What are dory boats?
Flat bottom boats designed and built in Oregon that takes off straight into the waves from the beach off Cape Kawanda.
They are mostly used for fishing but you can also find locals that will take visitors out to get a close look at Kiwanda Rock.
Watch out when you hear their big horns off shore, because that means they are rasing back to the beach and you do not want to be in their path.
Pacific City has an annual Blessing of the Dory fleet.
For information and pictures, go to the
the Dory Fleet
Pacific City also has an Dory Days Parade. Learn more about the
Dory Days Parade
Also, check out these great
Historical Dory photos
Pacific City Dory Boats
The 'wall' in the picture above is a tribute to the past and current
dorymen and dorywomen of Pacific City, Oregon. The wall also displays
the story of the Pacific City Dory. For your enjoyment, you can
read that story below.
The Story of the Pacific City Dory
For more than a century, boats have gone to sea from this
sandy beach and shelter of Cape Kiwanda. There is no other
harbor, port, or fishing fleet anywhere in the world exactly like this.
It is truly unique how we evolved.
The dory's origins came from the turn of the 20th century surf
dories and Nestucca River gill net boats that sold their fish to
the salmon cannery established in 1887 near the mouth of the
After 1927 commercial fishing was only allowed in the open
ocean. Since the Nestucca had a shallow dangerous bar accessible
only at flood tide, a new larger surf boat was need to be launched
in the lee of Cape Kiwanda.
This larger dory was called a "double ender" because it was
pointed at both ends. It had two sets of oars, able to be rowed through
the Pacific surf and out to sea. Later double enders had a motor well
near the stern. There, small outboard motors were installed after
negotiating the surf, for fishing during the day and then removed
when rowing back to the beach.
Once outboard motors because powerful enough and more reliable,
the modern "square stern" dory was born. The modern Pacific City dory
is open hulled and flat bottomed and is pushed or rowed into the
Pacific surf until deep enough do drop the outdrive or outboard motor
and then powered through the surf into the open ocean. Even with
modern motors, many dorymen still row through the surf just as their
fathers and grandfathers did before using their motors.
When ocean conditions allow, Pacific City dories fish the waters off
of Cape Kiwanda, launching from and sliding back up on the beach
in the lee of the Cape. Many dorymen trailers these rugged marine
plywood and fiberglass dories to Oregon ports from Brookings to
Astoria fishing for Chinook and Coho salmon, Dungeness crab,
Albacore tuna and various rock fish.
The dory fleet is renowned for its incredible safety record. Dorymen
are often the first responders to distress calls and other marine
emergencies. In 100+ years only 6 know dorymen have lost their
lives at sea, making the Pacific City dory and the men and women
who sail them some of the safest mariners in the marine environment.
The success of the Pacific City dory belongs to the stalwart and visionary
dorymen and women who recognized how versatile it could become.
In 1996, a Dorymen/s Association was founded. It's a non-profit
organization with the primary mission to preserve and protect the
historic traditions given to us by the pioneers of our fleet. The
Association supports Oregon's public beach laws and regulations
and work with local, state, and federal agencies.
The Pacific City Dorymen's Association welcomes you to
the home of the Dory Fleet. To all who come this way, may you
find enjoyment here.
The Dory Fleet of Pacific City
With its smooth, sandy beach, the quiet coastal town of Pacific City, on the coast of Oregon's Tillamook County, is the
perfect home for a unique group of boats. The Pacific City dory fleet has a proud history spanning more than 100 years. Nestled in the natural shelter
provided by Cape Kiwanda, the fleet lives on today as one of the most interesting fishing fleets in the world. The small flat-bottomed boats dare the
ocean as they crash through the surf headed for the plentiful waters of the Pacific. At day's end, they ride the waves back to shore and slide onto the beach.
The original design of the dory allows it to launch from and land on the shore. Through the inherent dangers of ocean fishing, governmental restriction,
international fishing competition, and, most recently, the influx of surfers and civilization, the dedicated fishermen have held on to tradition.
The Oregon Coast