Dufour 382: A sailplan for all situations

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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.

The new Dufour 382Ph: Guido Cantini / Dufour/Sea&See.com

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?

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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!