Types of Boat Sailed at YOSC

Having some knowledge of the different types of boats available will help you decide what type of sailing best suits you.

There are many different designs of sailing boats, from children’s dinghies to yachts and motor cruisers. Some clubs will specialise in one type and some will offer a variety.

In general, sailing boats fall into two broad categories – dinghies and keelboats – but there are hundreds of different types of boat within each, which are sometimes called classes. 

YOSC specialise in sailing dinghies and have a set of rules governing what can and can't be sailed at the club.

The club owns two RS Visions, a Hartley 12, a Marlin and five Toppers, all of which are available to sail by experienced members.

The following are meant as a guide to the regualrly sailed classes at YOSC - If you have any questions, you can contact commodore@yorkshireousesailingclub.co.uk for more information.

National 12

The National 12 is a two-person, two-sail, twelve-foot (3.6 metre) long sailing dinghy. They are sailed extensively in the UK. The National 12 is a development class with a long, famous and intriguing history. The class was started in 1936 by the Royal Yachting Association as an alternative to the more expensive International 14s.

The rules limit the length of the boat to 12ft, beam to 6’6″, an all up weight to 78 kg and a sail area of 10.4 m2. National 12s are sailed on all types of water from narrow rivers to the open sea. The class holds a national championships on an annual basis – known as Burton Week after the premier prize of the week: The Sir William Burton Cup – at various venues around the UK coast.

The National 12 is a development class where within a set of rules (and with occasional considered changes to those rules) the boats have been able to evolve over time, moving from wood and clinker construction to high-performance glass and carbon fibre – foam composite boats. One of the most noticeable changes in the boats is the steady increase in beam over the history of the class – early examples were less than 5′, while modern ones are usually at the maximum 6’6″ to provide maximum righting moment for the crew. The Twelve has developed into a racing boat which performs well in all conditions being highly manoeuvrable and challenging to sail in windy weather.

Click here to go to the N12 class association website >>


The Enterprise is a two-man sloop-rigged hiking sailing dinghy with distinctive blue sails. Despite being one of the older classes of dinghies, it remains popular in the United Kingdom and about a dozen other countries, and is used for both cruising and racing. It has a combination of size, weight, and power which appeals to all ages, and to sailing schools. The Enterprise is accredited as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation, the ISAF.

The Enterprise is most often sailed with no spinnaker. However the international class rules allow the decision of whether to allow spinnakers to be made by the national authority. In the U.K. and Canada, no spinnakers were allowed until 2002 when a new PY handicap was introduced in the UK to allow spinnakers to be used in multi class racing in clubs, although spinnakers may still not be used in “Class” racing; in the United States they are allowed.

Early boats were wooden and GRP. They used buoyancy bags fixed under the benches and thwarts for internal buoyancy, but nowadays foam reinforced plastic boats have built in buoyancy tanks, improving stiffness and removing much of the maintenance associated with buoyancy bags. Wooden boats still tend to have buoyancy bags to the rear and a forward bulkhead.

Although relatively unstable in comparison with other dinghies of similar performance, they have handling characteristics which would generally be associated with much faster designs.

Click here to go to the Enterprise class assosiation website >>


A Streaker is a type of sailing dinghy designed in 1975 by Jack Holt. It is a light (minimum weight only 48 kg) one-person boat with a uni-rig stayed sail plan. It is sailed mainly in Britain and the Philippines, and over 1,500 have been built. At first all boats were built of plywood, but since 1998 fibreglass has been used, and now over half of new boats are of fibreglass or composite (fibreglass and wood) construction.

Click here for the Streaker class association website >>