The National 12 is a two person, two sail racing dinghy. With a main & jib area of around 10.4 sq metres (8.4m2 measured) and weighting in at only 78Kg, including mast and centre-board, there is ample power to drive the fast and responsive hull. The 12 is a development class so hulls and rigs can be changed or modified within the class rules. The range of hulls and rigs allow helm-crew combinations between 16 & 23 stone to be competitive. You are free to fit your boats out as you please so you can customise your twelve to your requirements - this is particular useful if you are sailing with young children.
Designs in the class have evolved with a steady trend of increasing width, to provide greater righting moment and carry more power; flattening the stern to promote planing; and narrowing the bow to help with pointing up wind and reduce drag.
The construction techniques, material and rigs have also evolved over time and the history pages describe the evolution. The current boats are typically made from glass or carbon foam sandwich, and sport carbon masts and booms. The hull construction makes for a light and stiff boat that is responsive and easy to handle on the shore. The carbon masts are flexible, meaning the rig handles gusts better - with the top of the mail sail twisting off in the gusts and transferring more of the gust into forward speed. The carbon rigs are also good for helping you "go through the gears". Lots of mast bend can be used to flatten the main sail, in order to de-power, but powering up is as easy as straightening the mast. In a well set up boat, a large range of gears can be selected simply through controlling the kicker tension.
Is a 12 for you? If you like a boat that turns on a sixpence, rewards you with extra speed for the effort (hiking out) that you put in, is exhilarating to sail off-wind, and glides effortlessly through the water even in light conditions, then the 12 if perfect for you! The best way to find out if you like them is to try one! We will arrange a free test sail at an N12 club near you. And when you've found your 12, join the association.
There are a variety of different designs of Twelve (as described in more detail below), and these fit within four main classifications in the fleet; double-bottomed, foilers, Admiral's Cuppers and vintage. There are often prizes for these different classifications at the major events. The design pages give you the low-down on the most popular designs and will guide you to a suitable boat, whether you're looking to sail inland, on the sea or at either the heavy or light end of the weight range.
If you need any more advice in choosing a Twelve, please e-mail us: email@example.com. Want to know more about the class history or would like advice on choosing a 12? Find more info on the design types below . . .