A bit ashamed by bb74 post, finally I am going to post my impressions on the Dufour 425 I had charted last summer. It was a 5 month old boat and probably had already been subject to some savage treatment: Someone had saw in the galley wood (in several places) probably while cutting bread with a a big knife, the bow showed the marks of lack of care taking the anchor out of water (it was badly chipped) and the fiber near the stairs (that supported the weight) was strained and almost broken and broke while we were using it.
The boat can have an Inox bow protection that I strongly recommend even if that damage of the boat was just incredible (I had never had any problem in taking the anchor out). That fiberglass support of the stairs needs a reinforcement that would not be difficult to do with two stainless still plates. A weak point in a very well designed stair system/storage/bench, the best I ever saw.
But first things first, why I, looking for a fast performance cruiser boat have decided to extensively test a mass production cruiser? Well that boat offers a very good cockpit and I have read in tests that it was fast. It offers also a big interior with an excellent galley and an extraordinary overall storage space. It is one of the few 42fts that I would have with three cabins because the storage space is just enough even with 3 cabins. The Dufour 425 had passed my wife examen in what regards storage, overall quality and design. It would be a boat that would be very agreeable for living extensively.
Big freezer, big galley. Under the opposing seat (that serves as support when the boat is helled) there is a large storage space.
The saloon is big and under some of the seats there are more storage space. The quality of upholstery leave to desire and the quality of the plastic covers is not agreeable (imitating leader). They have better quality as an option and the upholstery can be redone later by a good professional. We like more the traditional set up, with the galley separated from the saloon but I can see here the advantages in storage and size of galley that this disposition can provide.
My wife really loved the two heads, specially the one in the main cabin, big, with a good cabinet and a very good separated shower.
The main cabin is also very good and the back ones are good.
The chart table is big and the seat very comfortable. It is really a nice place to be working, reading or to be surfing the net.
Dufour 425 â€“ Dufour 425 Sailboat â€“ Boat factsheet
The boat has a good all around ventilation and a good access to the engine. With 450L of water and 160L of fuel has a good tankage.
On the outside the revolving system that turns a back seat into a storage space and putts the ladder into the water is very well designed but no so well executed. It can be fixed easily. It can also provide a different sailing position at the wheel. You can sail with the seat down having more space to steer and using the lateral sides for support. You have just to pull the stairs up. Multivalent and nicely designed
On the cockpit, besides that storage space under the back seat the boat has two deep lockers on the back, one on each side that would be great for having all the fenders ( for that you have to tie all those lines and tubes and have some work for maximizing its storage potential), independent space for two bottles of gas and two big side lockers. The anchor looker is also big, with lot's of space for storage of garbage bags (before they can be disposed).
The boat has an excellent cockpit, big, with the winch near the wheel and a very good sun cover, with bimini joining the sprayhood. The table is well made and has the right size. The anchor support and roller is well designed with space to run a second anchor, but it could be stronger. Not difficult to reinforce although.
another very nice feature that I had only found out later is the space for the dinghy that was obviously studied and that is rare. You can carry a 4 person dinghy in a central space, not touching nor obstructing any openings and in a place where the spinacker halyard will just put it, if you use it to put the boat in and out of the water. To take it or in the water is a simple one person job. On that position the boat does not also interfere with the sailing and has just the right spots to tie it down. Just perfect
Regarding myself and the things that are more important to me, the boat does not look fat as most of its sisters do, the high free-board is not apparent and I find it a good looking boat. What have decided me to test the boat was a comparative test with the XC42 that had shown very similar sailing characteristics (speed and sea motion comfort). Well, I have not money for the X42, but this one was just a bit over the budget, so I decided to have a good look at it.
The boat weights 8820kg has a 2.10m bulbed keel with a 2440kg of ballast. This gives a B/D ratio of 28%. I would have liked more but that is a measure that is in accordance with the boats of this type with some with less, like for instance, the Beneteau 43 with 27%. It carries 84 m2 of sail. This weight to sail area is also average on the class.
The tested boat had not the performance sails it is a standard version that is somehow more sportier than the standard version of other brands with the exception of the Hanse, that is comparable. The boat had a folding propeller (that I doubt it was working, I mean folding)
So lets see if this boat that satisfies my wife and me in what regards living aboard will satisfy me and my speed mania
First agreeable impression was how easy is to sail this boat solo. That winch near the wheel is just a big help.
The second impression is that the steering is not very informative. Not really heavy but very far away from my old Bavaria and some other more sportier boats I have sailed. I did not like it
The genoa had a damaged tunning line (some stupid had blocked it with a lot of blind knots) and I could not prevent it to beat slightly when really pointing to the wind) and has I have said these were just plain dracon sails. With that I have managed:
With 6.6k wind 4.5k speed at 35º ApW and 5.4K speed with 7.2K wind.
With 8.8k wind 6.6k speed at 38º Apw and with 8.7K wind 5.9K at 28º Apw.
As I have read on other tests, this boat could point to the wind and had a decent speed with weak to weak medium winds.
I was not so convinced with medium speeds were the boat could go very easily to 7K but had difficulty in reaching 8K.
With 12.3K wind at 60º Apw 7.1K speed, with 12.8k wind at Apw 90º (140º true) 5.7k speed and at 170º TW 4.0K speed.
We do have reached 8K and over several times with more wind but I had not measured it. I was having fun
Under engine (55 hp) the boat performed well: 7.5K at 2500rpm, 6.8K at 2000rpm.
Well, in the end we loved the boat, specially the big galley and the cockpit (and my wife the shower) but the boat has not just the performance I want, specially with more wind. I guess it has to do with the relation between sail area and weight. This year I am going to charter the Salona 41 that has less 1600kg, the same ballast but deeper and has more 27m2 of sail. I guess it is going to be different
So if this is not the boat I want why this long post for a boat that is almost being substituted by a new one? Well because this is an excellent cruising boat, a fast boat with light winds, with a good pointing ability and a boat that will satisfy sailors that are not so performance minded has I am and most of all a boat that the ones that don't have the budget for a new boat can find at nice prices in the used market. The boat was sold in large numbers and that's the right time to buy a good boat with few years by an attractive price