The Yankee One Design Sailboats

Each YOD Sailboat is Unique

The idea behind “one design” racing is that if the boats are identical, then races will be won by skill. That’s why many one design classes have strict rules to keep the boats indentical, sometimes down to the smallest details.

All YOD hulls are the same, but Burgess intentionally left elements of the rigging and cockpit layout open to the discretion of boat builders and owners.

So they may look the same from a distance, but every Yankee One Design sailboat is slightly different, each with its own particular character.

Details, Details…

Y1 YANKEE can easily be identified in photos because until it the day it was scrapped, it was the only boat in the class with an oval mast, a round boom, and a wooden bow chock.

You can tell a Quincy Adams built Yankee by the massive bronze bow chock that was once used to daisy chain tow the whole Beverly Yacht Club fleet out to the starting line.

A few Yankees have elegant folding cockpit seats like Y1 YANKEE, while Y36 VENTURE and Y43 GEMINI have enclosed storage lockers under the cockpit seats.

The design was for meant for racing, so there’s typically no engine. But VARUNA, in New Zealand, was built with a raised cockpit to accommodate an inboard.

A few other Yankees have outboard engines (gas or electric), and others, like Y29 WESTWARD HO, are still sailed on and off the mooring buoy, with no engine at all.

Y1 YANKEE, 1937. The forward sections of the cockpit seats are shown folded down, which allows the racing crew to stand at the deckhouse winches.

Y1 YANKEE, 1937. The forward sections of the cockpit seats are shown folded down, which allows the racing crew to stand at the deckhouse winches.

Y14 GADFLY, original bronze hardware on deckhouse, with a modern two speed winch in the cockpit.

Y14 GADFLY still has all its original bronze hardware, plus larger modern 2-speed winches in the cockpit. 2015


Many Yankees have all their winches on the deckhouse, which is great for a racing crew — while others are optimized for single handing, so their jib sheet winches are within easy reach of the helm.

A few of the older Yankees, like Y14 GADFLY, have managed to keep all their original bronze hardware.

Some of the more recent builds and restorations used modern Harken racing hardware, taking advantage of a 6:1 ratio on the mainsheet, for example.

The Yankee's fractional rig and small J-dimension make for a pretty short jib luff. Y40 TARFUN, circa late 1950s.


Y21 SIROCCO has dramatically increased its jib luff with a bowsprit and masthead hardware. France, 2104.


The Fractional Rig

The YOD class has a fractional rig (the head of the forsail reaches only 2/3 up the mast). It also has a small J dimension (the jib tack hits the deck a few feet aft of the bow). When the wind is light, it’s hard not to wish for a longer forstay and more sail area.

That’s why Y21 SIROCCO has custom bronze hardware on the top of its mast, for hoisting masthead sails. Y21 SIROCCO also has a carbon fiber bowsprit, which moves the forsail tack a few feet forward of the bow.

The Lindermans sailing their family's first Yankee One Design, Y36 VENTURE, circa 1950.

The Lindermans sailing their family’s first Yankee One Design, Y36 VENTURE, circa 1950.


An Evolution of Detail

John Linderman and his sons built and sailed 3 Yankees: Y36 VENTURE, Y40 TARFUN, and Y42 FLOTSAM.

While Y36 VENTURE was constructed according the original plans, Linderman made slight modifications and improvements to his next two boats. Y42 FLOTSAM, for example, has laminated frames and slightly larger scantlings.

None of the Lindermans’ Yankees had an engine. John mounted a giant fender across the end of their marina slip, for when the wind was behind his boys, sailing in.

See the complete listing of Yankee One Design sailboats.

More Information About the YOD Sailboats

Great Yankee One Design Stories

  Some boats simply have an allure of their own. Sightings of Y1 YANKEE continued for decades after the boat was scrapped. Is this because Starling Burgess touched her, sailed her, oversaw her construction? Or is it simply because when a YOD sailboat changes...

The Unusual Story of Y13

Some people say you shouldn't build the 13th hull in a one-design class, but the Yankees have two! Boats Y8 through Y15 were built at the Quincy Adams boatyard in 1940 as the original Beverly Yacht Club fleet, but Y13 was holed and sank in a hurricane while still in...