18′ Orkney Yole – Rod Anderson Boyle

The 18′ Orkney Yole is built for seaworthiness.  It is ideal for fishing and has a good cargo carrying capacity.  Originally from the Orkneys (as the name suggests) until the mid-1960s the Yole was the Islanders motor car and pick-up truck, transporting coal, peat, animals, animal feed, fish, cheese and eggs to the market, the weekly groceries and, of course, passengers.

For almost 30 years renowned boat builder Ian B Richardson has built wooden boats by hand in Stromness.  Ian, who specialises in building the Yole, has played a vital role in their recent resurgence. There is now a Yole Association, whose website gives more information and publishes photos of ‘the fleet

A traditional Orkney Yole is clinker planked, like the Smakke Jolle built on the same course, but this build has embraced new timber technology in the form of Vendia marine plank from Finland.  The main raw material of Vendia is slow grown Finnish pine. Planks are made of sliced veneers. Face veneers are made of knot-free pine or A grade mahogany and core veneers of pine, according to the customer’s specifications. Face veneer options are crown cut or quarter cut. The yole is to be bright finished above the waterline and crown cut to give a more traditional appearance.

Vendia is strong and resilient.  It has the ability to take modern finishes and glue plank seams. It produces a durable boat which is better for dry sailing with the appearance of a traditionally planked clinker boat.

The boat has an oak centreline and Gaboon marine ply below the waterline.  A single stayed 26’ mast and gunter rig will propel the Yole through the waves.

Main timbers used

Vendia marine plank – Vendia marine plank

Robbins marine ply for soles and below waterline planking

European and English oak for centreline

Douglas fir for interior fit out and spars


West System epoxy 105 & 205

Wessex System 200 (WRA200)

West System G/flex 650 epoxy

Paints, varnishes and oils

Hempel Multicoat Cream

Hempel Light Primer White

International Primocon Yacht Primer

International Trilux 33 Grey

International Micron Antifoul Green

International Toplac Norfolk Green

Epifanes traditional varnish gloss

Epifanes 2pack poly gloss varnish

Deks Ojle D1 Oil


Elvstrom Sails

Fixings and fittings

Davey & Co.

Bronzework marine