While celebrating their 40th year of business in 2003, France's Dufour Yachts has introduced a new line of boats that have taken the middle ground in parent company Cantiere del Pardo's lineup: the Dufour line (now consisting of three models, the 34, 40 and 44) fits between the cruising oriented Gib'sea, and the high-end racing models of its Grand Soleil line.
The new 34 and 44 were both designed by Umberto Felci and reflect that design house's vast experience in both fast passagemaking boats and all-out racers.
The vacuum-bagged construction of the hull in a PVC foam/fibreglass/Twaron sandwich guarantees absolute rigidity and weight optimisation for unequalled strength. Vacuum Injection molding used for the decks of the Dufour 34 and 40 and the Gib'Sea 37 and 41, allows a weight reduction of about 40%.
The deck is made in one piece without requiring an inner molding for the finish, gaining several centimeters to give additional headroom while retaining the flowing coach roof lines.
These two molding techniques are environmentally-friendly by greatly reducing styrene emissions. (Conforming with European regulations to be introduced in 2007).
The laminated stringer system reinforced with Twaron fiber ensures a spread of the load throughout the entire structure.
"Swift and elegant... A 34 footer with ambition... A new 'designer label' is created...
A very beautiful hull ... Plenty of light" these were some comments from sailing magazines when they first tested the Dufour 34 in the spring.
The Dufour 34 It comes in 2 versions:
2 cabins + 1 head:
The forward cabin gives space and stowage worthy of a bigger boat.
3 cabins + 1 head:
6 people can live aboard without putting each other out.
"Absolutely brilliant!... Attention to detail... A joy on all point of sailing ... Beautiful and in good taste" have been the headlines in the sailing magazines reviews since the first trials of the Dufour 44.
The Dufour 44 also comes in 2 versions:
3 cabins + 2 heads :
The forward owner's cabin feature an island berth and head with shower stall.
3 cabins + 1 gangway cabin + 2 heads:
8 people can happily share the 4 available cabins leaving the saloon completely free.
The new Dufour 34 and 44 share the same design concepts: a plumb bow, fine entry and long waterline length, with a generous beam extended towards the stern. Both models are designed for easy single- or short-handed sailing, with the mainsail track on the cockpit sole at the foot of the steering column and well-placed genoa winches. Visibility and movement around the decks are enhanced by the wide side decks and recessed chainplates.
Down below, in addition to ample windows, the choice of moabi, a pale mahogany, for the interior woodwork helps keep the impression of light and warmth.
Owner input was important to Dufour, and with 40 years of build experience that have had a large pool to draw upon. Practicality is evident in the large chart table, accessible electrical panel, and the overall ergonomics of the navigator's area: instruments facing the navigator, a bookcase and large storage area both within easy reach.
The galley is L-shaped and very seaworthy, with large closed-in shelves with ventilation slats and detachable fiddles for cleaning, sliding vegetable drawers built in to the galley furniture, and large lockers.
In the saloon, the cutlery drawer and bottle stowage are built into the table, there are closed lockers with ventilation slats, large lateral shelves and well-positioned handrails everywhere.
We saw the Dufour 34 and 44 for the first time at the recently concluded Annapolis Sailboat Show, the next viewings are at the Barcelona Spain Boat Show from November 1-9. The boats will be at the US's premiere West Coast sailboat show, Sail Expo Oakland, in April 2004.
Specifications: Dufour 34
|Shoal Draft||4' 8"||1.42m|
|Deep Draft||6' 3"||1.90m|
|Mainsail Area||312 sq ft|
|Genoa Area||344 sq ft|
|Displacement||9900 lbs *||4500 kg *|
* Deep Draft Displacement
Specifications: Dufour 44
|Shoal Draft||5' 9"||1.75m|
|Deep Draft||7' 6"||2.3m|
|Mainsail Area||560 sq ft|
|Genoa Area||635 sq ft|
|Displacement - Deep||21,868 lbs||9,940 kg|
|Displacement - Shoal||22,176 lbs||10,080 kg|
Dufour Yachts USA
1 Chelsea Court
Annapolis, MD 21403
Phone: (410) 268-6417
Fax: (410) 268-9739
1, rue Blaise-Pascal
BP 24 - 17182 Perigny cedex
Phone : (33) 5 46 30 07 60
Fax : (33) 5 46 45 46 96