National 12 - find out more...

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"Adaptable to any conditions, a huge range of designs, and a friendly community:"

tuning guide

National 12s:

Are a well-established UK dinghy class. They have a light hull (78kg inc mast and centreboard), two sails and a crew of two, supporting combined weights of between 15 and 23 stone. The 12 is a development class, which means designs have evolved, constantly redefining boundaries, since the first boats hit the water in 1936. Watch our introductory video (below) to learn about the key features of the 12.

Uniquely Individual:

The class is a blend of modern boats- carbon/composite foam sandwich, ever improving designs and innovative new technologies-  as well as many beautiful, wooden vintage boats that are still actively sailing and take part in their own unique events.

The stunning variety of designs means there's guaranteed to be one that's perfect for you. Some suit  lighter crews- making perfect boats for junior sailors- whilst others carry weight well. Some are great for tight tacking on restricted waters, whilst others excel in the open. All 12s, however, are versatile boats; swift on any point of sail, unlike some other classes that struggle on the upwind or downwind. No matter the condition, the 12 can be fine-tuned to perfection; whether it’s light sailing or choppy waves and fierce winds.

Friendly Community:

Due to this flexibility, National 12s are great for sailing with younger kids- who can develop their sailing at their own pace, starting off light and gradually building up skill- as well as for couples of any age. The class is a tight-knit community, with a large junior group, who encourage and support each other on and off the water. Plenty of socials ensure time to bond and meet new people in between races, from dinners at the club to nights out in town, and many sailors have made close friends for life in the fleet.

Adaptable to any conditions, a huge range of designs, and a friendly community: Once you’ve tried a 12 you’ll be hooked.

Find out More:

The design guide fills you in on the fantastic range of designs out there. The buyers guide gives you more info on choosing the perfect boat for you.

Check out these great videos that show the 12s in action. If these boats have caught your eye go to our try-a-12 page to book a trial on the water session. And if you'd like to find out more about the intriguing history of the class, visit our about pages and view our "70 years of development" YouTube video. is brought to you and paid for by the National 12 Owners' Association.

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National 12s

N autically bracing
A wesome planing
T op of the range designs
lluminating lines
O pen to all
N erve racking gybing
A ll boats are unique
L ove the nose diving

T acks are terrific
W ave riding' prolific
E xtra special boat
L ong lasting afloat
V exing opposition
E pic times
S uper Sailing proposition

     By Anya Camm

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