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‘Honalee’ a custom day cruiser operable by remote control


As you may know, Honalee is the name of the land where Puff the Magic Dragon lives in the song by Lenny Lipton. This seemed a perfect name for a custom Dragon built by world renowned international Dragon builders Petticrows of Burnham on Crouch, Essex, UK. 

The project guidelines provided by the customer was to produce a classic yet modern short-handed day sailing boat using the most modern building and engineering techniques. ‘Honalee’ is a carbon fibre Dragon type hull with foils designed by Ian Howlett. The yacht has a carbon fibre rig providing a modern piece of styling to the elegant Honduras mahogany and teak decks.

This was the first project of this type undertaken by Petticrows; however, the key members of the project team have previously produced some of the most successful Olympic boats built in recent years. The team has also had major involvement with several international class projects including the Melges 24 and an earlier partnership with Ovington Boats on the Musto Performance Skiff, all of which have used Harken hardware.  

 Honalee2_200  Honalee3_200 Honalee4_200

Photography credit: Paul Manning 

‘Honalee’ was built with a minimalist deck and cockpit designed in house specifically for single handed or short crewed sailing. The really exciting aspect of this yacht is that she can be sailed remotely using a handheld remote control.  

The owner of Honalee emphasised his desire to use only the most modern engineering. This can be seen aboard with various aspects of her design such as the use of an all LED navigation and cockpit mood lighting system, as well as charging points for an iPad and iPhone. But it must be said the most impressive detail is the inboard electric motor, which is housed at the top of the keel and drives a twin blade folding propeller speeding ‘Honalee’ along at over five knots for an extended period.

Harken hardware provides fingertip control to the sailor using a furling jib as well as furling code zero and furling vmg asymmetric with all controls led to the centrally mounted winch positioned to provide ease of use from the helm. This was a fantastic, unique project using some of the latest technology and engineering available.

For more information on the project, please contact Petticrows Ltd.

For hardware information and solutions please contact Harken UK at


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