allan whiting - Team Windcraft

allan whiting - Team Windcraft
sail Test
If you’re looking for mile-eating performance with
no quality compromises turn to the Danish-built
Dragonfly 35, says ALLAN WHITING
112 t r a d e a b o a t . c o m . a u
Like the companionway (above), the cockpit (opposite) is narrow but can seat six to eight.
The best vocations
we can think of
for the Dragonfly
35 are fun
daysailing with a
mob, club racing
short-handed and
in waters where
shoal draft is
ow before we get
too excited about
the abilities of this
beautifully designed
and crafted trimaran
let’s reflect on one of the harsh
realities of multihulls: you’re
paying for two to three times as
many mouldings as a monohull
and that pushes up building costs.
To make that work in a value-formoney equation you really need to
exploit the advantages of a tri over
a mono.
The best vocations we can think
of for the Dragonfly 35 are fun
daysailing with a mob, club racing
short-handed and passagemaking
in waters where shoal draft is
desirable, such as along the
Queensland coast. In shallow
waters, where monos need careful
timing of tidal movements, a
reaching, running or motoring
Dragonfly — with dagger board
raised — can go unfettered.
And while the mono may need
to search for a good anchorage,
the tri can rest comfortably on a
drying-out beach or mudflat.
In a comparison between this
trimaran and most similarlength cruising catamarans the
Dragonfly loses out on bridge
deck space, but compensates with
large trampoline areas and better
passagemaking speed. It also has
a distinct berthing advantage,
114 t r a d e a b o a t . c o m . a u
with folding floats that swing
inwards reducing the beam to
3.9m, allowing the Dragonfly 35 to
fit into a monohull’s marina pen.
This model was released in
2008 and promptly picked up
a European Yacht of the Year
Award in the multihull class. The
Dragonfly 35 comes as a Touring
version and an Ultimate, with
the only major difference being
the mast and sails. Both boats
have carbon sticks, produced
in-house, but the Ultimate scores
a 1.5m-taller mast and a 10 per
cent increase in sail area.
The Dragonfly 35 hull and floats
are formed of handlaid, foam
cored sandwich FRP and the wing
struts and structural bulkheads
are made from unidirectional
and biaxial fibres in tempered
vinylester resin. Main hull
and float shaping incorporates
a fair amount of rocker from
amidships aft, so the boat can
take the bottom while keeping
the saildrive leg clear of the hard
stuff. The FRP centreboard and
epoxy rudder don’t get in the way,
because both are kick-up designs
with downhauls. An optional aft
hatch in the starboard float allows
a kayak or windsurfer and mast to
be slid inside.
Standing rigging befits a
boat that doesn’t heel readily
to spill puff pressure: a carbon
mast with twin triangulated
spreaders strung with shrouds
and diamonds in Dyform wire,
backed-up by tackle-adjusted
running backstays rigged to the
floats. Sail-handling equipment is
all top shelf, headed by Andersen
The patented Dragonfly Swing
Wing system has been on all
Quorning Boats (see profile in
sidebar hereabouts) since 1989
and offers simple float folding
using the boat’s winches. Each
wing strut pivots on a massive
hinge and is locked in place, with
backup from 14mm Dyform wire
Down below the saloon (left) opens up nicely, a
neat galley (above) at the foot of the steps and
a false floor (left) as a footrest for guests sitting
starboard. Flush floor hatch (below) to the bilge.
rgonomic sail and boat
control layout
ase of handling
reat performance
onohull-size berthing
rampoline lounging area
hort standard
equipment list
igh purchase price
› Cramped interior compared
with same-length monohull
It’s faster than a
cruiser/racer mono of
the same length and
much easier to sail at
speed than a mono
stays between main hull and
Stepping aboard the berthed
Dragonfly 35 is easy, because the
folded floats form natural steps
to the main hull and there are
no lifelines to clamber over: who
needs lifelines when the floats are
extended providing trampolines to
fall into! Security at the aft end of
the cockpit is afforded by a curved
FRP bar that hinges forward to
become a bimini hoop.
