Breaking News – Goose – what is it like to sail? Free ketch/yawl version*

Plans and information on the Goose sailboat here

Goose Sailing

It is short, but it is concise.  The Goose sails well – read on.

Jim Post has been sailing his Goose a few times but has been dogged by light winds. So all we have really seen are videos of motoring. It was nice to see it motoring and how it looked on the water, but we needed more!

Finally last weekend he got what he has been praying for.

This is Jim’s Report.

Over the last weekend, excellent sailing conditions arrived, with winds estimated at about 10-15 knots, some better gusts.

Good video is on the way to you and Chuck. Am really looking forward to comments and observations.

I am amazed at the power displayed by the lug rig and how well balanced the Goose design is. But when I see all the history of these lug variations I know that men used them to make a living on the ocean and bays and had to have an easily worked yet powerful sail plan.

Who would have thought it would be developed for pleassure craft as you have done.

Warm regards,

Jim Post

For the designer, the most important aspect is to get the balance of the helm right.  I do try hard to make sure my boats have a very nice balanced helm, so that is great.  I don’t have any doubts at all about the general performance as the PDR and OzRacers have shown themselves to be very capable boats.

FREE ketch/yawl sailplan

The other thing that happened this week is Rick Landreville in Canada is building a Goose.  He wanted to try a ketch/yawl rig.   So I modified the RAID41 rig and found to my delight that I didn’t need to move the centreboard/leeboard position.  It’s like it was fated!

pdgoose simple diy sailboat plan.  Plywood epoxy boat bulding

The drawings include the sail design so you can make the sails yourself out of polytarp – a day’s simple work – and saves you about $600 over buying sails for  a small performance decrease – the sail designs have been tested and are quite good.  *If you have purchased a Goose plan I will give you the drawings for free.

Ketch and Yawl and Controversy

I am suitably vague when using these names – ketch and yawl – because the distinction is historic and functional.

Nothing to do with the position of the mizzen mast relative to the rudder.  That’s  a racing rule innovation, used in the old CCA rule and then into the IOR, but may have been earlier.  Its purpose was to decide how much power the mizzen would provide for handicapping racing fleets.

Nothing to do with the traditional names.

Ketch was a fishing rig.  Ketch is closely related to catch.  The mizzen has to be big enough to keep the nose of the boat up towards the wind when hauling nets or just make the boat jog along.

The Yawl rig is from a Yawlboat, which is a rowing boat “resembling a ship’s pinnace” with several rowers.   So the rig has to be pushed out to the ends of the boat to not get in the way of the oarspersons.

So I would say this is a yawl because the masts are well out in the ends of the boat.  But if you using for hauling nets or even rod fishing, I won’t fight you, you can call it a ketch.

Cool, eh!

Michael Storer

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9 thoughts on “Breaking News – Goose – what is it like to sail? Free ketch/yawl version*

  1. Are you telling me we need to change the name of the “Canoe Yawl Association” to the “Canoe, whatever you choose ketch or yawl, association”?

    • Howdy Paul,

      I am surprised that you have come out in the open as a representative of such a secretive organisation – a “splinter group” shall we say. AND you didn’t use the secret handshake – the things you can’t do on social media!

      I would suspect that you could have a good crack at saying the canoe yawl was a hull type – making it possible to have a variety of sailplans – possibly even including a sloop. By that silly rudderpost definition most canoe yawls are ketches anyhow.

      But for function they are keeping the rig out of the way of the rower and accommodations – and the type is before reliable motors – which explains why it is (thankfully) so hard to hang an outboard on them!!!!

      So whether from the hull or function argument – I would include them as Yawls without much doubt.

      Nice to hear from you!

      Here are three members of the splinter group sailing their respective boats.

      Ethel canoe yawl by George Holmes 1880s

      Paul Atkins in his whilly yawl - rig by me a long time ago.

      Me in Beth at Clayton Bay a couple of decades ago.

      More boat pics


  2. Hajo Smulders says:

    To me it’s a matter of proportion. If the mizzen is really small compared to the main sail (Say 20% or less) I call it a yawl; If it’s bigger it’s a ketch. They are both great for single handed sailing.
    People are too uppity about these definitions… (You should see the discussions on some proa boards about tacking outriggers!)

    • Hi Hajo,

      Your mention of the contentions on the proa boards made me laugh – we can all argue on the net, but to go sailing is to go sailing and at that point who really cares!

      I think your proportion suggestion is exactly right in that it shows there is no real difference.

      Clearly, Ketch, Yawl and Schooner are part of a continuum and originally were named related to the purpose of the boat only – to get some particular function.

      I guess the problem is that there are two names that are supposed to have some sort of difference, when clearly they don’t really except for history – which is mostly not relevant now.

      I suppose if a modern boat pushes the masts out to the end of the boat to be a good paddler or rower, then it deserves to be called a yawl – that is a continuing function and so a legitimate name.

      As Paul points out “Canoe Yawl” has a specific meaning for a type and takes a lot more into account than the specific rig.

      Ketch as a fishing rig … probably has little relevance now except for traditional work boats in some areas – but unlikely to be important on the pages of Woodenboat!

      Thanks again for another great contribution!

  3. Michael, I think your photos encompass the entire membership. Or is it the case that no one member knows who all the members are???…..I know I am only a pawn in your game.

  4. How does one apply for membership to this august association? 😉

    BTW Paul I have some photos of you launching from the 2003 festival.


  5. It just requires a nod an wink from the existing members Robin.

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