Up until recently the classic Dragons, those wooden boats built before 1972, were able to race competitively against their younger fibreglass brethren. However, modern hulls and rigs have now advanced so much that it is rare for a classic to race, let alone get close to the chocolates! The BDA is aware that the beautiful classic lines and feel of a wooden Dragon still have a magnetic pull for a good number of people and is committed to maintaining a register of classic Dragons (see the Archive section) as well as providing as much help and support to those people restoring, repairing and sailing these wonderful yachts.
We have a small cadre of members who are happy to speak with classic owners and potential owners. Sometime we can help with tracking down equipment, spars, rigging or sails that can help keep a classic alive. We all have bags of enthusiasm and a willingness to be helpful, so please feel free to contact any of the following:
Patrick Gifford – Current IDA Officer responsible for the Classic Section. He has been a Dragon sailor, as crew and helmsman for 45 years and has owned and raced 10 Dragons since he started sailing with Aida (K77) at Aldeburgh in 1963. He has owned 5 wooden Dragons in his time, built by four different builders. Patrick is interested in the restoration of classics and the challenges that provides, as well as advising about forthcoming events and regattas. You can email Patrick or call him on 07930 558737
Sir Richard Rycroft Bt - Has been sailing Logie at Burnham for about 20 years Although he has never had to restore Logie, her winter maintenance has seen Dick update all her control systems, refasten many of her timbers, rebuild the cuddy and replace the deck. For reference purposes, he has copies of Dragon class rules going back to the 1960s and a full set of drawings retrieved from the old Nunn yard where Logie was built. Dick would be happy to advise anyone and you can email him or call him on 01621 784435
Tim Wilkes – Started his Dragon sailing in a classic Borresen and is the current BDA Honourary Secretary. He is also responsible for helping keep track of all British classic Dragons and these and the Archive pages, where you can find a good deal of interesting historical information on Dragons, including the list of all known classics. You can email Tim or call him on 07720 288100
John Mellows – Has owned a succession of classic Dragons and has experience of keeping them sailing and racing. He also has useful contacts for tracking down those elusive bits of kit needed to restore a classic. He will talk enthusiastically about classic Dragons for as long as you wish to! You can contact John or call him on 01329 662248
Peter Wilson has been associated with Dragons for a very long while and for a period his Suffolk boatyard was the most prolific UK producer of his St George’s Dragons. His wealth of practical boatbuilding experience and knowledge of Dragons will be of immense help to anyone restoring a classic. You can call Peter on 01728 453523
For several years Kevin Boyd and Sonia Calloway spent a huge amount of time restoring K74 Lalu back to original lines. In the course of their excellent work, they carried out a lot of research into the way in which Dragons were set up before the war. Some of that research, as well as a good number of photographs are coming soon here and the BDA are very fortunate to have been given all of this by Kevin and Sonia.
Don Street has written a comprehensive article on rebuilding a classic Dragon. To read it, click here.
But be warned - there are some definitive rules within the Dragon class concerning the restoration of classic Dragons. There is an article available by the late Richard Green on restoring a Dragon within the rules. It is in PDF format. To download it click here.