Dufour 38 Classic
If you want to read what Dufour owners have said/exchanged about the hull/deck joint leaks, go to the Dufour email list here on Sailnet and search the archives for that list. One owner did report that the leaks in his boat were traced to some of the screws used to install the toe rail. The dealer rebedded those screws to solve the problem. But at the very least that does raise questions about the design and engineering of that entire joint.
Also, post a question on the email list about any concerns/questions you have. Dufour also monitors that list and they may reply as well as current owners. For example, I mentioned before the fellow in Australia who had problems with the dealer down there with his 2000 Classic 38. The Dufour factory stepped in and gave him an entire new boat. You don''t hear of that kind of thing very often in the marine industry.
If Dufours do interest you, however, check out the new line coming out to replace the Classic line. Go to www.dufouryachts.com for a look.
Lastly, shallow bilges are becoming all too common as designers squeeze out more headroom. Go to a boat show and pull up cabin soles and see what you find -- often barely enough room for a bilge pump much less for a real bilge.