Special thanks to friend-of-the-magazine Ben Fuller for bringing it to our attention that 37 drawings by David W. Dillion of 15 different designs have recently appeared on Mystic Seaport Museum’s website. The plans are now available for purchase, too.

From the archives: Read about the Woods Hole Spritsail Boat, one of the boats Dillion documented for Mystic Seaport.

From Mystic Seaport: “David W. Dillion was an engineering draftsman before establishing a career as a freelance boat documentation specialist. He measured and drew more than seventy boats up to a hundred feet in length and taught lines-taking at the WoodenBoat School and half a dozen maritime museums across the United States. His plans have been published in WoodenBoat and other periodicals. He was the major contributor to the Museum Small Craft Association’s publication Boats, A Manual for Their Documentation.

List of Available Dillion Plans

North Haven Peapod, 13’x 3’10″. Carvel planked.

Nova Scotia Gunning Skiff, 14’9″ x 4’2”. Carvel planked, double ender.

Five Islands Skiff, 15′ x 4’5″. Round hull, transom stern, carvel planked.

Abaco Dinghy. Owned by Lance Lee, carvel planked, transom stern. No centerboard.

Bindals Boat, 15′-10″ x 4′3″. Danish built in the Norse style. Owned 1985 by James S. Rockefeller, Jr. Study plans only to show construction details.

Whitney Gunning Float duck hunting boat for oar or scull, 15’7″ x 48″. Carvel planked, transom stern.

Rangeley Boat, Herb Ellis No. 2, 17′2″ x 4′2″.

Whitehall pulling/sailing boat built by Orvil Young during 1968-69 as a recreational boat for the schooner ROSEWAY of Camden, Maine, 16′3″ x 4′5″. Based on fig. 73 of Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft. Carvel planked.

Rangeley Boat, Herbert N. Ellis #3; a wide transom attempts to make a more stable outboard version.

Westport Sharpie Firefly, 12’3″x 4’4″. Flat-bottomed and cross planked skiff, centerboard, two planks per side.

Lighthouse Peapod, 14’2 “x 4’8”. Carvel planked.

Matinicus Peapod, Sailing, 15’ x 4’6″. Based on John Gardner’s plans and documented as-built by the Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine. Lapstrake with centerboard.

Creole Skiff Gibben Dupre, 17′9″ x 4′9″. Built by Alexander Giroir at Pierre Part, Louisiana, in 1934.

Canoe by J.R. Robertson, 15′ x 30″. Built at Auburndale, Mass. in the early 1900s. Lapstrake construction.

Rushton canoe Ugo, 16′ x 30″. Smooth-skin lapstrake.


  • Ben Fuller says:

    Glad that you picked this up. The Nova Scotia gunning skiff is an especially nice solo rowing boat. There are a bunch of pods here. The Five Islands skiff is in the Maine Maritime Museum collection; it was a summer boat and is worth a look if someone is thinking about a boat for two or three.

  • DT says:

    Lance Lee had his Abaco dinghy on the Kennebec River as well as other places in Maine and I’d sail it whenever I could. It’s a very special boat. One year I was with friends anchored in Nantucket harbor and another Abaco dinghy sailed past. We called out to the girl in it and she took us for spins around the harbor. I left my college letter sweater in the boat and she sailed away with it, never to be seen again. Perhaps she was a selkie. 😉

  • Don Lallier says:

    I miss wooden boats. I am now 83 and still on the water here in Nebraska, but my one true love is salt water in Connecticut. I owned a small row boat when I was 8 years old on the Niantic River in Connecticut. I used to scrape , caulk, seam-compound the bottom, and paint with red lead each spring. When I was 14, I brought a 42′ double ender with two masts for a 400-book comic book collection and $20.
    Used this boat until I was 17 and went in to the Army. I worked after school and on weekends in the local boat yard when I was 14 I scraped, caulked, and painted 40 footers. At 83, I still fish and fool around with boats, but now they are plastic. I remember how quite wood boats are and how loud the sound is in a fiberglass boat.
    Don Lallier
    Orchard, Nebraska

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