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Dufour 365 vs Beneteau 373
I am overall very impressed with the Dufour models.
I am going to France sometime in early 06'' for a Dufour factory tour as we are also considering a Dufour 40 over the Beneteau 40.7 I do like the Beneteau 40.7 and there seems to be a lot of them at least on Lake Michigan.
In general, I am not a real big Beneteau fan to begin with. I like them enough to own one as much as other brands but that is about it.
When it is all said and done, the Dufour 40 will come in a bit closer to $300,000 than $200,000. This is more than I wanted to spend as well. I am still doing homework but am very excited about the prospects of owning a Dufour.
The 365 has a lot of things going for it. As much as I like the design, the boat is just a little small for me as I already have a 36'' boat. The design offers a very good flow with a lot of storage and convenience. I do like the idea of a complete forward cabin as opossed to a standard "Vee" berth configuration. The 40 is designed the same in the same fashion.
The Dufour is a little pricy, true but in my opinion, it does not compete with the Beneteau in terms of market segment. It is a different boat. It also has a lower profile and sleeker design; I guess a "sexier" look for lack of a better word. I had the opportunity to sail on a Dufour 44 out on the open ocean which really impressed me.
The Dufour is Built to Bureau
Veritas specifications. Among other aspects of construction, no boat built with an interior liner will qualify. I advise looking into that as I think it is important to note. The Dufour is CE Offshore Category "A". The boats will not disappoint either one of us I don''t think.
If it means anything to you, the Dufour 365 was nominated boat of the year by Cruising World, (winner announced in Feb.), and selected Boat of the Year in France, home of both Beneteau and Dufour.
You are considering two good boats. The Beneteau is obviously a very popular boat. I think you will be happy either way.
Side note:I have a "thing" for entering
a harbor being a little more unique as opposed to just another whatever, but that is more of a personal taste.