Welcome to the website of  'The International 12 foot Dinghy Class Association'
When Southport solicitor and amateur boat designer George Cockshott, entered a design competition in 1913, little could he have envisaged that the boat that he drew would still be sailing 100 years later. Cockshott's 12 Foot Dinghy went on to become the first small boat to gain international status and was selected for the 1920 and 1928 Olympic Games. Although outclassed by modern boats, its endearing character ensures that it is still sailed and raced enthusiastically by near-fanatical owners around the world.
No fewer than 171 Dinghies assembled in the Netherlands during June 2014 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the 12' Dinghy in that country! Since then the Class has continued to prosper in the Netherlands, Italy and Japan, and fleets are growing in various other countries including France, Switzerland and Austria.
Picture of the month - December 2021  
The 26th All-Japan A-Class Dinghy Championship 2016
Known in Japan as the A-Class Dinghy, the International 12-foot Dinghy was the official Japanese racing boat from 1933 until 1972 when it was replaced by the 420 Dinghy.
Interest in the class waned until 1991 when a group of A-Class Dinghy sailors started a 'revival race' with only 7 boats. Since then, the number of dinghies participating in the Japanese Championship has increased annually.
Document of the month - December 2021
This 1930s photograph is thought to be of Arcturus from Sutton Dinghy Club, Ireland.
photo courtesy of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. (originally published on this site in December 2009)
This is Mariette, a classic two-masted gaff schooner
designed and built by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff in 1915.
Originally owned by Harold S. Vanderbilt, she now sails out of Antibes, France, under the French flag.
Her Skipper, Charlie Wroe, tells us: "We have an Int. 12 dinghy as a tender. She is called Wizard, named after the nickname of the designer and builder of Mariette. It's a great little boat - we use it for sailing, rowing and as a good sized deck locker.
Document of the month - October 2021
The first two Italian-built dinghies, Pierino (I-1) and Lodoletta (I-2)
take part in a regatta at Sturla in September 1931.
Marquise Emilio Nicoḷ Reggio tells us how he first encountered the 12' dinghy:

'Passing through Amsterdam, on my way to attend the 1928 Olympics, I embarked on a motor yacht laid on to transport the spectators ... we saw a "Dinghy" crewed by two young women who were going in to tack. I was impressed by the details of its construction and sailage and it occurred to me that it would be the perfect boat for training my son, Pierino, who was then six years old ...'

...... and so the the first Italian Dinghy, named Pierino after the Marquise's son, came to be built in 1929.
2020 Vision - 100 years of the International 12-foot Dinghy in the United Kingdom
A new book has been published exactly 100 years after K1 Tern became the UK's first International 12-foot Dinghy to receive a class certificate.

Part one describes the origins and history of the International 12-foot Dinghy, and documents the rise, the fall, and the hesitant rebirth of the Class in the United Kingdom.

Part two sets out to provide a snapshot of the Dinghy Class in the U.K. by highlighting twelve personalities, twelve boats and twelve sailing clubs that have each played a role in the ongoing story.

215 pages with many illustrations

Available from amazon.co.uk and other amazon market places (avoid amazon.nl where it is over-priced!)
Argo at the Lake Como International Vintage Boat Museum
ITA1000 - Argo, - now on display at the Museo Barca Lariana

Built: 1957 by Primo Valli, Lezzeno
This boat belonged to Francesco Bariffi,
General Secretary of the Associazione Italiana Classe Dinghy

"It is well worth continuing, even if only for a very few.
Even if it were for just one person.

Even if I were the only one in the world who was interested
in traditional boats and even if there were a total lack of
interest among people today,
I would still go on,

because nautical history deserves any amount of effort
in order to keep it alive.

And I, like my fellow boat lovers,
want to continue to be that link
between past and future"

G.A. Zanoletti
The Founder of Museo Barca Lariana
This website is the home of all 12' Dinghy sailors.
No matter when, or where, your boat was built, whether it is wood or plastic,
modern or traditional, you are welcome here!
Recently I was looking at this photo of one of the competitors at the 1928 Olympics. I was struck by the lack of a kicking-strap, tiller extension, buoyancy bags - all things that we take for granted.

Following the loss of our 'international status' in 1964, the pace of change quickened, and, probably inevitably, there was divergence between Italian-style and Dutch-style boats. But as Jaap Wientjes, President of the Dutch Twaalvoetsjollenclub so elegantly states, 'Clearly this may separate us, but there is a lot more that unites us'.

To summarise, it does not matter whether you call your boat an International 12-foot Dinghy, a Dreadnought, a Dickie, a Dinghy 12 piedi, a Dinghy douze pieds, a B.R.A. 12ft. Dinghy, an 'A' Class Dinghy, a Dinghy 12' Classico, a Dinghy 12, or anything else; - this web site is for you.
An autumn sail on the Thunersee
Photographer: Thomas Jakob
Dinghy racing on a lake close to Haarlem (NL) during the 1950s
Contact us:   info@12footdinghy.org