Okay, so let’s keep on moving down the Dufour Yachts production line. We learned how the hulls are laid up in Part 1. And Part 2 describes how the decks are made. Now it’s time to talk about how an empty shell of a hull that first comes out of a mold becomes a Dufour Yacht.
It all starts with solid fiberglass structural grid (above) that’s engineered to provide strength as well as provide solid connection points for all the interior components.Dufour’s grids are built the same way the hulls are. Specific layers of fiberglass, resin, and gelcoat are laid up on a mold. As you can see in the photo below, the one-piece grid that comes out of the mold has a highly finished gelcoat surface. This allows the grid to be as attractive as it is strong and allow for wonderfully clean locker and cabinet floors, as well as sump areas.Attaching the grid is literally the first step in the assembly process. It’s actually chemically fused to the hull with adhesive.
The support beams are molded into the grid and the entire structure is fused to the hull. Notice the circular hole and solid mounts that are designed for the engine and saildrive and the black hoses that are there to make it easy to run plumbing and wiring.
The grid is also tabbed in place with fiberglass in high load areas around the chainplate anchors (pictured above). This spreads the load of the rig out over a wide, heavily reinforced area.
Once the grid is in place, the boat quickly starts to take shape. Here you can see the engine and saildrive have been installed. Some wiring and plumbing have been run. Hull ports have been installed. The first of several tanks have been dropped into place, and even the anchor locker is taking shape.
Notice also the temporary plywood “floorboards” in front of the engine. Those are there to make it easy for workers to move around and will be replaced with the much more stylish ones as the boat moves down the production line.
But this is only the beginning. Click here to see how the interior takes shape in part 4