This model represents a small rowing boat known as a New England sailing dory. During the nineteenth century, these dories were used in the fisheries near Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Dories were also carried nested on the decks of fishing vessels, especially schooners in the later nineteenth century. A dory would be launched into the open sea and filled with fish, which along the New England coast was usually cod. The sailing dory usually had one or two masts with a spritsail and a jib for heavier weather. This model represents a dory 21 feet on the gunwale and 5 feet wide; the Smithsonian purchased it in 1883 from boat builders Higgins & Gifford, Gloucester, MA.
Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.