Dragonfly’s History

The earliest reference to the formation of what became the Dragonfly Class appears in the WSC Committee Book for 1947, when a small sub-committee was formed to look into the question of a One-Design Class.

Having identified the basic criteria the sub committee set about the task of finding a suitable boat. After inspecting various boats and class designs they concluded that the most suitable was the North Norfolk 14ft, and it was agreed to borrow or hire one for a forthcoming regatta. But just two weeks later the future of the class was changed when Dr Palmer reported that he had obtained plans for a boat which appeared to meet the Club’s requirements. Two weeks later plans of a 14ft dinghy of modern design known as the “FUSS” type were inspected.

By 8th September 1948 the prospective owners agreed to adopt the O’Brien Kennedy design and inaugurate a class of “FUSS” type boats, which were being sailed by an Irish Club. Promptly afterwards on 21st September 1948 formal letters were written to Mr Nunn and Mr Robertson placing orders with each for 10 boats.

Next came the decision of what to call the new class. Various suggestions were made by members of the club including the Waxwing Class and Deben Peewits but it was the Dragonfly Class that was carried unanimously. It was further unanimously agreed that the emblem of the class should be a silhouette of a Dragonfly and a registration number on the sails.

During the winter of 1948/49 construction of the first dragonflies were sufficiently under way and on 16th April 1949 a draw for the boats took place.

Based on what is know known as the Irish Dinghy Racing Association (IDRA) 14 Footer, with lines modified according to experience gained on that boat, some 40 Dragonflies were built on the River Deben, Suffolk for the Waldringfield Sailing Club.

Built between 1940’s and 50’s 9 of the original Dragonflies are still actively raced at Waldringfield Sailing Club today, with several boats currently under restoration. The Class hopes to continue expanding its fleet, after resurgence in the boats popularity over the last few years.

LOA                           14ft. 0in

LWL                           13ft. 0in

Beam                          5ft. 0in

Draught                       8in

Sail Area                    125 sq.ft

Designer                     O’Brien Kennedy, A.M.I.N.A