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History of the Petticrow Dragon

History of the Petticrow Dragon

Petticrows built its first Dragon in 1988. Ian Howlett, the famous 12M, 8M and 6M Designer optimised the hull shape. Tank tests were carried out and a lot of time and money was spent on R&D on all aspects of the construction. In that year, the first Danish Blue won the Danish and European Championships', the following year the Worlds and several National and International races.

Due to a major rule change which made it obligatory to include bulkheads, new internal and deck moulds were made in 1991. Although Petticrows Dragons were winning almost all major and local competitions, in 1996 it was decided more down wind speed would be nice particularly as majority of races were up and down wind only. Brendan Dobroth, the famous U.S. designer started work on the "new lines", and the result was the Petticrow 2000. We built over 250 of these Dragons, and again they won nearly all the major championships and many club races.

In 2001 another major rule change took place in that 2 additional templates were introduced and lateral and horizontal stiffening allowed. To ensure our product stayed not only up to date to the latest rules, but the maximum speed and stiffness was achieved, Brendan Dobroth came up yet another proposal. This was carefully tested during 2002, and new completely symmetrical plug and moulds made. A new inner section and deck mould resulted in lowering the centre of gravity, came on stream in 2004.

During this period also building over twenty Cold Moulded Dragons significantly helped in the development of the hull shape. It enabled a progressional series of test runs and together with Brendan Dobroth we decided on the fastest shape.

From November 2004 the IDA has allowed resin infusion for the hull construction. This has been very popular with our workers and has almost eliminated styrene emission during construction as well as creating a very controlled and even laminate; all GRP Dragons built today use this system for both hull and deck moulding.
The next major change implemented by the IDA was in 2008 when the class rules were amended to improve the overall buoyancy of the Dragon, our solution to this rule change was to raise the internal floor moulding, improve the drainage and seal the bow and stern tanks. Following the success of these alterations it was decided to replace our moulds. New moulds have been created in 2009 which incorporate our latest design features.

A further development is the option of the central console (Barney post) model as well as the traveller model. The central control console allows ease of movement around the cockpit and is particularly suitable when 4 crew members are on board.

New in 2009 was the i-mast section, incorporating the latest thinking in aerodynamics in the design.
In 2010 the innovative quick release genoa sheeting system has been refined and is available, this allows easier tacking without such great physical demands on the crew.

Our 2012 model has flared coamings for comfort and efficiency of the crew plus the new super stiff floor grid beneath the newly styled internal moulding. This is designed for maximum buoyancy and minimum water in the cockpit.

The Petticrows v6 Dragon has been introduced in 2017 – We have worked together with legendary small boat designer Phil Morrison to create this is a completely new hull shape. The deck and internal remains as previous but during 2015/16 it has become fashionable among the serious Championship racers to use a boat without spinnaker chute. In this case the spinnaker is launched from a bag under the cockpit. Spinnaker chute style boats remain available still.

Petticrows have now produced well in excess of 730 Dragons, many of our loyal workforce have worked on almost all of these boats and as a result have a wealth of experience and are very good at their jobs.


It has taken the Dragon 80 years to get to the highly technical racing machine we have today. I feel sure it will continue to be developed in the years ahead and you can rest assured that Petticrows will be at the cutting edge of this development.