For the first time in decades, there are schooners 'abuilding on the famed waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dawson Moreland & Associates are building not just one, but two 48' wooden schooners in the best of Maritime traditions. These 'twins' will be built simultaneously, frame for frame, plank for plank, alongside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop at 175 Bluenose Drive. Follow their progress from keel laying to launch!

An artist's interpretation of the Twin Schooner Project

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday wishes from Lunenburg Schooners

The boatyard is still today and covered in white after our first big snowfall, the gang all gone home to celebrate Christmas with their families and friends. As the big wet flakes fell, muffling all noise save the call of the fog horn and the softest lap of waves upon the piles, there seemed complete peace in our corner of the world.
As we pause to mark the holidays, we hope all those who are our friends, clients and followers may also enjoy a quiet moment, as well as great joy and hope for the year ahead.
The Boatbuilders and staff of Dawson Moreland & Associates and The Dory Shop
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hoho trumps shutter planks

So our plans for a pre-Christmas shutter plank ceremony got derailed. We couldn't meet our initial plan of doing it last weekend and now we've got some of our gang heading off to be with their families for the holidays.

As much as we want to share this milestone event with the public, it is at its heart a builders' celebration and so we'll postpone 'til early in the New Year when the gang is all back, bloated with turkey and cookies and such, and then we'll add those last planks, one for each of our twin schooners. Unless Santa's elves get other ideas...they wouldn't!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More media spotlight!

Over the past week, Dawson Moreland's Twin Schooner Project here at The Dory Shop in Lunenburg has been blessed with a great deal of media coverage.

First, there was an interview with Phlis McGregor of CBC Radio's Information Morning last Friday. Then there was the premiere of the documentary Nova Scotia Schooners on CBC Television's Land & Sea on Sunday. And finally, having done radio and tv, that left only print and voila! there we are in the December issue of Canadian Geographic as part of an article on a resurgence in traditional trades.

All this coverage has been great! Tho' it's getting to the point where dear ol' Dave Westergard is going to need to get himself a manager! (I can assure you, having suggested this, that he is NOT interested).

We're particularly delighted with all of the messages from folks who have either been following the project or are just now learning about it. Many thanks to all! (And remember, you can click on the images below to get a better view of the article).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We're getting there!

If you missed Sunday's premiere of the documentary Nova Scotia Schooners on CBC-Television's Land & Sea, you can now watch it online at

Meanwhile we've been falling behind on posting pictures from The Dory Shop boatyard where the hulls of our twin schooners will very soon be completely planked up. See how small that remaining gap is? Why it's less than the size of Bub's head!

But quality work cannot be rushed and so the date of our shutter plank celebration still eludes us. Stay tuned ~ when we know, you will!
Get a load of the width of this boat lumber!

View from the interior

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Schooner documentary airs tomorrow

One last reminder about the premiere of the new documentary Nova Scotia Schooners on CBC-TV's Land and Sea tomorrow at noon (check local listings). There's an interview with Capt. Tom in today's Chronicle Herald in which he talks about the show. It also features a great photo shot out in The Dory Shop boatyard. Check it out at’s-cut-schooners

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Iconic schooners the subject of article and documentary

An article in the latest issue of Classic Boat, titled 10 Iconic American Boats, includes the 'working schooner' and Banks dory.

Of schooners, the UK-based authors write: "We are all familiar with the schooner America and how she trounced the English yachting scene in 1851. America's history created fast cargo, fishing and military ships and that heritage is seen in the consistent use, build and restoration of large schooner like The Pride of Baltimore II, Shenandoah and, of course, Dennis Conner's replica of America."

Of course we here in Lunenburg have had a long, and still passionate, affair with schooners. Indeed that's the subject of a new documentary airing Sunday, December 4 at 12 p.m. on CBC Television's Land and Sea (check local listings).

Brought to you by two bonafide schooner lovers - writer-director Capt. Tom Gallant, of the schooner Avenger, and producer Ed Peill, skipper of the Dorothy Louise - Nova Scotia Schooners takes an in-depth look at these traditional vessels and explores what’s involved with owning and maintaining a piece of living history.

The documentary was filmed this past summer and includes scenes from the Lunenburg Wooden Boat Reunion, the Nova Scotia Schooner Association's annual race week, the reconstruction of Bluenose II and Dawson Moreland's own Twin Schooner Project here at The Dory Shop.

