By Ed Bowles

Her name is Last Cast and she’s a 22-foot wooden flat-bottomed dory built for beach launching and landing in the surf at Pacific City, Oregon. The dory fleet launches off the beach in the lee of Cape Kiwanda by backing into the surf with tilt trailers. It can be quite a bucking bronco getting out past the surf, and I generally will avoid launching if swells are greater than 5 feet. Landing is quite the rush, as you come in hot over the surf fast enough to slide up the beach.

Last Cast is a Kiwanda Klipper dory built by Paul Hanneman in 1976. Paul was a longtime leader of the Pacific City Doryman’s Association and a state legislator who helped pass Oregon’s historic beach bill, keeping all of our beaches public, and the first bottle bill in the nation. Last Cast was originally powered by an I/O motor, but now has a newer 90 HP Honda four-stroke outboard. I’m a big believer in old boat /new power, rather than vice versa!

I use the dory primarily for fishing and crabbing, often going out 30 to 40 miles in pursuit of albacore tuna or staying more nearshore for ling cod, salmon, rockfish and halibut. Frequent sightings of whales, puffins, albatross and sharks are wonderful additions to most trips. Last Cast is a wonderful lady that connects me directly to the boisterous and dynamic ocean of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the rich legacy of wooden dories riding the surf out of Pacific City, Oregon.



  1. When I was a kid every year from the sand dunes above the cape, we watched the double ended dory boats with only a small outboard motor in a well. To land they would shut down power, get the oats out, line up with the waves, and row like h*** to get close enough to shore to jump out and drag the boat to the edge of the surf. My uncle had one of that style dory. Kept it near the cape, just north at Tierra del Mar. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures.

  2. When I was growing up in Oakridge, Or we would go to the coast for short vacations. many times we would go to an old fashioned single cabin motel and watch the boats launch and retrieve. But what I remember most was the condition of the trucks and tractors that launched and retrieved them. Most all were a total pile of rust from going in the salty Pacific Ocean. Pacific City is a special spot and still is though much more modern.

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