Re: Chester Yawl Conversi

Posted by CLC on Jan 6, 2007

The Chester Yawl sailed well. (That's me in the photos.) It's quite stiff and behaved in all ways as a good sailboat should. The design was always meant to have a sailing option. A minor point of trivia is that the very popular Skerry design has the Chester Yawl's rig, not the other way around. We rolled out a sailing kit for the Chester Yawl back in late 2004, and it was greeted with a giant sigh in the marketplace. I think the reason was that you really undid the boat's rowing qualities with all of the sailing paraphenalia in place. The Chester Yawl is such a good rowing boat that this bothered me a lot, personally, and I consciously and unconciously transmitted this to people who were contemplating the kit.

Any collection of smallcraft designers gathered at a bar will raise a glass in lament at the nearly universal impulse to convert perfectly good rowing boats into sailboats.

A number of builders have rigged Chester Yawls for sailing and all have reported good results. The forward seat is deliberately the right height to form a mast partner. I know of three that were built with "offcenterboards," which preserved some of the Chester Yawl's much-admired open interior.

As of this moment it's unlikely that we'll offer a sailing kit again for the Chester Yawl. We sell scores and scores of the Skerries and that permits us to amortize the inventory of the Skerry's costly sailing componentry. But in low volume it's too expensive. Likely we'll continue what we've been doing: providing drawings, CNC parts, and Skerry rigs to Chester Yawl builders who simply must go sailing in their pulling boat.

Chester Yawl

In Response to: Chester Yawl Conversion? by James Pallafox on Jan 6, 2007