View Full Version : Elver Canoe Yawl

12-15-2000, 02:00 PM
Ive been looking into several options in building a small boat. I just recently got done with a sailing trip around the florida panhandle and the keys, in a 42ft John Atkins ketch that I totally refinished. It was a beautiful boat and I enjoyed working on her as much as sailing her. But unfortunatly I had to sell her to pay for gaduate school back in my home in Oregon. So Im obviously on a tight budget! Anyway Ive been looking around on the web for small boats for sale etc.. But what Im finding is a bunch of fairly expensive woodies that need refinishing as bad as my other boat. So as an alternative I want to build my own! Im convinced that the Canoe Yawl is what I want. So If anybody has plans, pictures or any information on where to research more about canoe yawls I would be very appreciative! One that I have seen is a Steve Redmond design. It was a 20 ft shoal draft canoe with enough cabin space for my girfriend and I to spend the weekend in a gunkhole. It had cedar planking over marine plywood bulkeads, which were framed in with mahogany, on top of a marine plywood bottom. Material cost is important to me, yet I dont want to jepordize the integrity or the beauty of a quality vessel. Anyway if anyone has info I'd be greatful! Thank You- Corey

garland reese
12-15-2000, 02:22 PM
There is a builder of Elver in KS. He has posted here a few times. He is building in strip sheathed construction. There are some threads here regarding the Elver.

You might have a look at William Garden's Eel. I really like this little 18 footer. There is a good picture of a strip built version of Eel at the Duck Flats Woodenboat web site www.duckflat-woodenboats.com.au (http://www.duckflat-woodenboats.com.au)
She is also in one of the WB plans catalogs, and you can get the plans from WB.

Also, Ian Oughtred's Wee Seal is one of my favorite small boats, but it is not a yawl. She is a gunter rigged double ender, beamier and a bit "roomier" than Garden's Eel, with some ballast. I believe that his Eu Na Mara is a yawl.......she is beautiful, just shy of 20'. One is being built by a fellow forumite, forum-er......Paul, I think. He is doing a fine job too!. A search should turn up some pictures of her here on the fourm.

Good luck finding plans for the Elver......Mr. Redmond is a stealthy gent.


B. Burnside
12-16-2000, 02:27 AM
Have you checked WB's links page? Lots of designers there.

Brian Palmer
12-23-2003, 11:27 AM
I've got a used Elver that we bought this past summer and have sailed 3 times. It seems to be a good boat for a limited budget. It is an inexpensive construction method and simple low-tech rig without a lot of expensive hardware. It tows easily behind a car and sails well. It is an un-ballasted boat, so it is appropriate only for in-shore and coastal sailing. Check out www.sredmond.com (http://www.sredmond.com) for plans and photos.

-- Brian

Jim Goodine
12-23-2003, 01:29 PM
Hi Corey, I'm rebuilding an Elver and hope to have it in the water this coming summer. I contacted Steve Redmond and he was very helpful, even selling me a set of plans at a reduced price to help with my rebuild. I was starting to build an Eun Na Mara but this eBay Elver was too cheap. I sold the Eun Na Mara parts to Steven Bauer (he's on this board a lot). The Eun Na Mara is a lot more boat but a lot more expensive and difficult to build. I think anyone could build the Elver. Mine is all Doug Fir. If you have more questions, ask here or on my e-mail. Best of luck. Jim

12-23-2003, 11:15 PM
One of the prettiest canoe yawls in that size range is George Holmes' original Eel from 1896 (the original is still sailing btw). There's a good article on one called La Mouette in WB #75 that covers building and sailing. She's a much more substantial boat than Garden's Eel or Elver.

[ 12-23-2003, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: Aramas ]

imported_Steven Bauer
12-26-2003, 08:21 PM
Hey Corey, a couple of things:
Garland's Duckflat link is the old out of date one, the new one is www.duckflatwoodenboats.com (http://www.duckflatwoodenboats.com)
I looks like they recently redesigned their whole site. Look at Iain's cruising boats and check out the Norwalk Island Sharpies, too.

