A yawl is a two-masted sailing craft whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast. Compared to the similar ketch, a yawl's mizzen mast is set further aft and its mizzen sail is smaller. The word yawl was first record in the 1600s and derives from the Dutch jol. Historically the term was also used for a ship's boat with oars. While the classic looks of the rig is considered attractive, it is less efficient than a ketch, and is rarely seen on modern yachts.
The yawl was originally developed for fishing boats, for example the Salcombe Yawl. It became popular with single-handed sailors such as circumnavigators Francis Chichester and Joshua Slocum. This was because the sail-plan helped keep the boat on course. Yawls were built for yacht racing in the 1950s and '60s because of a handicapping loophole where boats were not penalized for having a mizzen sail, although it was advantageous in a tail wind.. Nowadays the configuration is less popular since modern self-steering and navigation aids are a better solution to the same problem.
- "Yawl". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- "Yawl". dictionary.com. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- "What's in a Rig? The Yawl". American Sailing Association. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- "Sailboat Rig Types: Sloop, Cutter, Ketch, Yawl, Schooner, Cat". Jordan Yact and Shop Co. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- "History". Salcombe Yawl Owners' Association. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- "Yawls". Retrieved 16 May 2019.
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