“This documentary demonstrates what happens when people come together around something they find both important and beautiful” says Capt'n Tom. “It highlights one of our most significant Canadian cultural icons and underscores why these traditional skills need to be passed onto future generations.

"The beauty and grace of these schooners is captivating and I'll wager that anyone with even a drop of salt water in their veins will love this film."
So mark the 4th at noon on your calendars. And just in case you miss it, know that once the show has aired, it can be watched on the CBC TV website at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Closing the gap

"The gap's getting smaller!," Bub said, biting into the slice of pizza that was his lunch today (sorry Bub, no secrets in the blogosphere!). And he's right. The gap is steadily closing and before you know it, it will be time for that very momentous occasion - the shutter plank ceremony. A la deux in the case of our twin schooners. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, post-lunch, Bub was fairing the rabbet or groove where the next plank will fit.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tops and bottoms

While Tony takes advantage of this outstanding Nova Scotia autumn to work on this suntan - i.e. complete the cabin tops aboard our twin schooners - Dave and the rest of the gang are down in the shadows hanging garboard planks.
They're making great progress and it won't be too long 'til we are ready for the shuttle strake (last strake of planking on the hull). Traditionally that's an occasion for celebration and you can bet Capt. Moreland will want to mark the event in style. Stand by for details!
Meanwhile, many thanks to shipwright Jamie Rogers who hung off the roof of The Dory Shop's plant 2 (a la Spiderman!) to get this aerial view for us. It's a shot poor Dory Plug could not ever hope to take!

Monday, October 24, 2011

There's something to be said for good ol' black and white photography when it comes to highlighting the lines or design of an object.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Angelique for the garboards

As Danie and Bub continue hanging the Alaskan Yellow Cedar hull planks on our twin schooners, Dave is working on patterns for the garboards, to be made of more of that sawblade-killing, but super durable Angelique. You may recall the sheer planks for these new Lunenburg Schooners ( were also made of this wood. See the gang unloading some of these incredibly dense (dense=heavy as hell!) planks below.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hanging plank all day long

Canadian musican David Wilcox sang about "laying pipe all night long," but for the twin schooner gang it's hanging plank all day long. And wow, are they making progress! Check out these latest shots from down in the Dory Shop Boatyard and remember you can click on the photo for an enlarged view.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Video from the boatyard

Check out this short video of the ongoing planking of these twin 48-foot wooden schooners here in the Dory Shop Boatyard.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Schooner owner checks in between takes

Billy Campbell, actor, sailor, adventurer and owner of one of our twin schooners, has been hanging out in Lunenburg these last few weeks filming a new movie.

The Disappeared, written and directed by Canadian-born Shandi Mitchell, is a psychological drama about six fishermen fighting to survive after their swordfishing boat goes down during the night in the North Atlantic.

The entire film takes place in the two small dories from which the men abandon their sinking ship. It’s being shot just off the coast here in Lunenburg Bay with cast and crew working long, often wet and tiring days on the ocean. But that’s just fine by Billy, who considers himself lucky to be able to work here.

“What’s not to like about this town?” says the actor, currently appearing in the hit AMC drama The Killing. “I go to work off the railway wharf, right between The Dory Shop [where he can see Dave and the gang working on his schooner] and the Barque Picton Castle,” on which he has made two world voyages – one of the few people beyond the Captain and the ship's cat to do so!

Billy’s also a great fit for the film, in which he plays Mannie, the vessel’s second mate. After two world circumnavigations, he’s certainly an experienced seafarer who’s also up to the physical task of rowing the nearly 20-foot, 500-pound Trawl dories in which the tale is set, not to mention working on the exhausting platform of a rolling ocean for hours at a time.

Filming has taken place in all manner of weather, including heavy wind and rain overnight last night. It wraps up this week and before you know it Billy will be headed to Vancouver to shoot season 2 of The Killing.

The Disappeared hits the big screen next year.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Some planking pics

Just a couple of pictures of the ongoing planking of our beautiful twin schooners on this sunny day at The Dory Shop in Lunenburg!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Planking 'em up

It seems like forever since we have posted anything to this Twin Schooner blog. And in fact it has been a month and a half.

While Bub worked all summer (poor guy!) and Dave dropped by from time to time, it all tended to be rather small, if important work and didn't make for especially captivating photographs.

That changes now that Dave is back at work (and so happy to have a camera in his face as you can see at below) and planking can begin in earnest.

