The rules governing the design and measurement of a Dragon

Open to review discussion paper "The unsinkable Dragon"

2019 rule amendments This PDF is for those that would prefer to take a hard copy of the paper below

Johan Anker's 'Dragon'


International Dragon Class 2020 - AGM Propsed Class Rule Amendments Outcome


Sail Batten Materials

The clarification to CR 9.24 regarding sail batten materials was accepted unanimously:
“Permitted materials” is defined elsewhere in the class rules and includes GRP and wood.

The addition to the rule reads: “Sail battens shall only be made out of permitted materials. The ends may have protective caps.”


Use of GPS Devices

The change to CR 11.11, and the related change to CR 12.20 regarding the use of GPS devices, did not achieve the 2/3 majority required to pass. Australia voted FOR this proposal.

The proposal was to allow a GPS device which could provide information about time, location, speed and course over ground to be on board while racing.  Data from a competitor’s GPS device would not have been allowed as evidence to a protest hearing.
The current rule (unchanged) reads:  “12.20 Any devices transmitting or correlating data relative to rig tension or wind direction or speed or boat speed and location, by means such as, but not limited to, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic are prohibited. Depth sounders may be permitted by an Organising Authority for races within its jurisdiction.”


Banning of Bow Number Stickers

The British Dragon Association's proposal to ban bow number stickers was accepted unanimously as ammended:
The revised rule reads: “Non-biodegradable plastic hull stickers are prohibited from all IDA sanctioned events.”  

International Dragon Class 2019 Class Rule Amendments 

Unanimously passed at the IDA AGM in San Remo on Saturday 12th October 2019. These have been submitted to World Sailing and have been approved. 

A.    Existing Class Rule  1.61 

Spars, rigging and sails shall comply with the current rules at all times. Hull (including deck, cabin, internal moulding and all other components) keel and rudder shall comply either with the current Class Rules or those in force when the yacht was originally measured.

Proposed change: Amend first sentence of Rule 1.61 to read:

Spars, rigging, sails and weight shall comply with current rules at all times. Subject to the foregoing sentence, the hull, including deck, cabin, internal moulding and all other components, the keel and rudder shall comply either with the current Class Rules, or those in force when the yacht was originally measured.

Reason:  Increasingly, we are seeing older Dragons being restored. The Rule for the minimum weight of 1700kg for the total Dragon was only introduced in 1956. Older Dragons may have significantly less weight, which is not wanted.


B.    Existing Rule 2.193   

The following may be fitted:
a)  Electrical bilge pumps. Their only means of control shall be an automatic integral or flotation switch.

Proposed change: Amend rule 2.193 to read:

The following may be fitted:

a)  Electrical bilge pumps and their batteries provided that:

b)  If a battery is on board it shall remain connected to its pump whilst racing; and

c)   their only means of control shall be an automatic integral or separate flotation switch positioned such that the pump is activated whenever the bilge water level reaches not more than 150mm above the deepest point of the bilge.


Reason:  It has been noted that switches have been used, which could be arranged at various positions, permitting the bilge water to rise to any desired level and it is interpreted that this is for the purpose of altering the performance of the Dragon. The T.C. intends to stop this practice. W.S. after enquiry permits the Class to introduce this restriction to RRS 51.

In addition, the batteries, which power the pumps, have to be permitted, in compliance with C.R. 1.11.



C.    Existing Rule 6.113

The heel of the mast shall not be above a point 1450 mm below the upper edge of the lower measurement band. The slot in the heel of the mast shall not be more than 25mm deep.

Proposed change: Amend rule 6.113 to read:

The bearing point at the heel of the mast shall not be above a point 1450mm below the upper edge of the lower measurement band.

Reason: To clarify to which point this minimum distance at the spar has to be measured. Sentence two of this Rule, specifying the max depth of a slot at the heel of the spar can be deleted since it is irrelevant. It is the bearing point, which matters, since this is the tilting point of the mast.

D.   Existing Rule 9.13

Non – woven transparent panels are permitted in each sail excluding spinnakers. The total area of the panels in each sail shall not exceed 1.2 m2. No part of such window shall be closer to the luff, leech or foot than 150mm.

Proposed change Amend Rule 9.13 to read:

Windows made of non-woven material are permitted in each sail excluding spinnakers. The total area of the windows in each sail shall not exceed 1.2 m2. No part of the window shall be closer to the luff, leech or foot than 150mm. The width of the window seams shall not exceed 25mm. Non-woven material is not permitted in any reinforcement area.

Reason:  Since World Sailing made the ERS part of the Dragon Class rules, the word “panel“ has a different meaning and provides a conflict in our C.R.s which permits non-woven materials to be part of the reinforcement area, which previously has not been the case. This alteration intends to correct this conflict.

E.    Existing Rule CR 9.24

The lengths of the batten pockets shall not exceed …….

Proposed change Amend Rule 9.24 to read:
The inner lengths of the batten pockets shall not exceed ….. 

Reason:   Clarification that it is the internal dimensions of the pockets that shall comply


 F.    Existing Rule 10.20 (b)  

Swing Test

When 10 kg are placed ….

Proposed change:

 Amend the start of the sentence to read:

When a certified weight of 10 kg is placed….

Reason:  To assure that the correct amount of weight is being placed.


G.   Existing Rule 4:

Hull Template Procedure

The Measurer shall check the positions of these marks and the compliance….

Proposed change:  Amend Rule 4 to read:

The Measurer shall check if the hull is level in accordance with the Table of Offsets, (Bow 147 mm higher than the Transom at CL), and then shall check the position of these marks and the compliance….

Reason: Clarification


Klaus Diederichs