In the perpetual quest to improve Dufour products, our engineering team is always on the lookout for new equipment. Check out this Jet Thruster system available on the Dufour 460 Grand Large.
In the perpetual quest to improve Dufour products, our engineering team is always on the lookout for new equipment. Check out this Jet Thruster system available on the Dufour 460 Grand Large.
Ever since the company was founded, we at Dufour have always taken pride in our ability to design and build fast, stylish, and super comfortable performance cruisers in the mid-30 foot range. These “mid-sized” yachts have always been popular, and even today, the 35-40 foot range is considered the “heart” of the new boat market.
So, when we looked to refresh our 30-foot designs, we looked at what worked in the past and what our competition was doing before drawing a single line. And while the desired exterior features were easy to articulate (modern lines, flush decks, comfortable cockpits, etc), the feedback on what makes a good interior layout was harder to pin down because…
…Some customers like their galley along the side of the saloon and others prefer an “L” shape galley layout. Private owners typically want more storage space while charter companies want to maximize sleeping capacity.
So we rose to the challenge and figured out how to design and build several different interior layouts. And what started out as a fairly routine redesign of our mid-size range become a much larger project.
As a result, the Dufour design team worked to develop many as six interior layouts on the new 382. In fact, we call our 382 the “flexible innovator.” As you can see, the available variations are not just basic equipment differences but are instead real floor plan alternatives.
The final result has been nothing short of remarkable. In addition to the superior sailing qualities inherent in the hull and rig platform, the possibility for our customers to have their ideal layout has made the 382 a smashing success. In just 18 months of production, sales have already exceeded the full 4 year production run of the previous model.
So, have you been looking for a “customizable” 30+footer with a production boat price? Your search is over.
Click here to find a dealer in your area.
The new Umberto Felci-designed Dufour 382 has a hyper-efficient hull form that slips through the water. And it has modern interior that’s stylish, spacious, and practical. But one of the many features that sets this new model apart from other boats in this size range is the wide range of rig and sail plan options that are available.
In fact, every new 382 can be optimized for racing and/or cruising, windy and/or light winds, daysailing and/or offshore cruising, ultra-high performance or ultra-high ease-of-use. So, if you’re in the market for a modern performance cruiser that’s truly optimized for your style of sailing and the conditions you experience, here’s what you need to know.
Standard or tall mast?
A standard mast will be perfect for sailors who may sail in windy areas while the tall mast option is best for those who may sail in areas known for lighter winds. Tall masts are usually favored by racers and other high-performance sailors because of the increased sail area tall masts make possible.
In-mast furling or classic mainsail with lazyjacks?
The same general rule-of-thumb applies here. Sailors in windy areas, and especially folks who value ease-of-handling almost always opt for in-mast furling masts. Racers and high-performance-oriented cruisers don’t mind the extra effort required to furl and reef a traditional mainsail in light of the better sail shape and increased sail area (and power) a traditional, often fully-battened mainsail provides.
Self-tacking jib or overlapping genoa?
Are you seeing a pattern? The available self-tacking jib is the ultimate “ease-of-use” and “singlehanded” sail (especially up-wind when you really want things to be easy) because you often don’t even need to touch the sheet when tacking upwind. But, like in-mast furling, a self-tacking jib will often have less sail area and performance potential than a conventional jib. Self-tacking jibs have fewer controls that make them harder to “fine-tune” in light winds.
Code 0 or Gennaker?
We’ve already covered this in a recent post but here’s the gist again. Conventional cruising gennakers that get tacked on to a fixed point on the bow are a bit less complicated and don’t require a cumbersome spinnaker pole, but they still can be a handful to set, douse, and gybe (even with a sock) and these are the sails that scare most sailors enough to keep them belowdecks even in the best of conditions.
That’s why every Dufour model is optimized for flying asymmetrical reaching and downwind sails that get tacked on to a fixed bowsprit , that can be easily and safely furled and unfurled (pretty much like a conventional furling jib).
We’ve found a good combination for most cruisers in light to moderate conditions is a tall mast, self-tacking jib and Code 0. Unless you need maximum performance upwind in light air, the convenience of self tacking is very nice to have while the Code 0 makes for a fun ride off the wind. But the cool thing is there truly is a sail plan for everyone.
Check with your dealer for more info. Or better yet, take a 382 out for a test sail so you can see just how awesome this new model is for yourself!
As anyone who’d trimmed a spinnaker in a good breeze will tell you, blast reaching under a well-trimmed spinnaker is well…a blast.
