Friday, March 5, 2010

Feeling Small in the Deception Mini 12

Do you remember the 12 metre sailboats that reigned the America's Cup for many years? They produced some very close racing and some excellent imagery for the Cup. The boats were never the fastest or most exciting boats around, but many believe they were the best boat for match racing.
The Deception 12 is very close to the same lines as a 12 metre, but 1/5th of the size. Instead of a crew of 14 people, there is just one person and you sit inside the boat and steer it with your feet! It takes a little time to get used to the steering with your feet, but you have to also figure out all the sail controls. Imagine coming into a leeward mark, and you have to douse the pole, douse the spinnaker, unfurl the jib, get the backstay on, trim the jib and the main, and turn the boat around the mark, all by yourself.
At the Seattle Yacht Club there is a prolific fleet of these unique keelboats. They have about twenty five of them that sit on cradles and you launch them with a small crane. Nestle yourself inside the boat and off you go. The fleet welcomes newbies, and if you show up on a Sunday in the winter, you are bound to go racing. This is exactly the opportunity that was afforded to me, and I had the chance to sail the boat three times.

My results have been marginal, and I am still learning how to keep the boat going all the time. The fleet is very good, and have been at it for some time. But it is loads of fun and you certainly can't blame anyone for your follies, which is exactly what I loved about Laser sailing. This is kind of like that, but provides a completely different challenge. Come try it yourself! If you are interested, I would be happy to make an introduction to the fleet. E-mail me at

48 Degree North did a nice little write up on the boat. You can find it here:http://http//

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