Fleets: The Deception Mini 12

Deception Mini 12

Apr 20, 2022

If you have been around Portage Bay, home of Seattle Yacht Club or Cadboro Bay home of Royal Victoria Yacht Club you must have seen the largest one design fleets at each club.

Deceptions, on the other hand, aren’t very big at all. Overall length is just 13 feet. They look like bigger boats though, in fact they look like the boats they are modeled after, the wonderful 12 metre America’s Cup boats from the 1970s and 80s. Similar to their cousins, the 6-metres, the 12-Metre boats are gorgeous to look at, they’re long and narrow, built just for racing. No berths or staterooms, no engines, no heads, just beautiful sailing machines.

The total crew is just one, the skipper, tactician, sail handler all your responsibility. We sit on our bottoms deep in the hull with only our head and shoulders above deck, legs stretched out steering with our feet (foot pedals like a Cessna). Sitting there we can’t shift from side to side when we tack or hike out like those athletic young folks’ dinghies; try not to drag your elbow.

We are busy though, great start, go the right way, tactics, hoist and drop the optional spinnaker, decent seamen like mark roundings. Amazing the changes in positions. All this in a 20–25-minute race. Then we do it again for 4-5 repeats.

Our sailors are not buff 20-something athletes sailing OPBs (other people’s boats) but mature women and men who have dropped out of the arms race of competitive sailing. Best thing is that the boys and girls compete equally

We do not rely on others to manage our races but take turns doing our duty. Same applies for buying the nachos at the warmup in the bar after racing. In Victoria we have a substantial social program with our friends in the ILLUSION and 2.4R fleets with parties for season opening, Christmas, season closing, big boat cruise, New Years Day sail and potluck. For the past 25 years we have alternated between Seattle and Victoria for a team racing challenge.

The boats, 13”2” OAL, 33 inches beam, 250# lead ballast, you may get splashed but will not capsize. Overall weight 550 pounds allows easy launch/retrieval with small manual or electric hoists. Perfect for dry sailing at the club or trailering from home.

Victoria, the original home has 11 boats, Seattle 22, two in Japan. One in Puerto Rico.

Our fabulous builder, John Booth, has crossed the finish line. John built all the Seattle boats and a few Victoria boats. He built new molds as needed, which I have now. we would love to give our molds to an enthusiastic new group or builder.

Have a look at Mini 12 Sailing on YOUTUBE.

Mini 12 Sailing Victoria

Illusion Nationals

Bembridge Illusions

Mini 12 Sailing Seattle

Seattle Mini 12 Racing

The Deception Class Seattle NOOD

As you can see three different classes based on the wonderful 12 Metres.

Deception Mini 12If you have a group of old guys/girls wanting to return to fun competition/sailing, have a look at the Deceptions. It would be fantastic to be able to determine whether there is demand in North America for fleet formation. Please talk it up with your friends and fellow club members to see if you want to have as much enjoyment sailing with likeminded people in a convivial atmosphere.

Please pass on any interest to

Gerry Porter harlingpoint@gmail.com who will keep you informed of progress in creating more fleets. 

– Gerry Porter

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