This innovatively shaped canoe stern yawl was designed to be very easy and quick to build in a garage.
Small canoe yawls were a popular style of small sailing craft up until the 1920's partly because of ease of transportation in an era where the motor car was still a rarity. Pathfinder due to her unique construction is lightweight and able to support a much improved length to width ratio and in turn sport a large sail area.
Pathfinder is an innovative new self-build design based on an old theme utilising a novel light-weight ‘single-plank’ frameless construction approach. It exhibits brisk performance and with a combination of attractive lines and traditional rig successfully captures many of the aesthetic aspects of sailing in small boats.
Colin Cumming, Pathfinder designer
A prototype was seen at the Beale Park boat show where it performed very well in light winds. Pathfinder's first race was a traditional boat event held on Ullswater in the UK Lake District where she picked up the prizes for: first over the line; first on handicap and best built amateur boat. Her performance in a Force 5 revealed some of the delights of sailing small canoe-yawls.
The hull surfs easily on its flat forward sections and straight keel-run, with the rear drop-chines providing support aft despite the lack of a transom. If things become too hectic in windy conditions, the sail-plan is easily shortened by simply pulling on the jib roller reefing system and tying off the mizzen. Further reduction is achieved by reefing the mainsail. All this can be undertaken during sailing without altering the board or mast position.
Two prototypes of this boat were built and the design and fittings have been revised to make it simple to build. The hull is created by joining a set of cut-panels to form a single plank. By pulling the adjacent cut lines together with nylon ties the hull ‘pops up’ into shape around a single low-level rib. The seams are sealed on the inside and then the outside with woven glass tape and epoxy resin. The hull shape can be assembled in a weekend with a total build time of about 120 hours.
Pathfinder's wide sweeping curves and traditional rig combine to give an attractive and purposeful look. The unique inclined non-continuous overlapping chines provide an easily driven hull shape while supporting generous width without excess flare. Safety is provided by in-built bow and stern buoyancy tanks. The boat is half decked and has a centre board.
With over 100 square feet of sail the Pathfinder is a quick cruising dinghy. She is responsive with the small mizzen nudging the craft to windward in gusts. The efficient hull shape gives good light air performance. There are several rig options available but the gaff yawl rig balances under mainsail alone without having to change the mast position.
Please note that this is a hull-only kit which does not include the hardware, rigging or sails since owners may have their own ideas about what rig to fit. We can provide the sails and fittings and will certainly supply expert advice about the rigging.
The hull kit includes:
This is intended for pre-build study or to help with the decision to purchase. Reading this manual will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat. It is the 45 page manual that accompanies the kits. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction. Scale drawings are used throughout as well as photographs of critical jobs.
If, later, you decide to purchase the kit the cost of this printed manual will be deducted from the kit price.
This manual does not contain the plans of the panels with the cutting instructions so it is not possible to build the boat from scratch using only this manual.
An electronic version of the study manual in PDF format that can be viewed using Adobe Reader.
After credit card authorisation the file will be sent to the email address put on the order form. The file takes about 20 seconds to download on slow broadband.