The building of "De Groene Draek"




"The "Groene Draeck" (Green Dragon) is the royal yacht of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. It was named after the flag ship of Piet Hein, a famous 17th century Dutch admiral.The Groene Draeck is a traditional Dutch round bottomed sailing ship, build in 1957 in Amsterdam. It was offered by the Dutch people to princess Beatrix for her 18th birthday. Her sail number is therefore VA 18." (Wikepedia)

The ship looks impressive and Stan fancied trying to build it. Originally the ship was built from steel. But Stan prefers to work in wood. So he will go the difficult route and make a wooden version. Here we will show the progress report.

We ordered the plans from Nederlandse Vereniging van Modelbouwers - NVM

The start was going  to be the shadows. Well the plans came with the boat plan ◄ from which we should be able to draw the shadows.

But first the keel needed to be cut.

 This is made from white oak and looks great



The shadows are cut out of paper and then glued to the ply wood, ready to be cut out.

With all the cutting this model will need, Stan decided to treat himself to a proper saw!


Next, the keel is mounted on the building board, ready for the shadows to be attached.


The shadows are all mounted. Now comes the most important job: Getting the wale right!


The wale is a curved one near where the deck meets the hull and is crucial to the shape of the boat.


Phew... the wale is on. Stan made the bow and stern from a solid piece of wood, to give himself more solid surface to mount the planks on.

One half of the "inner skin" is on. This is going to give the hull stability and Stan a chance to mount the decorative outer skin.

Panel Clamps are used to keep the keel plank of the outer layer in place. Stan was a production engineer in the aircraft industry and learned to use these clamps during his apprenticeship.

The problem was: How do you hold the wood in place while the glue sets. On the inner skin normal G-clamps were used, but this time there is nothing to clamp to. 


How do panel clamps work?









The wood is pre-drilled through both layers. Then the panel clamp is gripped with the special tool and squeezed. Then the pin is puched through the wood and the clamp is released.







Once the glue has set hard, the clamps can be removed (reverse process from setting them) and the resulting little whole is filled.


When all the planks are fixed, the hull can come off the the building frame.

So far all the shadows are still in place and in tact.

Next the stern well is built. Quite a fiddly construction.

The well is in place and so is the motor.


There will be cables running under what will be the seats in the well. They will be used to connect the rudder to the servo, mounted just in front of the motor.

The motor and prop-shaft are also in place by now.

The next job is the construction of the cabin.

The cabin is in place. Of course this is only the first layer of planking in place.

As you can see the mast hole is cut out and the top parts of the cabin are all marked out.

The little box Stan started building already, will house the switches for the motor and receiver etc.

A little bit further along the building process, the cabin will be cut in two (just behind the mast), so one part can be removed to allow access to the winch, servo, motor and batteries inside the boat.

    Come back from time to time, to see the - slow - progress of this project!

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