But chances are, those very same people will also be able to share a few “blooper” stories of the times when sailing with a spinnaker was much more humbling than fun. And while there’s no shame in dealing with an occasional “hour glass” set, or worse, dropping a spinnaker in the water, those humbling experiences can sometimes scare people to keeping their downwind sails below decks and in their bags. And to us here are Dufour, that IS a shame.
We say this because we’re sailors too and we take great pride in building performance cruisers that sail as good as they look. And not only do we believe that blast reaching under a well trimmed spinnaker is a…blast… we also believe it should be easy enough to never be scary.
That’s why all of our models feature large powerful main sails, and non-overlapping jibs. This set-up is super powerful and easy to handle upwind, and thanks to the fixed sprits on most of our models and some clever advancements in spinnaker tech, Dufour yachts can be even more powerful, yet just easy to handle off the wind as well. Let me explain…
We’re all familiar with symmetrical spinnakers. These are the big, colorful lightweight nylon sails that require spinnaker poles to be rigged to the mast and all sorts of control lines to keep things in check. They’re pretty versatile and great for sailing almost dead downwind but…they usually require lots of crew who know what they are doing, and can be a handful to deal with even with a “sock” that keeps the kite from filling with it’s being set or doused.
The same can also be said of conventional cruising gennakers that get tacked on to a fixed point on the bow. Sure they’re a bit less complicated and don’t require a cumbersome spinnaker pole, but they still can be a handful to set, douse, and gybe (even with a sock) and these are the sails that scare most sailors enough to keep them belowdecks even in the best of conditions.
That’s why all Dufours are available with (and optimized for) a fixed sprit. Our designers understand that the better, faster, easier way to get off-wind performance is to use asymmetrical reaching and downwind sails that get tacked on to a fixed point on the bow, that can be easily and safely furled and unfurled (pretty much like a conventional furling jib), rather than requiring a sock.
But don’t just take our work for it. Check out this video. It’s easy, right?
And then check out all our new models at a dealership near you.
We don’t like to brag but, with the recent announcement of the Dufour 382 winning the Best Midsize Cruiser class in this year’s Boat of the Year judging, we can say that Dufour is definitely on a roll. In fact, since 2009, no other builder has won more “BOTY’s” than we have.
Actually, it’s much better if we let Cruising World’s Senior Editor Herb McCormick describe how Cruising World’s judges decided between 4 boats (Dufour 382, Dufour 350, Hanse 315 and Marlow-Hunter 31) in the Midsize category. And how the 382 came out on top.
“Ultimately,” McCormick writes, “the choice in this category came down to the two Dufours, which were nearly identical in terms of workmanship, styling, deck layout, hardware and other features. Both boats sailed well.
“Of the 382, Murphy said, ‘I quite like this boat. Sailing it was really a lot of fun. The helms felt really good. You had to play the main in order to steer properly, but that was easy to do. So it was a really happy experience sailing this boat. I also liked moving around, especially on deck.’
“But Sherman enjoyed his turn at the helm just as much, if not more, on the smaller 350. The price difference was about $50,000 between the smaller and larger boat. A lively discussion ensued.
“For that extra 50 grand, the 382 offered a traveler and backstay, expanded helm seating, a much larger head and 25 percent more displacement, which translates to more volume and what Murphy described as ‘spatial comfort.’ For buyers, it represents an interesting choice. For our judges, it meant the Dufour 382 was the Best Midsize Cruiser for 2016.”
This year marks the 7th BOTY award Dufour has since 2009 (the year we won two). Previous winners include:
2009: Dufour 40P and Dufour 525
Would it be bragging to say we may have “Dufour Dynasty” going?
Click here to find out more from a dealer in your area.
Like most Dufour dealers Alvaro Bermúdez is much, much more than just a Dufour dealer. He’s also the proud owner of a Dufour 410 who took delivery in La Rochelle then sailed it all the way to his home in Uruguay earlier this year.
And he’s more than just a cruiser or an offshore passage maker. He’s also an offshore racer who recently took part in a 110 mile race from Buenos Aires, Argentina to the capital city of Uraguay, Montevideo, aboard his Dufour 410 Faith.
“It was a very cold race,” says Bermúdez. “The 15-23 knots true wind that we had from 45 to 90 degrees apparent, allowed us to permanently keep the speed over 8 knots. In fact we averaging 8.4 knots over the ground for the 13 hours of total race time. I am once again extremely pleased with my boat, its performance, balance and stiffness.”
