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Dragon Force Fleet

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The Boat

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The Joysway Dragon Force RC sailboat is a commercially produced RG-65 sailboat. The RG-65 class was developed in South America, and its popularity has spread to Europe and more recently to USA. Details of the Dragon Force and its history can be found at the Dragon Force Resource Center website. The Dragon Force boat is 25.6 in. long, 55.5 in. keel to mast top.  It weighs about 1 lb. 15 oz. with the alkaline battery pack and less with a Lithium pack.  This boat can handle higher winds than some larger sailboats even with the stock A Rig sail. The class rules allow the option for smaller sails (B Rig, C Rig) for higher winds, but no one at KMSC has used those sails--yet.

Fleet Rules

If you want to race in KMSC club events and other Regattas, your sailboat must comply with the fleet rules for your boat.  The stock Joysway Dragon Force sailboat complies with the RG-65 AMYA Fleet Rules, and the Dragon Force Restricted Class Rules.  A recent rule change, Oct 2015, V 1.5, allows the application of a sticker to cover the hole in the bottom of the keel weight. The rules specify what you can alter on the boat, and violation of those rules disqualifies your boat from competing. The "one-design" Dragon Force Restricted Class Rules allow no significant design variations, no other manufacturers, and no home-built boats. 

If you have strong need to modify your Dragon Force boat, then you should make an on open class RG-65 sailboat.  The broader  "experimental" RG-65 Class Rules allow a wide variety of hull and sail designs. The Dragon Force can sail in an RG-65 event, but an RG-65 which is not a Joysway Dragon Force cannot compete in a Dragon Force event.

In case of conflict, all statements on this page are superseded by the Dragon Force Restricted rules. Please let me know if you find any errors.  -Ralph Kanko

Racing

During the last few years, the RG-65 fleet has had a significant increase in registered skippers due to the popularity of the Dragon Force.  During many RG-65 events, Dragon Force boats race with the open class RG-65 boats, and Dragon Force finishes are scored with all the RG-65 boats as well as a separate tally of just Dragon Force boats. Some RG-65 events have separate starts for the RG-65s and the Dragon Force boats. More recently, there have been a growing number of Dragon Force only regattas.  Although the Dragon Force does not appear to take top positions when racing in open class RG-65 events, the Dragon Force has become popular because it is a great sailing boat, and the price is low.  The special restricted Dragon Force sub-class provides a way to race one design boats where the skill of the skipper is all that matters.

The Dragon Force may have a performance disadvantage against open class RG-65s built from other materials.   Open class boats are lighter, and builders may implement many sail and hull design options in accordance with the RG-65 Class Rules. Even if the total weight for both boats were the same, a lighter hull and keel fin of the open class boats enable more weight to be placed in the keel bulb which improves performance.  In addition, the RG-65 Class rules allow multi-panel sails.  However, you will suffer no performance penalty at our club since Dragon Force boats will be raced against other Dragon Force boats which all comply with the Restricted Rules.  The plan for Dragon Force sailing in the KMSC will be established in the February 2016 club meeting.

On June 5, 2016, by vote of the Dragon Force skippers, the max wind speed for DF sailing was set at 15 mph.  DF sailing will be cancelled if the forecast wind speed is greater than 15 mph.

New Skippers

If you are interested in trying this great hobby of Radio Control (RC) sailing, this boat is a good boat to start with. The Joysway Dragon Force sailboat can be purchased for less than $180, including the radio.  The quality of the kit is impressive, and the packaging is exceptional. Special 2015 Christmas sales and discounts made the Dragon Force available for as little as $155, and some good deals may still be available. See the LINKs page for some online retailers, find others with an Internet search.  The Joysway Dragon Force sailboat has also been available on Amazon.com, EBay, and at Walmart. However in Nov 2016, some of these sources have posted "discontinued" and "out of stock."

Price WARNING

Shop around!  Some items on Ebay are listed at a much higher cost than ordering directly from a retailer. For example, the stock Joysway transmitter and receiver can be purchased from Sail RC for $25, but one listing on Ebay is asking $104.  The prices for the boat on Ebay range from $175 to $278; one Amazon.com advertiser wants $301 for a Dragon Force.

Stock Transmitter

DF Transmitter This is the transmitter that comes with the Dragon Force. Several years ago when the Dragon Force was first released, some owners had reception problems with the radio.  Online comments and a half season of sailing with the supplied TX/RX show that the problems have been corrected, and the system is reliable.  Many Dragon Force owners do not feel comfortable with this new design, and elect to buy a second receiver to use with a transmitter they already own. Dragon Force restricted rules allow this modification.

Transmitter Stick Problems--Sticking, Binding, Falling off?

If you are having a problem with a Joysway tranmitter stick binding when you push it off center, not going to full throw, or control sticks falling off, read this Stick-Jam-Fix article for the cause and how to fix it--and a few notes on how NOT to fix it.  Feedback and other ideas are requested. (Contact Ralph Kanko)

Registration (Sail) Number

Your sail must have numbers so we can tell who crossed the finish line first, and it helps you keep track of your boat on the water.  Two digits are required by the RG-65 class rules; numbers are required on the main and jib sails, and the rules also specify the font and minimum dimensions.

