Dragon Boating – Equipment

In this chapter, we will discuss about the equipment used in Dragon Boating.


The boat used in this sport has paddling arrangement. There are small boats in which 10 people can paddle and along with it there are bigger boats where at a time 40 people can accommodate.

Most of the international matches use Hong Kong style dragon boats because these are very low to water. Its bearing capacity is 20. The construction material for the boat is teak wood.


Many boats compete on the water at the same time. So, proper team coordination and balancing upon your boat are required to avoid your boat from getting banged to your neighbours. Now day’s Swift racing boats from China are also being used widely. This is because these types of boats are very fast and sleek.

In rose festival, Dragon boat races in Portland are organised in which another type of boat is used popularly known as Taiwanese Ceremonial Boat. The seats of this type of boat are very wide and heavy too. Incorporation of tail and head of the dragon has been done in this boat. At the finishing line, a flag catcher sitting on the dragon head swings the flag to signal the reach of end line.

The following table lists some commonly used terms in gravitational dragon boats and their significance −

Terms Significance
Port Left
Starboard Right
Stern Back
Freeboard Distance between water and gunnels
Gunwales Sides of the boat
Bow Front
Centreboard Stabilizing board connected along the length of the board.
Dressing A way of attaching dragon’s head and tail to the boat. Without these, the boat is said to be undressed.