(From Forest & Stream, January 14, 1892)


The accompanying drawings, to which we are indebted to the Model Yachtsman and Canoeist, show a peculiar type of racing boat that has recently come into use in England under the title "canoe-yawl," though very different from the boats commonly classed under that elastic and comprehensive title. While their birthplace was on the Thames, they are obviously American in type, and unlike any of the native small craft. We quote the following description by the builder:

The Shadow is not, as some may suppose, the result of a "happy hit" in the way of design, but is rather the result of careful; original thought, based upon close observation of the performance of various types of boats of light displacement that have appeared on the river at Oxford. Although the first of the Oxford canoe-yawls she was preceded by several boats of the sharpie type, which were purely experimental, the first of these being the Yankee, followed by the catamaran Domino, the sloops Merlin and Skipjack, and the canoe Iris, boats which have in turn under favorable circumstances shown a remarkable pace. For instance, the Domino might have been seen careering over Port Meadows with about 12in. of water under her at a pace that could not be short of 10 to 15 miles an hour. This occurred three years ago, during a strong S.W. wind; and instances have been noted when the sharpies have gone apparently three times the pace of other boats in competition,. By a peculiar adjustment of the surplus buoyancy and the displacement of the Oxford yawls have the faculty to a greater or less degree of "skidding" over the water, and not "wallowing" in it as most boats do. The same faculty has been attained even in the round-bodied boats, such as Wisp and Torpedo.

The Shadow has made some remarkable records. Two years ago she was sailed single-handed, with all camping gear aboard, from above Teddington to Queenborough, on the West Swale, in one days run, the distance about 14 miles. In her first year, at Medley, Bourne End and Dartmouth,, she secured over 20 first and second prizes, and this term at Oxford she secured two first prizes from boats built expressly to beat her.

The Shadow is no "racing machine", as will be seen by a glance at her design. She is of peculiar construction, and very strong. The bottom and deck are 5/8in. pine, the floors 1in. oak, the sides 1/2in. cedar with a top strake of 3/4in. cedar. The seams of the bottom are covered with canvas painted white. The shaded parts shown in the deck plan are of mahogany varnished. She is the heaviest of the Oxford yawls.

The design published is taken from the original drawings, with a few modifications. Some recent alterations are not shown. The well has been lengthened aft as far as the bulkhead, and a long tiller fitted to the rudder beal, and the mizzen discarded.

Much of the success of this boat is due to the excellent handling of her owner. "May his 'Shadow' never grow less."

Theo. Smith.