DRAGONFLY Trimarans User Forum

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DF800  Swing Wing System

These are archived postings from the first Dragonfly User Forum from 2001-2006. Lots of useful information to be found here!

Here you will find all the information about the Dragonfly 800’s Swing Wing System.

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Assembly | Lubrication

Stoppers (line jammer) for backstays
[from: Jean Philippe, Switzerland, 5 Dec 2005]

Freeing winches from the backstay use: We have installed stoppers on the akas (back arms) at about a third of the way from the cockpit, so they are pretty well aligned when unfolded and reachable from the cockpit. This allow us to use the winches for the genoa (a reacher kind of sail, not the standard jib that goes on the top winches) and also for the spinnacker.

The block from the backstay is attached to a kind of fast ring that makes the alignement to the stopper better. (Note that we had the suprise to the have the schakle unscrewed from the block once, these should be checked from time to time.) The first picture shows exact position of the stopper on the aka in an angle that gives best alignement of the line before and after the stopper as the winch is used to get the correct tension and then is freed for other use.

Please click on any of the photos to see them enlarged

Re: Farrier way of folding seems more reliable ?
[from: Larry, USA, 20 Sep 2005]

OK Malcolm, I admit I intended to reduce the controversy… so please forgive me (smile) for softening statements.

I would argue that the torsional bending forces between the folding struts and the beam ends must be higher on F-boats than on Dragonfly beams, which are triangulated to the ends. The link to Farrier’s site in my prior post detailed several potentially critical modes of F-boat beam failure that the Dragonfly boats don’t incur.

You might be interested to know that I discovered a substandard repair in my DF-1000 that had been done by a prior owner. A major portion involving approximately .5 meters along the front length of one forward cross-beam had been repaired with putty (filler) and no glass was used. The boat had evidently been operated like that for several years, as this was not a new repair, and there were no problems resulting. Evidently, the aft I-beam section of the D-shaped beam was enough to handle the structural load. (I had it corrected with a proper fiberglass repair, using vinyl-ester with glass layup.)

Re: Farrier way of folding seems more reliable ?
[from: Malcolm Ratcliffe, UK, 14 Sep 2005]

Thought Larry’s contribution was very informative (although first draft appearing on the site was even better than the one currently sat there?)

Like the contributor posing the question, I have always thought that the Farrier system looked better. I have owned an F27 and now a DF920, so can see the advantages of both sytems.

The Farrier system at first glance appears the better system because of the lack of wires;- a couple of nice rods coming down from the underside of beam to the main hull sides look a ‘tidy’ engineering solution. However, Larry’s explanation of the better triangulation on the DF is a good one;- the DF water stays go right to the ends of the beams, whereas the Farrier rod system only goes out half way. The loadings on the Farrier beam at that point must be colossal, and although usually OK, failures can occur. I was racing on an F27 in rough conditions when the front leeward crossbeam broke across the top of the beam right above the point where the support rods fit to the underside. (Very funny smell when it happened, and it wasn’t from the beam!) Has anyone had a DF beam break yet?

Again, at first glance, a flexible cable waterstay system would seem to be more prone to failure than a rod one. Yet thinking about it a little more, it is fact that wire rigging on masts is more reliable, and has a longer life than rod rigging!

Look at pictures of F boats and DFs pushing it…..F boats are more heeled over. I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but that to me is not just to do with float height to main hull relationship, but also amount of float buoyancy;- as the questioner said, the DF is like three boats, and the floats do appear to have much more buoyancy than Farrier ones. Is the DF waterstay sytem better able to take the big float buoyancy than the F boat sytem? Indeed, would the F boat beam system cope with the much higher loads imposed by big buoyancy floats like those on Dragonflies? If I am writing rubbish, forgive me, and no doubt someone will point out my errors!

Do not underestimate the grief that comes from having folded float sides in the water instead of float bottoms! It used to take me a day and a bit per side to clean my F27 float sides at the end of the season, and they always looked ‘orrible throughout the season, despite interim quick wipes!

Coming alongside on a folded F boat is hazardous;- you have to either balance on a curved float side, or jump across it to the pontoon/finger. Standing on a flat DF deck is much safer.

F boats better for trailering though!

Re: Farrier way of folding seems more reliable ?
[from: Larry, United States, 31 Aug 2005]

The rigging is critical to the Dragonfly structure. When properly set up and adjusted, the Dragonfly boats are quite rigid when open. My Dragonfly 1000 (and my prior boat, a DF-920) feels quite solid, but there is a small amount of clearance/movement designed into the hinges. I suspect the DF-800 you sailed was not adjusted properly.

In my present view, the Farrier folding method has an advantage in strength IF the boat looses the rig or is inverted, but if the Dragonfly water stays and rig are kept in tension (as they are on any intact, sailing vessel) then the Dragonfly stays are a more geometrically-rigid configuration, because the triangulation on the cross-beams extends to the beam ends. The entire beam is in compression on a Dragonfly and lateral stresses are (mainly) handled by the triangulated assembly as an integrated unit, whereas a good part of the Farrier beam length is not triangulated and relies on beam rigidity.

