National 12 - find out more...

To 12 or not....Father/son

Started by gbr, 17 Apr 2010, 12:34

« previous - next »


I love the look of 12s
I have just sold my phantom and was considering the options for a light two man boat that maybe I can race with my keen 6yr old.
Admittedly will only be in the lighter stuff and mostly inland and sheltered.
Am I being too ambitious looking at the 12s?

Just not sure that Miracles, Graduates etc really 'float my boat'......

If 12s could be a go.......which hull shape?

Thanks for any advice..

Alistair Edwards

As an experienced Phantom sailor you should have no problems with a 12. They are a bit tippy but once you get used to this they are a delight to sail.
The 'Buying' section of this website gives a good overview of your buying options. If you do not want to invest too much money initially you can pick up a very good older wooden boat for well under £1000. Some of the older wooden  boats are quite competitive on restricted inland waters.
You will find a good selection of boats in the for sale section of this site.

You will also find that on days when your son is not available/doesn't want to sail you can have great fun on your own in a 12.
As 12s are a bit weight sensitive you will find a 6 year old crew a major racing asset!
N3517 Carbon Paw Print (Big Issue 2)
N2903 Maxim (Paper Dart)
Previously N3143 Catatonic (Tigress)


The 12 will be a great boat for you to sail. I have been sailing one with my children since they were born. Nick is now 15 and bored of sailing with me.
He sailed our baggy with his 11 year old sister all day today so if you have been sailing a phantom you should have no problem sailing with a small crew.
The type of 12 depends on how much you want to spend and how heavy you are but most 12s are ok  with a small crew. 
I'm sure someone will let you try one.  Which club are you from?
Gerald (3411 3280 & 2881 ) 
PS  It was a junior training day today and most of them asked for a go in the 12 because it's much more fun for them than Lasers or Toppers  


I sail 3472 and yesterday my 5yr old son sailed a race with me at Annandale in quite blustery conditions, last year he sailed a race at Hykham, although it was a lot lighter then.  Its certainly feasible, although obviously you don't want to 'overcook things' while he is still quite young.  Why not make contact with some of your local 12s and see if you can arrange a test sail?


Although a Double bottom boat is perfectly feasible you are more sitting on the boat than in it. If the child is very young an Admirals Cup boat where you actualy sit inside (usually with thwart) may be the better option so you do not put them off whilst young. A Crusader, Baggy Trousers, Rough Diamond or a Design 8 would all be ideal for this.
Alternatively buy Sam's DB Final Chapter so he stops moaning about how poor he is! The children will love the paint job....
3236, ex 3230, 3413 & 3470
aka Simon Hopkins<br />3252 Silent Running<br />Ex 3230, 3413, 3470, 3236


Would the lower freeboard of a DB be less of an issue to a 6 year old than a swamped Admiral Cupper with the water is coming up through the centreboard case and over the thwart.
I think I know which I would find less scary....... but there again I am not 6!!


DB boats actually tend to have more freeboard than their AC counterparts but of course there's less room inside so it doesn't feel that way.  That is more of a problem for people like me with long legs than young crews.  Best way to find out is get yourself along to a club and have a sail in both variants - you'll find people only too ready to help.
Mike D
N3533 (yes, I have a number, if not actually the boat yet) 


Thanks very much for all the advice
Where are the clubs with big fleets where I might compare?


We have a big fleet at Spinnaker if you are in the South, close to Ringwood on a LAKE. There is a training day this Saturday so most boats and owners will be around, call me (Simon) or Ian Stables if you want to visit and try a boat. Numbers in the book or leave a message on this thread if you want to come.

men at work

Have a look at Indecision, a wooden boat which is for sale on the website. The owner will sent you photos. It was the first Design 8  to hit the water and is a cracking boat in excellent condition. The owners sailed it with their young daugeter and I have sailed it too. These boats hold their value too and this is the only one in wood.

n12 Bottom Banner

  Back to top