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  #1  
Old 10-03-2008
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Opinions on Dufour?

I haven't seen a lot here said about Dufour Yachts. I am researching a possible boat purchase in the next 1-2 years. They look pretty. I would be looking at a recent used model. Good? Bad?
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Old 10-04-2008
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Dufours generally have a reputation of being a "cut above" the mainstream, and the recent models are good looking boats as you say.

Dufour has been around a long time.. some of their older models weren't that stylish but still generally had good reputation for build quality.
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Old 10-04-2008
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The only Dufour I've ever examined closely was a Dufour 40 about four years ago at a boat show. The low lifelines, lack of through-bolted backing plates, indifferently gasketed, HUGE sail locker seat lids, lack of padeyes and various other shortcomings made me very suspicious of the "Lloyd's Ocean A Class" rating it supposed had.

While adequate for lake, coastal and fair-weather passage, which, to be honest, is going to comprise 95% of most of the prospective owners' on the water activities, I didn't think it safe to do real offshore sailing. But they are very pretty, stylish vessels.

By contrast, Alex's 40 footer (and I have no need to suck up to Alex), while about as light a boat as you can safely get at that length, had far stronger, safer and better construction, the details of which I'm sure he has provided. Yet they are both identically rated "ocean performance cruisers".

It's like comparing 15-20 year old Beneteaus with today's offerings: they are playing to a customer base that doesn't really like sailing much, in my opinion, while the French boats of 1990 or prior could take the conditions actually found around France.

This is not a critique along the lines of "old boats are better". Frequently, they aren't, and certainly J-Boats, some South African and Australian/N.Z. builders, Swan and Moody make great, strong boats I would take anywhere, but "anywhere" is not where the marketing department really wants these boats to go, in my opinion.
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Old 10-04-2008
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I would have to agree with Val on this one. The older Dufours were fairly well built boats. The newest Dufours, such as the 40 and 34, were built for speed and built light. Most of those are in Europe, as when they were introduced the Euro went thru the roof against the US dollar and they went up about 30% in a few months, pretty much taking them out of the US equation.

I was considering a Dufour 34 when I ended up with the Catalina 34. Not as well built, but fast and could have worked for my uses. The dollar/Euro equation made that decision for me and from what I have seen, I made the right decision.

The Dufour Gib Sea, which was the bottom of the Bene equation and Dufours entry level boat was very lightly built. I have sailed on the 33 and 37. The 37 was a fun sail, but the sail plan was very light. No traveler, very lightly built. The holding tank was a 5 gallon clear jug behind a door in the head. Easy to see how full it was, but very distasteful. The 33 was not a good sailing boat. They called the one I sailed on Eileen because it definitely leaned to starboard big time. Not a good sailing boat at all.

Most everything on the Gib Seas was screwed in and many of the screws were popping out. Add to that the fact that Gib Sea no longer lasts and the equation is set.

Buy an old one or go home.
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Old 10-04-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Buy an older one, stay away from the new ones...

And go read this

Thay are pretty and all, but....anyway, nowadays, alll boats suck...really
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Old 10-04-2008
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Hey, not all boats suck today. CD and I have our Catalinas and you have your sled. That is at least 3 good ones.

Tom
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