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The Dory Shop Museum

A dory a day for a century

Now part of the Nova Scotia Museum family, the Dory Shop has perfected the Shelburne dory, turning out over 50,000 dories since it opened its doors in 1887. At that time, there were seven other dory shops in Shelburne and naturally, there was significant competition between them.

 

Demand decreased by the1950s as dories began to be used more as inshore fishing craft and lifeboats on large passenger ships.  In 1971, the Canadian government passed a law requiring all marine vessels over a certain size to be outfitted with self-inflating lifeboats, thus eliminating most of the market for wooden dories.

 

Master Dory Builder Sidney Mahaney, who worked in the Dory Shop until the age of 84, had his hand in 10,000 of these small boats built to outfit schooners for offshore fishing.

 

Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened the Dory Shop Museum in 1983, where they were presented with a miniature replica dory for their son, William.

Current Master Dory Builder, Milford Buchanan, working on an unfinished dory.

Master Dory Builder, Milford Buchanan, working on an unfinished dory.