What is a K1

The K1 is a high performance dinghy with a keel that just about anyone can sail in almost any wind strength, on any style of race course, on virtually any stretch of water. A genuine single handed  sailing dinghy with a main and jib.

Designed by Paul Handley  and stronger now than ever, with very competitive fleets across the UK and emerging fleets abroad.


What is great about the K1?

The K1 is a friendly class with competitive racing combining close tactical boat on boat racing with exciting performance in planing conditions.

The boat is ideal for all ages of helm, inland club waters or the sea, with the keel acting as a “perfect crew” equalising the physical exertion required. The performance has proved intriguing for expert helmsmen, yet it is stable enough to be kind to the clumsy novice.

The K1 has an active and developing UK open meeting circuit, a National Championships alternating between inland and sea venues, you’ll never be short of good competition.

How to buy

There are a number of routes to owning your first K1. The easiest way to purchase a K1 is to get an ‘off-the-peg’ boat from the sole supplier, Jeff Vander Borght of Vandercraft boats. Vandercraft sell ‘ready to race’ packages for circa £10,500, based around a plastic Rondar hull.

A second hand boat is obviously cheaper and probably easier to get going! This website has boats that are currently for sale.

What are your options?

The K1 is a one-design keelboat.  The fundamental objective of the class is to ensure that this concept is maintained.

The Hull

Earlier boats (the first 72) were built by Synthesize. Later boats are built Rondar but  it was ensured (by using the same moulds) that all hulls are the same shape. Therefore no matter what age boat you purchase, the hull shape will be the same. This is despite other minor changes to rigging keel and sail supplier.

The keel under the water is identical in all boats. Earlier boats had a different arrangement within the keel slot.

The Sails

Early in the class’s history, the sails changed from Hyde to North at the request of the class association. The North sails have a squarer head and softer mylar cloth. Hyde, and now North are the only class legal sails except for reduced size sails as specified in the class rules.


The carbon fibre masts and boom has remained the same from the beginning. The only variations on rigging have been choice of centre sheeting for the jib vs side sheeting (used originally) and the option of a dangly pole for the jib setting.

Owners can, and do, experiment with different controls and fittings such as refreshed kicker arrangement or cunningham controls.. This is allowed as long as no holes are drilled into the boats. It is very important to read the Class Rules (found on this website under “the boat”) before undertaking such modifications.

Where to sail

Although the K1 is a relatively new class, the Association has an active and lively membership with over 75% of owners being members. Membership is widespread throughout the UK and we even have a few members overseas! Here is a list of some clubs that have K1 sailors:

  • Baltic Wharf
  • Blithfield
  • Broxbourne
  • Burwain
  • Carsington SC
  • Chew Valley SC
  • Datchet Water
  • Frensham Pond Sailing Club
  • Hayling Island
  • Lake Bala
  • Lyme Regis
  • Northampton
  • Manor Park
  • Olton mere
  • Oulton Broad
  • Oxford
  • Papercourt
  • Queen Mary SC
  • Rutland Water
  • Shoreham SC
  • South Windermere SC
  • Strangford Lough
  • Teign Corinthian
  • Tewkesbury Cruising and Sailing Club
  • Royal Torquay
  • Wimbleball

A number of Open meetings are held throughout the summer (see events page for details) with a Nationals normally being held in September.

Try one out

K1 demonstration sails around the UK are available through the association (at K1association.org) or contact Vandercraft on jeff@vandercraft.co.uk or 07971 404 617.

Regional Contacts

Please contact any committee member who will put you in touch with K1 sailors in your area.