The International Fourteen is one of the world’s premier sailing classes. It is a two-person, two trapeze skiff, with an unlimited area asymmetric spinnaker and 200 square feet of combined mainsail and headsail area. Carbon hulls and carbon rigs, now generally with square-head mainsails, give exceptional performance. While the relatively open class rules leave plenty of room for experiment, encouraging innovation.
The Fourteen is the oldest International dinghy class, having been granted the status by the then IYRU in 1928. Yet the roots of the class go back even further, to the sailing of various 14 foot dinghies/skiffs in various locations around the world in the late 1800’s. This gives the class its fantastic sense of history – and to sail a Fourteen has always been to sail something special.
But despite the history, the development nature of the class means that the boats themselves have always been at or near the forefront of small boat technology. While International status has meant that the class has played a key role in spreading ideas worldwide. So over the years, the Fourteen has been a major driver of both the development, and international adoption, of new ideas affecting all aspects of dinghy/skiff design.
Today the Fourteen is one of the most challenging, exciting, technical and ultimately satisfying boats to sail. Fourteens, the class saying goes, are forever; once you’ve tried one, no other boat will be quite the same.