He was also pleased with his results in the race. Faith won the double handed division, and the Dufour 34 Bigua V, that Bermúdez sold to a client several years ago came in second.
Needless to say, averaging over 8 knots for over 13 hours on a 40-foot performance cruising boat is amazing.
Imagine the speeds that are possible on our bigger models.
Want to take a test sail? Here’s the guide to the dealers in your area.
Dufour is well-known for building a solid boat with superior sailing qualities, but for us, it’s not enough to stop there. We also strive to create beautiful interiors and a spectacular living environment to enhance the on-board experience. Of course, the majority of our interiors are made of wood. But did you know that all “wood” is not created equal?
Like most modern boatbuilders, we build our interior furniture using a marine grade plywood covered with a visually appealing veneer. What separates Dufour from many other builders is that the veneer we use is actually a carefully selected and finished real wood. While a more challenging material to work with because of the natural variations in the grain pattern, real wood gives each boat a warm, rich feel with unique character that is easy to maintain and repair if needed. Notice how Dufour craftsmen match up the grain across a row of cabinets.
To cut costs, some other builders have taken to using plastic laminate panels or processed wood products, but we still believe that only real wood can provide the warmth, beauty and character to make each Dufour interior truly special.
The days of building a yacht interior completely out of solid wood ended long ago, but Dufour uses no ordinary plywood for the furniture and cabinetry. We use marine grade plywood because it has minimal gaps between the individual layers for strength, and a high-grade waterproof glue to resist the destructive effects of moisture.
Soild wood is still used for door frames, fiddles, and corners. Other builders may cut costs by squaring off door frames to avoid the complex curves, or eliminate the hardwood trim altogether. But Dufour respects the elegant look that can only be achieved by shaping natural wood.
What’s the difference between Moabi and Oak woodwork?
The standard interior is built using Moabi wood that has a rich, traditional look that’s complimented by white side paneling and Corian countertops to offset the darker color. The tremendous amount of natural light supplied by numerous deck windows helps keep the Moabi interior feeling open and bright.
As lighter woods have become more popular in recent years, Dufour has sourced a beautiful Canadian Oak with a lighter, more modern look. Although this elegant material comes at a slightly higher price, more customers are expressing a preference for it, with 70% of our current production shifting to Oak in recent years. The light Oak wood is paired with a “Clay” colored Corian and natural oak side panels for a more uniform appearance.
So whichever interior look you choose for your new Dufour, you’ll be getting the highest quality REAL wood materials are used to achieve the warmth, individual character and detailed finish that will be treasured by your family and guests for years to come.
Come see a brand new Dufour for yourself.
I believe that style: in sailboats, or clothes, or houses, or even…minivans…matters. This became crystal clear after the birth of our second daughter when my wife demanded a minivan! And if you stick with me, you might see your next boat purchase in a whole new light.
My wife had been an avowed minivan hater for as long as I’d known her, so her newfound love for minivans came as a mildly disturbing surprise. But with the addition of the second car seat, stroller, and all the other stuff that comes with a growing family, the Nissan Pathfinder of our youth just wasn’t cutting it anymore. She was intoxicated by the magic of automatic side opening doors, extra storage space and a built in entertainment system. Her conversion was complete.
So the shopping process began. Two models quickly rose to the top. The Honda Odyssey and, by way of brand loyalty, the Nissan Quest. They both had most of the features we were looking for, were within our price range and had good reputations for reliability. The Nissan seemed to have a little more interior volume and was about $5,000 cheaper. But to me, the look of the thing came up a bit short. It wasn’t that bad and I would not go so far as to call the Honda a beautiful vehicle, but it looked a lot more balanced in the profile and it somehow seemed to add a certain “coolness” to the parent factor. So while the concept of saving $5,000 was very tempting, we bucked our brand loyalty and went with the Honda.
It’s been a fantastic vehicle for us and in a parental kind of way, I still really like the way it looks. Occasionally I’ll see one of those Nissan Quests on the road and to me, they are just plain ugly. Although we paid more for the Honda, several years later I know we made the right choice and bought something that, at least in the realm of mini-vans, looked good and felt right.
So what does this have to do with Dufour sailboats? Well, some say that the current styling trends of some other sailboat brands—boxy shapes, angular lines, slab sides, high freeboard and top heavy profiles—will fall out of fashion and are going to look pretty dated in a few years.
Sure we’re biased because our boats aren’t styled according to the latest “trends,” but we aren’t making up the customer feedback that comes through at the boat shows either. People are going out of their way to tell us how much better we look. They mention how clean our lines are, how sleek and sexy the profile of the whole range is, and how everything just “works”.
