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MarkMiner 10-11-2006 02:07 PM

Hull-deck joint on Dufours
I am interested in a new Dufour which I think will work well for me (mostly coastal cruising in the Apostle Island of Lake Superior with a couple of near/offshore trips each year. My local dealer (who does not sell Dufours) says the hull deck joint construction process is suspect, and also thinks the overall quality of the build is less than the boats he sells. As best I can determine, the hull-deck joint is sealed with adhesive with self tapping screws and additional through bolts at areas of increased stress. Does anyone have experience with the overall quality of the more recent Dufours? Any thoughts on the hull-deck joint?

hellosailor 10-11-2006 02:23 PM

A joint properly glued together with adhesive, will be as sold as one using bolts. Dufour seem to be quite popular in the UK and generally need a weathertight boat there. If your dealer doesn't carry them...he's not going to want to see you go away to buy one.

On the other hand, Dufour have never been very common or popular in the US, and that might impact your resale value quite a bit.

camaraderie 10-12-2006 12:14 AM

No other manufacturer I know of uses self tapping screws in current production boats. My view is that IF a screw is should be a bolt!

cardiacpaul 10-12-2006 11:26 AM

asking a dealer that doesn't sell that particular boat is kind of like walking into a caddy dealership and asking...

"So whatcha think of those new lincolns, eh?"

hellosailor 10-12-2006 01:32 PM

Cam, you are suffering from an illusion. You seem to think the self-tapping screws are structural, they probably are not. The joint is almost certainly a GLUED JOINT and the screws would have been put in simply because shooting a line of screws in while the glue sets, is cheaper than applying a hundred clamps and then going back to unclamp them afterwards.

This is standard carpentry practice, that's what you do with a big glued joint while the glue it setting up. Removing the screws would leave holes, so they're left in place, even though they serve no purpose after the joint has set up.

Modern adhesives aren't at all the same as the butyl tape that C&C used to caulk their bolted deck seams.<G>

Transtec 01-24-2007 06:04 PM

The Dufour (friend has a 44 that I sail on) is of superior construction and very sea worthy. I have sailed on the 44 and a classic 36 both very impressive. Let us know what you do.

Giulietta 01-24-2007 06:28 PM

I know Dufour, since 1980 when they were very good, then...solid.

Now....well.....ther's better for same price....a lot of SIKAFLEX sealing, and sailing.....well...their sailing does not match their looks.....they look fast.....

We have all sorts of Dufours here, and sailed most of them, several times, mostly a 40' and a 36' right next to my boat.

Here's my neighbour a 36 classic....

T34C 01-24-2007 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by hellosailor
A joint properly glued together with adhesive, will be as sold as one using bolts. Dufour seem to be quite popular in the UK and generally need a weathertight boat there. If your dealer doesn't carry them...he's not going to want to see you go away to buy one.

There is no physical way that a glued joint is as strong as a glued AND bolted joint. It might be real good glue, but I'll take the redundancy every time.

G- You call that a Classic!

tommyt 01-24-2007 09:09 PM

I think a lot depends on which Dufour you are thinking about. The new 34 and 44 are the future for them and in my opinion constructed as such. They have also done fairly well in Europe racing circles.

That said, I have sailed on a 33 and 37 and was not very impressed with the quality. These were both 2002 I believe and from construction, fit out, rigs, etc they left a lot to be wished for. The 37 was actually a pretty good sailer, the 33 very poor. The holding tank in these boats was a 5 gallon jug that you could open a cabinet and SEE the level. A hose in a jug. Not pretty.

I fell in love with the looks of the 44 at a boat show when it was first introduced. I really wanted the 34 version when it came out and that is when I started to look seriously. The exchange rate changed to the negative for the US market and the boat all of a sudden was 20% more for a boat that was competitive prior to the exchange rate. It was not worth 20% more than a comparable US made boat. Dufour/Gib Sea are price point below their owner Beneteau, but Bene's are made here and are not subject to the exchange rate.

All that said, I have not looked at a lot of Dufours outside of the 34 and 44 recently. I am assuming based on your location that this may be a charter mamagement deal. If so, good luck.

MarkMiner 01-25-2007 12:14 PM

Thanks for the input. I did go ahead and buy the Dufour 455 which I will be taking delivery on in Chicago and then sailing it back to Bayfield, WI on Lake Superior in early summer. As has been discussed so often on this forum, there are so many variables when considering a new boat, and it is a matter of picking the one which best fits your circumstances. For me, the deciding factor was that my wife loved the boat and basically wouldn't listen to me when I told her about some other similar and nice used boats (am I lucky or what? she wanted me to spend MORE on a boat). I have spoken with a lot of people with direct experience with these boats who felt that the quality was excellent and perhaps better than some of the other production boats.

I also really loved the Dufour 44, but my wife not so much, so we compromised.

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