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Dragonforce 65 Hints & Tips
Page updated 13th Feb 2014, nothing groundbreaking just a few new piccies and a few words on rig building.
The bow section on all but the earliest boats is now being produced differently making it stronger and there is no need to modify.
Also the deck eye mods must now leave deck eye 3 in place to comply with the class rules, it must not be removed.
The keel now comes sealed at both ends and the tiller arm fitting is now a metal item as some people had issues with the plastic one.
As with any new product there are always a few little issues that need addressing. With this in mind we have decided to put a page together with some of the more common problems that are being found with these great little yachts.
We will update the page if we find any issues that need attention. If you find any issues that you think people should know about please let us know and we'll put up the issue and a solution to it.
This page has been designed to run alongside the Dragonforce 65 website which also has some handy hints and tips as well as a good photo resource. It can be viewed by clicking here. Please note that the hints and tips page on the Dragonforce 65 website is the one that should be referred to for any class rules queries. Our page, although it mirrors the content of the DF65 site is a guide to what you should do.
When the rudder is inserted during the kit build please take care that it moves freely. Some people have put theri boats on the water only to find that when they steer the rudder will bind and stick in it's turned position.
Not a huge issue to sort when building, just run a 3.1mm drill through the rudder tube and hey presto, job sorted!
Some people have had issues with the radio binding, the instructions are pretty good at explaining the rebind process but here is a very simple rule that should prevent the set from becoming unbound.
ALWAYS switch on the tx then the boat, then move the sheeting control up and down and you should be in!
ALWAYS switch off the boat then the tx.
Dragon Force Bow Mod - Early boats only
How do I know if I need to make this mod?
If the bow fitting on your boat looks like the one in the background you need to keep reading and make this mod to your boat. If it looks like the boat with the blue deck then you can skip this mod.
Having taken your Dragon Force 65 out of it's box you may have noticed that the foredeck area just behind the bow bumper is a little thin. The reason for this is the blow moulding process by which the boat is produced, the melted plastic is blown into the mould from the stern and flows through the mould to the front.
The amount of plastic has been carefully calculated and any more would be too much however it does leave us all with a bow section that could do with a bit of a mod.
Rather than me waffling on I have made a short video which shows you how to do the mod quickly and cleanly. If you buy a boat from us this mod will already be done for you.
Dragon Force Deck Eye Mods
There are a few mods in this area that will make your boat better and more reliable so that it is ready for all that you, and the weather, can throw at it.
One thing that should be done to all the deck eyes you want to use is to unscrew them, mix up some of your favourite 5 minute epoxy put a drop in each deck eye dimple and screw the deck eyes back in to place. Not only does this seal the eye it also gives it a bit more strength.
Using the numbering system from the instruction booklet at the bottom of page 7 I'll talk you though the the mods required. Deckeye 1 is fine and anchors the sheeting elastic and doesn't need any modding particularly other than the above epoxy treatment.
Deckeye 2 is used as the jib swivel anchor and doesn't need any modding. Deckeye 3 must be left in place, it seems that the three rigs will use the same length jib boom so the swivel point stays pretty much the same. Deckeye 4 can be unscrewed and cut to make a hook and wound back in (with some epoxy!) so that the open part of the hook is aftmost. A picture says a thousand words so here is one!
This mod allows the rig to be removed easily whereas the instruction manual suggests using deckeye 1 as the swivel anchor point which makes rig removal tricky.
Deckeye 5 is used for the jib sheet lead with the instructions suggesting that deckeye 7 should be part of the sheet lead. Personally this seems like an odd lead and I have led the jibsheet straight from 5 to 8 which seems more logical. Picture below.
Sheet leads for Jib
There are two other deckeyes that hold the mainsheet bridle, these eyes are subject to a large amount of force which gybing in heavy weather and deserve a little more than the basic epoxy treatment. When you have completed the basic treatment it is worth mixing a little more epoxy and dropping some into the two dimples around the eyes, you won't need much but it is well worth doing. Another picture below.
It is also well worth winding out the screws on the pulley block and putting some epoxy around them too, this saves the block pulling out in a blow!
Dragon Force Compression Strut Mod
When you unpack your new Dragon Force 65 yacht you'll notice the very neat compression strut arrangement on the boom, there is one thing that needs modding and one item that you need to know about for the future.
The first is the boom band that connects the strut to the boom. It has been found that a couple of the bands have become loose when sailing which causes the sail to set as if there is no vang applied. To save this happening it is well worth mixing a little bit more 5 minute epoxy and winding some around the ends of the boom band. Two pictures below.
