Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 235 Times in 186 Posts
Rep Power: 10
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.