National 12 - find out more...

They're Talking About Us Again!

Started by Martin, 19 Jun 2008, 01:37

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Quote from: 78
Finally, if you want a double bottomed river rocket, my (possibly biassed) suggestion would be a Paradigm 2

Are there any pictures of the boat kicking about?

Here's one from Salcombe - you may find others by using the link within the Harwich thread.


I own a Merlin and Two N12's, and race both on the national circuits. The turn out for the Merlin Silver Tiller and The Gill opens are about the same 28 - 38 boats.(The Merlins might get a few more at couple of events).
Old boats change hands at the same price Year for year. A competetive second hand Merlin will coat you between 6 -10 thousand pounds, may be 12 for some thing special. A new merlin is going to cost you double that of a N12.
On the water both boats give you, what you only get from a development class, a nice boat, and easy boat to sail in all wind conditions.(I sailed a Laser 2000 last week end, what a pig).(We have 82 in our club only 2 race).
Off the water the N12 is a dream of aboat, easy and quick to rig, light and easy to move around. (If we go to an open, we leave an hour for rigging).
Side by side the N12's equal on looks and style, both boats are ulta- modern. The N12 needs talking up and not down, it also needs to be seen. The Merlins are good at getting pics in the mags. and the owners sell the product, There's never a bad word about the boat or the fleet and they promoted heavely in the clubs.
For me the N12 is perfect and I would not chage any thing, gust talk it up.

Dave Croft

I agree!! well said. It's not the boat we need to fix/change. My children sail Cadets most week-ends and very few of their pals know what an N12 is! They never see them, they belong tpo clubs where they are not sailed. The merlins have strong club fleets, they encourage the vintage scene and many top helms have a modern and a vintage boat, they are proud of their boats and heriatge but they sail at local clubs and support the class at all levels.
I have just joined a local club to sail my old 12, it's not as exiting as doing a big open with 30 boats and it's not that competivie but it's fun and it's nice to get out on the water mid-week. Last night I crewed for my wife, last sunday I crewed for my 12 year old. We on the water in a beatuiful boat and hopefully someone may think - that's a nice boat, I'd like to sail one. If you don't know about them, rwad about them or see them they might as well not exist.


I only got my 12 last year after 20 years in big boats, bought it because it was more interesting to sail than some other classes.  I am the only 12 in the club so it can be lonely, though others are starting to talk about it & want to sail it to see what it is like.  They have a healthy respect for it (30 yr old Tiger) as it does so well in light winds & scares most in the windy stuff.  Personally I prefer a centreboard due to depth problems (less damage).  I have taken a couple of good teenagers out as crews & they are impressed by it.  I agree with Dave & Broz, a good fleet at club level is essential.  I would probably not be able to afford a new boat so any changes would take a while to filter down to me.  Duncan
Duncan,  & still missing the (liquid) bar on the 10 tonner 

SamM (Guest)

Just a thought from a 'temporarily lapsed' 12 sailor.  We temporarily left the class because we didn't have sufficient time to dedicate to be competitive at the same time as I was sailing the Fireball and just about to go back to sea.  Interestingly we were just about to put a new boat together.  I was also just about to buy a new Fireball.  I was amazed when the 2 boats were going to come out at the same cost.  Whichever way you look at it, the 12 is very expensive for its size, but I don't think it needs to be.  The hull doesn't need to be carbon, but the biggest saving could come from going to a simpler fit out (which with the mast, is where most of the expense is out with the hull).  It would be very interesting to see a top sailor going for a simple fit out on a non-carbon hull.  How much would such a boat cost -  and if it could be proved to be competitive off the shelf at a similar price to an RS200 would more people buy new boats?
Combine this with a review of opens and emphasis on club racing and I think you are able to start re-building the fleet without having to do anything radical with the rules which could detract from the classes current strengths.
Hope BW goes well, and hope to be back in the coming years.

John Meadowcroft

Good to hear from you.  The Paradigm referred to above has no carbon in the hull and carries 2kg of lead having been built off frames rather than out of a female mould.  I dont think that it will make that much odds to its overall speed round the track compared to the amount of time that we get to practice...  Fit out is a little cheaper than some given that we have not gone for lowers which probably saves at least another £150 of blocks, cleats, line etc
I have not done the sums, but there is a saving to be had, particularly as we have also built a mould for another boat.

John123 (Guest)

Crusader 3244

I've been pondering on this thread for a while. Having returned to sailing after a 20 year absence I had to consider buying a boat and whose ranks to join. At the time I started looking Twelves were not on my shortlist. My interest was roused by chance and before I followed up on the N12 ad that caught my attention I delved into the Association web-pages.
Strikingly different from my memories of club sailing in the 70s and 80s is how rare it is to see significant numbers of any one class competing together at club level these days. Social and economic reasons have been cited, along with proliferation of MODs and the expectations of our young sailors. Certainly many have migrated to single handed options because of the difficulty of finding crews. I did not want to join a class in decline.

