The National 12 is a two person, two sail, twelve foot long sailing dinghy. They are sailed extensively in the UK. The class was started in 1936 by the Royal Yachting Association as an alternative to the more expensive International 14s. Because the class can change the rules the boats has evolved over time, moving from wood and clinker construction to high performance glass and carbon fibre – foam composite boats.
The 12 is a development class so hulls and rigs can be changed or modified within the class rules. The different hulls allow helm-crew combinations between 16 & 23 stone to be competitive. You are free to fit your boats out as you please so you can customise your twelve to your requirements.
Some people learn to sail in 12s but some prior sailing experience is recommended. You may find them ‘tippy’ at first but that soon passes The flared shape gives increasing stability when heeled so the boat is not just going to fall over. They are not a class where you have to be expert not to capsize. But they are lively, responsive and rewarding to sail which accounts for much of the attraction of (and loyalty to) the class. So they are reasonably easy to sail but be warned, considerable finnese is required if you are going to be first across the finish line!