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Centuries old, the term yawl, from the Dutch word 'jol' means a two-masted sailing boat with additional mizzen mast well aft of the main mast. This is the main difference from the sloop or cutter style sailing boats.
A great example of a yawl has to be the Salcombe Yawl, a traditional small fishing boat built in Devon, UK, favored by single-handed sailors in their circumnavigation of the world, particularly Sir Francis Chichester.
Classic yawls have the ability to be trimmed to follow an exact course even in slight wind shifts, although in modern times more technical and mechanical navigational aids have lessened the importance of this benefit.
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