National 12 - find out more...

3 steps to help you choose a 12: Purchase

How would you like to buy yours? There is nothing more exciting than getting a new boat, particularly a National Twelve since you are free to choose the design, builder, rig, fittings and most importantly colour. You can even design and build one yourself. So where to start . . .

The class is very different from the 'manufacturer' one design classes, as there are a number of suppliers of every component of a new boat. and a result there are numerous different routes that you can take to buy a Twelve. If you are on a tight budget you can save money by doing some of the work yourself.

  • For second hand boats we have an extensive second hand boats list and we are happy to give advice on particular designs or boats.
  • For new boats, there are a number of builders who will make you a new boat and you can choose how much to get involved yourself. Effort can range from as little as pulling the wrapping paper off when the boat is delivered through to buying a bare hull then painting and fitting out yourself.
  • If you fancy building one yourself then have a read of our builders guides. There are also Association members who will be happy to talk you through the process.

Explore the options available to you below.

Off the peg

Simply contact one of the suppliers of complete 'ready to race’ Twelves, choose the design and colour and away you go. Most of the National 12 builders will provide more than just a hull, typically being able to supply and mount the fittings.

Companies such as Pinnell & Bax can provide a full service including; sails, trailer and covers. The Dead Cat Bounced is provided in this form.  This option will currently cost somewhere from £10,000 upwards depending on specification.


The full list of builders is here


Ready to race

Mix and match

This enables you to mix and match the design, hull material, rig, sails & foils to get the exact specification you want. Although this process is more complicated it does enable you to tailor your Twelve to your own preferences. This can also be simplified by the same company doing more than one of the stages. In this example 5 suppliers were used: Builder: Brett Dingwall, Rig: Angel, Sails & fittings: Alverbanks, Covers & Rudder: P&B, Centreboard: Starboard

  1. Buy a complete hull from a builder with foils either from the same builder or from a specialist foil maker.
  2. Have the hull painted / varnished by a different supplier
  3. Take the boat to a chandler / fitter for all the fittings and control lines to be mounted.
  4. Buy a rig
  5. Buy a trolley and trailer, it is best to have a custom made cradle to fit your hull
  6. Buy covers & sails
  7. Take the boat to be measured – which can be arranged through the class association.
  8. Go sailing!

Numinous

Pulled together using a variety of suppliers with some hone built bits also

Doing some of the work yourself

This can save significant amounts of money and will provide lots of satisfaction in your new boat – all you need is some spare time and a garage.


You can get involved in any of the stages. The most common and easiest is to buy and mount the fittings to the hull, this ensures you get the exact layout desired, and saves the significant labour cost if paying somebody to do this work for you. Attaching fittings can take between 2 and 5 days depending on complexity.

Final Chapter

Professionally built, hull being faired by owner

Do it yourself

There are plenty of examples of successful home-built boats. The National Twelve class is full of people who have sailed in the class for many years, and there is always somebody willing to give advice. Most of the designers will be happy to provide plans and there are a number of hull moulds already made which owners or builders are often happy to loan. Do not be afraid to ask for help, take photos of other people's boats or ideas, or generally learn from mistakes already made by somebody other than yourself!  The class association also has a really handy building guide you can download

Design 8

Tim Tomlinson's Carbon Copy, he built his own based on the Design 8

Buy used

Have a browse of our second hand boats list