National 12 - find out more...

** Error in AGM papers **

Started by Jon Brown (Guest), 03 Aug 2006, 02:46

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Jon Brown (Guest)


I fear you may need to print a whole new set of proposals for item 10, purely on formal grounds. It's easier than giving an oral presentation of errors.

Now we're on to the AGM agenda, my main worry is regarding the acceptance or not of the RYA rules. If we go our own way, might that ultimately result in the potential exclusion of the class from an international future? If it might, then I must ask myself whether the whole class were doomed, since our national status per se would be recinded....(and name "National", aside from making our name "National 12" into a trademark)

Maybe these are perceived to be the naive ramblings of someone new to the class and relatively far away geographically, but I'm wondering whether the fears of a misinterpretation of "rewritten" rules hasn't been overemphasised in the "predebate"......

So there are my questions, what are your answers  ??) ??) ??) ??)

Jim N3130

Antony (Guest)

Jim, and others with similar worries:
It is important to put the 'National' status issue into perspective, and so I suggest a quiz with no prize at all for anybody that can name the 15 'National' classes (looking on the RYA wwbsite is cheating and I hope none of you are cheats).  As a starter for ten the two most obvious ones are the National 12 and the National 18.

The simple fact is that the majority of the major dinghy classes are neither 'National' nor 'International' classes as defined by the RYA and ISAF, and it does not seem to do them any harm at all.

This is a serious matter, and does have consequences, but should be put into perspective.  I will be voting that we do not adopt the new rules format, and therefore risk losing our 'National' status.



Further to Antony's reply , it's clear from all the discussion I have sat through at Committee that much the greatest risk to our future would come from adopting the new rules format.  I can see no impediment to our development inside the UK or elsewhere in the world that would arise from losing RYA designated national status (and I speak as someone who sailed a Twelve for fifteen years outside UK waters).  Like Antony, I am voting against adopting the new rules format.

Mike D

John Murrell (Guest)

Antony, at a guess:
Solo, Scorpion, Merlin, Firefly, Albacore, Graduate, Redwing.

I think that we should look at why these and other classes were given the 'National' acolade in the beginning. At the time there were a number of regional 'conference' sets of rules about which spawned a number of very good local classes - the 14 being one of them! - but these were restricted in their appeal. To allow people who wanted to race a boat nationally against similar craft the then YRA gave 'sponsorship' to a number or classes. In chapter 1 of The Story of the National Twelves Robin explains the whole thing very well.

Most of the National classes are still administered by the RYA, we took the step to distance ourselves from them a number of years ago and set up our own very efficient class administration. From my understanding all we really get from the RYA today is access to the Technical Committee ( a number of who are either Twelve or ex Twelve sailors!).

My only real worry if we went away from RYA/ISAF is who would carry the expense of insuring our measurers and input from RYA Technical.

Out of interest, has anyone spoken to the Merlins about this, I know that they are facing the same problem and that at their recent AGM their Chairman / Chief Class Measurer stated that there was no immedite need to make a decision as there were still ongoing discussions with RYA.

John Murrell (Guest)

And I should have said I will be voting with Antony and Mike!!

davidg (Guest)

I have seen both sides of this arguement, sitting on both the 12 and RYA Technical Committee.

I beleive that the Merlins have redrafted their rules to the ERS format, but bear in mind that they are a restricted class and therefore have tighter rules than ourselves.  The 14's interestingly are in the ERS forat as well as the America's Cup Class.

I understand that many of the national classes came under the YRA's "National" hat in order to protect owner's from the whims of their copywrite owner's.

I think that the ERS/ISAF format has a lot of merit for classes that want a hands off approach.  I also think that the ERS/ISAF format could work for us if we wanted it to and there may be some benefits, particularly as we are constantly asking the same volunteers to give up time for technical committees, measuring etc.

However we will undoubtably give away autonomy to ISAF beaurocrats and an important part of our class culture is to anticipate ways through our rules and either open or close these loopholes if the class feels fit quite speedily.

The RYA expects classes to do the work themselves for free, and I think that the workload is unreasonable and unecessary for our volunteers.

A change in format might produce a flurry of boatbuilding as interesting loopholes are identified.

I think that National staus is irelivant since it has become devalued.

Times have changed and we are now a niche class, we need to accept this and adapt.

I will be voting against adopting the ERS.  Which will unfortunately result in our losing our National status.



Thanks for the information folks!

The only remaining question is that if we don't adopt the ERS format, would that make it difficult to achieve international status before the ISA (for example, if a couple of boatbuilders decided to start up production over here and in France... and the thing got big.....????) Purely hyperthetical at the moment, but possible....

That's a long term dream of mine, by the way....(Tally ho' ! recapture India next Monday!)

 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Jim N3130 (completely) Nutty Shell


as you say - dificult to guess the national classes...

---- spoiler warning!!! ----- I cite the classes in this post

wikipedia cite these as ISAF international classes...

14 Foot | 29er | 420 | 470 | 49er | 505 | Cadet | Contender | Enterprise | Europe | Finn | Fireball | Flying Dutchman | Flying Junior | Laser Standard | Laser 4.7 | Laser II | Lightning | Mirror | Moth | OK Dinghy | Optimist | Snipe | Splash | Sunfish | Topper |Vaurien | Zoom 8

and the RYA have this list as national classes...

