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DF28 and Caribbean Cruising

 
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

DF28 and Caribbean Cruising   Posted: Tue 29 Mar 16, 0:52    Reply with quote

I am new to the sailing/cruising world and considering the DF28 for Caribbean Island hopping. The dollar investment is substantial but within range and I don't want to make a mistake. I can't get past the options available to me with a trailerable (yet offshore rated) sailboat which is why I am stuck on the DF28. Can anyone out there build my confidence that this boat is capable of island hopping safely while still being reasonably comfortable for two (possibly four) people? Based on my research, the Bahamas, etc are reachable in a day’s sail and it seems on paper within reach of this boat. I wouldn't attempt any passage beyond a day's sail. Second question, spending a couple hundred grand and not having air conditioning is a tough pill to swallow! Does anyone have experience with overnight warm water sailing? Will my wife and I be miserable trying to sleep in anchorage?

Any and all advice much appreciated!
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gminkovsky



Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 191
Location: USA, Long Island Sound

   Posted: Tue 29 Mar 16, 1:36    Reply with quote

You are looking at a boat that is offering "camping style" accommodations and creature comforts! That and AC do not fit in the same sentence. You have to carefully consider what you want in a boat. Every boat is ALWAYS a compromise.

I've sailed USVI and BVI during summer (on a mono). AC wasn't available and wasn't needed.

The limiting factor on a DF28 is not volume (or total available space) but carrying capacity. Look at the specs. Stuff weighs, water weighs a lot, ice weighs a lot.

I've cruised on my 920 with wife and 2 kids for up to 12 days. We needed fresh water every day or every other day; ice every 2-3 days depending on temperature; fuel at the beginning of each leg. All food and other supplies came with us from home. We also carried a dinghy with sail kit, kayak, floating toys, boogie board, windsurfer....

I dream of trailering my boat to Florida and sailing the Keys. But I will not consider crossing the Gulf Stream to Bahamas. I am very conservative. I've been caught in a storm in Long Island Sound and I am very keenly aware of small boat limits.

On the other hand, I've read many accounts of single-handed sailors going to Bahamas on 18-23 foot boats!

Once your boat is in the Bahamas or Virgin Islands, I don't see any issues island hopping in a day's sail provided you watch the weather. 28 is not a boat to be caught in a squall.

IMHO, a better boat (for Island cruising) for about the same amount of money is a Gemini cat. It does offer AC and has huge load carrying capacity. Go to Annapolis for a test drive. Of course, you will need to sail it down East Coast instead of driving.
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

   Posted: Tue 29 Mar 16, 22:42    Reply with quote

Thank you for the prompt response. We live about 2 hrs from Annapolis which is another reason why I like the trailer option. My parents had a 38' boat (power) docked in Baltimore for several years so I spent many hrs on Chesapeake. Leaving the boat in the water caused tons of Maint headaches. We are taking family on a sailboat charter to the Exumas which is what started this whole dream. Plan to ask lots of questions of people in the marina with 30' sailboats. I have never sailed before (besides the Boy Scout merit badge) but have lots of water experience otherwise and wilderness camping experience too which may come in handy with this boat!. I wouldn't make a final decision until I chartered a Df28. ....... Assuming of course I can convince my wife this is a good idea
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gminkovsky



Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 191
Location: USA, Long Island Sound

   Posted: Wed 30 Mar 16, 0:54    Reply with quote

DF28 is a very fast but very tender boat. I don't think it can be easily depowered as demonstrated by the capsizes. (Read about multiple capsizes...) This is not a very forgiving boat, imo. For a novice, you will be fine on it in protected waters in good weather. But a mistake in gusty conditions on open waters can lead to danger.

There is a discussion about technical calculations somewhere in this forum which shows that 28 has the lowest stability factor of all Dragonflies.

BTW, I vaguely remember a story that Jens Quorning refused to sell a boat to an inexperienced customer...
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

   Posted: Wed 30 Mar 16, 14:44    Reply with quote

"Tender" and "Capsize" are not exactly the terms I want to use to describe the boat I intend to cross the Gulf Stream with. In fairness, the capsizes I have read about on the DF28 were in races. Nevertheless, good feedback.