You might want to check Mr. Farrier’s site for “owner tips” http://www.f-boat.com/owners/index.html, in particular this document link on that page “Beam and Folding System Care”, which describes several problems that apparently can develop: http://www.jtx.com/pdf/BeamCareBulletin.pdf .

All boats require maintenance. The Dragonfly’s chances of experiencing failure will be greatly reduced if the owner periodically replaces the water stays (recommended by Quorning) and maintains the standing and folding rigging properly. Also, as a significant practical matter it doesn’t look good to bottom-paint the sides of the Farrier floats, and stai! ning fro m water and marine growth is more of an issue for Farrier boats left folded in the water. (In my opinion, it’s not a good idea to leave either type of design folded during storm-strength cross-winds, unless the mast is either lowered or guyed to strong objects off each side of the boat, using low-stretch lines attached to the halyards).

Farrier way of folding seems more reliable ?
[from: Rolf Karlsson, Sweden, 27 Aug 2005]

Hi! I am a new multihull-sailor, and I have had the pleasure of trying the 920 Extreme with Jens Quoring. What an experience! But this first year I bought an F-27 to try multihull-sailing “for real”, all by myself. Last week I sailed an 800 Swing Wing, and was a bit amazed that the floats felt a bit loose. My impression is that the Farrier way of folding seems more reliable. It really feels like one boat, while the Dragonfly feels a bit like three. I am still very interested in the 920 as I find it a much nicer boat. Anyone have any comments on this? I live in the Stockholm area and almost always sail in the sheltered waters of our beautiful archipelargo.

Best regards, Rolf Karlsson

Fixed Wing or Swing Wing ?
[from: Nille Svensson, Sweden, 23 May 2005]

Im looking into buying a used Dragonfly 800 and I would like to know if anyone has anything to say about having swing wing or fixed beams. Apart from the obvious space saving in marinas, are there any issues regarding strength, maintanence costs etc. that I should take into account when looking for my boat to be? Will the joints eventually wear out for example?

Grateful for any feedback.

Re: Help needed with assembly instructions for DF800
[from: Sepp Lerchenmüller, Austria, 30 Jan 2005]
I still have the drawing, Jens Quorning sent me, when I bought my DF800SW. But it didn´t help me a lot. Anyway I can send it to David Hyland by mail when he gives me his adress. I learned, that it is not difficult to understand the principle of the Swing-Wing-System. The best will be, David calls me – 0043 664 52 42 560

Help needed with assembly instructions for DF800
[from: David Hyland, United Kingdom, 21 Jan 2005]

I have just bought a DF800 disassembled and need details of how to rig the swing wing system. Although I have the DF800 manual, this aspect is not well covered.

I read that a similar question in 2003 got a reply from Borge Quorning. Is it possible for someone to forward me a drawing?

Has anybody got a drawing for the DF800 swing wing system?
[from: Joao Pedro Sousa, Portugal, 7 Oct 2004]
Has anybody got a drawing for the DF800 swing wing system?

Startboard float fail
[from: Joao Pedro Sousa, Portugal, 2 Sep 2004]
Startboard float fail: Any one have similar problem ?
I have a problem with the startboard float, when I was sailing a Dragonfly 800 -year 1988, at speed 6-7Kns, wind 14-18Kns and whitout warning the float fail in the aluminium connection and the boat turn keel up.

Re: Moving jointing pins in hull/aka joint
[from: John Blaiklock, United Kingdom, 20 Apr 2004]
Why not fit the pins with their heads at the bottom, retaining rings at the top? They always seem to rise when sailing.

Moving jointing pins in hull/aka joint
[from: S. Madre, Germany, 20 Apr 2004]
Bei meinem DF800 SW Nr.188 zieht es die Edelstahlbolzen, an denen die Beams befestigt sind beim Segeln nach oben, so dass ich fürchte, dass es die dünnen Sicherungsringe abschert. Hat jemend ein ähnliches Problem – oder noch besser eine vernünftige Lösung? Danke S. Madre
[The large stainless steel pins, which form the joint of the swing wing system between hull and aka (crossbeam) move upwards during sailing and I fear the might cut/break the small retaining rings. Has anybody a similar problem – or even better, a solution to this problem?]


Help with the assembly received!
[from: Sepp Lerchenmüller, Austria, 17 Apr 2003]

Ich habe heute von Jens Quorning eine Skizze mit der Leinenführung für die Beams (die für den 920 – ist aber ähnlich zum 800) gefaxt bekommen.

Jedenfalls vielen Dank für Deine rasche Reaktion.

lg & viel Glück beim Verkauf Deiner 920er

[I’ve today received a drawing from Jens Quorning with the details for the beams (for the 920 – it’s similar to the 800). Thanks for your quick reaction. Good luck with the sale of your 920.]

I Need Help with the assembly !
[from: Sepp Lerchenmüller, Austria, 13 Apr 2003]
Need technical descripion and/or drawing of the Swing-Wing-System
I just bought my DF 800 SW in disassembled condition and don´t know exactly, how to fix the control-lines of the swing-wing-system (inside the akas and at the main-hull). Can anybody give me a drawing and/or description of it?
[If somebody scans the relevant pages of the manual and email them to me I will put them on this site. Bo]
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