Tag Archives: canoe yawl

The Canoe Yawl, by Richard Powell

The Canoe Yawl: From the Birth of Leisure Sailing to the 21st Century by Richard Powell from publisher Lodestar is great news.

There’s a lot of talk discussion about canoe yawls and a great sense that they are to be admired in the forums and magazines – but why and what’s the story? Probably for a couple of decades I’ve felt that a clear analysis of the type and a description of its history was sorely needed – and now we have it.

Canoe yawls were originally developed from sailing canoes in the late 19th century, in order to allow amateur sailors to sail in the conditions often found on UK’s estuaries and coastline.

Our weather is changeable and, even with modern weather forecasting it is still unpredictable in small boat sailing terms: for example, the wind is often a force stronger than predicted. Many small boat sailors have learned at first hand that shallow estuaries full of channels have strong currents and that as soon as the wind against the tide, the chop may become so fierce that beating to windward becomes nigh-on impossible unless you can creep into shallows. (You need to be an unusual sailor to manage this stuff and it helps to have the time available  to wait for suitable weather – read about Gavin Millar’s sailing canoe round the UK attempt.)

But back to the canoe yawl. What does the type offer? In this book, Albert Strange Association technical secretary Richard argues that the canoe yawl is still the best type for single- or short-handed coastal cruising sailor, and that a revival of interest in recent years underlines his point.

Why? You’ll have to read the chapter ‘Why the canoe yawl‘ for the full story, but in his preface Iain Oughtred says the rig ‘is particularly user friendly; the spars are short, the centre of effort is low, and the rig is quickly and easily shortened down or adjusted according to the conditions. In a sudden hard gust, the boat,  although heeling considerably, will remain balanced on the helm, and will not screw up into the wind in the way a tall bermuda rig is inclined to do… the double-ended hull has a lot to do with its good behaviour… These boats have a comfortable and reassuring quality… ‘

I think most folks would also agree that canoe yawls are usually very attractive little vessels.

For the princely sum of £15, this volume of 160 well illustrated pages is a fascinating read. Read a sample here. Buy it from all good nautical booksellers or directly from publisher Lodestar.

 

 

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Canoe yawl Arklight II for sale

arklight-ii-canoe-yawl-small

Robert Whitmore Jones is selling his 1936 canoe yawl Arklight II for £7500, or sensible offers.

Built by George Cardnell and sons at Maylandsea in Essex, Arklight II is said to be in sound condition and to sail well. Her hull is pitch pine planks on oak frames, with cabin and cockpit sides of mahogany.

Her paint, varnish and antifouling could all benefit from refreshing.

She has a recently (2011) installed secondhand Yanmar 1GM10 and is currently moored near Weston super Mare. If you’re interested, contact the Albert Strange Association and they’ll put you in touch with the owner.

Two David Moss canoe yawls for sale

Bunny - 15ft 6in David Moss canoe yawl for sale Ethel - 15ft 6in David Moss canoe yawl for sale

Fancy one of David Moss’s highly regarded canoe yawls?

They don’t come up very often, but there are no less than two of the lovely strip-planked boats for sale right now at canoeyawl.org: the 13ft Ethel, which currently belongs to canoeyawl.org editor Dick Wynne; the other is the  15ft 6in Bunny, now owned by Nigel Field.