'Dragonfly' was built 1905 Herbert Bunn, Wroxham, Norfolk to the highest standards for Stanley Day a Norwich actuary. She was constructed of Russian redwood on oak frames; mahogany cabin sides, well [cockpit] and interior. Part of the brief was that 'Dragonfly' be able to reach all the navigable waters of the Norfolk Broads, meaning that she must go under Potter Heigham bridge, and old Ludham bridge. This, given her length, accounts for her elegance, enhanced by the unusual oval cabin deadlights.
It was close going under Potter Heigham, and we used to use the underneath of the arch to push her through. There was a specially low crutch to support the lowered mast for low bridges. The hull was of typical Broads ‘skimming dish’ form, with fairly fine forward sections. Off the wind, the bows would set down quite noticeably and it was exciting to be on the foredeck and see the bow wave curling up to the level of the rail. I remember Uncle George sometimes ordering the moveable lead counterweight slabs, I suppose they each weighed about 28 lb, aft from the forepeak to place under the well sole.
Typical Broads lowering mast stepped well forward in a massive tabernacle to allow as much space for accommodation as possible. The forepeak was originally for the paid hand, Burton, who used to look after 'Dragonfly' in the winter. It contained a small galley and a pipe cot, that became my berth, and the massive lead counterweight for the mast, to which extra pieces could be added to adjust the balance. Even in our ownership, there was no other galley, but there was a gas ring on a flexible connection in one of the cockpit lockers.
Aft of the mast was the heads to port, and a hatch to starboard. Then a sleeping cabin with bunks each side and a pretty wash basin, draining into the centreplate casing in the next cabin. The coachroof had a lifting section in the centre, but not hinged like some, it had folding mahogany sides so it sat level when assembled. Aft of this was the saloon, which also provided two berths. The drop-leaf table was built onto the centreplate casing, with its tackle, using bronze blocks, on the bulkhead. Skylight over. All the cabin panelling was in mahogany. Dragonfly was built without a bowsprit. I believe Uncle Stanley raced her and I was told that mainly for this reason, he had a bowsprit fitted within a couple of seasons, carrying a much larger foresail – she was never cutter-rigged. The modification might also have been to try to correct the marked weather helm when well heeled, presumably due to the changed waterplane. The keel also had pieces added to the fore and aft edges.