National Albacore Class
National Eighteen Class
National Firefly Class
National Graduate Class
National Hornet Class
National Merlin-Rocket Class
National Redwing Class
National Scorpion Class
National Solo Class
National Sonata Class
National Squib Class
National Swallow Class
National Twelve Class

So it seems that national class status is not a pre-requisite to international class status. I can't understand that. But if you look at the two lists, all of these will have rules in the ISAF standard format won't they? What is the reason that ISAF rules format is OK for all these clasess, but not OK for the National 12 class? is the answer, hardly any are development classes?


Philip<br />ex N3367, ex N3253


It's precisely this question I was trying to adress to the Older and Wiser Members...

Could it have something to do with (self-) determination or fear of the new? (Not that I would ever want to tar anyone with the Luddite Brush  :) :) :))

Ok., so our closest relatives the Merlins and Fireflys are "restricted". It makes it easier to So what makes it so technically difficult to "translate" the National 12 rules as they stand into ISAF or ERS rules. Surely the rules could be translated to give an equal amount of leeway to that currently existing. Or not ????

Why should it be that changes to the class would occur at any other speed than they have been doing historically - remember the debate about daggerboards, one-plankers, etc. and how long it took to allow double-botties compared to the Flying Dutchman, Windy, etc. etc?  I realise the rationale behind this by the way....

Jim N3130 (growing Nuttier by the minute)

John Murrell (Guest)

Jim, surely the Firefly is a One Design!

If you go to`RtK/DVoWDFIQDUDhxMSK?nTEq,EXcZlNxKspY3PQRy I think you could beging to see the problem.

Also surely the ond addage of if it ain't broke don't mend it has relevance!


John Meadowcroft


I could not disagree more!  The National 12 rules have evolved over a number of years.  To change to ERS and have exactly the same rules would be impossible as there are different definitions / things that the ERS define but the National 12 rules ignore.  Loopholes would emerge.  There is risk that we get it wrong.  Getting it right would require a hurculean effort.  My understanding is that just going from imperial to metric was a nightmare.  This is much harder as you would be ripping up the current rule book and starting again on a different format.  I fear that we would not get the volunteers to do it as those who dearly love the Class etc and have the technical skills required do not see the value in going down the ERS route.

Measurers would need to be retrained, but we would get access to ISAF measurers too.

Merlins went to ERS a while ago, from a position that I understand to be easier than the 12s position.

ERS are potentially a bad thing for us right now.  There is no reason why we cannot mandate to move to ISAF/ERS consistent rules over a period of time, but we should not be rushed into a position which we cannot correct or control.  ERS could for example outlaw a dangly pole the week before Burton Week catching everyone entirely unaware.  I could turn up with this knowledge and get you protested out!  The ERS are constantly changing, numerous times per year.  Would this be good for our Class.  Do we want to control such innovations or allow someone else to control?

We would not be discussing if the RYA did not want to divorce us.  Let the RYA divorce us.  They are not interested in promoting sailing in non Olympic or youth classes.  This is a convenient mechanism for them to divorce us so let them do it.  They are not prepared to listen.  It is a sad state of affairs that they want to act like this but they are entitled to do so.  What I believe the RYA are actually wanting to walk away from is the responsibility of the administration of defunct national classes.

I will vote against the proposal so as to maintain the status quo.  I hope that this will give the Class the opportunity to spend its time persuading its members to use their boats more.  I want every National 12 owner to say next year that they went on holiday with their boat to a National 12 event.  Be it a weekend event or a holiday week (be that Norfolk, Salcombe, Bass Week, Tummel, Camel, Burton Week, or...)  This is a much more fun way for us to spend our time.

We can go 'international'  whenever we want.  If we want to be ISAF recognised international that is another matter and it is based on the ERS.  This is a long way away....



O.k. Meds and John.l

Now I understand. The reason why I took the discussion "out into the open" on this forum is that there are probably many other novices like myself who are wondering what all the fuss is about and who don't know how to vote. Now I do. I have decided to vote against the adoption of the ERS. Perhaps it is better for the class. We are going to have to have a serious think about  our long term survival strategy however  :-/ :-/ and maybe one day have to bite the bullet and adopt ISAF rules.

John Murrell, It's not that I would want to tamper with a running motor - I just want to find a way ease the transition to international recognition a little  :B :B

Jim N3130 (Not only Nutty, but batty)


The RYA / ISAF seem to have their own problems and have decided to delay operation for the Solo class. See
for more details.


Quote from the Solo site "One interesting comment that Ken Kershaw (i/c Tech Dept) did drop in is that we cannot just modify some of the wordings of the "Equipment Rules of Sailing" to suit our present rules. This will mean that some measurement lengths will be revised, usually longer. For example, some ISAF style measurements are taken to the outside of the sail boltrope where at present our Solo measurements are to the inside plus the thickness of the mast luff groove or boom groove. He also indicated that we would need to accept the ISAF standard method of sail measurement as well. On this subject it looks like the motto about "having won the battle but not the war" comes to my mind. But that's another day/year!!!."

So it looks like there is no option to rewrite the rules in the ISAF framework without changing the meaning!

I'll be voting against changing the rules


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