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Prince Philip’s well known Royal Yacht, the International Dragon class yacht Bluebottle is now on the pontoon at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, and is being regularly sailed around Falmouth Bay.
Built in 1948, Bluebottle was presented to HM the Queen and HRH Prince Philip as a wedding gift by the Island Sailing Club of Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The International Dragon is a one-design three-man keelboat designed for cruising or racing.
Over the years, Bluebottle has had a varied and successful racing career; the highpoint was the 1956 Melbourne Olympics when her crew returned with a Bronze Medal.
In 1962, she was lent to Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, to give officers in training the opportunity to sail a yacht of this type.
Finally, in 2002, she was donated to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
Before Bluebottle went on show at the Museum, she was given an extensive re-fit by Maurice Hunkin, which was very appropriate as his father had carried out the yacht’s first refit many years ago.
For more on Dragons: http://www.intdragon.org/
The Royal Dragon
R L Hewitt wrote this history of the Royal Yacht Bluebottle, which was published in 1958. There are several copies available at ABE Books.