How to add time to your life

Published on July 21st, 2020

If you have been around Portage Bay, home of Seattle Yacht Club or Cadboro Bay, home of Royal Victoria Yacht Club, the largest one design fleet at each club is likely the DECEPTION Mini 12.

While not very big, with an overall length of just 13 feet, they look like the bigger boats they are modeled after, the 12 Metre America’s Cup boats from the 1970s and 80s. Think Intrepid, Courageous, Dame Pattie, and Liberty.

Similar to their cousins, the 6 Metres, the 12 Metre boats are gorgeous to look at… long and narrow, built just for racing. No berths or staterooms, no engines, no heads, just beautiful sailing machines.

But on a much simpler scale is the Deception Mini 12, total crew just one but wearing the skipper, tactician, sail handler hats. Sitting on your bottoms deep in the hull with only your head and shoulders above deck, legs stretched out steering with foot pedals.

Class booster Gerry Porter explains:


Sitting there we can’t shift from side to side when we tack or hike out like those athletic young folks’ dinghies. But we are busy with the three sails in a 20-25 minute race. Then we do it again for 4-5 repeats, but an hour of Mini 12 sailing adds a day to your life.

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 warm-up 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 Year’s Day sail and potluck.

For the past 25 years we have alternated between Seattle and Victoria for a team racing challenge.

With 250 pound lead ballast, you may get splashed but will not capsize. Overall weight of 450 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.

However, our fabulous builder, John Booth, has crossed the finish line and we would love to give our molds to an enthusiastic new group. For more information watch this video and/or contact me at harlingpoint@gmail.com

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