The brand new 25-foot trimaran from Denmark, paints a big smile on our faces (Published Fall 2015)
The afternoon light was turning orange and the shadows cast by the masts in Jabin’s Yacht Yard in Annapolis, MD were getting long when we found Jens Quorning aboard the new Dragonfly 25 in the marina. The day had seen light airs and clear skies and we could only hope that the afternoon would favor us with a little wind.
The 25 is almost as wide as it is long, so Jens had the boat parked against a bulkhead instead of in a slip. He fired up the six horsepower outboard and skillfully steered the little tri around a couple of wood pilings and out into the open water of Back Creek. Like all of its Dragonfly sisters, the 25 is a Swing Wing folding trimaran. The two amas fold against the sides of the main hull with the pull of a lanyard so the boat will fit into a normal slip or onto a normal trailer.
To deploy the amas, you just motor forward, pull on the lanyard and the hulls deploy to their full beam where they are then locked into place with a preventer cable. It takes five minutes or less to either deploy or fold the amas and the boat is stable with the amas folded up.
The 25 weighs 2,200 pounds so it can be hauled behind a normal-sized family station wagon. And it is easily driven through the water by the outboard. Once we cleared the five-mile-per-hour zone in Back Creek, we opened up the outboard’s throttle to see what she would do. Amazingly, the speed crept steadily upward until we were motoring at eight knots.
Along with me aboard the 25 that afternoon were Kira Munger, BWS’s assistant editor, and Jens Quorning, Dragonfly’s president and chief designer. Lean and lithe, Jens moved around the little boat like he was born into it. That’s not too far from the truth, too. His father founded Quorning Boat Building in the 1970s and the company has remained in the family ever since. The Swing Wing System was introduced 25 years ago and has proven to be the essential ingredient in the company’s formula for success ever since. In addition to the new 25, the Quornings also build 28, 32, 35 and 40-foot versions.
Once out into the bay, we hoisted the mainsail and rolled out the flat cut Code Zero. The boat was fitted with high tech Elvstrom composite sails that set beautifully. With the wind blowing at about eight knots, we sailed as close to the breeze as possible to increase the apparent wind and the little tri converted that into seven knots of boat speed.
Sailing a light tri is similar to sailing a big dinghy. The motion of the boat is quick and the feel on the tiller is very direct and positive. Tiny helm changes create large course changes so it takes some practice to get the boat into the groove. For sailors like me who are more accustomed to larger keel boats with spade rudders and wheels, the sprightly motion and quick reactions of the 25 were remarkable.
We sailed well out into the bay and then began to hear thunder and see the occasional flash of lightning back over Annapolis. There were two thunder cells forming, one to the south of us and one to the west. The clouds seemed to reach miles into the air and skirts of rain were visible under the clouds’ black bellies. It was time to head back to the barn.
We rolled up the Code Zero and started the engine. With just over half throttle, we motorsailed toward the gap between the two thunderheads, which also was our course to Back Creek and Jabin’s Yacht Yard. The 25 motorsailed at eights knots without straining. Off to the west, we could see rain increasing and with it the dark patches on the water that indicated wind.
Soon the breeze was upon us but, luckily, not the rain. We shut off the motor, rolled out the self-tacking jib and we were away at full speed. The 25 lifted her windward ama well clear of the water and then the center hull began to lift as we rocketed forward at 15 knots. The three of us moved outboard to windward and the little tri seemed to simply fly. It was thrilling and what trimaran sailing can be all about.
The breeze lasted for about five minutes and then died away completely to the point that the Windex at the top of the mast was spinning in confused circles. Our sleigh ride had been fun while it lasted but was over all too quickly. Still, we couldn’t wipe the big stupid grins from our faces that the speed run had painted.
Soon we were back at the head of Back Creek and ready to put the 25 into her slip, which is wide enough for a monohull. Jens showed us how to fold the Swing Wings with the control lines and within a couple of minutes we had her all folded up and her beam down to eight feet. The amas actually fold down slightly as they fold aft, which adds to the center hull’s stability and allows you to move about the boat without fear of it rolling heavily.
The 25 is a sporty daysailer and capable weekend cruiser. The interior plan is simple and functional. Ahead of the main bulkhead is a V-berth with the Porta Potti underneath it. The head can be closed off from the main cabin with a rolling screen.
The cabin has bench seats that are almost seven feet long and there is plenty of headroom above the seats for a standard issue adult. Dragonfly uses a nifty portable table unit for the main table. This can be pivoted to fit over the port bench or positioned between the seats so four people can eat together. The table can also be mounted in the cockpit. The space between the bench seats can be filled with two planks and covered with the seat back cushions to form a large double berth.
The centerboard trunk is off center to port so it can be incorporated into the port bench seat. While this is a bit unusual, it does not affect performance at all. The centerboard kicks up if it hits anything and can be raised and lowered from the cockpit.
The Dragonfly 25 is a truly fun boat to sail and has been clocked at speeds over 18 knots. We saw close to 15 in our squall and would have liked a lot more. For weekending, the 25 is perfect for a couple.
LOA (folded) 29’4”
Beam (folded) 7’6”
Beam (trailer) 7’6”
Mast height 34’6”
Draft (brd. up) 1’2”
Draft (brd. down) 4’10”
Mainsail 258 sq. ft.
Jib 107 sq. ft.
Code Zero 301 sq. ft.
Displacement 2.214 lbs.
Dragonfly Sailboats Co
345 South Ave
Garwood, NJ 07027
Phone + 1 908 656 4342