A canoe yawl in Bristol’s floating dock

Canoe yawl in Bristol Docks

Canoe yawl in Bristol Docks Canoe yawl in Bristol Docks

My sailing and boatbuilding pal Jim Vandenbos snapped these photos of a nice old canoe yawl in Bristol’s oddly named Floating Dock last week, and naturally speculated about the designer and the boat’s story. He thought the flattish sheerline suggested that it might not have been one of Albert Strange’s.

Does anyone have any answers please? Naturally, I’ve checked the Canoeyawl.org website but without success.

PS I should explain that Bristol’s Floating Dock isn’t actually afloat, but has lock gates so that vessels contained within it are always afloat.

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8 Responses to A canoe yawl in Bristol’s floating dock

  1. Nick Gates says:

    I think its Arklight II. 1930's, pitch pine planking, Dolphin diesel. Sound and unadulterated when she was down here (Chichester) a few years ago.

  2. Jim from Zanzibar says:

    Thanks Nick, The name appears to have been painted out . Maybe getting done up.



  3. Steve Taylor says:

    This boat certainly looks very like the oddly named Arklight II. I remember going to see her in Chichester a few years back. I came close to buying (for a knockdown price!) but in the end I was put off by the bermudan rig…

    I recollect she was built by George Cardnell in Essex. They specialised in this type of boat and turned out quite a few canoe yawls from stock designs between the wars.


  4. Rob says:

    Thanks all for comments, sorry she wasn't looking better for the photos. The engine is Kingfisher KD6. The name has not been painted out. Still in progress, few things to do but going sailing by May. Happy to answer any questions, would welcome any information on the builders, Cardnell Brothers of Maylandsea.

  5. paul stevens says:

    Hello there,

    I owned this boat about 40 years ago and it was me who built the raised coachroof using the original beams because all the ends had rotted out. I have also owned the original Arklight and Sirius, both sisterships in my time. I know a fair bit about George Cardnell the builder and his sons Tom and George, who started Cardnell bros here at Maylandsea. Feel free to phone me on 07885365032 for a natter.

    cheers Paul

  6. David Heffer says:

    I have just picked up Sirius which is need of extensive work which I will be starting shortly.
    Any information gladly recieved. Especially history owners, builders etc.

    She is now outside my workshop in north Dorset.

    David Heffer

    • Paul Stevens says:

      Hi there,

      are you the acquaintance of the guy who owns “Arklight 11″ I use to own her and told him about “Sirius”. So pleased you are going to restore her, she was the best of the smaller canoe yawls and George Cardnell sailed her a lot himself in his retirement. I saved her from being burnt in about 1999 but couldnt face doing it again! I know a lot about her and the builders history, ring me for a natter sometime 07885365032 cheers Paul

  7. Rob says:

    Hi Paul and David,
    This is Rob, owner of Arklight II. Very glad to hear Sirius will be revived, a nicely-built boat that sails beautifully from what I’ve heard from Paul. Paul – my friend got nowhere in his attempts to acquire Sirius and gave up.
    Another Cardnell boat, Summer Song, (20 something ft, sloop) is due to be launched here in Bristol fairly soon. She too has been rescued and revived.

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