Boat Review: Dragonfly 28 Performance

Author:
Updated:
Original:
dragofly-lead-photo

While many redesigns have more to do with marketing then with actual design, the recently launched Dragonfly 28 “Performance” from Denmark’sQuorning Boats (which follows in the wake of the company’s successful Touring and Sport versions) truly does push the envelope in a meaningful way to incorporate the latest in multihull technology.

At the heart of the trailerable Dragonfly 28 Performance’s new look and feel are a pair of dramatically reconfigured amas to enhance both speed and stability. Most noticeable are the wave-piercing bows, a design feature whose benefits cannot be overestimated when pushing a boat like this hard in rough conditions. Not so obvious, but equally important, is the fact that the amas are almost 2ft longer and provide 20 percent more volume, which in turn translates into sail-carrying ability. In fact, according to Quorning CEO Jens Quorning, the amas now provide sufficient buoyancy to fly the central hull like a MOD 70. Nice!

To take full advantage of this additional stability, the 28 Performance carries the same larger rig as the Sport version, but with even beefier spreaders and standing rigging to help support the boat’s carbon mast in blusterier conditions. The rudder is also 10in deeper to provide that much more control, and the centerboard features a nifty hinged hull opening to seal the trunk when it’s retracted. Laminated Elvstrøm Technora EEPX sails come standard. 

Construction of the hulls is in polyester with biaxial fibers and a divinycell foam core to promote stiffness while keeping weight to a minimum. Bulkheads are fabricated in vinylester and securely joined to the hull with vinylester adhesives to make the overall structure stiffer still. All molds were machined using a CNC 5-axis cutter to ensure a precise fit, and there is a retractable carbon sprit forward for flying a Code 0 on a German-made Bartels continuous-line furler. The main hull includes multiple chines and flares dramatically in the bow to deflect spray and maximize the usable space below. Not surprisingly given Quorning’s reputation, build quality is impeccable throughout.

Of course, the other Quorning trademark is practicality, and despite its red-hot speed potential, the Dragonfly 28 Performance is also chock-full of features that make it as user-friendly as it is fast. First and foremost among these is Quorning’s tried-and-true “Swing Wing” system, which makes it possible to easily deploy and retract the amas in as little as a minute. The boat is also perfectly stable with the amas retracted for motoring through a crowded mooring field. Auxiliary power is via a 15hp four-stroke Honda outboard, with engine controls to starboard.

Belowdecks, the 28 Performance boasts the same practical layout found aboard the Touring and Sport versions. This includes a 6ft-long forepeak berth, a compact but very workable galley straddling the companionway, and long, comfortable settees that would put the seating aboard many a larger cruising monohull to shame. Fun little features like a hinged footrest on the starboard-side settee (so your feet don’t have to dangle uncomfortably over the deep cockpit sole) and an extraordinarily large berth aft (I’m still at a loss as to how the design staff managed to get it all in there!) speak volumes as to how well this boat is put together. With the centerboard retracted, the Dragonfly 28 Performance draws just 15in, making it beachable. This is a boat that will cruise as well as it races.

Unfortunately, the day of our test sail was a light one. Nonetheless, unlike many multihulls this is a boat that is plenty of fun to ghost around in during a drifter, maintaining way and coming about smartly in even the faintest of zephyrs. Having sailed aboard the 28 Performance’s 32ft and 25ft cousins, I can also assure you that Quorning-made boats are an absolute blast to sail when it’s blowing stink as well. 

sailplandragonfly28

What do the ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

dragonfly.dk

April 2017

Related

Radome

Ask SAIL: Some Random TLC

Q: I recently removed my radar’s white radome, which covers the internal rotating antenna. I gave the radome a light sandblasting to clear it of years of grime and discoloring. Should I paint it, too? — B. Anderson, Aberdeen, MD GORDON WEST REPLIES Stop! First, make sure the ...read more

L42-Sea-Trails-3728

Boat Review: Leopard 42

Sticking with its proven design formula, but also cherry-picking popular features from its recent models, Leopard Catamarans has launched a “best of” package with this new boat that sold nearly 30 units before hull #1 even touched water. Like a greatest hits album, the Leopard ...read more

01-LEAD-Cut8

Know how: Reinforcing Engine Stringers

If I were to ask, “What are the top five parts of the engine you want to be able to easily access?” How would you respond? Would it be the dipstick? The overflow coolant? I’d wager the raw water pump and its impeller would also make the list. Am I right? The reason we want to be ...read more

Sail-VOE-4-a

Experience: Under the Eyes of the Bar Bunch

Sitting quietly at the bar of a local yacht club, I gaze out over a rambunctious Lake Michigan on a sunny but blustery spring afternoon. I am enjoying watching a small sloop approaching the marina and recognize it as belonging to one of our newest members. “Pretty little thing. ...read more

01-LEAD-Bocas_Marina2

Cruising: Hurricane Heaven

As I write this, another hurricane season has passed. In hundreds of harbors and marinas, sailors are breathing a sigh of relief. I know the feeling since I rode out eight spinners aboard my sturdy 30-footer. I can recall the precise moment when I said, “No more!” It was in ...read more

J45-Podcast-vert-600x-02

Point of SAIL: J/Boats Inc. President Jeff Johnstone

In this episode of Point of SAIL, sponsored by West System Epoxy, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Jeff Johnstone, president of J/Boats Inc., the company that has brought the world such iconic designs as the J/24, the J/105 and the J/22, to name a few. In their ...read more

100719BTSC-9304

Boat Review: Catalina 545

Catalina has long been the largest All-American family cruiser company, building what sailors might call “standard” boats. Moving up from the popular 30ft to 45ft sizes puts the company into “yacht” territory, and the new Catalina 545, winner of the SAIL magazine 2020 Best Boats ...read more

01-LEAD-Rosie-G-under-bag

Portrait of a Boatbuilder

A couple of winters ago, I set a new course for my life by following my passions and interests. This in turn led me to boatbuilding. The reason why is I simply needed a change after working in a retail kayak shop a number of years. It was a great job that allowed me to develop ...read more