The Shetland Yoal


The Shetland Yoal
David 09:21, 5 November 2009

The Yoal, often referred to as the Ness Yoal, is a small sailing craft (clinker built) used traditionally in the Shetland Islands. It is designed primarily for rowing, but which also handles well under her traditional square sail when running before the wind or on a broad reach.

Until about 1860 yoals were imported from Norway, from Hordaland, the area around Bergen, in kit form, and local boat builders followed to Shetland to put them together, but increasing customs duty meant that local builders took over the building and stayed with almost the same design.

Throughout Shetland many traditional yoals still exist. Very few, however, are still in regular use, although in the Virkie Marina there are 2 which are used for pleasure fishing. In recent years the advent of yoal rowing regattas has seen an upsurge in the building of these traditional craft

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