DragonFlyer 3.2
Kit materials and parts: hull


• Precision-cut, meranti marine ply parts.
DragonFlyer has 60-plus marine ply (Hydrotek, BS 1088) parts, including her internal
framework (backbone, centerboard trunk, web frames, bulkheads, stringers, reinforcing), planks, bottom, transom panel, decks, cockpit sole, cockpit panels, centerboard, and rudder.

The DragonFlyer’s internal framework fits together easily and exactly, with slots and tabs to make assembly positive and clear—and straight, solid, firm, and fair. There is no separate jig; the boat’s backbone/centerboard trunk, web frames and bulkheads form her “jig” and are put together on top of a couple of 2x8s and a pair of sawhorses. Bottom, planks, and outer transom panel go on next, then the decks and cockpit panels, then trim pieces. Each step leads the next. DragonFlyer’s precisely pre-cut pieces mean that she can built by anyone, anywhere, with a minimum of basic, every- day tools. It also makes her an ideal project to build with kids and others new to boatbuilding, and groups of all ages. Putting her together is fun and rewarding every step of the way.

• 135’ of cypress solid wood cleating for internal framework.
The DragonFlyer is built using solid wood cleats for attaching framework parts and panels together instead of relying upon epoxy putty fillets. This makes for a stronger, lighter internal framework and a stronger, lighter boat, and it’s also much easier, cleaner, efficient, and quicker (and more fun) to build her this way (and less costly, since you need much less epoxy). In fact, there are no fillets required anywhere in the boat (not only do you not have to make them, you don’t have to sand them . . .)

You can (and we prefer to) put the boat parts together dry with screws, in sub- sections, then permanently attach parts together with epoxy. This makes the process exceptionally friendly and also forgiving for first-time builders, including kids, and makes it easy to work cleanly and neatly (and sanely) for everyone. It’s great way to build a boat, eliminating something that can be, frankly, a real pain and not easy to do well (apply epoxy putty fillets) and replacing it with a process (attaching the cleats accurately, then assembling the framework) that is fun, easy, and a great skill-builder.

• Solid wood blanks.
16 pieces of sipo (an African mahogany) solid wood blanks for trim work (rails, splash guard, cockpit trim, centerboard trunk cap, mast step, outer stem, and skeg.) The tiller stock is ash.

• Fasteners.
More than 600 marine stainless fasteners: screws, machine screws, washers, and nuts.

• ‘Glass cloth for bottom and garboards.
6 oz. fiberglass cloth (38” x 4 yards) plus a 6” flat plastic squeegee: for the bottom and garboards (first planks) plus extra for reinforcing the plank finger-joints (planks ship pre-cut into in two pieces, with puzzle joints).

• Hardware.
The entire Dragonflyer kit comes with thirty-eight pieces of hardware (most are marine stainless; nine are marine nylon/plastic), thirteen of which included with the hull kit: including chain plate channels; strap-eyes for bobstay and traveler; threaded inserts and clevis pins; centerboard pivot pin; and pintles and gudgeons (for the rudder). Also included are two 6” black marine plastic deck plates for hull access and ventilation, and stainless fasteners for all the hardware.

• Instructions . . . and much more.
• The Manual: Extensive and detailed step-by-step building manual with abundant photos and useful drawings. We wrote the book on glued-lapstrake (How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats, WoodenBoat Publications); our manual for building DragonFlyer is the same: friendly, clear, straightforward, and comprehensive.

John has taught adults at the WoodenBoat School for more than twenty years, we we are teaching boatbuilding for our town school’s eighth grade class, and we built Zip, the first DragonFlyer, with our four kids (ages eight to twelve). All of this experience as well as our own custom building work for the past two decades makes it easy for us to be sure that we explain everything in ways that are easy to understand and follow—and to answer your questions before they have to be asked.

Also included . . . .
• Set of large-scale drawings (24”x36”) showing the assembly process.
• Complete annotated list of all parts and pieces.
• Painting and finishing your boat booklet, including a section on choosing and mixing colors, especially having fun with colors.

• Epoxy kit
Plenty of epoxy for your DragonFlyer with extra to spare: West System epoxy: #105 epoxy resin (1 gal.), #206 epoxy hardener (1 qt.); plus one set #300 metering pumps; one 6 oz. container #403-9 Microfibers, one 2 oz. container #410 Microlite; epoxy use instruction manual and catalog.

The DragonFlyer is a glued-lapstrake boat. This construction method requires very little epoxy, since epoxy is used only in the joints, including the plank laps. We typically mix one- or two-pump batches in one of those little yogurt cups. It’s simple and easy to work cleanly and neatly, with minimal exposure to epoxy. It also means a neater, quicker, much more pleasant building experience, with almost no extra hardened epoxy to remove or, worse, sand. When the hull construction is done, a light scraping of filled holes, etc. with a sharp scraper and you’re ready for finish sanding.

There is no need to fiberglass and coat the whole boat (inside and out) as is typically done with stitch and glue and strip-built designs. We do suggest painting the inside of the sealed flotation compartments and up under the foredeck with clear epoxy to protect the wood for longevity. We also sheathe the bottom and garboards (first planks) with fiberglass cloth and epoxy for strength and abrasion resistance. Both of these steps are simple, clean, no-hassle jobs.