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Old 24-02-2012, 13:35   #16
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

Have not sailed the Dragonfly, but I used to crew on a Corsair F-31. Great fun to sail, but not what I would consider an ideal cruising or offshore boat....although people do cruise them and sail them offshore.

Even Ian Farrier has stated that these were never intended to be offshore boats. They are certainly strong and fast, but I can tell you from experience that they are damn uncomfortable in even moderately rough weather.

I should preface this with the fact that I don't think these characteristics are peculiar to the F-31, but (based on conversations with others) fairly typical of small to mid-sized tri's in rough weather.

My experience racing in moderately heavy near-coastal weather (about 25-30 knots of wind and irregular 4-6 foot seas) aboard an F-31: Soaking wet above decks all the time. We were in full offshore foul weather gear, there was not a drop of rain, but we had sheets of water pouring off of us constantly. At the helm you would be doused with gallons of water every few minutes (coming up along the windward side of the main hull and the blowing over into the cockpit). My analogy is that it is like sailing a cheese-grater -- you clip the tops of the waves off and guess where they go.

Off-watch: forget it -- like trying to sleep on a roller-coaster. Constant irregular motion and lots of noise in the cramped spaces below decks. Fortunately, this was just an overnight coastal run. If you were offshore in foul weather for multiple days then crew fatigue could become a very dangerous problem.

This is all fine and good, and even fun, for a few hours of racing, but for longer range cruising in rough weather? I prefer to be warm and dry in a comfy deck-house, cup of coffee in one hand, and autopilot remote in the other.

Good news is that you can get to your next port way fast and then check into a nice hotel !
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Old 24-02-2012, 13:41   #17
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
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Good news is that you can get to your next port way fast and then check into a nice hotel !
The DF-1200 is a very nice platform, and we don't need a hotel in port.
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Old 24-02-2012, 14:02   #18
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Even Ian Farrier has stated that these were never intended to be offshore boats. They are certainly strong and fast, but I can tell you from experience that they are damn uncomfortable in even moderately rough weather.

I should preface this with the fact that I don't think these characteristics are peculiar to the F-31, but (based on conversations with others) fairly typical of small to mid-sized tri's in rough weather.

!
So you are saying this is inherent to trimaran design and that if you had been on your 33 foot mono things would have been pretty much fine?
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Old 24-02-2012, 14:05   #19
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
The DF-1200 is a very nice platform, and we don't need a hotel in port.
Same here with our 1000.
Neither do we need water or electricity, thanks to 320 watts of solar and our Spectra.

Corsairs are faster, but Dragonflys are a lot more comfy and more easily singlehanded.

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Old 24-02-2012, 14:15   #20
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

Honestly, 'comfy' is relative, and the best advice to the OP is to go look/sail both and see which one answers his particulars
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Old 24-02-2012, 15:01   #21
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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So you are saying this is inherent to trimaran design and that if you had been on your 33 foot mono things would have been pretty much fine?
Given that I have not sailed wide range of tri's in similar conditions, it is more fair to say that is my "hypothesis" based upon that experience and what I have heard from others. I have heard first hand accounts from people I know with similar and worse experiences (especially in heavier weather than my example).

However, I have sailed lots of mid-sized monos and cats in similar, and much heavier, conditions and "yes" definitely drier and more comfortable on either in similar conditions than we were in this case.

Keep in mind the conditions I described were not particularly bad, just a little bumpy, and it was a damn uncomfortable ride. The boat handed it just fine, but it was not easy on the crew.
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Old 24-02-2012, 15:23   #22
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Honestly, 'comfy' is relative, and the best advice to the OP is to go look/sail both and see which one answers his particulars
Ultimately that is what will happen but in the mean time getting feedback from those with a lot of experience and knowledge seems like a good idea. It can't hurt.

If I had been sailing for 10 years and spent a lot of time at marinas and on various boats I would already have a pretty good idea. Providing small trimarans was something I was involved with.

Quality of workmanship is pretty easy to see if someone has an eye for it.

Driving my 2000 Audi S4 is a whole different experience than driving my Mom's 2000 Honda Accord. They both work pretty well but the Audi does everything better, the interior is obviously put together better and from better materials and at 70mph there is considerable more road noise in the Honda. The Honda probably takes less maintenance and cost a bit less to begin with, but if someone asked me to describe the differences it would be pretty easy because I have experience with both. And it only took 15 minutes driving the Honda to figure it out.

That is basically what I was hoping for with my original post.
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Old 24-02-2012, 15:37   #23
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Given that I have not sailed wide range of tri's in similar conditions, it is more fair to say that is my "hypothesis" based upon that experience and what I have heard from others. I have heard first hand accounts from people I know with similar and worse experiences (especially in heavier weather than my example).

However, I have sailed lots of mid-sized monos and cats in similar, and much heavier, conditions and "yes" definitely drier and more comfortable on either in similar conditions than we were in this case.

Keep in mind the conditions I described were not particularly bad, just a little bumpy, and it was a damn uncomfortable ride. The boat handed it just fine, but it was not easy on the crew.
Well, in my opinion that is useful information.

I'm somewhat against the idea of buying a mono hull as my first boat but not completely against it, and a nice sized cat will likely be the final purchase but not the first.

