Salcombe Yawl

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Salcombe Yawl
Salcombe Yawl 1967.png
A Salcombe Yawl, reefed, crewed by teenagers on the Kingsbridge Estuary in 1967
LocationSalcombe, Devon
Hull weight381 kg (840 lb)
LOA4.88 m (16 ft 0 in)
Beam2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)
Rig typeKetch
Total sail area16.24 m2 (174.8 sq ft)[1]

The term Salcombe Yawl refers to a small sailing dinghy restricted class native to Salcombe in South Devon, and also to the traditional sailing vessel from the area upon which that class was based, with a 200-year history.[2] The current class of vessel has about the size of a Merlin Rocket, that is 4.88 metres (16.0 ft) and about 180 have been built of which 80% are still in use. It is built traditionally by hand from mahogany, and is clinker built. The centre plate is cast iron, but more recent Yawls have bronze plates. While it is rigged as a ketch with the mizzen ahead of the rudder post, the label yawl is probably derived from a corruption of the word yole, meaning a small inshore fishing boat. Designers, work within the class restrictions, adding innovations to each vessel.[3] It is raced in two classes depending on the age of the boat. A newly built boat in 2009 would cost £40,000 while a second hand vessel would be half of that.[4] There is a glassfibre derivative with aluminium spars called a Devon Yawl. The mould for this was taken from a 1968 Salcombe Yawl and because of the nature of its construction is a one-design. There are approximately 300 Devon Yawls and they are built both in the UK and USA.


  1. ^ "Noble Marine Insurance". Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  2. ^ "Salcombe Yawl history". Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  3. ^ "Meeting at Salcombe, Saturday 4th November 2000". SW Soundings No.50 (Feb 2001). South West Maritime History association. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  4. ^ "July 2008 - Yawl sailing in Salcombe". Donkin on Sailing. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2009.

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