The EC-12 is a
restricted design radio controlled model yacht class with fiberglass hulls
made from near identical molds and otherwise restricted to similar
construction. The result is a class of boats with similar speed
potential. The goal, as in any good one-design class, is to have the
skipper's tuning, tactics, and boat handling abilities determine the
class wants the newest boat competitive with the 20-year old models, and
equally competitive boats from all manufacturers. A stable class
organization and a stable Class Rule has allowed this to happen.
The EC-12 is approximately
5 ft. length over all, 23 lb displacement, and has a 6 ft. tall mast. As the
lead-bellied replica of a full size America's Cup 12-meter, this hull shape
copied from a 1962 aerodynamic test model, sails like a full-keel boat as
opposed to an agile dinghy. However, the Laws of Scale dictate things
happen relatively quickly on the race course with model boats. A partial
day's racing at a local regatta will easily have 14 starts and many more
mark roundings. Tuning, tactics, and concentration are critical to racing
success. These boats tune similar to a big boat although, during the race,
class rules limit trim to sheets, rudder, and an optional jib boom
adjustment called a twitcher.
displacement full-keel form of the EC-12 differs from most other sanctioned monohull model yacht racing classes which are a much lighter hull design
using long fin keels with bulbs for ballast. The lighter designs are
faster, in most conditions. They also can be weed-catchers, restricting
where you sail, such as in the Seattle area, with a milfoil weed problem.
Weeds are not a problem with EC-12's, and they perform well in the light
winds we often find near shore. They also are shallower draft than the
typical fin keel design, although depth is usually not a concern.
country from Florida to Washington state, EC-12s are actively raced all 12
months of the year. As of Feb 2002, One hundred an seventy one current AMYA
members own EC-12 boats and over 1450 boats have been registered since 1971.
The annual U.S. National Championship is well attended by sailors from
across the country. This is organized racing with an emphasis on friendly
competition. Newcomers are welcome and there is healthy willingness to share
The class is well supported through various
forms of documentation and plans, all readily available to the new skipper
EC12 EARLY YEARS
an article by Rod Carr.
design which became the East Coast 12 Meter was a Charles Morgan design
#2770. Nicknamed Eagle, the design was prepared circa 1962-63 and
made into a 9/10" = 1' scale model for aerodynamic testing. The design was
never considered for full size construction as a potential defender of the
1964 America's Cup, but was use to study ways of reducing the troublesome
quarter wave produced from older designs. As originally conceived, the hull
form was similar to Constellation and showed a reasonably full fore
body, with only limited reduction in the forefoot. A "spoon" bow is shown
in the original drawings, but the snub nose was extended out to form the
somewhat more graceful shape we recognize today, probably by Buddy Black,
who used the aerodynamic model as a plug for making the first fiberglass
Of the hulls
which came from that first mold, hull number 25, later called Flame,
was eventually used to produce secondary molds. Production of hulls for R/C
racing started in Florida and are reported in publications as early as
1968. In the late 60's, John Reynolds of Orlando, Florida began production
of hulls in concert with Buddy Black. One set of molds migrated to the
Washington, D.C. area in 1970, just as the American Model Yacht Association
(AMYA) was forming. A few hulls were produced by Charles Black, brother of
Buddy, and then the mold was consigned to Rod Carr of Chevy Chase, Maryland
who began production of bare hulls doing business as Carr's Boatyard. Early
efforts in organization of the class for racing accepted a number of models
all of approximately the same size. Such hulls as the Hartman Olympia
and Jacobson's Regatta One-Design were gathered under an umbrella and
named the East Coast 12 Meter (EC-12M). The name was chosen to
differentiate the approximately 5' long group of yachts from another 12
meter being produced in Newport, California and called West Coast 12 Meter
at the time. The 6' long larger California boat was subsequently renamed
the Newport 12 and has raced in California as a one-design since that time.
EC-12M Class Secretary, Rod Carr, designated Memphis, Tennessee as the site
of the first annual Class Championship Regatta to be held in the summer of
1971. The group that assembled was quite a sight. It included models from
the Morgan design from Florida, California, and Virginia; Hartman Olympia
from Illinois; and a scratch built 12-meter variant from Maryland. When the
event was over it had been won by a Morgan hull, but the scratch built one
was in second place. The result was a quick coalescing of the membership
and the development of a one-design rule which accepted only the Morgan plug
related hulls. The manufacturer of the Olympia was assigned status
of an authorized manufacturer, and to this day, the hull manufactured by
Hartman Fiberglass R/C is physically closer to the original Morgan plug than
that of any current manufacturer. The hull retains the fuller bow sections
which were part of the original #2770 design. Over the life of the class,
additional manufacturers were authorized by the AMYA Class Secretary, and
they came and went as such garage operations are likely to do. The notable
exceptions have been Hartman Fiberglass R/C, active since 1971, and Dumas
Products, a first line model products company who has been a consistent
producer and advertiser for many years.
