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Canoe Yawl:

Charles G. Davis, 1895

publish this month the design for a canoe yawl which we think would be a more suitable craft for those who wish to go canoeing in salt water than the present narrow beam canoes. Canoeing is a noble sport; and far more fun can be had out of them than any other small craft. But canoes have been held in the vice of racing rules altogether too long. Why should the beam be limited to 28 or 30 inches?

England had a similar rule for her cutter, and for many years six and eight-beam cutters were all the go -- yachts 30 feet long, in which two men could hardly get past each other down below.

Is that yachting?

The same may be asked of canoeing. The Indian birch is the origin of the canoe. But why take a boat built for quietly stealing across inland lakes, or so as to be carried across from one lake to another on the Indian's shoulders, and try and navigate the rough, heavy waters of the sea coast in her? For cruising down the inland rivers and lakes, we say build just the kind of canoes that are now in use; but don't try and be a big Indian, Wah ! Wah ! on the broad Atlantic.

Salt water is so cross. and hits with such force, that to sail decently in it you want all the weight you can get to give the boat some momentum. How often have you seen those little cockleshells on the Bay trying to beat to windward, but like the light butterfly, their structure is too delicate to combat the elements. They cannot point, the seas buffet them and knock out all the headway. See them trying to come about. The minute they head the wind they stop, and when they stop the rudder is useless. Then you see the crew do some box-hauling with the sails, and after a tedious process she does fill on the required tack. But it takes an acrobat to do the contortioning necessary on the end of the hicking-board to keep her from laying her sails flat on the water. The moment sheets are started however, there is nothing of the size that can touch a canoe. Yet it is delicate work to keep them from rolling over. And all these cranky features are due to one element, the lack of beam.

Beam has been limited to allow of paddling, because Indians paddled, and for those who are content to paddle, the present canoes are just the thing, but for the benefit of those who wish to have a small boat that has the good points of the canoe, seagoing qualities and ease of transportation, with the bad points corrected, we offer this design.



16 feet on LWL.
16 feet 7 in. overall.
4 feet 4 in. extreme beam on deck.
3 feet 11 in. extreme beam on water line.
13 in. extreme draught.
128 square feet sail area.


The construction of this yawl will be the same as a canoe, and the cost should be very nearly the same.

Her displacement is made heavier on purpose to meet the requirements. She will need about 300 or 400 lbs. in shot bags, and with a crew of two will carry all the duffle necessary for a long cruise.

We offer a suggestion in the way of arranging the cockpits:

A small steering well aft, 2 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet 4 inches wide. Then a short deck is allowed to get a couple of beams across to stiffen her and support the mizzen mast. Forward is a sleeping cockpit 6 feet long, 2 feet 6 inches wide, over which a tent can be rigged as shown in small sketch, and made into comfortable cruising quarters.

A long tiller is shown in plans, though the regular canoe steering gear can be fitted if preferred, but we strongly advise keeping the deep rudder, or else a canoe drop rudder.

For a rig we give her 128 square feet of cloth, 20 feet in the jib, 60 feet in the mainsail, which has the sharpie batten is to spread the clipped after-leach and 48 feet in a leg of mutton mizzen.

Her main mast is 15 feet 9 inches above deck and mizzen 13 feet 6 inches; mizzen sprit is 8 feet 3 inches; main sprit just 7 feet; bowsprit is 2 feet outboard ; the jib-boom is 5 feet 2 inches long; the jibstay is to feet 4 inches above deck on the mast.










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