Dufour 32016 Boat of the Year winner

By Katherine Stone

Easily sailed by two people, it's a winner on the race course too!

You can count yourself lucky to be able to go for a sail on Lake Ontario in mid-October when the temperature is 24 degrees, the sun is shining, and the wind is clocking at a perfectten knots. I’d call that champagne sailing at its best, especially if you get to test sail a Dufour 382. This was my exact situation, and joining me on this sail were Colin Andrews (Swan’s Yacht Sales) and the boat’s owner, Rob Wyers.I found it easy to sail this beautiful 2016 Boat of the Yearwinner with only three on board. Dufour Yachts has lived up to its goal of providing:

- Easy, enjoyable sailing with good performance
- Choice of six interior layouts - the largest on the market
- Even better performance with an overlapping jib and asymmetrical spinnaker
- Simple layout
- Designs to fit the customer’s needs

When purchasing the boat, Wyers had done his homework and was impressed by designer Umberto Felci. Felci’s design ensures the latest innovations in hull form and appendages combine with a rig design layout to hit the mark with this performance cruiser; its purposeful interiors were designed with customer desires in mind. The 382 has very clean lines and loves to sail on the chine, making for a smooth, sleek passage through the water with little to no wake. Keeping in mind client input, the teak deck layout is clean with the main, genoa, and spinnaker all leading to the back winches in the cockpit, so as to be easily sailed single-handedly or with only one or two crew. When sheets and halyards are thrown below, the curved companionway stairs allow the lines to easily slide to the side and never fall on the steps. This is an important safety feature, especially when taking out novice sailors or negotiating the stairs at night. The cockpit is very spacious with a two-leaf extension table that can easily be removed for crew to move around when the boat is raced. The cockpit table also features an elegant lamp with a shade for intimate alfresco dining at night.

Dufour 4European styled galley creates great space for food preparation and entertaining below.

Two other features that caught my eye were the extra-wide traveler mounted forward of the companionway and the split backstay. Both of these sail controls were very easy to adjust and not only made for better sail performance, but also provided more comfort for passengers in a big breeze.

With its drop down transom, swimming off the boat does not become a chore by having to negotiate a steep, wobbly swim ladder. Wyers found that in a flotilla, everyone gravitated to the Dufour 382 when the wind disappeared. Theboat could easily beboarded from the water off the swim platformfor enjoyment of adult beverages in the roomy cockpit equipped with plenty of storage and longer, wider seats. Both helm seats are used when steering and the double wheels fold up and out of the way for more helm space and easier access on and off the fold-down transom.

Keeping in mind Dufour’s goal to maintain an effortless approach to sailing, the deck stepped, modern rig layout witha very high aspect ratio,full batten mainsail, and self-tacking 90% Dacron jib provides ease as well asmaximum sail lift and efficientperformance. The boom is inclined forward like on all the Dufour Grand Large boats to provide easier access to the boom gooseneck area as well as having the extra sail area. Even as vertically challenged as I am, I was able to attach the main halyard and zip up the lazy jack sail pouch with ease! The reliableFacnor front sail furling system is mounted very low to the deck, which also provides maximum sail area.

Dufour 5Navigation table and fabulous storage included with the traditional North American layout.

Wyers elected to go with the Grand-Prix package (although most of the upgrades can be chosen a-la-carte), which gave him the teak covered cockpit floor, swim platform, and helm seats as well as the radial composite 108% genoa, increased winch size, and fiberglass sprit with the asymmetrical package. This allowed him to rig the boat with a code zero designed by the Canadian Evolution Loft. Using this sail plan withonly three aboard, the Dufour 382 easily sailed past fully crewed boats of similar size with far less effort. Wyers has been very happy with the boat’s performance and says that he has never even buried the rail in the 382,even in a 40+ knot breeze with one reef while solo sailing.I found the sail controls and sheet stoppers veryeasy to use, even with little hands and muscle power. The Dufour 382 was very responsive on the helm to sail upwind with a light touch, even in a following sea. When sitting on the steering benches, I could easily see the front of the boat and the wave conditions up ahead, which is a big plus for shorter sailors.


