George Cockshott’s sweet 12-foot dinghy

International 12 Foot Dinghy International 12 Foot Dinghy International 12 Foot Dinghy

International 12 Foot Dinghy

This morning a ‘pingback’ appeared in my comments from the Italian weblog SIBMA. I’m not entirely clear what a pingback is, but apparently it was meant to inform me that my post about the Cinderella rowing conversion had been picked up by the SIBMA site.

I took a moment to see what else SIBMA had been publishing lately. Well; that’s how WWW works, isn’t it?

Sure enough, Cinderella appeared at the top of the SIBMA blog for today, but just a couple of posts down I was amazed to see a post about what looked like a classic little clinker-built English sailing dinghy.

When I read on, it turned out that the little boat had been designed for a competition nearly a century ago by an amateur boat designer from Southport, called George Cockshott.

The story goes that the International Twelve Foot Dinghy won the competition and became the first one-design racing dinghy to gain international recognition. Today it’s said to be almost unknown in the United Kingdom, but still enjoys followings in Japan, The Netherlands and in Italy, where it seems to be raced highly competitively.

This is a very nice boat, and in case you fancy building your own, a link to a set of drawings appears at the Italian Dinghy 12 Association site, specifically at this page.

I can’t find anything that looks like offsets or a set of frame dimensions, however. Perhaps someone who reads Italian can identify where they might be found?

Cockshott also seems to have designed the Star class sailed and raced at West Kirkby Sailing Club.

PS ‘Steve’ (see correspondence below) tells us that the International Twelve now has it’s own website in English at

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25 thoughts on “George Cockshott’s sweet 12-foot dinghy”

  1. Yes, the pingback is the segnalation that your post appears on another blog. thank you for your fantastic work about the small boats.



  2. I can’t find anything that looks like offsets or a set of frame dimensions, however. Perhaps someone who reads Italian can identify where they might be found?

    You can request the original drawings at the Italian Dinghy 12 Ass.

    Corso Magenta,42 – 20123 Milano – Tel: 02-43925304 – Fax: 02-48011624 –



  3. That is an interesting rig for a small dingy but I'm not sure what to call it.

    Anybody know the proper terminology and have any comments on its efficiency?

  4. It's a standing lug. Nice, simple sail, not quite as wild as a leg of mutton or gaff-rigged sail in a gybe and with the benefit of short spars.

    In 103 Sailing Rigs, Phil Bolger says that it's at least as effective as a gaff-rigged sail but big ones can be a bit challenging to raise and lower in heavy weather.


  5. You can read more about the International 12 Foot Dinghy (in English) at:

    The class is currently experiencing a rennaissance with new boats being constructed in France, Turkey and Lithuania as well as in the long established strongholds of Italy, Japan and The Netherlands.


  6. I was given a scale model kit, scale 1,1/2 inches = I foot, of the Adamcraft international 12-foot sailing dinghy. The kit came in a had card tube complete with glass jars of paint. Royal blue / white. I asssembled the model about fifteen years ago. The unopened kit had been given to the person who gave it to me, decades earlier.It is delightful. I am pleased to learn it is a model of the first International class saiing dinghy. Designer George Cockshott. In the kit is a an excellent assembly instruction manual. Inviting me to join the "Adamcraft" club. Sumbitting a signed photo of the completed model will earn me a Membership Card and Badge. Also details will be sent to me of the International Model Dinghy Trophy. Which with a 100 pounds sterling can be competed for. My questions are does anyone know where I can mail in my completed model information and get my club badge! Has anyone else seen, built or owned this model.

  7. Thanks Paul it was a long shot! Interesting site. The standing rigging on the Adamcraft International 12foot dinghy.. It is a Gunter rig according to the instruction manual that came with the kit.

  8. About three years ago an incomplete Adamcraft International 12foot dinghy kit (still in its tube and with full instructions) came up on eBay, and not long after a complete model was also on eBay. (Both sold for more than I could afford!)

    I can confirm that the 'true' rig for an Int 12 Dinghy is a standing lug, however many (UK) boats were later converted to use Bermudan or gunter rigs. The deck on the Adamcraft model is also 'non-standard'.

    Just for info, we will be holding our 'World Championships' in Italy this summer and expect over 120 Int 12s to take part! Not bad for a 97 year-old dinghy!

  9. Hi to all

    I am trying to find a second hand boat or find a boat yard that builds new boats that specialises in this class – any help would be greatly appreciated .Many thanks

  10. Where are you based Charlie? There is a good market in secondhand boats in Europe – especially in Holland and Italy. New boats are expensive, due to the skill and labour required in their construction. Currently the cheapest new Int 12s are being built in Lithuania. Send me an email and I'll help you find one. (You will find my email address on the site

    Good luck!

    Steve Crook

  11. "I can’t find anything that looks like offsets or a set of frame dimensions, however. Perhaps someone who reads Italian can identify where they might be found?"

    You might be supposed to use the drawings in the SCAFO PDF files, marked "Scala 1:1". A printing shop should be able to print them on (large) paper. You would then transfer the patterns to your moulds..

  12. Plans (comprising 5 large sheets on which the frames are drawn full size and the sail plan 1/10 scale) are available from the Dutch Watersports Authority and the Italian Dinghy Class Association. These cost approximately 100 euros. Details on (see menu item 'specifications')

  13. I had an International Twelve Foot Dinghy in the 1960's which had been retired from sailing and converted to an inboard motor launch with a 1.5hp Stuart Turner two stroke engine. It was a stable and fast launch, for its class, having firm bilges and a flat run aft. Being constructed of Cedar also helped speed! It was built by Wright and Sons of Ipswich in the early part of the 1930's and was the class capainged at Looe Sailing Club in Cornwall, but it was eclipsed by The National Redwing designed specifically for the club by Uffa Fox. For personal interest, I purchased a full set of building plans some years ago from The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, which came with comprehensive specifications.

    1. If it was built by Wright & sons, that would be 1937 at the earliest, the date when James Garrod (Gary) Wright bought the Palace Boatyard in Cullingham Road and established Wright & Sons with his two boys.

      The Hull construction would have been copper fastened mahogany on oak, not cedar.

      Peter Wright

      1. In addition, although not impossible, it’s most unlikely to have been an International 12 – far more likely to have been an example of Wright & sons own Twinkle 12. It’s quite possible that she was built as a 12 foot motor launch based on the Twinkle 12 hull, in which case the engine installation was probably done by Jack Wright, my Dad.

  14. That's very interesting Jonathan – we had no idea that the Maritime Museum had a copy of the plans.

    Do you have any pictures of your boat?

    We are currently preparing a book to mark the class' centenary and would welcome any info about the fate of Int 12 dinghies in the UK. Here in Switzerland we have one dinghy that was motorised like yours for use as a fishing boat, that has now been converted back to a sailing dinghy.

  15. Hello Robert and others,
    My dad is a very keen 12-ft dinghy sailor and a good DIY-er and would love to get his hands on the Adamcraft scale model.
    Anyone any idea if they’re still around/how to get one/where to get one?

    Basically, he would LOVE to have one, so anyone with any information, please come forward….

    Many, many thanks,

  16. At West Kirby Sailing Club, where the class was raced in its early days and where they called ‘Dreadnoughts’, still has one “Royal Sovereign”, which has been repaired after some years of neglect and is sailing again.

  17. The Frisian Maritime Museum keeps record of original blueprints of most (maybe all) Dutch class boats. Those for the 12ft dinghy can be found here:
    These can be used for studying plans before ordering actual ones or for construction of a non racing boat as (only) some details have changed.

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