Yawl - Encyclopedia

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YAWL, the name of a special rig of small sailing vessels or yachts, with two masts, the mainmast cutter-rigged, and a small mizzen stepped far aft with a spanker or driving sail. The name has also been applied to a small ship's boat rowed with four or more oars. The word is apparently an adaptation of the Dutch jol, skiff.

The English "jolly-boat," a small bluff-bowed, wide-transomed ship's boat, swung at the stern of a vessel for ready use, is probably a corruption of the Danish form of the word jolle. Other authorities take it to be a corruption of a late 15th-century jolywat, a small ship's boat, which is supposed to represent galiote, galliot (see Galley). A galliot, however, was never a small boat, but an independent vessel propelled by oars or sails.

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