A smallish trimaran seems to offer some of the advantages of both. Also ease of sailing seems like a good idea while learning and most say that they are very good at that.

Down here in southern Fl we have a lot of nice weather with pretty smooth seas but you can't count on that and once I get the hang of things, sailing around in the bay is probably going to get old and I'm going to want to venture out. At least to the Keys and perhaps down to the Bahamas which involves being at sea. So having a boat that is capable of that without too much discomfort is important. If I was 25 maybe not so much. But at 51 it's a consideration.

So thanks for your opinion.
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Old 24-02-2012, 16:23   #24
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Originally Posted by modifier View Post
Well, in my opinion that is useful information.

I'm somewhat against the idea of buying a mono hull as my first boat but not completely against it, and a nice sized cat will likely be the final purchase but not the first.

A smallish trimaran seems to offer some of the advantages of both. Also ease of sailing seems like a good idea while learning and most say that they are very good at that.

Down here in southern Fl we have a lot of nice weather with pretty smooth seas but you can't count on that and once I get the hang of things, sailing around in the bay is probably going to get old and I'm going to want to venture out. At least to the Keys and perhaps down to the Bahamas which involves being at sea. So having a boat that is capable of that without too much discomfort is important. If I was 25 maybe not so much. But at 51 it's a consideration.

So thanks for your opinion.
You're welcome.

I used to live in SW Florida, and the Corsair (or similar) could be great fun for short-term inland and coastal cruising there. In fact, I've sailed a lot of the coast line of the northern & western Gulf in Corsairs (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Northern Florida). It was all great fast fun, but we were usually back at the dock every night (and yes often in a hotel).

But at least for me, also 51, for venturing further afield it would not be my first choice.
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Old 24-02-2012, 16:51   #25
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

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Someone posted above that the Dragonflies are more expensive. Total cost of ownership (TCO) = Purchase $ - operating expense (maint/upgrades + storage/dockage + insurance and buying/selling fees + taxes) - selling $.

For the last two Dragonfly boats I've owned my TCO has been a profit, if I removed the operating expense from the equation (in other words, just looking at buy minus sell). Unfortunately much of that appreciation has resulted from the devaluation of the dollar relative to the Euro, causing used boat prices to hold high and even appreciate, as a result of new boat prices sky-rocketing.

The jury is out on my current boat, a DF-1200, but based on recent sales I know it's holding its value well.
Similar arguments would hold for Corsairs.
What I meant to say is that a similar sized tri from Quorning is more expensive than one from Corsair, but they say you get a better quality setup in comparison.
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Old 25-02-2012, 14:29   #26
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Re: Corsair vs Dragonfly

I've sailed and toured multiple Corsair/Farriers and own a Dragonfly 1000. The following is opinion, not intended to offend advocates of either.

In car terms:
The Farrier is like a Lotus: Fast, nimble, light, spartan and tight, as in not much space. The Dragonfly is more like a BMW: Heavier, but still fast, manoeuvrable, roomy with creature comforts.

In camper terms:
The Farrier is like a Coleman, minimalist with carpet on the bulkheads and overheads. The DF is like an Airstream, solid, with teak, sometimes leather and accommodations.

I'm 6'2" and my wife is 5'11":
While I alone could fit into the V-berth and aft cabin of a F-32AX, both of us together, could not. While I could sit in the V-berth of the same AX, I could not sit in the aft cabin. I cannot stand but have to crouch down in the AX. The 31, 28 and 27 are even smaller; narrower and shorter. I could conceivably do a weekend, maybe stretch it out to a week aboard a Farrier, but then I'd be crazed.
My wife and I both fit in the DF 1000 V-berth, it is almost a queen size bed! I still have to duck my head a bit in the 6' tall DF 1000, but it is usually only a minor annoyance. I have gone weeks aboard. But I still want the DF35 with the 6'4" headroom!

While a similar size DF is more roomy and more comfortable than the Farrier, a similar size mono-hull has still more interior room. Obviously, the trimaran has more exterior room. A buddy has a Bavaria 38 and everyone is always crowded into the cockpit. His family came aboard my boat and immediately scattered to the nets...and stayed there! I guess the nets are inviting. And having the catwalk along the DF side is really handy, turning the vaka into an extended sofa (easy to sit on the cabin roof with your feet on the catwalk).

I race aboard a buddy's Corsair 27 and cruise aboard my DF 1000. The two designs sail similarly, the same concepts upwind, reaching and downwind. The DF is a bit taller and thereby drier. I'm always wet in rough waves aboard the Corsair 27 and never aboard the DF.

I like the DF folding system (line, winch and clutches) better than the Farrier (wrench and 4 bolts). I can winch in the amas while entering port, prior to the slip, while my wife motors us in. I've only seen the Corsair folded at the slip. Keep in mind, there is the potential for dropping the wrench or bolts overboard.

Yes, I like the Dragonfly, but there are a few things to make my head itch. Sometimes the electrical system makes me I wonder what they were thinking. And the head/waste system make me wonder WTF. Still, it does have a head and a holding tank. And yes, the lights usually turn on.

The bottom line for me: The DF for cruising, though I would race it, the Corsair for adrenaline.
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