The National 12 class will be the main feature of National Maritime Museum Cornwall during April 31/1/07

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall welcomes the National 12, twelve feet of perfection, as its new study boat. Come and find out more about this famous dinghy, conceived over 70 years ago, and still going strong today.

Two National 12s will be on display at the Maritime Museum until the end of April, highlighting the technological evolution of this famous dinghy and identifying the design changes that have enabled this boat to remain a competitive racing boat today.

Dinghy designers have often been driven to produce affordable practical designs which help to make sailing accessible to a wider audience. The National 12 is no different. In 1936 it was conceived by the Yacht Racing Association, now the Royal Yachting Association, to encourage young people to take up dinghy racing.

Andy Wyke, Boat Collection Manager, commented: “Modern National 12s are a delight to sail, and perform very well on the race course. In 2006 representatives of the class came first and second in the annual Bloody Mary pursuit race, held at Queen Mary Sailing Club in London. National 12 crews also won the team prize with third and fourth places in the London Boat Show ‘Battle of the Classes’ pursuit race held on the River Thames. ”

Today there are some 3,500 National 12s, many of which take part in local and national competitions, under the guidance of an enthusiastic and well-organised Class Association.

And, don’t forget the sailor Bruce Banks, who, sailing his National 12 Westwind, one of the boats in the display, famously won the Burton Cup in 1950 at Falmouth.