2016 - End of year review and a look forward to 2017
Introducing the new v6 Dragon
What a difference a year makes!
Our relocation to new premises on 1 January this year; moving tooling, gantries, materials, and a stock of boats, was huge undertaking for a small company like ours, but the opportunities that have arisen from it, far outweigh the disruption caused. Crucially it has given us the opportunity to structure the production and generally streamline 20 year’s worth of used boat equipment.
Our super, fully-functional, new premises, just three kilometres from our previous site, now incorporates three buildings including a dedicated ‘sticky shop’ for laminating/cosmetic work, and a ‘clean workshop’ for fitting out, roping, rigging and general service. We also have a separate reception/office building where we are delighted to welcome visitors.
Research and development - the new v6 Dragon
Logistical reasons during the move forced us to scale down Dragon production but this did present us with an opportunity to carry out interesting research and development work. Unusually we had access to some beautiful, fast vintage Dragons, which allowed us to investigate the properties of these boats to help us understand the mystery of their super boat speed.
Locally we have a world expert in photogrammetric scanning who carried out a series of scans, which he overlaid on our existing hull shape. The data we obtained was passed onto Phil Morrison (an expert small boat designer) who has created the shape for our new hull mould. The v6 Dragon.
This is currently being produced and will be commissioned within the next few weeks. We already have a number of orders for the new shaped boats.
This new mould, coupled with the post Brexit decline in the GBP value has created massive interest in new v6 Dragons, which means 2017 is looking set to be a very busy year.
It has been a hectic time for Tim who, as well as a visit to Lake Garda and St Tropez, has been in Bodrum, Turkey to visit the booming Dragon fleet. Thanks to the hard work of Arkun Demircan there is now an extremely healthy fleet, which has resulted in a well-supported Turkish Dragon winter series that is currently taking place.
Back at Petticrows HQ, work on world-class ocean rowing boats that we manufacture under licence for our neighbours Rannoch Adventure, continues to flourish. Rannoch is a small, specialist company headed by Charlie Pitcher who currently holds the singlehanded Atlantic crossing record.
As ocean rowing continues to increase in popularity, we are proud that Petticrows is at the forefront of this niche sport. Our boats are proven to withstand extreme conditions and achieve numerous records and successes in their field.
Last year we built 15 x R45s – the legendary four-man boat along with a number of smaller one/two-man boats. The R45s are about the same size as a Dragon but of foam sandwich/carbon fibre construction weighing about 300kg.
Many Petticrows customers will be aware of Tim’s history in both racing and building Finn dinghies. It seems that ‘once a Finn sailor, always a Finn sailor at heart’ and this is true of Tim. The Petticrows Finn, which Tim developed as a result of his years of experience in the class, is now a world leader on the circuit with over 30 boats built since its launch two years ago.
Masters Finn sailors may remember Tim’s reputation for producing quality boats. This combined with excellent results achieved from the Petticrows Finn in the last few years, including a gold medal for Giles Scott at the ISAF sailing World Cup Weymouth in 2015, has led to a heightened surge of interest in the world-class Petticrows Finn.
Given the many similarities between the Finn and the Dragon – both relatively slow, traditional, tactical boats, which have incrementally modernised their class rules to stand alongside all their modern counterparts – production of the Finn dove tails well with the Dragon production. We are delighted, therefore to be involved with the class again and look forward to some more top results on the world circuit.
The other new, exciting addition to our company is our sparkling new service van – a big Mercedes Sprinter that features an internal workshop, power, beer fridge, coffee machine and plenty of room for loads of spare boat parts. Our aim is to attend as many major regattas possible without new ‘Petticrows-mobile’ workshop, to be on hand to help with spares, repairs… and a coffee, of course!
Owners’ help point
To ensure we offer the best possible service, we are happy to help out with any queries you many have. Because Tim is often out on the water tuning up or racing, it is usually most efficient to contact members of the team in the office (listed below) who will invariably be able to assist.
Paul Neve at firstname.lastname@example.org is in the service department and is happy to offer advice on spare parts, and will ensure they are despatched promptly.
June Bridge at email@example.com who has been keeping the books straight for many years, is your point of contact regarding any financial matters.
Kay Tavinor at firstname.lastname@example.org will deal with all other matters, including new boat quotes, details on used boats, and build progress reports.