8' Portland Yawlboat

Design Number 148

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....

A traditional lapstrake
8' Portland Yawlboat built by Mike Kiefer
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.

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.

John and James Guzzwell built a lovely example of this design. She is used as a tender to the cold-molded 37' pilothouse cutter Corcovado of our design built by their father, John Guzzwell.

Don Maceys cold-molded 8 Portland Yawlboat nearing completion

Length overall8'-0"2.44 m
Length datum waterline7'-6"2.29 m
Beam4'-0"1.22 m
Draft0'-5"/2'-6"0.13/0.76 m
Freeboard:Forward1'-5"0.43 m
Least0'-11"0.28 m
Aft1'-1”0.33 m
Estimated structural weight50-75 lbs.23-34 kg.
Displacement, to DWL240 lbs.109 kg.
Displacement-length ratio254 
Sail area36 sq. ft.3.35 m2
Sail area-displacement ratio14.91 
Prismatic coefficient.579 
Pounds per inch immersion93 
Entrance half-angle30° 

Note: The displacement numbers are calculated to the arbitrarily chosen DWL.
The calculated ratios of displacement-length and sail area-displacement will vary widely depending on the loading of the vessel.

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