Length: 3.66m (12ft)
Width: 2.00m (6ft 7ins)
Country: United Kingdom
Keel Type:
Rig Type:
Bermuda Sloop Fractional (with jib)
Crew: 2
Trapeze: none
Sail Area: 8.4 sq. m
Spinnaker Type:
No spinnaker
Spinnaker Area:
0 sq.m
Designer(s): , , , , ,
Design Year: 1935
Boats Built:

For wing definitions see menu

Current CVRDA Handicap Ratings
Classic wing: 98
(Alloy mast, Dacron sail)
Old wing: 96
(Alloy mast, Dacron sail)
Vintage wing: 101
(Alloy mast, Dacron sail)
Vintage wing: 107
(Wood mast, Cotton sail)

In 1935 the only dinghy raced on a national basis was the expensive International 14, and so to encourage dinghy sailing the RYA published rules for a simpler and cheaper 12 foot clinker built dinghy, with 90 sq ft of sail. Uffa Fox’s first National 12 design (sponsored by Yachting World) was launched in 1936. The Twelve proved extremely popular, and over 150 boats were built in the first year.
From 1936 to the present day the class has continued to develop. Rule changes have been made where necessary, for example, a minimum width rule was introduced in 1937, and a maximum width in 1980.
Vintage Twelves are those with clinker built hulls. The earliest boats, from 1936 until 1952, are of traditional ribbed and nailed clinker construction. The most common designs are the Uffa King, Holt 500 series and the early Ian Proctor designs. In 1952 the first glued clinker boats were built by Wyche & Coppock, these were durable and easily maintained and so this method of construction became universal.
Ian Proctor started experimenting with metal masts to replace wooden spars in 1952 and terylene sails arrived in 1954.In 1958 Ian Proctor’s Mark VIII was the first fully planing N12.
Clinker construction went out in 1970 with the development of GRP hulls and ‘four plank’ wooden construction. Most modern 12s have lightweight, hi-tech carbon fibre hulls.

This is from Dr. Robin Steavenson’s class history. “Those framing the rules based their task on the Henley 12s, Chichester Harbour 12s and International 14 class rules. They envisaged the evolution of something akin to the Chichester 12s, but nevertheless framed the rules to allow considerable latitude in the shape of the boat and the sail plan. It was intended to offer ample scope for any designer or builder to produce something completely novel. At first there was no response and there is no record of any boats being built within the class with four or five months of the rules being published in October 1935. We can really say the class became alive on March 12th 1936. On this day Yachting World came out with the plans of the Uffa King”. “By the end of the year some 175 dinghies had been built and registered”.

Cyril Stollery won the first Burton Cup race in N 153, a brand new Uffa King design named Itch. (In passing, he also owned one of the Salcombe Saints). He subsequently sold Itch who came into the hands of Dr. Robin Steavenson, the class historian. He renamed her Witch and he won the Burton with the boat once again in 1948 at Calshot.


Class Association website:
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