We’re proud to announce that the 560 has been named Cruising World’s Best Full-Size Cruiser over 50 feet. And as you can see in the following report, the judges share some high praise about our stylish new flagship.–Ed.“One of the best, if sometimes harrowing ways to get a sense of just how massive and voluminous today’s full-size cruisers are is to board one from a rocking inflatable in a rolling seaway,” writes Cruising World Senior Editor Herb McCormick. “Case in point: approaching the Dufour 560 Grand’ Large for our test sail on a blustery Chesapeake Bay morning in a 20-knot northerly with accompanying 2- to 3-foot seas. Yes, we’d already scrutinized the boat dockside and understood it was a big, powerful yacht. But timing the leap and scrambling up the boarding ladder put the exceptionally high freeboard in its proper perspective. It was like scaling Yosemite’s slab-sided El Capitan. Later, similar adventures boarding the other boats in this category – the Hanse 505 and Hanse 575 – drove the freeboard nail home with authority. These are all Big Boy boats, with all the attendant space, systems, amenities and sailing prowess that come with that rarified territory.
“The German-built Hanses are impressive yachts, so it would take something special to deny them the top spot on the category’s podium.
“They found just that with the Dufour 560 GL. The judges sailed the boat in sporty weather. The previous day’s sail trials had also been conducted in challenging conditions. “And we came off the water then feeling pretty cranky about how hard it was to move around on some of those boats,” said judge Tim Murphy. ‘But this Dufour was a real pleasure, both sailing it and moving around to inspect it. The breeze backed down into the 12 to 15 knot range and we were making a very effortless 8 knots of boat speed. The helm was really nice. It was very pleasurable driving this boat.’“’It got high marks on all points of sail,” agreed judge Mark Schrader. “There were good handholds; the deck had solid non-skid; the hardware was nice; and everything was arranged functionally and efficiently. On all points of sail, I gave the boat very high marks. I thought it seemed like a very high-end boat to me. I liked it.’”