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post #5 of Old 01-24-2007
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I sailed a new Dufour 45.5 from Finland, accross the Baltic and extensively in the Swedish archipelago last june. The boat sailed very well off the wind and to weather in breezes up to 25 knots. We were consistently in the 6-9 knot range with a balanced helm. Under power, docking, mooring or anchoring it also handled particularly well. Easiest boat to steer in reverse that I have sailed. There is quite a bit of freeboard so when manuevering in a blow, a bow thruster woud be a nice option. Below deck, the boat was nicely appointed although I didn't think the joinerwork or selection of materials was that competitive.
I was impressed enough to check out a new one when I returned to the US but I thought it was too pricey compared to a Beneteau.
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