THE DORY BOATS OF PACIFIC CITY
DISCOVER THEIR UNIQUE HISTORY AND CULTURE
Our beautiful little beach town of Pacific City is full of opportunities to immerse oneself in memorable and inspiring adventures every day—the towering Great Dune at Cape Kiwanda, endless beaches that stretch north and south, waterways that welcome paddlers of all levels and trails that invite hours of exploration. Yet whether this is your first visit or your twentieth visit, nothing quite compares to the delight of watching the dory boats launch and land on the shoreline of Cape Kiwanda as they do most mornings during the summer months.
Dory fishing culture is unique to Pacific City. Our dory boats have been launching through the surf and returning with bountiful harvests, including Dungeness crab, since the early 1900’s. Different versions of the dory boat have been around for over a century, but today’s boat, a unique open-hauled, flat-bottomed vessel with a square-end and outboard motor, makes it ideal for launching and landing on the beach. The boat is pushed or rowed into the surf until it’s deep enough to drop the motor. According to Tillamook Coast, dory boats were initially designed to carry thousands of pounds of fish and have always been known for a seaworthiness that allows them to carry a heavy load for their modest size without capsizing.
The Pacific City Dorymen’s Association (PCDA) has been a charitable non-profit organization on the Oregon coast for almost twenty-five years. The PCDA protects access to Cape Kiwanda for our dory boats, serves as a first responder to calls of distress at sea, and actively promotes laws and regulations that provide recreational and commercial fishing opportunities while preserving sustainable resources. Annual PCDA contributions to our local communities include student scholarships, freshwater fish enhancement programs, school lunches and fire-and-rescue training.
You can participate in this unique Pacific City tradition with an experienced captain by reserving a guided fishing trip through our Adventure Team. Your exhilarating morning will start when you launch into the surf from the beach and punch through the breakers. Spend your morning catching whatever is in season— rock fish, ling cod, or Dungeness crab–as you view the coastline from a new vantage point. For a less labor-intense experience, arise early and follow the action as the Dorymen launch their boats through the surf from your oceanfront balcony.
Don’t forget to stop by the Dory Fleet Memorial Wall during your visit to Pacific City. It’s located at the top of the launch, just below the lodge. The wall pays tribute to past and current Dorymen and tells the fascinating story of the Dory Fleet.