SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Boat Review and Purchase Forum (
-   -   1979 Dufour 35 (

jontalk 05-13-2007 01:37 AM

1979 Dufour 35
I have been searching for a boat and have been looking at 1980-1985 Catalina 36's and 38's.. I recently found a 1979 Dufour 35 which is in very nice shape.. transmission rebuilt, new standing/running rigging, new sails, Profurler, beautiful cabin and very clean.. I can probably pick it up for under $30K, though I am unfamiliar with these boats.. The owner races regularly and claims she'll go over 8 kts to weather in good winds and over 11 kts, downwind. I'm not buying her to race, but want a solid, fast cruiser.. She's fitted with a loose foot main, solid vang, new traveler, etc. too.. I like the lines of the boat and seems tight..Other alternatives are Islander 36's, but the floor plan on the Dufour is much superior..

Anyone know this boat specifically and have advice? I don't want to buy something I'll never be able to sell either.. I live in SF Bay Area (Sausalito).



nightowle 05-13-2007 02:00 AM

I crewed on one for a race weekend in the UK a couple years ago (although it would have been a newer model than a 79). They are often compared to Bennetau and Jeunnau and thought of favorably by European sailors for a boat in that price class. I got some helm time and found it to be incredibly responsive and pointed very well. It was a very comfortable boat to spend a long weekend on, too. Other than that, I'd have to leave more detailed comments to those that may know more about the rep of the 79. Good luck.

hellosailor 05-13-2007 10:26 AM

Dufour never seem to have really penetrated the US market but they are popular in the UK and EU. On anything that old I'd check carefully for water intrusion in the deck, etc. They've probably levelled off at a market value by now <G> so resale shouldn't be a shocker, but since the name is not as well known (even less so on the west coast, farther from US imports on the Atlantic side) it might be a slower sale than a more popular name. Which probably would command a higher price, too.

jontalk 05-13-2007 01:52 PM

Re: 1979 Dufour 35
Thanks folks, though am still on the fence here. Since I don't live in Europe and there are probably 4 Dufours in the SF Bay Area, am a bit concerned what will happen if and when I sell the boat.. I just don't want to be stuck with it.. From the way it sounds from both of you, this seems likely. On the other hand, it's a heck of a lot of boat for the money, especially since I think I could get it at close to $25K or so..There's nothing around, regardless of brand in the kind of condition the Dufour is, along with it's sailing ability. The owner races regularly (though not on the Dufour) and has rigged it with a loose foot main with two partial and two full battens, self tailers, etc and it's very clean and will shine up nicely too.. It's really a challenge. I either spend much more money for a popular brand in this conditon, or bite the bullet on the Dufour..Thanks again.

Sailormann 05-13-2007 11:46 PM


There's nothing around, regardless of brand in the kind of condition the Dufour is, along with it's sailing ability.
If you like it and it surveys well, then buy it. When/if you decide you want to sell, and if you have maintained it nicely, there are other knowledgable people out there who will appreciate the boat for it's own qualities. And, while Dufour doesn't have the market share of Beneteau or Catalina, they are still in business and are not regarded as a manufacturer of poor craft.

nightowle 05-14-2007 12:40 AM

At the recent boat show here in Seattle, Dufour had a good representation with a few models on display at the 'in water' portion of the show. I certainly don't think it's an unknown brand and it seems Dufour is making an attempt to increase market awareness here in the US, so if the survey is good go for it! Meanwhile, see what research you can do on that particular year through some UK websites through google. You may find some pointers through some Brit chat rooms.

jontalk 05-14-2007 01:12 AM

I appreciate the feedback from everyone.. What I need to research next is replacing the Signet instrument cluster, as well as the central panel in the nav station.. The seller claims the hardware is only $1K, but I need to confirm this.. It also needs bottom paint, connecting the original auto-helm and several other things, as typical of any boat this age.. But it's remarkably clean, tidy and well maintained.. In fact I never would guess it's a '79 by looking at it! Very nice lines... Looks very similar to this one that's for sale in France: Boats and Yachts for Sale

sailingdog 05-14-2007 08:22 AM


I doubt that the instrument cluster itself is going to be that inexpensive. Add in the nav station panel, you're talking at least $2,000. The Raymarine ST60+ Value pack, with wind, speed, and depth setup goes for $1340 alone... and that is heavily discounted.

jontalk 05-14-2007 11:05 AM

Instruments for Dufour

This is one of my concerns, since as we all know, boat equipment ain't cheap, nor is the labor. The Dufour has I believe a Signet Marine 4000 which they no longer support. The 3 instrument clusters are mounted just above the companion way on what looks to be a fiberglass mold that would appear it was designed for them. The speed trasnponder needs to be replaced, as does the nav station panel and cluster on deck. The seller says that staying with the Signet brand will be more economical since the newer version will easily be replaced, though am sure the clusters MUST be different sizes, etc. Am going to check with a marine electronics guy nearby to confirm.

He also has the original stereo with a tape player that needs to get upgraded, bottom paint, cable re-connected to the original autohelm, luff tape sewn on some of the new sails, new hatch plexiglas, etc. He has replaced all standing/running rigging, 6 brand new Lee sails (he claims Lee is the same sail mfg that makes all sails for less money.. know anything about that?). Trans was was reblt recently, diesel serviced and he had the cooling system modified on the Volvo Penta which seems like it works well.. Boat is clean, tidy and I didn't see any gel coat spider cracks, plumbing problems, or other issues.. I'm no expert though.

Giulietta 05-14-2007 11:19 AM

You like???? you buy.....

Simple, huh???

How can someone here, that hasn't seen the boat give you any help, or advise??

They were good decent boats...

I'm not going into Dufour battle again...


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome