Build your own DragonFlyer
details and ordering info
for kits and finished boats
MAINE, BOATS, HOMES, & HARBORS (magazine and online)
•• NEW!! TEST SAIL REPORT ••
READ about DRAGONFLYER in WoodenBoat’s 2014 SMALL BOATS
VIDEO! • SAILING PHOTOS • BUILDING PHOTOS
• SAIL PLANS (including new larger main & jib option)
LOA: 3.2 m (10 1/2')
FlyerOne rig (above): main alone: 44 sq.ft.; main and jib: 59 sq.ft.;
FlyerTwo rig (optional): main alone 51 sq.ft.; main & jib: 70 sq.ft.
asymmetrical: 35 sq. ft. (same for either rig)
DragonFlyer 3.2 is designed to be a great boat for all ages to build . . . then to learn to sail (if that's where you're starting) and sail (and race, if that's what's most fun), with two different mast and bowsprit positions and three different rig options (main, main & jib, with asymmetrical.) Moving the mast and/or bowsprit are simple operations, so re-rigging the boat for different sailors or conditions takes a little bit of doing but is reasonably quick and easy.
DragonFlyer is an ideal boat for kids since she's designed to be a good boat for learners but she's also fun, fast, and won't be outgrown, she can grow up along with the abilities of her young sailors. But she's far from “just a kids' boat"; we took the main sail and early design sketches to the WoodenBoat Show a couple years ago and we've talked to lots of people since, and many many of the eyes that have lit up and lips that have said "I want one!" were attached to adults. Kids immediately love the boat but adults love the idea of one for themselves, light, simple, easy to move/cartop and take out whenever the day says "go sailing . . . now!"
And parents/grandparents love the idea of a boat that the kids/grandkids can learn to sail in and have a blast that is also a boat they (the adults) can have some serious fun with. We've designed a lot of boats, built quite a few, and they've always been met with admiration of many and great affection from their owners. But DragonFlyer is a little different. When people see her out sailing or at a show, they love the design, love the concept, love the idea of building one, and when they get to sailing one . . . well, that's when it's . . . a little smile, a big grin, and off they go . . . .
When DragonFlyer made her first appearance at the MBH&H Show in Rockland, Maine in August 2013 we had a lot of great talks with folks, many grins and “oh boy that looks like it’ll be fun to sail!” Our four kids (ages eight to twelve) helped to build her, though we parents eventually had to take over in “we’d better be a professional boat show now”–mode in order to make it to the show (three weeks from first parts assembled to on the truck, driving to the show). The kids did an amazing job, had a great time, learned a lot, and it’s clear that the DragonFlyer building process is particularly ideal for kids (and anyone else) who is new to boatbuilding and is therefore learning about the materials and all as they go: low stress, forgiving, allows learning, epoxy limited to strategic intervals, and immediately rewarding and fun. (Follow Zip’s progress.)
Since then, Zip has been to the WoodenBoat Show in 2014, where John and Leigh (our oldest daughter, thirteen) had a lot of great talks with people, and since she was in the water for that show, they took her out sailing in the harbor at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. Zip the DragonFlyer won the show’s overall Concours d’Elegance award for Outstanding Innovation. in August 2014, we built DragonFlyers with four families during WoodenBoat School’s family week. They worked hard, learned a lot, and had fun!
Sailors of all ages, from third grade to grandpa, have sailed Zip. Two adults can sail together, or an adult or older kid with a younger one, or an adult or ready-to-solo kid alone. The flexibility of two rig sizes plus the ability to sail with main alone, or to sail with main and asymmetrical, give the DragonFlyer the ability to fit a wonderfully broad range of conditions and abilities. No matter you ask of her, from light winds to a whole lot more than, from a quiet sail to a whole lot more than, she loves it . . . and so do those sailing her.
DragonFlyer is designed as a kit. Kits and built boats are available; please see details and ordering info. If you’d like to be on the DragonFlyer update mailing list, please let us know and we’ll add you. Or, like us on Facebook and follow along there.