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Articles written for Watercraft magazine on the building of lille draken can be found at the bottom of this page


underwater image viking longboat

Sailed down in Milford Haven with Seafair 2006.All  those involved were tremendously helpful especially when I needed a tow! My thanks goes out to you all especially Andrew Watters and Chris Everall.My biggest news is the underwater filming - although not complete as yet I got some pretty impressive film of the air forming at the leeding edge then spirraling along the hull. Also my experiment with Norman shields attached to the rear (see Bayeaux tapestry) in my opinion did aid sailing to windward although conditions were not right to try out reefing using a rope tied round the sail half way along its length.




Sailing on Queen Mary resevoir. Colin Henwood steering, (Ballast!) David Jones and sail technician for the day Richard Gooderick from Teddington Skiff Club. Click on the image below to down load a short Windows Movie file (Windows Media Player required)


finally back on the water at Queen Mary resevoir        http://www.queenmary.org.uk/

where they have a natty lift which can raise or lower your craft gently into some of the cleanest water in london, after all, we all drink it after i've sailed on it! Don't worry the tar on the bottom is the stuff you line the inside of water tanks with. 24th of June Milford Haven sea fair


viking longboat lille draken

 Lille Draken has spent her winter in a field and now has had her first new coat of tar below the water line 06/03/06 .The linen sail is to be treated with lanolin from sheeps wool made less sticky with some added beeswax to prevent damp destroying sail.



Sailing down at woolwich - I now have an underwater video camera

with which I hope to film air traveling under the hull.As the Thames is a bit murky for this I hope to sail on Queen Mary resevoir in April then out to sea in june off Milford Haven.

scaled replica of gokstad

Great River Race result

We came 268 out of 300 . 22 miles in 3 hrs 45 mins. It didn't help that a rope became trapped under the hull and we dragged a lot of weed a long way . That said the crew were magnificent and we shipped no water in the rough bits. We also managed to raise £700 for the myelin trust.

great river race lille draken


17th September 05

The Trafalgar Great River Race

David Jones and his valiant vikings will be racing some 22 miles down stream from Ham to Greenwich starting mid afternoon and with luck and a little judgement arriving early evening. They will be supporting the Myelin Trust and hope you can cheer them on from whichever bridge you can.  To sponsor Lille Draken please send cheques to The Myelin Project - details on their website.

12th August

"Put an outboard on the side and travelled down to Woolwich to meet a full size copy of the Gokstad called Gaia ( Gaia Link).I persuaded my dear wife and a good friend Sylvia Wicks to act as ballast! By the end of the day we had travelled down to the barrier back up through a raised tower bridge then back to woolich .By now the tide was fast coming in and the wind was in the opposite - seriously hairy- 9.00hrs later we staggered up the gangway to the nearest loo.

Gaia replica of gokstad

We may be 1/4 scale in length but that makes us 1/16 volume---small".


17-19th JULY 05:
Lille Draken will make its appearance at the Traditional Boat Rally – further details to follow.
Sophia aboard Lille Draken
25th June 05:
Where: St Johns Road, Isleworth
When: 12 – 4pm
The boat will make an appearance at the church summer fair – come along to see the boat and try your luck to win a case of Lille Draken ale! The vicar of St John the Baptist Church took part in the naming ceremony on 18th June.


18TH June 05:
Where: Richmond Boat Houses, by Richmond Bridge, Richmond, Surrey
When: River launch - Midday

Meet the Launch Cast with film star Sophia Myles
David Jones and Sophia Myles

Come along and see Lille Draken’s maiden voyage!

On 18th June 05, the Viking boat will be officially launched on the River Thames, after a ceremony presided over by Ulf Greder – the Jarlen (the Earl) of Bärsärkar och Vikingar in the UK. ‘Thunderbirds’ actress Sophia Myles is expected, subject to work commitments, to name the boat “Lille Draken” while her father Reverend Peter Myles will give the boat a blessing, following naval tradition.Sophia Myles and Rev Myles with David Jones on Lille Draken

Spectators are encouraged to get into the Viking spirit by dressing in Viking costume to give the boat a proper send off!


In celebration of the boat launch, a 4.1% abv, bottle-conditioned ale, is to be named Lille Draken featuring the striking dragon figurehead on the label.

It is being brewed exclusively for specialist off-licence - the Twickenham - based Real Ale Limited, by City of Cambridge Brewery. Described as ‘light golden ale with a refreshing, hoppy after taste’, Lille Draken ale will be available in 500ml bottles to customers online at www.realale.com or at their Twickenham shop - 371 Richmond Road, Twickenham.

11th June 05:

Picture Gallery

On 11th June, the landlocked Viking boat, built by bespoke furniture maker David Jones, was lifted out of his back garden by Lee lifting, over his house and onto a waiting trailer.

The 21’ replica boat was suspended at heights of more than 100’ above the house from the beam of an 80 tonne crane as it made its voyage to ‘freedom’. The crane lift was the only way to get the boat out of the garden of David’s Victorian semi in Isleworth.

The boat features a striking gold-leaf, carved dragon figurehead, wrought iron keel band and carved tail piece and, though its sail was obviously not unfurled, displayed other Viking detailing including shields.

The boat navigated its way through the streets of Hounslow/Heathrow on the back of a trailer in readiness for launch on the river Thames the following week - 18th June, when its expected, subject to work commitments, that film star Sophia Myles (Thunderbirds) will officially name the boat – “Lille Draken” (little dragon). Reverend Peter Myles of St John the Baptist Church Isleworth will officially bless the boat, in keeping with naval tradition.

Our Good Friends at LeeLifting

4th June 05:

Picture Gallery
On 4th June, a working party of friends helped bespoke furniture maker David Jones to move the 21’ replica Viking longboat, built in his back garden. In traditional Viking style, the group rolled the boat on logs from his work-shed up towards the house, in readiness for its air-lift to freedom on 11 June 05.

Read more history -
Learning from the Longships
(Part 1)  (pdf 311k)
Learning from the Longships (Part 2) (pdf 300k)

Learning from the Longships (Part 3) (pdf 340k)

Learning from the Longships (part 4)

Published in Watercraft magazine

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Copyright © David Jones 2005