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Author Topic: Billings Kit- "Dragon" yacht Restored.  (Read 2701 times)

Geoff Cropper

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Billings Kit- "Dragon" yacht Restored.
« on: May 05, 2011, 07:47:35 pm »

Hi All ,            When my son was about 7 years old, someone gave him a broken model yacht, it turned out to be a billings Kit  "Dragon".           The mast and rudder were missing, just the hull in poor condition, the main boom and a plastic box of odd brass fittings.       22 years later, he has a 7 year old daughter who wants a sailing boat for the local pond and that boat was still broken in the loft.             So I thought I'd do something about it, and here it is reborn.          The mast and sails aren't exactly as per plan as I didn't have one, but it sails OK and she's quite happy sailing Daddy's yacht.             Here's some pics of it restored.          Regards    Geoff.


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Re: Billings Kit- "Dragon" yacht Restored.
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 09:56:25 pm »

Nice. I had one of those years ago and enjoyed free-sailing it on the Round Pond in Ken Gardens.


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Re: Billings Kit- "Dragon" yacht Restored.
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 07:13:32 am »

Looks good Geoff
In the early 60's I used to crew in one in Int.Dragon races
Was an awesome performer in its day.
BTW love the crazy reef points  :-))

Smooth seas never made skilful sailors
Up Spirits  Stand fast the Holy Ghost.


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Re: Billings Kit- "Dragon" yacht Restored.
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 11:40:03 am »

I posted this under a 'vane steering conversion' thread earlier but it seems to fit in better here.
Currently I'm going through an exercise of converting a donated, partly completed, ancient, Billing 'Dragon' kit which has a form of cross-over-string-and-rubber-band steering mechanism to a servo steering system. Not as easy as it initially appears as due to space restrictions the servo has to sit vertically while the rudder shaft angles in at some 30 degrees. This means that in operation the distances between the servo horn and the tiller arms are constantly varying. I have got around this by working a pair of rods from the servo horns and inserting springs between them and the tiller arms. The springs take up the differences in length.
I believe the kit is about thirty years old and the light weight timbers provided in it (I don't think they were balsa) have lost their flexibility/elasticity. They snap so readily that the boat is a patchwork of cyanurate glue. The brass hardware provided with the kit had some unbelievably fine drilling in the spreaders. In one place they had put a 1mm hole through a 1.5mm brass bar. I will put up some pictures when it is a bit more presentable.
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