12ft Skiffs

2013 12FootSkiffNationalsFrog

Class Coordinator
Steve Hill

Association Web Site
Twelve Foot Skiff Associaton


12 Foot skiffs are a fast development class sailed predominantly in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The class has a long history in Australia (and at Abbotsford 12 Foot Sailing club) going back some 80 years or more. 

The class rules permit a great deal of lattitude when designing the hull shape and there is no restrictions on sail size, shape or number. Modern boats of this class are typically constructed out of carbon fibre including the mast and boom. To facilitate sailing in different wind conditions, 12 foot skiffs will have two or three different size rigs that can be chosen depending on the conditions.

The boats carry two crew members (skipper and sheet hand) who both use trapeze harnesses to balance the boat. Some skill and strength is required to sail a 12 Foot skiff so most boats are crewed by experienced adult sailors.

A complete skiff outfit can cost as much as $40,000 but older (and still competitive) boats can be purchased for as little as $6,000.


Image result for cherub sail

Sailing 21 March 2015 045

Class Coordinator
Steve Hill

Association Web Site


Cherubs are also a double handed, 12 foot, development class.  They differ from 12’ skiffs in that they have a single, size restricted, suit of sails & a single trapeze.  There are also hull design restrictions which make them reasonably stable.

The limited sail area & wider hull, suits a younger, lighter audience.  Although there are many parent - child crews & the class also has a strong female crew following.

They are typically constructed from a carbon fibre / foam sandwich, making a very strong light boat that will last for several decades.

The class has a high power to weight ratio, making them exhilarating downwind & able to plane upwind.

A reasonable Cherub can be purchased between $3,000 - $10,000

Flying 11s  

Class Coordinator

Association Web Site
Flying Elevens Sailing Association of Australia Inc






A Flying-11 is a an Australian designed class intended to be sailed by two twelve to seventeen year old children. Flying-11s are fast for their size and carry a main, jib, and a kite. The boats are nearly exclusively constructed out of fibre glass and the minimum hull weight is 39kgs 

The class is used as an intermediary step for sailors progressing from smaller boats such as sabots but who are not big or strong enough to sail a skiff. 

The Flying-11 class association is quite strong even though the boats are mostly sailed in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania (with some in Queenslad and some from Western Australia). It is not uncommon to see over 100 boats at a state championship or at a national level regatta.

The numbers of Flying-11s at the club varies greatly from season to season as children tend to grow out of them quickly as typically they are sailed by teenagers.

Flying-11s cost around $13,000 new but second hand ones can be purchased for as little as $1500. A reasonable and competitive Flying-11 can be purchased for between  $4000 - $6000



Class Coordinator
Christopher Dey


Association Web Site
Southern NSW Sabot Association

Sabots are raced by children between eight and 16 years of age. The class rules permit the boat to be sailed by two younger children (less than eleven years) or to be sailed by one child. 

Sabots have a single sail and are commonly constructed from fibreglass (foam sandwich). 

Sabots are sailed in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. While the class has suffered a little from the introduction of the Optimist, the national championships still commonly see over 100 boats enter. 

Sabots can be bought for as little as $500 to new boats valued at $10,000.

Many Australian Olympic and notable international sailors began their sailing careers in Sabots.



Class Coordinator
Garry Robberds

Association Web Site
Australian Laser Association
NSW and ACT District Laser Association

The Laser class is a popular international class of sailing dinghy sailed by a single crew member. The Laser is an Olympic sailing class.

Lasers are constructed of fibreglass and have a single sail. A Laser hull weighs around 60kgs and is 4.2m long. The Laser class permits three different sail sizes to accomodate different size/age/weight sailors (4.7, Radial and Full Rig). Consequently a Laser can be sailed by anyone from a teenager throught to a large adult.

The Laser class rules are very strict on both the manufacturing and rigging of the boat. One result of this is that Laser racing is very tight as there are few variations between boats. Even quite old hulls can still be competitive in the hands of the right sailor.

Beginning sailors find the Laser an attractive option as there is no crew required. Lasers however can be difficult to sail down-wind in strong conditions and do take some time to master.

Although most of the Laser has remained unchanged since the 1970s, there was a change to the sail controls in the 1990s that introduced the 'turbo' kit. A turbo can be retrofitted to an older Laser but the cost usually makes this prohibitive. 

A new Laser costs aroung $10,000 but a competitive second hand boat can be purchased from between $2000 to $6000.



Class Coordinator
Alan Gaha
Association Web Site
Australian International 420 Class AssociationAustralian International 420 Class Association

A 420 is a two handed boat intended as a youth trainer. The 420 is an international class and intended to be a stepping stone for the bigger 470 class. 420s have three sails and weigh around 80kgs. The crew hikes off of a trapeze harness while sailing.

420s are typically sailed by two teenagers although there are a number of clubs where parent/child combinations race on 420s. The 420 rig is quite adjustable and allows for a range of different crew weights. At Abbotsford we've found that a 420 is a viable boat for two adult learners also.

A second hand 420 can be bought for between $1000 to $13000 depending on age. 


Class Coordinator
Alan Gaha


Any other monohull class can be sailed as part of the open fleet. The club publishes results for each class as well as a 'fleet' result where each vessels time is adjusted by her relative yardstick.

In the past boats such as 29ers and Moths have been sailed as part of the open fleet.