecting the bowsprit, sanding, priming and painting the hull including the toe rail, preparing and repainting the cockpit, and refinishing and varnishing all exterior bright work. Dorothy’s interior was always spartan; Tony will be fitting two bench seats in the cabin and suitable floorboards. The work is planned to bring the boat to top-notch static display condition.

Dorothy is a window on local wooden boatbuilding more than 120 years ago and a living link to the early years of yachting in our area when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. She had been designed by a well-known British yacht designer ad later Olympic sailor, Linton Hope. MMBC is fortunate in having a fund allocated for Dorothy to pay for the restoration. It has been built up over the years thorough targeted donations and a lumpsum received from a volunteer group in Ontario who had hoped to restore a wooden yacht built in New Brunswick a few years before Dorothy; when their project faltered they generously turned their remaining funds over Dorothy. Long-time museum members will remember how John West assisted by Eric Waal spearheaded the current restoration that was paused when the museum encountered heavy seas.

Tony Grove is a well-known expert in building and repairing wooden boats with a passion for these examples of skilled design and construction- and in particular our Dorothy. We can look forward to periodic updates on the progress of the restoration.

Video of lifting Dorothy


Tony Grove: Restoring DorothyDorothy: Back in the shop - Top view


Tony Grove: Restoring Dorothy
Dorothy: Back in the shop - Lower view


Tony Grove: Restoring DorothyNow ready to work on Dorothy


Tony Grove: Restoring Dorothy
Dorothy lifted and trailer taken out


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI Part VII



To see more go to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia:

MUST SEE A Dorothy website: click here for link

MUST SEE A Dorothy YouTube video: click here for link

New Gabriola Sounder article on Dorothy: click here for link

New Nanaimo News Bulletin article on Dorothy: click here for link

New Video CTV News: click here for link

New Video Go! Island, Shaw TV Nanaimo: click here for link

Any questions contact Tony at
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