Eun Na Mara is a little bigger than Elver with 500 lbs of lead in a shallow keel and two steel bilgeboards. They slide up into the seatfronts so there is no big centerboard in the cabin.

There is a new version of Iain Oughtred's Wee Seal that is really nice, but I fell in love with Eun Mara:



Here is a thread from the Forum about a Wee Seal from your neck of the woods:

Wee Seal 'Opus' thread (http://media5.hypernet.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=001954&p=)

Another place to look for design ideas is John Welsfords website.
John Welsfords designs (http://www.jwboatdesigns.co.nz/)

12-26-2003, 11:12 PM
Plus the oft mentioned Selway-Fisher's canoe yawls
Rona 21

Kittiwake 22

Several more interesting ones at Selway-Fisher (http://www.selway-fisher.com) in the "Sailing Yachts" section.

Eric Sea Frog
12-29-2003, 03:15 PM

A famous site to return to.

What is a canoe-yawl? (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fassitt/canoe_mirror/cassy.html)

Yeah, what the heck can it be? (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fassitt/canoe_mirror/canoe_yawl.html)


[ 12-29-2003, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: Eric Sea Frog ]

garland reese
12-29-2003, 03:46 PM
Hey Corey,

How are things coming with your search fora a conoe yawl? Thanks for correcting my bad link Steven. I love Oughtred's Eu Na Mara too. How is you project coming along?

One of the prettiest canoe yawls designs I've seen that there are plans for is Wenda. Wenda is Phil Boger's interpretation/finalization of an Albert Strange drawing. Strange did some of the nicest canoe yawls around. Plans are available for Wenda through WoodenBoat. I wish she were just a bit shorter.......

I have had a bit of correspondence with Paul Fisher, inquiring about the possibilities of some modifications to his Kittywake, mainly bringing her beam proportions somewhere between where she is now and the proportions of Wenda (Length to beam ratio). I was wanting a sleeker cabin too, maybe rounded off a bit fore and aft.....sort of a long oval shape where the cabin sides flow in to the combing, which would go all the way around making a slight arch at the stern, resulting in one nice oval shaped outline for the cabin and cockpit... Sparse accommodations...camp style, with a port-head and maybe some salty lanterns for light (along with a little DC for better light when needed and for some music, etc.). I think I could get by with some sort of electric power that I could stow, and a set of sweeps. My mind my change on all that though, since I ain't gettin' any younger. I'd be a lake sailor, trailer sailer, one or two nights at most kinda sailor. He said my ideas were not out of line and that he could easily do it. He quoted a quite reasonable price too.
So..........I said all that to say that you could probably find a designer to come up with something that will fit your wants, needs and desires in a nice canoe yawl. There are many around. Mr. Fisher is an example I am familiar with, and, he routinely does modify his stock plans to suit a preferred method of building, minor modification, etc.

12-30-2003, 02:56 AM
Good stuff on those links Eric.

Does anyone know anything more about Iris? Apparently the plans were published in "Canoe and Boatbuilding", but no date is given.

She was apparently built for George Holmes in 1887 - after Cassy (1883) and before Ethel (1889), if I understand the chronology correctly. Iris is a much more round sectioned in form than Cassy, and Ethel is a whole other kettle of winkles - a wide shallow deadrise form with hard bilges well above the WL.

I'm assuming GH was also Iris's designer, and I can't help but wonder how she compared to Cassy. Her sections are very much along the lines of what I'm trying to do with Gwenda (apart from in the ends, and albeit with a lot more freeboard) and I referred to Cassy (who has much harder bilges) quite a bit as she evolved. I'm curious as to what he thought of her. Her buttocks in the stern are most peculiar, and while one hesitates to criticise the work of an acknowledged master of the genre, perhaps she was not his best work? The plans here are in quite a different format to GH's other work, but perhaps it was tarted up for magazine publication - either that or GH didn't draw her, in which case why did he own her?

[ 12-30-2003, 03:58 AM: Message edited by: Aramas ]