Portland Yawlboat

The traditional yawlboat is a hard-working boat, carried on the stern davits of a larger working vessel. They have sweet shapes to be easily driven and as was befitting the pride of workmanship that went into their construction.

This latter day version is much lighter and smaller in size. She will make a splendid small tender for a larger yacht and a fun small sailing dinghy for kids of all ages. She is light enough to be carried on cartop racks or hung off the stern of a modest size cruiser, or lifted aboard and carried on deck.

Her beamy shape gives her good stability. She will row, tow, and sail well. The skeg aft provides directional stability while rowing or towing. The slot designed into her skeg is there to provide a handhold which will help make her easy to lift.

An optional oarlock, aft, on the port quarter, will facilitate sculling. (Put it on either side to suit yourself.) She has two oarlock positions on the gunwales. Depending on how she's loaded, the person rowing can sit amidships or forward. Or, two sets of oars can be used for towing operations or training the crew....

For some time, I've thought about designing a version of this boat with another strake of planking, two or four inches in depth, added at the sheer. This would greatly increase her carrying capacity and usefulness as a tender. This has been done and the details are on the full-size pattern set.

The plans show the original fiberglass concept (the clients were going to mold the boats for sale), plus lapstrake wood and cold-molded wood. Construction alternatives that are practical, beyond those shown on the drawings in this chapter, are Airex®-cored fiberglass (see 11′ Oregon Peapod for an example) and cedar strips sheathed in fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin. The complete plan set is included in our Small Craft Plans book. You can order it online at http://tillerbooks.com/Small_Craft_Plans.php

Design Specs

Jay Benford
Year of Design: 
50-75 structural weight, 254 loaded to waterline
Oars or sail
Skill Level to Build: 
Available as: 
Complete Plans
$60 includes full-size pattern, or get reduced scale full set of drawings in Small Craft Plans book.
Contact Information: 

Phone: 410-745-3235
Mail: 296663 Tallulah Lane
Easton, MD 21601