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  #1  
Old 10-18-2005
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French Boats

After our return from the Annapolis Show We have decided on either a Beneteau or a Dufour 40.

Quite frankly, we were much more impressed with the French built boats in general over most of the boats manufactured here in the US.

The Dufours have such a good warm feel. They seem like well designed go fast cruising boats although we are not much into racing most of the time. They have uniqueness to them where the Beneteau is another one of the same with a dealership network resembling Ford Lincoln Mercury.

I more than my wife, also liked X-Yacht, another boat not manufactured in the USA.

It seems like Hunter, USA Beneteau and Catalina still own the American market with boats that do just about everything . . . mediocre. There is too much rumble out there regarding the current C&C boats.

My Last boat was an Ericson 38 that I liked very much. Now we must decide where to go from here. Dufour or French Built Beneteau.
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Old 10-18-2005
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French Boats

speaking of french boats did you look at an AMEL?
fair winds,
eric
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Old 10-18-2005
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French Boats

I am a big fan of the recent Beneteau First series. I ahve been spending a lot of time on an older 40.7''s and comparatively new 36.7. I also like the X-boats. I am not much of a fan of the Dufours.

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 10-18-2005
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Jeff .. can you pls expand.
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Old 10-18-2005
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French Boats

Coming from an Ericson 38, IMHO you''ll probably find the Beneteau more lightly built and not up to the use and abuse you may dish out. They are nice below, but I wonder how long the mirror-finish varnish will really hold up before it needs redoing. Will the relatively thin door panels on the stowage bins start to warp just enough for them not to close or catch properly after they get a couple of dousings from an open hatch? There is a Beneteau 36.7 at our club that looked great on the "new boat inspection tour" we were given. I''m eager to get back aboard to see what two years of week-long cruises and fairly frequent racing have done. I may be surprised.
X-Yachts and Tartan seem to have a more solid feel to their furniture and fittings than Beneteau.
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Old 10-19-2005
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I race on a five year old Beneteau 40.7. This boat has been raced hard for her lifetime and has somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 offshore delivery miles, including some very heavy going. Until this year the boat looked like a new boat, but at the end of her sixth racing season, she is just now showing wear and tear. I have been quite surprised at and impressed with how well she has stood up. Even now she looks quite good but wear patterns are now starting to show up in high traffic areas. On the other hand, refinishing her to a "new Look" will be very difficult with her sprayed on finishes.

Jeff
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Old 10-19-2005
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French Boats

I agree regarding the Dufour. They have done a real nice job on the new range of boats. I am glad they made more of an impact in Annapolis this year.
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Old 10-19-2005
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I agree regarding the Dufour. They have done a real nice job on the new boat models.

I am glad they made more of an impact in Annapolis this year.

Go for the 40 and take me for a ride would you?
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Old 10-20-2005
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Jeff .. Can you expand on what you don''t like about the Dufours .. The 34, 40 and 44 Performance series are getting great reviews in Europe and winning a lot of races.
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Old 10-21-2005
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I have a whole range of issues with the Dufours.

From a build quality standpoint companies as basic as Beneteau and Hunter have gone with vinylester resin in the gelcoat and outer laminations for durability and puncture resistance. Dufour is still using conventional resins. B and H are using Kevlar in high high stress and probable impact areas. Dufour is still using conventional glass.

Dufours have a whole range of little details that drive me crazy. Some are significant like the inflexibility and poor racing layout and marginal cruising layout of the cockpit and lack of decent stock deck hardware by which I mean the arrangement of the hardware rather than the manufacturer of the hardware. Some of my criticisms are less significant like the full overlay doors and face frameless cabinetry, or the traveler placed at the cockpit sole which limits range of movement without chafing on the cockpit sides.

From a yacht design standpoint Dufours tend to be grossly overweight and undercanvassed compared to even older designs like the Beneteau 40.7. The IMS has taken a strange turn for the worst (full runs, smaller standing rigs, wider beam, and heavier displacements) and Dufour seems bent on producing rule beaters to the detriment of producing healthy sailing characteristics. While these new rule beating designs may do well on the race course, under IMS, they are less suitable boats in the real world.

The Dufours that I have known over the years have been full gimmicky and often pretty slap dash in their build quality. All that said, I have not had a lot of time on the newer Dufours but from what I have seen, they just do not catch my imagination.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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