Already Dave and Bub have a couple of planks hung and starting Monday we have two additional hands joining us (well four hands, two people), which will make things move along a lot more quickly.

Over the summer, Bub did a superb job finishing the decks, by the way. We also had a couple of hatches made by Kevin at Lahave Marine Woodworking. Constructed of Wana with Purpleheart runners, they're really gorgeous and work like a charm.

This weekend, we welcome the Nova Scotia Schooner Association to The Dory Shop for their annual September Classic. Dave's Sea Change is just one of the many handsome schooners in town for tomorrow's race, after which everyone comes over to The Dory Shop for awards and festivities. The big tent is already up in the boatyard and everyone is psyched for the event!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Excuse me, I have a cabin top to deliver...

The second cabin top was walked down the street from Tony's workshop earlier today. This time our route managed to take us right through a film set for the television series Haven, which films in Lunenburg from time to time. That was pretty funny actually. Then it was down Montague Street to Bluenose Drive, into the Dory Shop Boatyard, around Billy's schooner (another obstacle we didn't have last time!) and then up on deck and into place. Whew! Many thanks to the extra hands from the Picton Castle crew (you can see the masts and yards of their ship in the background of the last picture) and congrats to Tony for another beautiful piece of work!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Bluenose visit

An email over the weekend asked what was up with the lack of new photographs here on the Twin Schooners construction blog. "Is it vacation time?," it asked.

Well, yes and no. Yes, Dave has taken a few weeks off to mind the farm in Tusket and sail his schooner Sea Change. He still checks in from time to time to provide instruction and generally harass Bub (little joke there Dave!), who continues to work on the decks. Meanwhile, Tony is completing the cabin top for the second schooner. So work continues, to be sure, but nothing too dramatic in terms of photographs for the moment.

That said, it was kind of funny to walk down to the boatyard this morning and see Capt. Dan walking about with one of our most stalwart supporters, the skipper of Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador, the schooner Bluenose II, Capt. Phil Watson. Capt. Watson helped lay the twin keels you'll remember and has shown keen interest in the project at every phase.

So the two men were having a good close look at the deck and cabin houses of Billy Campbell's schooner when they decided to 'go below' and sat among the frames to continue their conversation. That, we thought, made for a pretty interesting picture.


Friday, June 17, 2011

A deck house parade

Folks travelling along Lunenburg's Montague Street just after lunch today smiled, and in some cases scratched their heads, to see five men walking a deck house down the road.

Their destination? The Dory Shop Boatyard where the house was carefully lifted and placed aboard the westernmost of our twin schooners - the one being built for actor Billy Campbell.

You see, Billy (currently starring in the AMC hit, The Killing) and Captain Dan are sailing into Lunenburg tomorrow aboard the Barque Picton Castle as the ship returns from a triumphant 30,000-mile voyage around the world. Both are anxious to see what progress has been made on the vessels, and in Billy's case, he won't have much time before he must jet off to work in Hollywood, so Dave wanted a chance for him to see the deck house and also ensure the cabin will accommodate his 6' 4" height.And so for the last number of weeks, one of our schooner crew, Tony Chaplik, has been working blessedly out of the rain in a shop just up the road from The Dory Shop.

Tony's the perfect guy to be building these pieces. With nearly 40 years experience as a cabinet maker, builder of fine furniture and boatbuilder, he's inspired by the challenge of the project.

"Making a part and then putting the parts together, whether a chair or a boat or a house, it's very satisfying," says Tony, who started his career in a cabinet shop in Maine. He then worked at the Paul E. Luke Boatyard in Boothbay before spending two years at the prestigious North Bennet Street School in Boston.

The oldest craft and trade school in America, that was "a real hot spot to be," says Tony. "We did a lot of hand work. It was definitely not your average trade school."
Tony went on to operate his own shop, Marblehead Cabinetmakers, which produced fine furniture, cabinetry, exquisite circular staircases and always, always there was boat work.
While operating a sawmill business, he was introduced to master boatbuilder Harold Burnham. He cut practically all the wood for the schooner Thomas E. Lannon and joined Harold as a full-time carpenter on the Pinky Schooner Fame. He also worked at the New York mill shop Big Tree, doing commission pieces, including very fine furniture, doors, windows and trim work for upscale apartments in the city.

Asked what it is that motivates him, Tony shrugs. "I just like buildings things..particularly things that are difficult and demand that they're done right."

Now doesn't that sound like just the right guy for our schooners?