The eye circled is the one you need to mod
Very simply wind some quick setting epoxy around the band.
The second item on the boom arrangement that you need to know is that not all of the struts have been put on the same way around so if you decide to buy multiple rigs you might find yourself tightening one rig when you'd be loosening another. Nothing serious but something that you should perhaps know, and it is easy to fix too, just undo the retaining screws and turn the strut around.
Dragon Force Fin Mod - Early boats only
As you'll see, the fin for your Dragonforce 65 is an aluminium extrusion which is hollow and open at both ends. Because of this it does have a tendency to fill with water, no great problem, however I sail in salt water and thought it might be sensible (not like me!) to seal both ends of the fin. All I have done is put some sealant into both ends of the fin and smoothed it off.
Sorry about my stubby fingers...
Dragon Force Deck Patch Mod
As you'll notice the deck patches that are included with the kit are quite stiff, this makes them excellent as templates for making your own patches from your favourite deck patch material. Mine happens to be stealth grey so I cut a couple of patches out ready for use. When you first apply a patch you'll immediately notice that the winch drum sits a little proud of the deck and has the potential to rub on the underside of the patch. No matter, just cut a suitable size of the scrap backing paper and sit it on top of the drum before you apply the patch. It will then stick to the underside of the patch all will be well!
Newer boats are now coming through with a lower profile winch drum which sits much lower in the servo tray so there is no need to make this mod with later boats.
Dragon Force Battery Mod
Although you have been supplied with a 4 cell battery box which will quite happily cope with your sailing needs there is another option! The deck opening next to the mast step can be used to put a battery pack of your choice. I have gone for a 4 cell AAA pack, which is cheap and cheerful and seems to do the job. The only thing you will need to do this job, other than the pack itself, is an extension lead and some velcro which we sell if you haven't got them lying about!
Dragon Force Sheeting Mod
The instructions for the sheeting of both jib and mainsail were obviously written by someone who enjoys knitting as a hobby alongside radio sailing.
I have described the mod for the jib sheeting run earlier on this page, the mainsail sheeting run in the instructions suggests using deckeye 8 then to the bridle. Don't bother running it through the eye just run it straight from the attachment point to the bridle, it makes for a more reliable run.
The only other thing that we have done to our demo boat is change the rx and tx, this is more for convenience than anything else as I run a Futaba T6J (jolly good set you know!) which has at least 6020 model memories so I have added the "Drag" to my tx.
This is an area that deserves quite a bit of your time when building the kit. I have mentioned the mod for the compression strut boom band, but this is only part of your rig build. Remember that the rig and sails are your engine and they need to be able to handle whatever the elements can throw at them.
The main point when building your rigs is to make sure that you glue the carbon tubes together. Do a dry run and make sure that you get everything correctly aligned then mix up some epoxy and glue the whole assembly together. As you'll see from the picture below I have also used some braid and wrapped the ends of the tubes, just above and below the jib fitting, this acts like a steel band on a barrel and stops the ends splitting under load. Once done you can forget about it but it will add to the longevity of your rig.
True to form having sailed my own boat a few times I decided it would be a good idea to dismantle the whole thing and have a good look at the insides of my Dragonforce 65. In all honesty it took about 5 minutes and is easy to do and if you want to coat the ply servo trays with a waterproof coating of your choice you'll need to do this anyway.
As usual I have posted a couple of photos below so you can see the guts of a Dragon!
Servo tray removed to reveal the unpainted insides of the Dragon Force RG65
Looking forward at the keel / mast fitting which is integrated into the hull during the blow moulding process so no leaks here thank you!
The servo tray removed ready for a bit of epoxy love to waterproof it, both the winch and rudder servo are pretty good quality with the rudder servo being metal geared.
If you have any hints or tips having experienced the build yourself please feel free to drop us an email or give us a call and we'll post it up here for you.
Other than that, happy dragoning!
That's all for now, we'll post more hints and tips soon so check back.
26th April 2017
Bank Holiday Incoming! Without actually doing a Timcast it looks like the Early birds on Saturday will get some boating in, Sunday looks like a windy pub day and Monday looks reasonable at the moment. It looks mainly dry for the duration which is good news.
21st April 2017
Happy New Season! Yet again we've been super busy with everything apart from the website, hopefully we are now able to find a little more time to make regular updates to the site during the coming season which got underway in late March. The Yard is once again full for the 2017 season with a mix of old and new customers. Here's hoping we have a great boating season and who knows there might even be a Timcast or two! Tim is back at the yard full time and you can call him on 01758 713900 or email him.
Contacting us is as easy as mailing Tim or calling the yard on 01758 713900
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