The performance of the 382 under motor power is outstanding. The 30hp Volvo diesel engine is extremely responsive, easy to control in reverse and when docking, and came to a stop on a dime! There is little to no pull on the rudder, which makes it less intimidating for smaller, lighter persons at the helm. There are three large access points to the engine, to make it easier to maintain and repair.

Dufour 6The 382 feels like a 50 footer down below with double doors to the V-berth.

Now that I’ve enticed the sailing purists in the audience, let’s go below and see what comforts and luxuries potential guests would like! I was immediately taken in by the spacious, light-coloured interior. The large twin fixed ports on the coachhouse roof allow plenty of light and all openings are equipped with easy to pull, light-colouredfixed blinds for privacy and reducing light when needed. Owners can also choose from six plans which include an in-line or traditional L-shaped galley, one or two heads, two cabins or three, and whether or notto have a nav ¬station. The European in-line galley is fabulous for entertaining with superb counter space and clean lines, and accommodates having many hands prepare meals at the same time.A really fun feature for the connoisseur is the hidden wine rack in the floor of the salon. Both the stove and sink have counter lids, which provide for the continuous extra counter space. The double decker ice box drawers easily slide out and, with a slight touch, slide back in.Unlike my fridge at home, there is easy access and no need to rummage around to find things. With excellent cold retention, you can still have ice even after five hot days. There istons of storage space with slow-release hinge cupboard doors. The garbage and recycling bins make it easy to take care of disposables.

Dufour 8

Buyers can also choose the option of the traditional North American galley

Most of the time you don’t require a full table in the salon. With two end extensions, the one metre table can expand to 1.4 metres to accommodate eight for dining. Additional cushioned stools are on a fixed slide to move them out from under the table when needed. The single option head features a fully enclosed roomy shower, rather than a wet head shower, that is mounted over the toilet. Again, all the amenities in the head are sleek, simple, and tasteful. One of the reasons that the boat feels so open is that the access to the v-berth has double doors thatwhen open, make the boat feel much bigger than 38 feet. With double lockers, there is plenty of storage for personal items.
The Dufour 382 Grand Large certainly lives up to its name – feeling more like a 50-footer than a 38-footer and having all the same amenities. With something to please the racer and the cruiser, this boat is one that a couple can easily enjoy together. I know that it would be an easy sell for anyone trying to convincehis or herpartner to buy a new boat! In fact, even Wyers said, “I hate to invite guys on the boat because they all say that I can’t show it to their wives or they will have to buy one!”


Specifications

Length OA: 36' 10” / 11.24 m
Hull Length: 36' 0"
LWL: 32' 5”/ 9.90 m
Beam: 12' 7”/ 3.85 m
Displacement: (Std Deep) 15,081 lbs / 7,060 K
Draft (Shoal): 5' 4" /1.52 m
Draft (Deep): 6' 4"/1.83 m
Mast Height: Std / Tall 55’ 3" / 61' 0"
I: Std / Tall 45' 7" / 47' 1"
J: 12' 7"
P: Std / Tall 43' 10" / 46'
E 14' 9"
LP: Self Tacking Jib 10 '6"
Main Area: (Std / Tall) 389 / 409
Self Tacking Jib (Std / Tall) 237 / 256
OL Genoa: (Std / Tall) 301 / 333
Sail Area: Std Mast (ST/OL) 623 / 690
Sail Area: Tall Mast (ST/OL) 665 / 742
SA / Disp Ratio: Std / Opt 16.33 / 19.45
Water: 95 gal / 380 L
Fuel: 53 gal / 200 L
Waste: Std / Opt 12 gal/ 45.4 L
Aux Diesel (HP) Std / Opt 29 / 40
Price: East Coast USA Delivery base price is $197,000 US.
Marina Lennox in Quebec and Swan’s Yacht Sales in Ontario carry the Dufour line

 

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