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A yawl flying genoa, main, and mizzen sails

A yawl is a two-masted sailing craft whose mizzen, or aft-most mast, is shorter than the mainmast. The word yawl was first recorded in the 1600s and derives from the Dutch jol. Historically the term was also used for a ship's boat with oars.[1]

Compared to the similar ketch, a yawl's mizzen mast is set further aft and its mizzen sail is smaller,[2] being about one quarter the size of the mainsail.[3] On a ketch the mizzen sail is about half the size of the mainsail. A boat with a mizzen sail sized between that of the ketch and the yawl was called a dandy, although this term has fallen out of use.[3] An advantage of the yawl's aft-positioned mizzen mast is that its boom does not swing across the deck.[4]

The yawl was originally developed for fishing boats, for example the Salcombe Yawl.[5] While the classic looks of the rig is considered attractive, it is less efficient than a ketch,[6] and is rarely seen on modern yachts.[7]

Yawls were built for yacht racing in the 1950s and 1960s because of a handicapping loophole where boats were not penalized for having a mizzen sail. The design became popular with single-handed circumnavigators like Francis Chichester and Joshua Slocum[8] because the sail-plan was advantageous in a tail wind and helped keep the boat on course, although the latter function is today better performed by modern autopilot systems.[8]

Concordia yawls have been successful racing vessels, as was Dorade, Stormy Weather, and Olin Stephens' Finisterre.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Yawl". dictionary.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Yawl". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Dear, I. C. B.; Kemp, Peter (2007). The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191727504. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ Folkard, Henry Coleman. Sailing Boats from Around the World : the Classic 1906 Treatise. Dover Publications. p. 62. ISBN 9780486311340. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. ^ "History". Salcombe Yawl Owners' Association. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  6. ^ "What's in a Rig? The Yawl". American Sailing Association. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Sailboat Rig Types: Sloop, Cutter, Ketch, Yawl, Schooner, Cat". Jordan Yact and Shop Co. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b "The Magic of the Mizzen". Yawls. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

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