All about the National Scorpion 14' Dinghy

The National Scorpion Association organises racing events and events to promote the class every year. The Silver Scorpion Travellers' series of Open Meetings sponsored by CraftInsure are spread over the season and over the country. The annual highlight is the National Championships, which were hosted in 2023 by Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club in Sussex. The 2024 Championships is at Castle Cove SC in Weymouth.

Why Sail Scorpions?

This page provides general information about why people sail Scorpions together with specific technical information including the class rules, tuning guides & suppliers.

Long lived

A look at recent National’s results proves how older Scorpions can remain competitive. Some recent National Championship-winning hulls have been over 10 years old, keeping new boats off the top spot. Improvements in adhesive and paint technology mean that the newer hulls are retaining their strength, stiffness and light weight, keeping them competitive for longer.

High performance

The Scorpion is a responsive boat with a light hull that gives excellent acceleration. Upwind it points well and tacks easily, and off wind the spinnaker ensures a stunning performance. Whether you are sailing inland or on the sea the Scorpion will give the performance you need.

Class racing

The National Scorpion Class Association actively promotes Scorpion dinghy sailing throughout the country. Regular national and regional training events are held, as well as a full Open Meeting programme and an annual week-long National Championships at a sea venue. Top sailors, many of whom are RYA (Royal Yachting Association) trained Class Coaches, are always willing to assist those further down the fleet, raising the standard throughout.

For families

The adjustable raking rig fitted to most boats enables the Scorpion dinghy to be sailed competitively by a wide range of crew sizes/ weights in all conditions! This, along with junior prizes at Scorpion events and a dedicated youth regatta, means that now there are many younger sailors seen in Scorpions. Parent and child combinations are not uncommon and it’s not always the parent at the helm! Junior pairings often show their seniors a thing or two.


The fun of sailing a Scorpion dinghy does not end when you come off the water. Weekend open meetings usually have an associated social event and each evening of the National Championships has an organised social activity. This in no way detracts from the competition on the water and the class can certainly be described as ‘competitive, but friendly’.

Extract from Mark Jardine’s interview in Yachts and Yachting with Tom Gillard re his (together variously with Rachel & Shandy) remarkable success in multi-classes this year …

A good time off the water is just as important as the sailing, so I asked Tom which class, in his opinion, has the best social activities:

"I would say the Scorpion! It's a chilled-out vibe, a nice bunch of people, with newcomers to the fleet alongside old hands, and everybody's very open about what they do to make the boat go fast. It's a real community. The class is going from strength to strength; whether you've got a wooden boat or a fibreglass boat, there's help everywhere, and no-one feels at a disadvantage."


The Scorpion is not just a boat for the accomplished sailor. The hard chine planing hull that gives performance upwind and downwind is also a stable platform for the beginner, and many sailors have learned their skills in a Scorpion dinghy.

But being suitable for learning does not detract from the excitement gained from sailing a Scorpion, which is probably why many top sailors of other classes have come to sail a Scorpion.

Here are some testimonials from our fleet:

Carl Jones – 2017 Nationals Result 28th

Shellie and I have been sailing Scorpions for 25 years now and the adjustability of controls make sail trim effortless.

With the twin spinnaker poles we can launch the spinnaker and sail the boat competitively throughout a wide wind range. This is what we love about the Scorpion, you can turn up at an open meeting and have a great sail whatever the weather might be.

We have always found the Scorpion Class to be extremely friendly with advice from the top guys being given freely. For us it is about turning up, taking part and having FUN!

Carl Jones

Colin Bradley – 2017 Nationals Result 19th

Colin Bradley

Back in the early noughties I was sailing the old family Enterprise with my son, then 13, or my daughter, aged 11. We were looking to upgrade to a more excitingboat, preferably with a spinnaker. I was initially put off the Scorpion by its apparent complexity but after a few quick spins in a borrowed boat it became clear that the controls are in fact all pretty standard and logical.  More importantly for us, the easy-to-use raking rig meant that the power was fully controllable: I could sail comfortably with an 11 year-old girl in a Force 5 and be competitive. Here we are 15 years later, still enjoying sailing Scorpions together. There’s no better boat – it’s just so versatile and exciting.

Class Rules

The National Scorpion Class Rules are administered by the RYA with regular input from the Class Association Technical Committee. The class has a clear policy of remaining up-to-date with developing sailing technology whilst avoiding developments which could adversely affect the class as a whole. Hence, for example, semi-automatic twin spinnaker pole systems which enable a wide variety of ages, abilities and sizes of sailors to enjoy the Scorpion's sparkling spinnaker performance are permitted but carbon rigs which are expensive and would immediately out-class aluminium alloy rigs are not currently permitted. This may well change in due course. The class focus is on enabling every Scorpion owner to enjoy good class racing anywhere in the UK.

Here are the current National Scorpion Class Rules together with a set of the previous Class Rules 2020 and a comparison between them.

Gear Guide: Championships 2019


Tuning Guides

Here is what past experts in sailing Scorpions recommend:

North Sails:

Quick Tuning Guide
Tuning Guide

Pinnell and Bax:

Tuning Guide

HD Sails:

Tuning Guide

Speed Sails:

Tuning Guide

Builders, Finishers & Repairers

Gosling Dinghy Craft - Facebook

JJ Boats - Facebook

Pinnell & Bax - Website

Paintcraft - Facebook

Ovington - Website

Winder - Website

Midland Dinghy Repairs - Facebook

Superspars - Website


Exe Sails - Website

HD Sails - Website

Lennon Sails - Website

Moatt Sails - Website

North Sails - Website

Pinnell & Bax - Website


Milanes - Website


Pinnell & Bax - Website

Rooster - Website

Sailing Chandlery - [[Website](]