With a slimmer main hull than a
35-foot monohull the Dragonfly 35
has a narrow cockpit, but there’s
ample seating space for six to
eight people, with the trampolines
offering a lounging alternative.
When racing with a spinnaker
up, the cockpit can become
something of a rope fest, but
when cruising rope tails drop into
bins the cockpit is quite tidy.
The companionway is also
narrower than you’d find on most
35-foot monos, but opens into a
deep and roomy saloon. Main hull
volume is compromised by the
need for recesses to accommodate
the folding floats, but clever
positioning of the high-set dinette
seats lets eight people sit around
a drop-side centre table.
The test boat was fitted with an
optional Classic interior, which
replaces the full-saloon-length
starboardside walkthrough galley
with a smaller portside one aft,
and provides seating on both
sides of the dining table. A raised
cabin-sole section on the port side
116 t r a d e a b o a t . c o m . a u
forms a footrest for diners and a
false sole on the opposite side is a
footrest for those who are seated
and folds away when not in use,
allowing walkthrough access to
the head and the forward cabin.
Things are slimmer on a multihull, the full-beam
head (top left) separating the vee-berth cabin
(top right) from the saloon, while there’s a
double-berth cabin (above) aft.
The company was founded in 1967 by Borge Quorning, with the
mission to produce fast, safe, high-quality trimarans. Since that
time, the company has produced more than 1000 boats, with
lengths from five to 16 metres.
From 1981, Quorning Boats produced the Dragonfly range that
began with the Dragonfly 25 Mk I.
In 1988/89 Borge and second-generation Quorning, Jens,
designed the Swing Wing system that was introduced on the
Dragonfly 800 and since then, every Dragonfly has featured
this innovation. Beam is reduced by around half, by one person
using no tools and working from the cockpit.
Quorning Boats has won many design awards over the years,
including Boat of the Year in the USA three times and European
Yacht of the Year in 2004 and 2008 for the Dragonfly 35.
Although its heritage is steeped in the past, Quorning Boats
employs the latest computer-aided design and construction
techniques, including 3D finite-element analysis and a five-axis
CNC machine for producing master plugs.
Fa ct s & fi g ur es
The patented
Dragonfly Swing
Wing system...
offers simple
float folding,
using... winches
Top down: Easy as one, two, three... the Dragonfly 35 extends her floats. Folded in means this multihull
can be berthed in a monohull-size pen.
The dinette folds into a ¾-bed.
The head/shower is the full
width of the boat, separated from
the saloon by a bulkhead door and
from the forward vee-berth cabin
by a sliding door. A drop-down
wooden seat covers the toilet.
Ventilation may be an issue in
the Dragonfly 35, because the
head is the only area with crossflow venting, via small opening
side ports and a hatch. The
forward cabin and saloon have
hatch-only ventilation and the
aft cabin has a tiny side-opening
The overriding impression of the
118 t r a d e a b o a t . c o m . a u
Dragonfly 35 is quality and there
are no signs of shortcuts. The
mast and rig are beautifully made,
the sail-handling equipment is
first class and the fitout below
decks is beautifully crafted.
Windcraft’s Dragonfly expert,
David Stiles, showed off the
boat’s Swing Wing system by
extending the portside float into
a vacant berth. Had the berth
been occupied, the Dragonfly 35
is quite able to motor out of its
pen with both floats folded in. The
second float was extended as we
motored into the channel, using
concealed clutches and a powered
cabin-top winch.
With the floats extended, we
tensioned the running backstays
and then the main went up via the
powered halyard winch. A slightly
overlapping cruising jib unfurled
and it was time to shutdown the
Test conditions on Pittwater
were typical winter pattern,
with a fluky westerly varying
in direction and in strength
from 5kts to puffs up to 15kts.
My initial impression was
disappointment, because we’re all
conditioned to expect a multihull
to fly in a zephyr. Cruising
multihulls aren’t like that.