Reynolds Manufacturing: 1968-1983
Little Boatyard: 1998- 2000
Yachts and Things: 1970-1978
Yachts: 1980-1983, 1999-Present
Fiberglass R/C: 1971-Present
Treasure Tooling: 1975-1978
Ribeiro Products: 1998- 2000
RMD Marine: 2005-Present
Ludwig Enterprises: 2005-2009
and Associates: 1977-1983
Blue Crab Yachts: 2006-Present
1970's the class rules were stable with one notable exception. As
originally promulgated, the beam of the hull was stated as a maximum
measurement, but the location of the measuring point was not specified.
Experiments with different bow configurations were held in Florida resulting
in a narrowing of the deck beam dimension in the forward part of the hull.
The experiments resulted in the gradual movement of the point of maximum
beam aft. About 1973, rule clarifications were accepted that provided for
maximum deck beam measurements and tolerances at specific measurement
stations. The measurements and tolerances were selected to match the
typical hulls being produced at the time, and established the primary
control on hull shape as the Treasure Tooling Plug. The Treasure Tooling is
the point of departure for about half of the manufacturers today. Thus,
some present EC-12M's appear to vary in the deck shape significantly from
the original plug. Careful measurements were taken of the variations caused
near the water line by this topside pinching. The AMYA EC-12M Technical
Committee could find no evidence the hull was distorted at the waterline. It
was concluded that the basic underbody remained virtually unchanged. Simply
put, the influence of the skipper on the performance of the boat is so huge
by comparison to slight variations in hull shape or sail plan
configurations, that no one has been able to prove the pinched hulls were
faster or slower than the traditional shape. People often thought the early
pinched hulls were faster, but that was later ascribed to the fact that the
better skippers were more likely to get new boats and hence the skipper was
the apparent cause of the performance increase. As of this writing, the
issue is of historical interest only.
In 1979, the
International Yacht Racing Union - Model Yacht Racing Division (IYRU-MYRD)
accepted the EC-12M as the first international one-design class for model
yacht racing. In 1986 the IYRU-MYRD requested that rules for all
international classes be rewritten in a consistent format, and an EC-12M
subcommittee was formed from five countries known to sail the boat (USA, GB,
KA, KZ, and KC). A new more restrictive class rule was written for the
"International" East Coast 12 Meter, as well as a constitution and by-laws.
However, the AMYA membership did not ratify the ICE-12M proposal and
compromise efforts also failed. The IYRU-MYRD then adopted the new ICE-12M
as a new class in 1990, which lifted sanctioning of the AMYA EC-12M class.
Additional efforts to a compromise by a technical committee within the
IEC-12M also failed. In 1992 the IYRU-MYRD placed the IEC-12M class on a
two-year probation with intention to remove sanctioning unless the issues
In the US, we
have locally and nationally continued to race under the AMYA class rule
through it all.
The effort for
an IEC-12M class included the creation of a new primary hull plug with the
intention future hulls be built to a tighter tolerance. Existing hulls were
to be grandfathered into the new class. In 1989 the IEC-12M technical
committee selected the Hartman Fiberglass R/C plug as the basis of the new
primary hull plug. This being considered by the IEC-12M technical committee
as the nearest existing hull to the original design the class is founded
upon. This eventually became the plug the Puritan Yachts mold came from.
The name "Puritan" both suggests the strong resemblance to the original
design and refers to the Edward Burgess designed Puritan, the 1885
America's Cup defender. The IEC-12M plug is now in Australia.
somehow agreed to create this new IEC-12M plug. In researching the plug,
Tom reviewed the lines of Constellation, the Olin Stephen's 1964
America's Cup defender. Among many characteristics shared by both hulls was
the sharp angles or facets extending longitudinally around the keel bottom.
However, these were eased somewhat in the final Jordan plug to conform more
with existing EC-12M's. When efforts for an international organization
stalled, Tom, as Puritan Yachts, submitted his hull to the AMYA and received
approval after close scrutiny in 1992. Prior to approval, the gunwale had
to be lowered 1/4" at station 20, but otherwise it is a middle-of-the-road
yacht relative to AMYA-approved yachts. The newest AMYA-approved hull
manufacturer, Puritan Yachts, was actually a chance result of efforts to
make the EC-12M an international class. Unfortunately, after only producing
nearly thirty hulls, Tom Jordan and Puritan Yachts ceased production. Tom
has taken a breather from model yachts, and is pursuing other interests. I
hope my friend takes only a temporary break from model yachts.
One result of
the IEC-12M efforts was a tightening of the AMYA sail tolerances in 1992.
This was one area where consensus was reached between the two groups.
Because the racing is closer, there is general satisfaction with the
standard or "A"-rig rule that eliminated significant roach area in the main.
In 1993 the AMYA revised the requirements for the "B" and "C"-rigs closer to
the IEC-12M. Another by product of the IEC-12M influence is the 1995 AMYA
rule revision to a standard plug for all new hulls, that brings the class
closer to a true one-design. The 1995 new standard class plug is based upon
the middle-of-the-road Puritan.
to the 1995 new standard class plug and the compliance with the existing
EC12 Class Rule has been well accepted and new hull suppliers now meet the
needs of all skippers, worldwide. Since 2000, the class has seen
greater growth as hulls, materials and building help has become readily
available. The near future looks bright for EC12.