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By Robin Ball
Photos By Dufour Yachts

Modern graceful elegance is what Dufour’s Umberto Felci was trying to achieve when he designed the Grand’Large 410.  The boat was a new design in 2012, and has been nominated for European Cruising Boat of the Year for 2013. 

The hull has a plumb bow, a broad beam and a hard chine which carries from the beam to the broad transom.  The transom is lowered on a pulley to form an open transom for easy access to the dock or as a platform with a boarding ladder for swimming.  Without the open transom, steps would be necessary for most people to board amid ship as the freeboard is relatively high.  The floor of the cockpit lifts at the stern to reveal two large lockers to store fenders or a life-raft. 
 
Twin wheels, with seating for the helmsperson outboard on the coaming, leaves the transom area wide open.  Large benches provide plenty of seating with storage lockers below.  A large centerline console includes fold up teak table leaves, ample storage and a power point with a removable lamp.  The aft end of the console will accommodate a chart-plotter and has a conduit pipe already fitted to allow wiring to be easily led to the location.   Our test boat had a teak cockpit sole, teak on the transom / platform and teak on the seats.  Under a full dodger and bimini the cockpit felt warm and spacious.   We had eight onboard with room to spare. 

The deck layout is clean and wide.  The coach roof is sloped from the cockpit forward providing a low profile appearance.  All the lines off the mast lead under the deck of the coach roof to behind the mid-boom mainsheet traveller.  Our test boat was equipped for white sails only and as a result had fewer halyards to keep organized.  Tracer lines were installed in the mast for the installation of additional halyards in the future.  The shrouds are stranded wire.  The mid and upper shrouds come down to chain plates outside the teak toe rail, while the lowers are anchored just outside the coach top.    This allows easy access on the wide side decks to the foredeck. 

Outward opening companionway doors and a low threshold along with wide and deep stair treads make access to the salon easy and comfortable. There was no crouching, twisting or climbing involved in getting down below.  The interior design makes extensive use of wood grain providing a warm appearance.  The cabinetry is modern and ample. The head liner was white along with the seat cushions.  Ports and windows made the salon wonderfully bright.  The upper cabinets are relatively shallow expanding the sight lines making the salon feel exceptionally large.  To starboard the sofa converts to navigation station with the centre section lifting on tracks to reveal a desk.  The electrical panel and a tilt up cabinet for a chart-plotter are built into the shelf on the starboard side at the back of the sofa.  On the port side the large salon table has U shaped seating with an additional bench on the centerline of the salon.

The owner of this boat opted for a tri-cabin layout and one head to maximize the available space.  Each cabin has a double berth.  A small step down into the forward berth preserves some head room.  Each cabin has a hanging locker and a cubby hole along the hull liner.  All the mattresses are 10cm thick and have removable washable covers.  The forward cabin’s mattress is approximately 195x164 cm., and the aft cabins’ 200x160 cm. Roughly the size of queen mattresses, these are very comfortable sleeping arrangements.

The Galley is L shaped at the foot of the companionway on the starboard side.  Included are a gimbaled LPG stove and two burner range and a large top access refrigerator.  Storage is found in three over counter and four under counter cupboards.There is also a wine cellar / locker under the floor at the foot of the steps and beside it another locker which was being used for shoes.

On the day of our test sail the winds were offshore at 15 knots with gusts in to the low 20s.  Wave heights were just over one foot.  I described these conditions to be on the upper range of moderate to the new sailors who were aboard.  The boat is equipped with a 55hp Volvo diesel saildrive.  Motoring out of the harbour at 4 knots all we heard was a low hum from the engine with little or no vibration.  Our boat had lazy jacks and a bag for the main which was unzipped at the dock.  As we exited the harbour, we raised the main and unfurled the 110% genoa and went sailing.   We sailed on broad reaches and runs making about 5.5 – 6 knots of speed.  The mast is set well forward, making the foretriangle on this 9/10ths rig quite small.  The gybing angles to keep the genoa pulling were at least 15%.

After turning up wind, we found 15 knots of wind and the gusts to be a little too much for a full main and the shoal draft (5’8”) keel.  The resulting weather helm was manageable, but having too much heel wasn’t ideal and wouldn’t be tolerated for long by a family out for a cruise.  We reefed the main by coordinating the release of the halyard with the grinding in of the first reefing line.  The continuous reefing system worked flawlessly.  No one left the cockpit.  Everyone stayed dry and warm and safe under the dodger and bimini.  

When it came time to douse our sails, we had a little trouble with the genoa.  The pressure on the flapping genoa going into the wind was too much to allow the furling drum to spin.  We simply turned off onto a broad reach sheltering the genoa behind the main, and had no further problem.  The lazy jacks and bag allowed us to simply head to wind and drop the main into the bag.   We proceeded under power and prepared the boat for docking in the relative calm of the harbour.  We cleaned up the main once we were securely in our slip. 

Well thought out space make this a very comfortable vessel.  Innovative features allow this cruiser to be sailed easily by a couple.  The Dufour Grand’Large 410 is a comfortable cruiser. 

SPECIFICATIONS:

MSRP
Per the dealer, True North Yachts, Port Credit
Base boat, commissioned, ready to sail, ex. Port Credit
Dufour Grand’Large 410  -   $ CAD 295,000

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Length overall    12.35 m      40’6”
Length waterline     11.15 m     36’7”
Hull length     11.98 m     39’4”
Hull width     4.2 m     13’9”
Displacement     8940 kg     19,710 lbs
Draft     2.1 m / 1.75 m        6’11” / 5’8”
Water capacity     380 L     83.6 gallons
Fuel tank capacity     200 L     44 gallons
Engine     40 hp / 55 hp       
Certification                               CE Category A
Sail area :    71 m    764.2 sq ft
Mainsail :     38 m    409.0 sq ft
Genoa :     33 m    355.2 sq ft
I :    14.5 m    156.1 sq ft
J :    4.3 m    46.3 sq ft
P :    13.9 m    149.6 sq ft
E :    4.7 m    50.6 sq ft
LP :    4.61 m    49.6 sq ft

PHOTOS:

Photo 1 - The Dufour Grand’Large 410 has long and graceful lines. Wide decks and the location of shrouds allow for unobstructed movement on deck.
Photo 2 - The helmsperson sits outboard on the coaming within reach of the primary genoa winch.
Photo 3 - Large and plentiful windows provide plenty of light throughout the boat.
Photo 4 - The very large cockpit with a centerline console table, easily accommodated eight on our test sail.