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Author Topic: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht  (Read 1032 times)

Noel Adams

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Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« on: November 07, 2020, 09:54:16 am »

I've offered to complete a yacht started by one of our club members who has sadly passed away.  I knew nothing about it at first, but with a bit of research I now know it is a Billings Dragen 528.  Website descriptions describe it as primarily a static display model, although Billings say it is 'suitable for radio control' with suitable modification - and it looks to me as if the original builder had this in mind.  I have just the nicely built hull, nothing else and no plans etc.  Has anyone out there successfully fitted out a Billings Dragen for radio control?  I would love to see some details of how it was done.
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roycv

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2020, 11:42:32 am »

Hi I did look into it a long while back.  I suggest you will need extra bouyancy to keep to the waterline. 

You could do this with thicker/extra planking around the keel and if possible the underwater part of the hull.  If you used 3mm liteply is is easy to cut and shape.  Can you do these calculations?

 Deans Marine got away with a very thick keel for their old Blue Leopard kit of many years ago and it is a case of what the eye does not see......

Combine this with cutting down the total sail area and you could have a goer.  I suspect the model is shown with very light weather sails and reducing the sail area will not be a problem.  As an Olympic class racing yacht of its time she would have a good wardrobe of smaller sails, especially for high winds.

 I have seen one before but she was very much down on the waterline.  Modern radio should help with weight with a standard size servo sail winch or a higher powered one with an arm winch.  You might get away with a 9gram servo for the rudder but beware the cheaper ones with plastic gears as you could easily strip the gears.  You need as much lead low down in the keel as possible.

I am sure she would look nice on the water also the Sarik plans service still has Bluebottle which the D of Edinborough had and this is a dragon class yacht.
There are a few cabin conversion prototypes as well which might be an option., there are lots of photos on the Internet.

Best of luck,
Roy


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tica

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2020, 01:45:40 pm »

RC version has been done in Denmark https://www.rcgalleri.dk/galleri/34074-baad_dragen____true_love___ and yes it's low in the water.
If you haven't found it, you can download a manual her https://www.billingboats.com/index.php/modelboats-footer/68/120/boats/the-experienced/P-bb582-dragen
Carsten
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My postings are only reflecting my own opinion and should not be read as the holy grail of truth :-)

roycv

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2020, 03:59:33 pm »

Hello tica, not seen those photos before she looks nice.  My interest started in 1993 when I was asked by Int Marine Modelling magazine to get a then new glass fibre hull from a company and construct from there.
 I did a lot of research but when the hull arrived it was ridiculously heavy, solid with the hull 3mm thick.  There was no way this could work and so I said no to the project and sold the hull to another modeller, as I had paid for the hull myself!
I think if I was making the kit up I would add at least an inch to the keel and use extra planking as I said before.  I used this system to build the Amati 1 : 35 kit Endeavour, and that does sail quite well, also in IMM I think about 2004.
Regards
Roy
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Noel Adams

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 04:39:08 pm »

Thanks guys.
The hull is already complete, being very nicely built by our friend before he died.  The main reason for taking on the project was to finish it off and to take some photos of the boat for his widow, so I'll not be making any drastic visual changes.  I'll use the lightest radio gear that I can and reduce the size of the masts and sails - which I'll be making from scratch anyway as they didn't come with the hull.  The boat will probably only be suitable for the lightest of breezes but that doesn't bother me; the main point is just to finish it in memory of our friend.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Noel
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Laker

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 09:52:28 pm »

Happy New Year to you Noel and I hope to see you at the lakeside at some point again in 2021.  The Dragen is a pretty little yacht - good luck with finishing it.
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Noel Adams

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 10:25:22 pm »


Happy New Year to you Noel and I hope to see you at the lakeside at some point again in 2021.  The Dragen is a pretty little yacht - good luck with finishing it.



I'm not familiar with the Laker username, but I can only think of one person from Woodspring who would remember me - so Happy New Year
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Gwylan

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2021, 08:53:10 pm »

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the fitting of RC gear to a Billings Dragen on another website recently,  That builder fitted the sailing gear from a Dragonforce 65 and found it very acceptable.
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RST

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2021, 03:53:30 am »

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the fitting of RC gear to a Billings Dragen on another website recently,  That builder fitted the sailing gear from a Dragonforce 65 and found it very acceptable.


Hi Gwylan,


I don't have anything to contribute directly but I read most posts out of general interest in the hobby.  You say "There has been a lot of discussion regarding the fitting of RC gear to a Billings Dragen on another website recently" but it would help everyone if you posted a link?  Or what was the "other" website please?  I'm aware of there being a recent Dragen thread on model-boats.com but not a completed thread on that so far though it does mention on one post if I recall correctly the Dragen is something like a "vintage version of a Dragonforce 65".

..Thanks,

Rich
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Gwylan

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Re: Billings Boats Dragen Yacht
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2021, 07:12:26 pm »

Hi Rich,[size=78%] [/size]
[/size][size=78%]The posts about the Dragen were on Model Boats Website a little while ago but I cannot find it to post a link.As far as I remember the basis of it was that with a bit of fiddling, RC gear could be installed, The person doing it fitted the spars and sails from a Dragonforce 65 as he considered them about the right size.[/size]
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