I can't believe why one is going to downgrade from Halberg Rassy to Dufour. There are fast boats in the same quality league of Halberg Rassy.
The question is: Is the quality worth the money? I would never again spend so much money in expensive wood instead of a perfect sail wardrobe and high-tech electronics... I simply do not need it, it doesn't even satisfy me...
PS: I co-own a HR42...
I didn't mean only the quality of wood. There are more important things that you mentioned in your post regarding the difference between First and Oceanis like hull stiffness due to better materials and technology, and keel material and its attachment, quality and robustness of standing rigging, etc. Running rigging and sails you can always upgrade on any boat. …
Interesting discussion. Rumen I don’t think that in what regards sailing the Dufour 410 is a worst boat than the Halberg Rassy 412, in fact it is almost for sure the opposite, including hull stiffness. In fact you have a large choice of options on the Dufour and a top boat will match in hull quality and sail hardware a Halberg Rassy. On Dufour they use top building techniques:
"To increase performance and structural strength, Dufour Yachts uses cutting-edge techniques in the design and manufacture of their hulls and decks.
Decks, vacuum infusion technology: The resin sheets are impregnated by air suction. This advanced technology, which is widely used in the aeronautics industry, results in the production of a composite material of outstanding mechanical quality. Advantages : Significant structural weight / performance ratio.
Injection technology: Injection moulding consists of bringing resin in a space between two moulds, by injecting it under pressure to reinforce fibre cloths. This complex technique enables all air bubbles to be eliminated and produces a consistent fibre / resin ratio.
Decks are manufactured in one piece, resulting in excellent headroom.
Advantages : Significant gain in weight (better sail rigidity), original quality finish and excellent reliability.
Sandwich hulls, vacuum bonding: The sandwich hull is made up of a set of constituents laminated through pressure and bonding. The type of constituent varies according to the desired effect. Generally speaking, the sandwich hull is made up of a central layer of PVC foam placed between two reinforcements (laminated skin), protected by gelcoat on the exterior surface. Advantages : Better sound proofing, increased mechanical properties, increased longitudinal rigidity of the hull under equal displacement, no absorption humidity due to the use of PVC foam rather than balsa".
On Halberg- Rassy they say about their building techniques:
"Hull and Deck: Hand lay-up GRP hull with a vinylester based barrier coat. The hull is insuČlated above water line with Divinycell PVC-foam against heat and cold. Under the mast support there is a steel beam moulded into the hull stiffener. Strong under floor reinforcements, bonded with composite. … Deck, coachroof areas and cockpit are of sandwich construction, solid in parts, laminated to the hull."
It seems to me that the bigger production has allowed Dufour to invest in high tech building techniques that are not yet used by Halberg-Rassy.
Regarding the interior I find the quality of the design way better on the Dufour 410, a bigger and more comfortable living space. Of course the quality of materials in the interior and the finish is superior on the Halberg-Rassy and it is to each one to decide if that deserves the difference in price or even if they prefer the Halberg-Rassy space.
What I said regarding boats needing a stronger and stiffer hull did not refer to Halberg-Rassy or Dufour 410, both non performance cruisers but regarding a comparison between a main market cruiser and a performance one like the Dufour 410 and the Dufour 40e or the Halberg-Rassy 412 and for instance an Arcona 410. The performance boats have bigger rigs, bigger RM for the weight and need to have a stronger hull to take the bigger generated loads.