One of the most famous classes of keel yachts in the world, Dragon, is undergoing a complete rebirth in Dubai. Matthew Sheahan went there to find out more.
New The Dragon from Premier Composite Technology has been subtly altered in all areas Obtaining Olympic status is not always a blessing as one might expect. The speed at which some of the best sailors and crews in the world are improving and developing Olympic-class yachts and running costs can be an issue in the long run. You may end up with a honed yacht that often has a short competitive shelf life and is retired from the regular league to the amateur league, so earning an Olympic mandate could be a poisonous bowl. Some classes are not even attractive to the attention of the Olympic Committee due to their design, but not The Dragon... Designed in 1929 by the Norwegian Johan anker, The Dragon became an Olympic class in 1948 and remained until 1972. The elegant and distinctive keelboat continues to be popular, offering a wide range of options. Present in more than 26 countries, the fleet Dragons has more than 1,500 units, with high performance in the annual World and European Championships, as well as the prestigious Gold Cup, which regularly attracts around 100 participants. At the technical level, the class has also managed to strike a reasonable balance between a single design and small, limited rules, improvements.
Back to basic designHowever, some designers went back to basics and began to re-optimize the boat. Until now.
In addition to its impressive track record in creating projects in architecture, aviation and railways, the design studio Premier Composite Technology Dubai is the world's most famous offshore construction producing racing yachts, grand prix winners such as the Farr 400, the GC32 hydrofoil catamaran and the latest Farr 280.
But now, after two years of research and participation in the design of seven hulls and the construction of five prototypes, the company has launched its new, Breathing Dragon. The Dragon, Markus Wieser and Hendrik Witzmann, the project involved some serious players, including Andy Claughton of the Wolfson Unit in Southampton, Paolo Manganelli, a senior engineer at Gurit, and designer Klaus Roeder. They started with seven different hull and keel sections that were tested with a speed prediction program (VPP). Two of which were then selected. “Initially, we looked at a number of basic options,” explains Witzmann. “In these studies, we have had great success in some areas, but there are some trade-offs to be made. In the end, we chose two designs that were more conservative and looked more versatile. ”Tolerances for hull reshaping within the class rules are small. One example is the body circumference, which allows a maximum tolerance of 0.05 percent in each of the seven stencil measurements. This results in a maximum tolerance of 16 mm midships and only 8 mm at the front. The possibilities for fine-tuning the shape of the case are clearly small, but, nevertheless, the PCT is considered worth it. “By creating a shape that is narrow midships and wider at the ends, we have produced a hull that has a longer waterline,” says Witzmann.
Improved rigidityImproved rigidity was also a technical goal, especially in the longitudinal direction. “Bow and stern stiffness are especially important for Dragon because of the rear struts, "Witzmann continues," as they can be very bent in this plane. The rigidity of the hull maintains the length of the waterline and therefore its maximum speed. "
In addition, for increased rigidity, The Dragon The PCT has bulkheads connected to the hull rather than located on the inner lining.
Decks are clean and watertight The shell itself is a one-piece laminate construction with woven unidirectional fibers. Dragon PCT does not use gelcoat, but a more structural material within the rules for 12 kg / m2 hulls, and vacuum infusion resin to ensure tight control of the hull weight. According to the regulations, carbon or Kevlar is not allowed on the hull or deck, and it was necessary to avoid stressing the bow and stern with the amount of water that could seep inside. Removing the spinnaker and lowering the anchor from the cavity in the 470-style cockpit reduced the weight of the spinnaker and its bag and also kept water out of the bow of the hull. Special attention was paid to the keel. “Usually the keels are cast iron, but on this boat we used a CNC milling machine,” says Witzmann. “This was first done for Dragon and allowed us to be closer to the maximum keel weight of 1,010 kg, as well as achieve a perfectly symmetrical shape.” Unlike others Dragonswhere keel ballast is encapsulated in the hull / keel laminate, keel Dragon PCT installed underneath and covered with a thin layer of fiberglass that helps achieve a slightly lower center of gravity.
But it was not only the structural elements that had to be considered. The cockpit equipment has also been carefully studied. The deckhouse roof and coamings have been slightly modified to better control the horizontal jib carriage and for a more comfortable position when uncoiling the boat.
Modern cabin Dragon - a dream for suppliers of deck equipment
The position of the boom-sheet shoulder strap attracted a lot of attention as the team tried to take full advantage of this element and also make it more rational in terms of finishing. But here one more important detail must be taken into account: the support for the helmsman. Bottom lines are not allowed in the classroom, so the shape and positioning of the center block has been refined to support the legs when opening, a theory that was brought to life in October 2013 when the first prototype was launched in Dubai. Since then, two boats have been brought to Europe for further testing. This season, the company will begin building production versions and participating in international events. Detailed analysis and testing of the work of the previous two years will be done here on the track in this fierce competition. With the results, the company will find out if the Breathing Dragon will actually fly.
New Dragon in construction
A longitudinal bulkhead in the rear section extends to the bottom of the deck, maximizing the rigidity of the boat in this area.
Cleaning the boom-sheet control area helps when it comes to the helmsman support. Bottom lines are prohibited by class rules The Dragon
All partitions and structural elements are built into the body, and are not used in the internal cladding
Among the small changes, the widened deckhouse roof allows for more efficient horizontal carriage operation.
The deck can be elegant, many of the control lines run below deck
Milling the keel from oversized castings gives precise weight and perfectly symmetrical shape
From the June issue Yachting world
News and articles
With the help of the Genoese staysail twist devices, it is possible not only to remove most of the sail panel in the shortest possible time, but, to some extent, also effectively reef it. By pulling on the reef seasons, on the forehead, you can change the position of the sail profile, into which the luff is folded.Read more…
British shipyard Oyster Yachts has unveiled the first photographs of the new multi-million dollar Oyster 835 and Oyster 895 models.Read more…
Start your Croatia tour from Dalmatia ... Situated along the rugged and wildly beautiful Dalmatian coastline, ACI Marina Split is the perfect place to start your Croatian travel. The Marina is located along the busy and increasingly popular Adriatic coast, in the southwestern part of the country. It enjoys the natural protection of islands such as Ciovo, Drvenik Veliki, Solta and Brač, which together form part of the famous Dalmatia region. With over a thousand miles of breathtaking beauty, coastline, vibrant landscapes and a rich history spanning thousands of years, Croatia is a solid favorite for cruise boaters, and Split, the second largest city, is considered one of the main gems in its crown.Read more…