Thursday, June 2, 2016

Header Photo: National 12 on her side, circa 1960's

At least I think this is a clinker National 12. The sailing kit seems typical of English dinghy sailors of the 1960's; short shorts matched with a non-descript woolen sweater (and English sailing waters are generally not warm!).

The National 12 is one of two English development classes that have been around since pre-WWII (the other is the International 14). The National 12 is a two-man/woman hiking class without spinnaker. Around 1970 they dropped the clinker construction and now are round-bilged or single/multi chine in hull shape. They are flared wide for hiking power with a narrow waterline, somewhat similar to our Classic Moth Mistral design. (The Mistral is very much a Vee'd shape and the National 12's are not - both, however, are roly-poly.) The latest National 12 designs sport the Bieker rudder wings which fools the stern wave into thinking it has a longer hull going through (an expensive contraption as the rudder mount needs to pivot as well - all adjustable while sailing). The National 12 also appears to be the only class to retain transom sheeting (sheeting off the back of the boat rather than the middle).

A video from Tim Laws. (If anyone wonders what class of sailboat the small yawl that appears interspersed throughout the video, that is the Salcombe Yawl, a hot local racing class in it's own right.)

National 12 Salcombe Open - Race 1 from Tim Laws on Vimeo.


Dieharddinghysailor said...

Pretty sure that is a National 12. My Dad owned one in the 50's, and I had two of them, one - a classic clinker from the 60's, and the other a fairly modern glass hull, very wide flare called "Street Legal" in 1979. Like the Fourteens, they have developed beyond all recognition, and are extremely hi-tech now.

George A said...

This class seems like the Cherub dinghy--only different. Maybe the other way around? It amazes me that there's enough interest to support to similar classes.

Dieharddinghysailor said...

The National 12 has long attracted the best dinghy sailors in the UK, and the much sought after Burton Cup week (National Champs) was one of the most sought after trophies in the country...(after the Prince of Wales Cup for the International 14's) So it has a very loyal following despite the addition of so many new classes, and also the need to keep updating your boat to keep up with the latest trends.....It's interesting to note how many of the 'old' classes that were popular in the 50's and 60's at the start of the DIY/good plywood and glues dinghy boom in the UK, are now experiencing a revival and having record turnouts at National Championships again. The OK is one of them.
Since 1936 the National 12 class has seen over 221 designs!! Yet they still don't have a spinnaker!