One design keelboat racing

There are many options for one design keelboat racing in the UK

How can you get involved?

How do you choose the right boat for you?

The UK is lucky to have a wide variety of different One Design Keelboats racing competitively. Choosing the right fleet to be part of though can be tough.

If you are looking for a one design fix there are plenty of options to choose from in yacht and keelboat racing. From traditional designs over 100 years old to modern planing boats with asymmetric spinnakers we list many of the classes currently active in the UK.

One of the first questions you might ask is do you want to own, or can you get your one design fix in another way? There are some options for those looking to compete on a level playing field without having to buy a boat.

Match Racing – one on one racing in supplied keelboats.

Team Racing – there are a handful of two boat team racing events in the UK.

British Keelboat League – sprint racing in supplied keelboats with umpires to keep it fair.

Clubs with pay to play keelboats

The following clubs have keelboats for the use of their members.

one design keelboats

Find links to class associations affiliated to the RYA below along with other key one design keelboat classes in the UK

2.4 Metre class

single handed keelboat

Ajax Class association

23 foot keelboat raced in Harwich and Falmouth

Bembridge Redwing

Open keelboat raced from Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Brightlingsea One Design

Clinker built wooden one design raced mainly in Brightlingsea

British Folkboat

Longkeeled boat with a small cabin. Various methods of construction. perennial winner of the Round the Island Race.

Daring Class Association

Traditional, Long keeled, keelboat. Based on the 5.5 metre. Raced from Cowes

Devon Yawl

two person day boat with a Yawl configuration (mizzen overhangs the stern) fibreglass construction to look like clinker built

Dragon Association

Long keeled open day boat. Strong international competition with fleets in Cowes and Burnham and other UK locations.

Etchells 22

three/four person open keelboat. Strong international racing. UK racing centred around Cowes and the Clyde

Flying Fifteen

2 person open keelboat designed by the great Uffa Fox. Strong international competition and fleets around the UK


one person keelboat with a spinnaker. Mainly raced in Bembridge, Isle of Wight.

International Six Metre

Open one design keelboat with multiple generations of designs of designs still competing. Strong international comeptition.

Loch Long

Open dayboat. Raced on the Clyde and at Aldeburgh

Salcombe Yawl

two person open dayboat in yawl configuration (mizzen extends beyond the stern). Raced from Salcombe.

Sandhopper Class Association

Bilge keel, shallow draft version of the Squib. Mainly raced in Thorpe bay and Murrays Bay


Former olympic class, three person open keelboat. Fleets across the UK

Sonar Class Association

Three person open keelboat. Previously used in the Paralympic Games. Fleets across the UK.

Squib Class Association

two person open keelboat. Distinctive with their mace brown sails. large attendance at national championships with fleets across the UK

St Mawes One Design

wooden two person open dayboat. Raced mainly in Falmouth.


Open keelboat with fleets in Falmouth and Itchenor with different configurations.


Three person open dayboat. Primarily raced from Chichester Harbour.


Open dayboat in wood or fibreglass. Racing from Portsmouth Harbour

X One Design

Over 100 years old, the XOD is a three person open keelboat which regularly sees large turn outs for national championships. Raced on the South coast from Chichester to Poole.

Yeoman Kinsman

The Yoeman and Kinsman are the same hull but the Yeoman has a fixed keel where the kinsman has a lifting keel. Fleets race across the UK

One Design Sportsboat

Find links to class associations affiliated to the RYA below along with other key sportsboat classes in the UK


5/6 person asymmetric sportsboat. Developed for the Royal Cork Yacht Club but raced in the UK as well. Sometimes modified for IRC.


Symmetrically rigged sportsboat raced by four/five sailors. Active fleets in Scotland and the North East and East coasts.


Symmetrically rigged, 24 foot sportsboat. Local fleets across the UK. Strong international circuit.


Very popular asymmetric sportsboat raced by three to five people. Mainly south coast based but strong international circuit.


Asymmetric sportsboat with good UK racing. Strong international events.


two or three person hiking asymmetric sportspboat.

Melges 24

High performance four or five person asymmetric sportsboat. Limited UK racing but strong international circuit.

RS 21

asymmetric sportsboat, easy to handle and aimed at clubs looking to provide pay for play racing.

RS Elite

three person symmetrically rigged sportsboat pitched as a modern classic. Some class racing in the UK including Cowes Week.


three or four person restricted hiking asymmetric sportsboat. Class racing in the UK with strong international circuit.

VX One

two person high performance asymmetric sportsboat. UK class racing and international events.

One design yachts

Find links to class associations affiliated to the RYA below along with other key one design yacht classes in the UK

Cape 31

High performance asymmetric one design, new to the UK in 2021

Contessa 26

26 foot cruiser/racer with active class racing in the UK.

Contessa 32

Legendary 32ft cruiser racer, famous for her classic looks and stability, with well supported inshore and offshore cruising and racing throughout the UK.

E Boat

22 foot trailer sailor cruiser/racer

Impala 28

28 foot cruiser racer, limited one design racing but successfully campaigned under IRC


35 foot asymmetric cruiser racer with owner driver and amateur crew.


36 foot performance asymmetric cruiser/racer. class racing in the Solent and good international events.

Quarter Tonner

Old boats built to the IOR Quarter Ton Rule. most boats have now been restored and racing for the Quarter Ton Cup is hotly contested.

Sigma 33

33 foot cruiser/racer with class racing around the UK

Sigma 38

38 foor cruiser/racer. limited class racing but popular for offshore racing


22 foot cruiser/racer with class racing around the UK. Strong annual national championship.

Close Rating Yachts

Not technically one design, these classes run racing for groups of similar yachts that allow for close racing on the water where one design racing is not possible due to fleet numbers in the individual classes.

Fast 40+

Grand Prix racing in asymmetric 40 foot race yachts running near level racing using IRC

HP 30

Essentially large sportsboats, racing is run under IRC but as all boats are light displacement asymmetric, the results can be very tight.

RC 1000 Class

Close rating racing for cruiser racers in the South-West of England.

RC 35 Class

Racing for cruiser racers from 32-38 foot on a narrow rating band. A very Celtic class with racing run in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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