Dragonfly 25: Folding Trimaran for Small-boat Cruisers

Author:
Updated:
Original:
01-Opener

This latest offering from Denmark’s Quorning Boats, which won a nod from SAIL’s 2016 Best Boats judges as their Best Small Cruiser, is the smallest boat in the builder’s current line of folding “Swing Wing” trimarans, which range all the way up to 40ft in length. Quorning, refreshingly, is something of a throwback as modern boatbuilders go. It is a small family-owned concern that’s been in business some 40 years now and is focused on quality. Much like Nautor’s Swan in its heyday, Quorning also tries to make everything that goes on its boats in house.

As Jens Quorning, son of the founder, who now runs the company, put it to me, “We make everything except the cushions, engines and electronics.” Which admittedly is a bit of an exaggeration, but not too far off the mark.

I sailed the “touring” version of the boat with Jens out of Annapolis after the show last fall, and he demonstrated how the folding amas work as we pulled off the dock. The amas, with reverse wave-piercing bows, are in fact longer than the main hull and are controlled with a pair of continuous lines in loops. You lead these to winches to cinch them tight and secure them with rope clutches—a very simple procedure. They pitch up as they extend outward, so that the boat’s buoyancy is centered in the main hull when sailing. They then cant back down again when retracted so that buoyancy is spread out to keep the boat stable when folded up.

In its particulars the Dragonfly 25 is cleverly conceived. The centerboard is slightly offset to port, with its trunk buried under a settee to save accommodation space in the main hull’s interior. Furniture components are modular, so they can be removed for racing or a thorough cleaning. The auxiliary Tohatsu 6hp long-shaft outboard motor on the transom needs no telescoping bracket and somehow magically does not interfere with the transom-mounted rudder. To increase living space when not sailing, an easily erected tent turns the cockpit into a sheltered dining room, as the saloon table can be quickly replanted outside.

Our test boat featured the standard aluminum rotating cruising mast (manufactured by Quorning), and we had no problem keeping the boat moving in the light conditions that confronted us. In 6 to 8 knots of true wind building to 10 knots we made 6 to 8 knots of boatspeed under a screecher on a close reach, and 8 to 9 knots under an A-sail at wider angles. Sailing closehauled with the jib unfurled we made 4 to 5 knots at an apparent wind angle of about 40 degrees, which I imagine could get even higher in good pressure. The helm was light and easy to manage, and with a tiller extension you can comfortably steer from the ama nets outboard of the main hull.

For those interested in maximizing performance, a sport version of the boat is available with a taller carbon-fiber rig from Denmark’s Vision Mast, Elvstrom EPEX laminate sails and twin rudders set outboard on the amas. According to Jens, the top speeds achieved have been in excess of 20 knots in very strong conditions, while 15 knots is common in a moderate-to-strong wind.

The boat’s hulls are built of handlaid biaxial glass fabric set in polyester resin around a Divinycell closed-cell foam core. The ama wings and structural bulkheads are set in vinylester and heat-cured in an oven. The main hull has a pronounced hard chine with an overhanging hull-deck joint eyebrow above it: together these features should help knock down spray and keep the boat dry in more boisterous conditions.

Trailering weight all up is only about 3,500lb, which means you should be able to haul your boat and kit to new cruising grounds (or race venues) with a good-sized car. The optional trailer is priced at about $3,900 and pivots so that you can launch and recover the boat without submerging the wheels. The boat can be rigged singlehanded, and with an experienced helper you can get launched and ready to sail in as little as 30 minutes.

sailPlanDragonfly25

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

dragonfly.dk

February 2016

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