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.

11 thoughts on “A canoe yawl in Bristol’s floating dock”

    1. Hi Folks Arklight 11 is currently moored at Uphill, Weston-super-Mare, it has just been purchased by a friend of mine,Bob who is an ex Bristol Channel Pilot, it’s due to be hauled out as soon as he gets a trailer, will be taken to Clevedon for general cleaning up, ready for relaunch at Appledore next year,I will print off all these details as I know that Bob is keen to gain all the information he can about Arklight and no doubt will be in touch very soon, Bob is hopeless with a computer so I have been doing research for him, other than that I am just the man with the tow car.
      If you care to contact me on leighwoodconsultants@gmail.com I will pas all details to Bob
      Best wishes

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



  2. 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.


  3. 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.

  4. 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

    1. Hi Paul, A friend of mine has just purchased Arklight 11,she is currently lying at Uphill Weston-super-Mare, about to be hauled out as soon as he gets a trailer to be moved to his house at Clevedon for cleaning up, I would expect to see her relaunched at Appledore next year if not before.
      I will pass your details to Bob, he is a retired Bristol Channel Pilot as he is very keen to obtain the boats history
      Best wishes

  5. 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

    1. 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

    2. Hi David, I grew up on Sirius in the early 2000s – actually been looking for her recently – hoping she’s still alive! Have you done any restoration works on her? I’d love to find out what happened to her!

      ~Freya Dargavel fdargavel@gmail.com

  6. 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.