British Yawl, ca. 1760
Bateau Or Skiff    British Yawl     Dugout Canoe     Flatboat     Florida Skipjack     Florida Style Trawler     Spanish Chalupa

This British yawl, dating to 1760, was a standard type used by the Royal Navy as a ship's boat. The vessel type originally came from Norway, where it was known as a "yole" and was clinker-planked (plank edges overlapping), double-ended and highly seaworthy. The yawl spread through Ireland and England and in 1701 it was officially adopted by the British Navy. Naval yawls were the smallest class of boats on board a warship. The first Naval yawls were almost double-ended (unique among naval boats) and featured curved sternposts and small transoms. They continued to evolve over the course 18th century: planking transitioned from clinker to carvel, the sternpost was straightened, transoms were somewhat widened, and overall size increased to a standard 26' long and 6' 6" wide by 1800. The 1760 yawl whose lines are reproduced here is a transitional type, carvel-built and just over 14' long and 4' 6" wide. Yawls were highly regarded by naval officers who frequently requested them in place of longboats. Usually outfitted with either four, six or (as with this example) eight oars, yawls were sometimes rigged with two masts and either sprit, gunter or lateen sails. Yawls similar to this one would have likely been common on the St. Augustine waterfront during the British period, 1763-1783, and used as boats for His Majesty's naval vessels and as tenders to service civilian ships and ferry passengers and cargo. LAMP has begun construction of a 14' yawl whose keel, stem, sternpost and deadwood have been fashioned from St. Augustine-grown live oak. This yawl, which is currently being planked, was built to the design in the 1760 British Navy plans which were preserved in the National Archives. We are planning to present it to the replica Revolutionary War-era sailing ship Galveztown, which is being built by our shipbuilding partner Astilleros Nereo ("Nereo Shipyard") in Málaga, Spain and is scheduled to be sailed across the Atlantic and make landfall at St. Augustine in 2011.


All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, Inc. We extend permission to scholars, students, and other interested members of the public to use images and to quote from text for non-commercial educational or research purposes, provided LAMP is acknowledged and credited. If there are any questions regarding the use of LAMP’s work, please inquire at 

Support education, research & preservation!

Learn More...

Video: Discover St. Augustine Florida


81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32080