A yawl (from Dutch jol) is a two-masted sailing craft similar to a sloop or cutter but with an additional mizzenmast (or mizzen mast) located well aft of the main mast, often right on the transom, or aft of the rudder post if the vessel has an inboard hung rudder. The mizzen sail (smaller than the mainsail) is hoisted on the mizzen mast.
The yawl was originally developed as a rig for commercial fishing boats, one good example of this being the Salcombe Yawl (a small traditional fishing boat built in Devon). In its heyday, the yawl's ability to be trimmed to sail without rudder input made it particularly popular with single-handed sailors, such as circumnavigators Harry Pidgeon and Francis Chichester. Modern self-steering and navigation aids have made this less important, and the yawl has generally fallen out of favor.
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