I've been a little bit absent these few months, but for good reasons. I've been sailing my Dufour 36P, and now, 6 months and some regattas after, I can give some feedback on the boat.
First of all, it's not a easy boat to get accustomed to. It will take a bit of time to start understanding the boat and how to sail it properly. After that, even a novice sailor like my self can sail it fast, and yes, it is a fast boat.
In regard of it's cruising abilities, there's not much to say: it ful·fills what is expected. Not more not less. It's more than enough for the occasional 2 week vacation with a family of 4 or 5, but it can take up to 7 adults if they are up to it. It's a mass market boat, so the quality is what it is, but no major problems until know.
Regarding it's racing capabilities, I think they also meet what it was expected. The boat is fast, easy to sail, and surprisingly good upwind, although some tuning was required until we found the setup.
The main thing we have found over these last regattas is that the boat need weight, needs a full crew, even on light winds (10-15 knots) to perform well. All the maneuvering (with the asymmetric) is very easy, you don't need a lot of man power for that, but you need the weight on the board.
One other thing of notice is the tremendous power the big mainsail gives to the boat. Be sure you have a good and experienced sailor handling the main trimming. And be prepared to reef the main early (25knts).
Although we've only been in some club races, we've been very competitive and successful in the regattas and we are very satisfied with the performance of the boat.
We are now starting to upgrade it and tune it up for 2014 season, were we will see if the boat is really competitive or not.
Some photos and a couple of videos*.
P.S. Paulo, I know I owe you. As soon as possible, will try to make it right…
* Sailnet doesn't allow me to post pictures or videos. I'll send them to PCP