  • NUMBER SPECIFICATIONS.  Sail number placement, font, and size specifications are found in the RG-65 Class Rules.  However, the jib number cannot be placed in the required location because of the dragon head, and that is okay.  If this is the first time you applied sail numbers, carefully study the rules to make sure you put them on correctly....it really matters!
  • APPLICATION.  The easiest way to apply numbers is with a permanent marker, but don't use a new one because the ink will absorb past the intended edge. Sharpie was used for the sails in the photos. Print out the numbers on plain paper and trace. You may also use stick-on numbers, but make sure they are very thin to avoid stiffening the sail.
  • ARRANGEMENT.  The photos show how the starboard numbers must be on the top, and the port numbers on the bottom. 
  • EXTRA SPACE.  Note there must be space to add a "1" in front of your number in case you go to a regatta and someone else has the same number. 
  • FONT.  The standard Arial font will not fit on the jib if it is the minimum height and thickness because of the dragon head.  The RG-65 Class Secretary said to scrunch the numbers a bit to make them fit, but keep the height and thickness as required if you can.
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Serial Number?

The Dragon Force warrantee card has a space for a serial number, stating it is found on red sticker.  We could not find the red sticker or a manufacturer's serial number on the boat or the box. According to one online source, you should use the SKEW number on the box, under the bar code. This would NOT be the "registration" number for the sail.  If you find a serial number, let me know where, so the rest of us can quit looking!

Sail Graphics, Hull Color, and Replacement Sails

The sail that comes with every Dragon Force boat has the dragon image and trim, and skippers are trimming the hull and sail so they can recognize their boat way out on the pond.  Plain, white sails may be purchased and decorated as desired, and the hull may be stripped of the stick-on trim accents and then repainted.  Online complaints say the white sails come folded in a plastic bag, instead of rolled in a tube, and the wrinkle cannot be removed. The Joysway stock and replacement sails appear to be made from nylon and may not be as durable as other materials such as Trispi and Dacron.  Sails constructed according to the specifications in the Dragon Force Restricted Rules may be made by individuals or purchased from other manufacturers. df-sail_meas_s

Dragon Force Assembly Tips

The Dragon Force hull comes completely assembled, painted, and trimmed, with the radio and servos installed. The sails are complete with reinforced corners and battens.  It will take several hours to install the keel and rudder, and to cut and tie the attaching lines and sail sheets. The hard part for a new skipper will be understanding the terms used for the various parts of the rig.  The hard part for the seasoned skipper will be understanding the incorrect terms used for the various parts of the rig.  The numerous build guides shown in the LINKS page will be necessary to help you complete the job.  Review them all before starting.  Contact someone in our club if you have any questions.  You may need to see a completed boat to make it all clear.

 

  • LAUNCH and RECOVERY: Do not launch and recover the Dragon Force by the mast. There are only two lines attaching the mast to the boat, and many skippers have found the attachments are NOT strong enough to handle the repeated load.  A long stick with large, padded hooks may be fabricated to lift the boat out of the water. Here is a photo of launch sticks used at our club.  The one with the red handle is the design shown in the Model Yachting Magazine, Summer 2016, Issue #184.
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  • RUDDER HORN.  The rudder horn comes with the pushrod connector already mounted.  If the rudder appears to be too responsive, move the connector to the outside hole.  Now the pushrod does not line up with the connector so you should bend the rod a bit to align with the connector to prevent binding at the hull exit hole that will cause excess servo current.
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KMSC/MVMYC Dragon Force Boats

 Please provide updates to Ralph Kanko


df-eckard_nn
296 Dave Echard.
Radio: DX6i
Battery:  800 ma LiFe
Registered: RG65 & DF65

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1044 Bill Buschor
Radio: Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: RG65 & DF65

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240 Ralph Kanko
Radio: Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: RG65 & DF65


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269
Dan Minnix
Radio: DX6i
Battery:  Alkaline
Sail: Windjammin
Registered: RG65

df-garcia_2_45
745 Jose Garcia
Radio:  Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: RG65

df-koch_8
357 Bill Koch
Radio: ? 
Battery:  ?
(Need new Photo)
Registered: RG65 & DF65
df-no_pic
542 Dave Luciano
Radio: Joysway 
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: RG65 & DF65


275 Steve Pratt
Radio: Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: RG65 & DF65

df-carson_99
599 Eric Carson
Radio: Joysway
Battery: 1200ma NiMH
Sail: Windjammin
Registered: RG65 & DF65

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1001 Delbert Wilson
Radio: Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Sail: D. Wilson
Registered: RG65 & DF65

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1011 Rob Hill
Radio: Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Sail: Windjammin
Registered: RG65 & DF65
df-day_62
??62 Franklin Day
Radio Joysway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: _____


1017
Scott Rowland
Radio: DX6i
Battery: 1300ma LiFe
Sail: Windjammin
Registered: RG65 & DF65

df-bottenhorn 693
693 Bob Bottenhorn
Radio ?
Battery ?
Sail: Windjammin
Registered: RG65

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463 Gary Gerstner
Radio: Joyseway
Battery: Alkaline
Registered: DF65

 

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