All Dufours Excel Downwind

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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.

The new Dufour 382

The new Dufour 382

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…

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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.

La Rochelle, France, 18 October 2014 Dufour Yachts The new Dufour 350 Ph: Guido Cantini / Dufour/Sea&See.com

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.