Cherub: World’s coolest yachts

Published on November 8th, 2022

Yachting World has been asking top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times, and when they turned the question to one of the world’s best sailors, Emma Richards nominated the Cherub. Here’s the report:


The Cherub is a 12ft two-person dinghy with a single trapeze (twin in the UK), designed in 1951. It evolved into an international development class, with a wide range of designs in fleets across Australia, the UK and New Zealand. The class has recently undergone a major resurgence in New Zealand.

“The Cherub is currently a big thing in our family,” explains Emma, who is married to Kiwi round the world sailor Mike ‘Moose’ Sanderson. “Mike has helped resurrect the class in New Zealand and he sails mainly with Merrick, our middle son, but everyone has sailed it. The Cherub definitely has sparked a love of sailing in the kids and rekindled grass roots sailing fun. It is super light and fast.”

Cherubs are ideal ‘project’ boats, with hulls available cheaply or as self-build kits, and endless tinkering options. “Our local crowd is growing, kids racing with a parent or teenagers together,” says Richards. Parents joining the fleet include America’s Cup veterans Ray Davies and Dean Barker.

Cherub stats rating:
Top speed: 25 knots
LOA: 3.65m/12ft
Launched: 1951
Berths: 0
Price: from NZ$1,500
Adrenalin factor: 90%


For Yachting World’s list of cool boats, click here.

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