International Dragon

The International Dragon.

The Dragon is a good looking, long keel yacht originally designed in 1929 in Norway and in 1949 was adopted for the Olympics until 1972. One of the more famous yachts is Bluebottle owned by Prince Phillip. Originally built entirely from wood the yacht has evolved over the years and modern Dragons are now manufactured in GRP with options for a teak deck. The yachts' good looks, long keel design, practicality and continued popularity with the sailing fraternity make the Dragon an ideal addition to the J Class range. Further, for some time now I've been thinking of developing my ideas for a genoa rig and the Dragon has afforded me the ideal opportunity to create a model which from the outset is designed to fly an overlapping genoa foresail.

Our usual models define themselves as "models" primarily as our foresails are supported by a boom, normally mounted to the deck aft of the tack of the sail. This improves the sails efficiency but there are no full sized yachts (to my knowledge) that use a boom under the foresail except where a spinnaker is deployed. My objective is to create a model which is more a smaller version of the full sized yacht than a "model" in the hope that such a model will deliver something closer to the experience of sailing a full sized yacht.

I have experimented with a genoa in a larger 72 inch hull (see under "projects" on this site) with excellent results. The model is fast, sails well and looks spectacular! The Dragon, with its large hatch opening (the "cubby") gives good access and this considerably simplifies the engineered element of the sheeting system.

The Dragon has a classic look to it and the keel line, similar to a J boat, should be as slippery through weed. The model has an overall length of just under 60 inches, beam of 13 inches and a draft of about 9 inches.

The deck shown here is cut to size but as yet without the laser etched detail. The etching for the king plank will be deeper so contrasting stains can be used without the risk of bleeding across.

As I write this, the moulds are complete, the parts that require engineering are finished to allow me to build the first ten models and I have started to build up the first model to test. When testing is complete I will "launch" the model on the market as a Ready to Run and I will consider a kit version in due course. The model is expensive to build as one of my objectives has been to create a model with a superlative finish and fine engineering detail. The cost of the completed model will reflect the overall finish...

If you would like more information then get in touch!

This picture shows the hull with rudder fitted, the internal woodwork in place and the sub deck resting in the hull. This fibreglass moulding supports the upstand for the cubby, the genoa tack and genoa carriages. The subdeck is used on the model with a wood deck finish.

The finished model will be offered with two deck options, a wood deck with etched planking detail or a fibreglass deck. This copies the evolution of the dragon in recent years which is currently available with either fibreglass or wood deck finishes.

The fibreglass deck will mimic the anti-slip finish on full sized yachts.

The internal servo deck is a single laminated item to which all the working parts of the model are fitted. The shrouds pass through the deck and attached inside the hull to avoid chaffing the lose sheeting to the clew of the genoa.

The 8.5kg ballast (not shown) is moulded in two parts and the keel line is faithful to the original yacht.

I anticipate that this model will be available in limited numbers only so if you are interested in either Ready to Run or kit form then it would be helpful if you could register your interest by dropping me an email,