Dragonboats – What is a Dragonboat?

Over the next few days I will looking at the different types of dragonboats that are currently available and discussing which boats are commonly used. But firstly, let define what a dragonboat is:

What is a Dragon Boat?



The definition from Wikipedia:
“A dragon boat or “dragonboat” is a very long and narrow human-powered boat now used in the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing which originated in China in pre-Christian times. While competition has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of folk ritual, it emerged in modern times as an international “sport” in Hong Kong in 1976. Like running, horse racing and marksmanship, the racing of dragon boats is among mankind’s oldest organized competitions.

For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. At other times the decorative regalia is usually removed, although the drum often remains aboard for training purposes. In some areas of China, the boats are raced without dragon adornments.

The standard crew complement of a contemporary dragon boat is around 22, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 steerer or tiller(helm) at the rear of the boat, although for races it is common to have just 18 paddlers. Dragon boats vary in length and crew size will vary accordingly, from small dragon boats with 10 paddlers, up to the massive traditional boats which have upwards of 50 paddlers, plus drummer and steerer.”

Where can a dragon boat be bought?
A lot of times you can go directly to your dragonboat associations and ask them if they have any boats they are looking to upgrade and would like to sell to your club. If so that is a good way to pick up a dragonboat for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Alternatively if your club has funding then I would suggest seeking the various manufacturers below to purchase a brand new dragon boat.

Additionally you will need to factor in the costs of shipping and the suppliers may not just ship one boat because it’s not economically viable for them and you due to high shipping costs involved. Another issue you will need to consider is where to store the boat when you receive it and that’s another topic to discuss about.

For now here are the IDBF approved manufacturers for supplying dragon boats:

as at 1 Jan 2008

Manufacturer Model Country of Origin
BuK 1222/912 Germany
Champion Boats 1222/912 China
Donoratico Tre 1222 Italy
Gemini Dragon Boat 1222 Poland
Kim Tuck Huat Seagull Boats 1222 Singapore
Pei Sheng Boats 1222 China
Pel Kayaks 1222 Netherlands
Plastex Composite 1222/912 Poland
Regata 2000 1222 Hungary
Swift International 1222/912 China

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