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  #1  
Old 05-09-2002
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Newer Deufour Sailboats

I was aboard the new Dufour 36 and classic 38 and really thought a lot of these boats. Seem to be very solid and very good sailing vessels.

I remember Dufour in the early 80''s as being quite reputable.

Anyone own a new model Dufour or know much about these boats? Would you buy one over let''s say over a Catalina or Beneteau?

Thanks!!
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Old 05-10-2002
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Newer Deufour Sailboats

I would buy one of the new Dufours over a Catalina or a Beneteau "Number series" (i.e. 361) but I would prefer the new 36 foot Beneteau "First" series both on design and build quality.

Jeff
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I would buy Dufour over Jenneau,Beneteau,Catalina and Hunter but as Jeff puts it Beneteau First and Jenneau Sun Fast Series are better boats in terms of hardware and construction quality.
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T. Gannon,

They look like very nice boats. One very unique thing about the 36 classic is that it comes in a 3 cabin version (aft section of boat is split in 2 and there are 2 twin bunk''s in there) ! Wow, I think this is one of the smallest boats that does this. I guess if you only wanted or could afford a 36 footer and you have 2 teenage kids that need their "own" space this would work out ideally.

One thing I am not a fan of is placing the galley amidships along the starboard side. This forward long central location means the person working in the galley will have to "hang-on" in bumpy seas. There really isn''t a good place to "wedge" yourself. Plus I like having the galley close to the companionway, just personal preferences ....to me its quicker and easier to hand things up and down from the cockpit. But I''m sure there are people out there that might prefer it that way.

I have a Catalina 36 MKII where I love layout and sailing charachteristics. But I do think the Dufour is a little notch above(albeit a little premium in cost). For instance Dufours come with a 10-year hull and deck warranty (5 for Catalina) Steering is the Whitlock rack and pinion steering system which seems very nice. But the Catalina has a bigger engine, more winches as standard and Windlass included. But overall a nice boat .

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Old 05-10-2002
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Newer Deufour Sailboats

I inspected the Dufour 39 at Strictly sail two years ago. I thought that mooring cleat placement could be a lot better, the anchor locker was very cumbersome to open (latch release at the extreme forward end) sharp (unburred holes where electrical cables were strung for the bow running light, electrical wires that were wire tied to the outside of the pulpit and pushpit, unfinished fiberglass in the cockpit lockers and some sloppy work on the deck. The cabin was nicely finished but, I too don''t like the amidships placement of the galley. I would not buy this boat if it were equipped like many of the other French boats, with an iron keel. This particular (show) boat did poorly on the race circuit last year but I''m not sure if it was the mediocre "stock" sails or the crews unfamiliarity with the new boat. I believe that this boat has a deck-stepped mast, my choice is keel-stepped, just my personal preference. Engine access was tight. One has to wonder what the boat looks like in the areas that cannot be seen if the areas that can be seen are on the crude side. This is probably a fine boat but have it surveyed even though it is new. This might piss off the dealer but you''re the one who has to make the payments!
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Thanks .. I like the Classic 38 but with 4 litttle kids, I wonder if I would rather have a standard Galley arrangement as well and gain the extra cabin seating and sleep accomodations. I just came back from a dealer who has the Catalina 36.. Nice boat very nice indeed and about $20K less than the Classic 38. He showed me the brochure on the Catalina 350.. This boat seems like a winner as well. It might not have the cabin arrangement and "kid space" that the 36 has. We''ll see. Appreciate any additional input.

The Dufour just looks and feels like such a well made boat. I found a 1999 Near Long Port New Jersey with a 6''+ Keel (too deep I think)for about $150,000. That is about where the Catalina 36 is (and 350) fully decked out, and new.

Thanks again.
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Are you sure that its $150k for the C36MKII. I think that is a little high even for a fully loaded new C36MKII. I think you need to renegotiate with your dealer. (Check out here http://boats.soundingsonline.com/adsearch.html) I was able to pick up a 1 year old C36MKII (with only 50 hours on engine/private sale) for about 30% less than that.

I can attest to the great setup in the C36 though. I think the salon is set up very well for the most efficient use of space. You can keep the table on the bulkhead and have alot of space or bring it down. You can also bring it all the way down and place the cushions on there and it becomes one big bed/romper room. Its great for the little kids. And all the while you still have the little game table setup on the starboard side. (which still could be converted to a couch/small bunk)

I also think the C350 is a very nice boat, with some very nice features, but its really optimally set up for a cruising couple, not a small family.


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Old 05-11-2002
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Hi..again...

The 150K was for the Dufour Classic 38 fully loaded performance and cruise package, not the C-36.

The C-36 does look like a nice ship. I keep looking at the 350 and am so impressed with the volume of the main salon and the full walk around bed in the V- berth, the shower,and all the other "nice features". I also like the idea of going below right into the main salon and not steping down right in front of the galley sink area as on the 36. That is just a personal thing I guess.. not that important. There are over 2000 36''s out there!!! I think they are up to Hull number 3 or 4 on the 350.

As much as I like the Dufour and think it is a superior boat (or so it appears anyway) in terms of construction, I believe I will be doing a Catalina for the reasons I initially talked about. Got to have seating and crash areas for the kids.. That''s what it is all about. The boat will probably be used as a small vacation home and a place to keep the beach chairs as much as a sailboat.. (till they get a little older the four kids are 6 months to five years old.)

Gosh just thinking about it... Does one get air conditioning? Does that take up storage space? Is it worth it on the Jersey shore? What unit do you get on the 36 or 350? Do you get it from the dealer or do it aftermarket? I think this is another topic all together.

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Old 05-12-2002
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Newer Deufour Sailboats

If space with little kids and keeping it as a second home is the most important criteria I would suggest you, to look at the trawlers for the same amount of money.
They offer much more space(storage and living) for the same length and easier to install A/C and have a full size fridge.
Time and time again on this board I see people making the mistake of trying to buy a mediocre sailboat just for the space it offers either because of kids or the wife.
What really happens is after buying the sailboat they usually realize that they could be better off either with a motorboat or trawler.Sailing is a lot of fun and it is always sounds more romantic than motorboating but it is generally not the ideal platform when you look for space and liveability.
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Old 05-12-2002
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doubleplay offers a few pearls of wisdom in his response. I know many sailboat buyers spending the majority of their time pouring over the details of the cabin and completely overlooking the any sailing atributes. Sailing is many times more demanding than owning and operating a power boat. Maybe you should consider the trawler. Some of my PB friends ask why I spend so much money to go so slow, I answer them with a smile as I know there''s no way they would ever understand.
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