One thinks of the dory as a classic America design, characterised by the flat sides and tomb stone transom, simply built but seaworthy boats, stacked aboard the Gloucester fishing schooners. But dory’s are also common in the Langerdoc region, on the Mediterranean coast of France.
Between the Camarge and towards the Spanish boarder the coast is relatively flat and boarded by large salt water lagoons called Etangs. These are sheltered, shallow and are perfect for oyster cultivation – indeed some of the best oysters in France are reputed to come from Bouzigues on the Etang de Thai near Sete.
The dory with its shallow draft, flat bottom and good load carrying capacity is an ideal boat for this environment. We saw several traditionally built dorys as well as fibre glass versions in the towns of Sete, Meze, Marseiliang and Adge. Some were rigged for sailing, some fitted with an outboard, most were working craft.
There were exceptions this last one is clearly a pleasure boat based on the dory hull.