Any and all responses appreciated. I am in a learning mode at this point.
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Double Horizon



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 428
Location: USA

   Posted: Mon 04 Apr 16, 21:06    Reply with quote

In general, and this goes for ANY sailboat:
1) Trailering (and launching only when you sail) is not a good plan. I've tried it when I was in my 20s with a smaller, simpler boat and that lasted only one season.
There is too much time and effort involved in rigging and de-rigging. There are people who do it but it's a lot of effort. Even if it only takes 30-60 minutes to launch or haul, that's a lot of work in the hot sun climbing up/down/up/down. You'll be hot and exhausted before you sail and totally beat by the end of the day. Add sunblock, sweat and high humidity to the mix. (Air conditioning doesn't go with trailerable sailboats either). Sorry to dash your dreams on this but I think trailering sailboats is only practical as an occasional thing at the start/end of a vacation or seasonal storage.

2) Cruising with a family -- George is giving you good advice.

3) Air conditioning -- not needed in the islands or if you anchor out. If you want air conditioning in a multihull you are adding weight. Not practical unless it's a large boat (12+ meters) or a smaller monohull that's built for comfort, not performance.

3) You've never sailed -- Dragonfly boats are not starter boats. They're more complicated than most sailboats (have more control lines) and more responsive. Capsize = "pilot error". You don't need to worry about capsize if you carry the right amount of sail for conditions, properly 'read' and anticipate conditions, and reef for the gusts. Good judgment comes from experience (but this statement does not apply with all people).
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Larry - DF-1200 Double Horizon
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

   Posted: Tue 05 Apr 16, 0:24    Reply with quote

Thank you for the advice! I am really impressed with this forum. I have been reading and researching almost non stop and I am beginning to settle on a plan that involves a sailing school and attending a "Cruising University". If we (wife and me) still have the passion after attending we will do a couple of bare boat charters in Bahamas with a Gemini or Main Cat. Thanks to this forum, I have "suspended" my DF28 plan for now. No doubt a great boat just not want I want to accomplish (Great loop and Island hopping).
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Double Horizon



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 428
Location: USA

   Posted: Tue 05 Apr 16, 0:59    Reply with quote

I think it's great that you want to charter and take some lessons. I would suggest that your first charter be a crewed charter, and tell them you want to be hands-on crew so you can gain a little bit more experience and learn to handle larger boat. Your first venture into the Caribbean should not be as a novice. Caribbean sailing is ocean sailing.

Want to do the Great loop? Think power boat. Displacment trawler if you're concerned about fuel.

You have many conflicting ideas about what you want. Some of your choices dictate a larger and heavier boat than most people would consider trailerable. Every boat choice involves compromises.

- Trailerable, stored out of water and take wherever, whenever
- Inland waterways (bridges and locks with limited clearance and schedules)
- Air conditioning (means you need a generator if away from a dock)
- Cruising comfort for a family
- Performance sailing

I think you're going to need to make some choices. Narrow down your priorities, start with getting experience. Make your first a smaller boat, and your choices and priorities will evolve.
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Larry - DF-1200 Double Horizon
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

   Posted: Tue 05 Apr 16, 23:25    Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. I do have a chartered sailboat (and crew) booked for the Bahamas/Exumas for 6 nights. Plan to learn and much as I can and ask lots of questions
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segeltraum



Joined: 18 Jul 2016
Posts: 2
Location: Swizerland

   Posted: Tue 19 Jul 16, 22:31    Reply with quote

Hallo

Sorry for my bad English.

Im Swiss and owner from a Dragonfly 28.

That is a great booat. You will love it in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Trimaran is nice for two Person an easy to handle. I think you have also enough space with two Kids.

You can easy trailer. You can slip it an have some hotstrop.

I think no problem for the Bahamas. Then you can cross the Gulf Stream in on Day.

Some short Video from my Tri

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRRSUxi3M_E

Regard Martin
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TimBlue



Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 6
Location: USA, PA.

   Posted: Wed 20 Jul 16, 12:37    Reply with quote

Thank you for the feedback Martin.
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