The 12 Assoc. web-pages were all the convincing I needed and having bought the 12 the experience of ownership has supported those first positive impressions; that the class is healthy and supported by many enthusiastic and passionate people.
What strikes me most about the 'twelve' is its' heritage, pride and inclusivity. Moreover, I'm fully equipped with a beautiful boat, three suits and a combi without having to spend deeper than would be prudent and certainly at a small fraction of the asking price of a Laser 2000 or RS200. You may have already guessed that I would not want to get involved in the expense of an arms race, but that would not mean I would be resistant to the adoption of new ideas; if rule changes are deemed appropriate then I would expect to see owners of newer boats experimenting first and to me it would be an equally important debate as to whether say Rig rule changes should be permitted to percolate to AC and older boats.

It is no wonder MODs have been attractive to people. They have exploited mass production using methods and materials that have superceded the technology of the Jack Holt hard chine and GRP eras. People have clearly been attracted to the low maintenance aspect and while the outlay has been fairly high, credit has been readily available and residuals have been good. The trend has been towards high spec boats (asymmetric, wire(s), wings, (or both), self draining, fast planing hulls on open water and arguably at the expense of close tactical racing on restricted water. Feeling wealthy, people could choose to travel some distance to suitable water.

We have yet to see the full implications of recent world events but surely if people are forced to be more prudent with their money then the sale of new boats, and especially those Manufacturers-One-Design classes, will decline in a recession. For as little of one fifth of the price a used N12 looks exceedingly good value against a 2000 or 200 if your budget is tight.

There are remarks that 2000s sit in parks and and are rarely seen with the covers off. Actually it is true of many classes and it exemplifies my point that people have felt wealthy enough to buy a boat then not use it, hold on to a boat they no longer have the time to sail regularly, or perhaps own more than one boat, maybe one being a L$$$r and, given the difficulty of finding a crew they elect to race that instead.

The N12 should not resist development, for that is one thing that may stimulate new builds, but what really matters is attracting enthusiastic new converts to the class and they will most likely come to the association via an older boat. I could not agree more with Roly Mo that the 12 already does many things very well. For me and from the perspective of a newcomer to the class that means close tactical racing on restricted water, close proximity of suitable water and Sailing Club, small capital outlay, responsive to being sailed well (so I'm led to believe!) active and affordable entry to a regional circuit, social scene, camaraderie between owners, and not least the pride in the heritage with inclusivity for all, be they DB, AC, 4-plank or Vintage.
Sure, wanting to encourage new builds is desirable and would be one pointer to success but unless the rate of new builds outstrips the rate at which older boats fall into  disuse and decay then the net result is still decline. Just as important is that older boats should be in the hands of people who will keep them serviceable and participate regularly.
The fact that we are invited to participate in the Endeavour Trophy, and have a crew place third, is one excellent indicator of success. Interestingly the notable current revival in interest at Olton Mere involves both younger crews, older boats and (OMSC forgive me, please) a restricted water.
Two of my most enjoyable races this season were pursuit races at my home club, Redesmere. Amongst the mixed fleet were our three active 12s, a Mark 4a from 1959, my 1985 Crusader, and a 1993 Baggy. Just a few seconds between our separate starts and we had a real race on between us, right to the line. ..."Close racing on a restricted shifty water."
Raising the profile 12s at club level is what would really attract new interest. For that there is nothing better than enthusiastic 12 owners getting the covers off, being seen to be having a fun time, and infecting others with their enthusiasm.

What's great about the Twelve is that it offers a low cost entry to some great club and circuit racing with the opportunity for future investment and progression. Just possibly we are entering a period where considerations of cost may sway potential new owners our way.
Chris, 3244

still hurting (Guest)

Bit of an aside, but who sailing on Saturday at Pitsford ever thought ‘wish I had that fat head fully battened main up today’?
Rig for diving.
Note to race officer, ‘please leave plenty of room between the gybe mark and the shore to allow us to tack round’.


Excellent message Crusader 3244, couldnt agree more

Cookie (Guest)

I wasnt at Pitsford, but sailed in 5-25 knots on Sunday and having moved from an old school soft sail rig to a modern, responsive, fully battened one I think I would choose the latter in pretty much any condition.

Quote from: still hurting (Guest)Bit of an aside, but who sailing on Saturday at Pitsford ever thought ‘wish I had that fat head fully battened main up today’?
Rig for diving.

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