From the inside you can see that the Dufour style is clean and modern but not trendy. World renowned designer Umberto Felci and our in-house design team always go for looks that merge form and function without sacrificing either one. We always strive to to achieve a certain elegance above and below decks. And the results speak for themselves
So while shopping for your next boat, picture what it’s going to look like 5 years from now.
Will you still look forward to stepping on board every time?
Will you look back at it with pride as you leave it on its mooring?
Dufour owners we talk to say “YES!.”
Do yourself a favor and don’t be stuck with a boat that’s going to look dated in a few years.
Timeless elegance never goes out of style.
Click here to connect with a dealer in your area.
PS Dufour Yachts will ALWAYS be cooler and more stylish than our minivan (pictured below), but you get the drift!
Great Lakes Dufour dealers and founders of Broad Reach Sailing in Chicago are more than just boat dealers. Ted Anderson was the VP of Operations for a large aerospace corporation before he co-founded Broad Reach Sailing with Todd Williamson. Anderson also graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was a surface warfare officer and nuclear engineer in the US Navy. Meanwhile, Todd Williamson got hooked on sailing while taking a semester long wilderness course in Baja Mexico. (NOLS). He founded his first sailing school in 2003 and teamed up with Anderson to form Broad Reach Sailing shortly after that.
They love to sail and it shows. The teach sailing. They have a fractional ownership program. And what may be the most fun of all, they sail and race with their customers. They also know that nothing compares with the venerable Chicago-Mac race and they race with a group of Dufour owners every summer.
And this year, the crew of the Dufour 405 Jasmin (pictured above) owned by Dave Ormesher came in fourth out of about 30 boats in the cruising division. While Steve Salk’s brand new Dufour 500 Full Circle and a Dufour 36P also competed in the annual race to the island.
Members of Broad Reach Sailing were part of each crew and as Todd Williamson says, “There’s a great Dufour community on the Great Lakes. We’re all friends and we’re already planning for next year.”
The folks at Broad Reach Sailing know that buying a new Dufour is only the beginning. The real fun starts once their new owners really get to experience the performance and comfort that Dufour’s are known for. And helping new owners get the most out of their boats is what they do best.
If you’re looking for a new boat and are in the Chicago area, go visit Todd and Ted at Broad Reach Sailing. They make it easy to enjoy owning a Dufour.
And be sure to check back later for Part 2 of this series that will cover fractional ownership that Ted, Todd, and other dealers offer.
We’re celebrating the one year anniversary of launching this blog by calling out the top 5 posts of the year. And the cool thing we’ve discovered by going back and seeing what the most popular posts were is that we have readers (and contributors) from all over the world. In fact, our most popular post included a video that Alvaro Bermudez, one of our South American Dealers, shot during an offshore passage on a Dufour 410.
Click here for the full story
All Dufour Yachts are built in our facility in La Rochelle, France and our “How-the-boats-are built” series was a big hit. These stories show how all Dufours combine fine hand craftsmanship with innovative high-tech construction techniques. And this is how we do it.
Click here for part 1 of this 5 part series.
Dufour Yachts was born when Michel Dufour was working at a factory that manufactured parts for locomotives near La Rochelle, France in 1964. At the time, he was in charge of the workshop that fabricated parts out of a new and revolutionary material—fiberglass. The factory was building parts that were used on the front of trains as well as for door and window frames. But since Dufour was also a passionate and successful racing sailor, it didn’t take long for him to realize that fiberglass could be the ideal building material for boats.
Click here for more cool Dufour history.
It’s obvious to see that you get a sexy, well-built hull, and a spacious and finely crafted interior, when you buy a Dufour, but it’s also important to note that we take just as much pride in how our boats look and perform below the waterline as they do above. And nothing makes a bigger impact on both speed and stability underway than the keel.
Click here for the full story.
The Dufour 560 and many other Dufour models have several features that similar sized performance cruisers just don’t have. And as you can see in the photo above, the enormous cockpit of the 560 that doubles as super-stylish portable sun deck at anchor is just one of them.
But what really sets Dufour’s apart is the ingenious built-in cockpit “galley” that’s integrated into the stern area of the 560 and other models. Hot and cold pressure water is available in the sink, the cook top is big enough to cook a gourmet meal, and there’s counter space and storage space too. Why would you ever want to cook anywhere else?
Click here to continue reading.
Do you have a favorite post? Please share it with us below. Or better yet, come to the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland next week and tell us in person (and check out all our new models too)!