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Construction

 

Let us now take a look at these skilfully crafted yachts. Averaging a build of 5 Dragons a year, each boat took 10 months (1600 hours) to build. The boats were started by making up an oak keelson. The iron keel was delivered to the yard from the Vejle Foundry, 15 miles north of Kolding. It was then bolted to the keelson. The structure was then built up with laminated oak ribs, outer longitudinal frames and the lighter spars which lay between the ribs. These had been softened in a steam box beforehand, thus allowing them to be shaped on the pattern jig to the sensuous curves of the Dragon. The whole was then covered in either Tabogo or Honduras mahogany planking. The mahogany planks were first stored for two to three years inside the workshop and, to ensure they were completely dried out before fitting, they were laid above the steam boiler at the Bramdrupdam dairy for a day.

Fine carvel boat building gained wide popularity during the early 1960s. Narrow planks, edge glued using waterproof adhesive like resorcinol and power sanders allowed for finely smoothed hulls. Indeed, so well constructed were the hulls that even today it is often difficult to detect the plank joints on hulls. Pedersen & Thuesen then used bronze screws to secure the planks in place, plugging the screw head holes to maintain a uniform appearance. The spars were then built up using the light, knot free American conifer Silver Spruce.

Much of the woodworking construction was carried out by the two owners themselves, thus ensuring that only the very best workmanship and finest finish was tolerated. A carefully formed cove (or cavita) line was let into the topsides with three dots, their size reducing, at each end to form a gold leaf arrow. Throughout construction the yard ensured the hull shape was maximised within class rules. Once the boat was finished a measurer would come from Copenhagen to ensure these fine build tolerances and weights had been maintained. Inside each cuddy, up at the centre front, the proud builders fixed a small steel plaque, simply stating “Pedersen & Thuesen Bramdrupdam Denmark”.




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