With the wind under 10kts
and the jib barber hauled the
Dragonfly 35 went to windward at
40 to 45 degrees at a little better
than half windspeed, but when
the puffs hit it fairly rocketed
away, making 7 to 9kts in no time.
Eased off to a broad reach the
Dragonfly 35 was good for 10ktsplus in 15kts of breeze. With the
jib furled and the asymmetric
trimmed the speed went up a
couple of knots. (The Quorning
Boats website shows a Dragonfly
35 Ultimate hitting 23kts in a stiff
breeze, justifying the company’s
claim to make the fastest cruising
yachts in the world).
Multihull sailors are spoilt when
it comes to setting and trimming
extras, because there’s a whole
trampoline on which to sit the
spinnaker bag and about twice
a monohull’s beam for sheeting
angle. As well, the kite trimmer
can sit miles out to windward for
a great view of the sail. Gybing is
also a doddle, with a big, roachy
main blanketing the kite until
the sheet hand crosses from
one comfy perch to the other
and no boat-death-roll issues to
complicate matters.
The helmsperson has transom
and coaming seating options, all
with the comfort and security of
D R A G O N F LY 3 5
The Dragonfly 35 is a high-performance
cruising multihull, with the ability to berth
in the space reserved for a monohull. It’s
faster than a cruiser/racer mono of the
same length and much easier to sail at
speed than a mono. The drawback is a
much higher purchase price.
$632,404 (inc. GST)
Classic interior with aft galley, epoxy
primer and antifoul, non-skid deck
coating, teak on cockpit seats, teak
and holly cabin sole, spray dodger,
hot-water system, shower in head
and cockpit, galley fridge, water-tank
gauge, cockpit floor lights, additional
220V and 12V sockets, cabin-top and
float solar panels, tricolour masthead
light, deck light, masthead VHF antenna,
Raymarine ST-60 and autopilot, cockpit
speakers, additional cabin ports, hatch
blinds and netting, ST46 powered cabin
winch upgrade, additional cockpit
winches, barber hauler, boom preventer,
carbon bowsprit, carbon spinnaker
and handling gear, Code 0, mainsail
boom cover, anchor, warp, bowroller
and powered windlass, fenders, winch
handle pockets, starboard float canoe
hatch, and lifting eyes and straps
$529,000 (subject to exchange rate)
MATERIAL: Foam-cored laminate
hulls with unidirectional and biaxial
fibre reinforced bulkheads in
TYPE: Trimaran
BEAM: 8.2m (3.90m with floats folded)
DRAFT: 1.9m (centreboard down);
0.55m (centreboard up)
MAST HEIGHT: 18m (Touring);
19.5m (Ultimate)
WEIGHT: 3900kg
BERTHS: Two double cabins and
dinette ¾-berth
FUEL: 80lt
WATER: 140lt
MAIN: 54m²; 65m² (Ultimate)
JIB: 30m²;35m² (Ultimate)
GENOA: 50m²; 55m² (Ultimate)
ASYMMETRIC: 95m²; 115m² (Ultimate)
MAKE/MODEL: Volvo D1-30
TYPE: Saildrive with two-blade
folding propeller
Windcraft Australia Pty Ltd,
1714 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 1709
The demo Dragonfly 35 had a helm wheel (top),
but purists can option a tiller instead. The engine
(above) is under a hatch aft of the helm.
that curved bar for back support:
a much better choice than wire
lifelines or pushpit bars. The
wheel is light and precise, but
purists can opt for a tiller.
We had a ball pushing the
Dragonfly 35, but we were also
impressed with its docility when
cruising short-handed under
white sails alone. The mainsheet
traveller and winches are in easy
reach of the helmsperson and
with an autopilot option installed
the Dragonfly 35 becomes a oneperson sailing proposition.
A beautifully crafted trimaran with
folding wings and ample room for
eight people daysailing or four
cruising — six with kids included. The
Dragonfly 35 is a fast passagemaker
with the advantages of trampoline
space for lounging, almost level boat
attitude, even when sailing fast, and
the ability to moor in shallow waters
or nudge up to a sandy beach.
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