The French shipyard Dufour Yachts has been designing and building luxury cruising sailboats in the range from 31 to 61 feet since 1964.
All Dufour boats are created by combining refined craftsmanship with innovative construction techniques and are entirely produced in the headquarters located in the city of La Rochelle, which is 480 km from Paris on the Atlantic Ocean. These boats are appreciated all over the world for comfort, elegance and performance and for the advanced construction techniques with which they are built.
Recently the new Dufour 61, the largest of the Dufour, was elected as the best sailboat of the year 2022 in the category Best Monohull 50 feet and over, by the American specialized magazine SAIL.
The boat was evaluated by a jury made up of great experienced sailors, the first boat built was delivered last September in the United States.
An important recognition of the work carried out by the shipyard team in all these years in the construction of quality yachts.
The Dufour 61 was born from the close collaboration between the Dufour Yachts shipyard with Umberto Felci, owner of Felci Yacht Design who designed the boat for the French shipyard, one of the greatest naval architects in the world, an important name in the design of “fast sails”, known in particular in the design of quality hulls and for his convictions of how to build a cruising sailboat today.
In this regard, we report a statement issued a few years ago on the subject:
“I have always appreciated the boat as an object to travel to navigate, but today there are no longer the sailors of the past, the world is changing and the market demand is changing. Change what construction sites ask for and what private customers ask for. If before the sailing aspect was the basis of the project, now this value is being lost a bit “
The Dufour 61 is a sailing yacht that combines luxury and simplicity with refined elegance and excellent functionality.
Suitable for long voyages as well as pleasure outings, it has been designed and built according to the tradition of the Dufour range.
The hull design is characterized by very balanced shapes, which features powerful stern sections, small submerged surfaces.
The spaces and volumes have been cleverly distributed both on deck and for the interiors, moreover new elements of comfort have been introduced in addition to a standard sailboat, focusing a lot of attention to make the boat more liveable mainly on the outdoor spaces.
The hull and deck were made with innovative construction techniques using infusion sandwich and monolithic bottoms and the deck laminated to the hull.
The sandwich is an application on composite materials that alternates glass fibers impregnated with resin and allows the creation of very rigid hulls and decks without weighing them down.
The deck layout entirely covered in teak has been developed to experience the sea in complete safety in the open area and leaves plenty of space to relax and have fun with family, relatives or friends, with spacious sunbathing areas created both fore and aft, with an unobtrusive deckhouse that is part of the large cockpit floor divided into two parts: the relaxation area and the management area.
To increase the livable space on deck, the two twin control wheels together with the navigation control instrumentation are very far back from the relaxation area which is thus wider with many easily accessible spaces.
The cockpit is characterized by the presence of two modern ergonomic padded benches and a central multifunction sundeck that is very pleasant both during navigation and when standing still which, if necessary, easily transforms into a table for breakfast or an evening aperitif.
The mainsail was positioned on an arch made of carbon fiber, thus freeing the passage between the cockpit and the companionway.
The passage from the cockpit to the wide gangway is very easy and without any obstacles it is possible to walk up to the bow using, if necessary, the help of a long handrail.
The bow consists of a large triangular space with manholes and portholes flush with the floor that do not create any problems when walking and increase the brightness inside the boat.
This whole area can be used and equipped as desired to spend most of the day outdoors in close contact with the sun and the sea.
On the transom there is also a sink and a useful barbecue and ends with three steps to go down comfortably on the large beach when it is pulled down on command, which in addition to facilitating guests to enter and exit the water. there is plenty of space to sit, relax, sunbathe and enjoy the wonders of the sea up close.
When the beach is pulled down, a long stowage space is accessible, where you can store many things such as a tender.
A double bimini allows you to cover both the relaxation area in the cockpit and the management area further aft.
All the maneuvering devices converge near the two twin wheels where there are the automatic winches on sight to make all the adjustment maneuvers on the entire sail plan.
All the maneuvers for the management of the boat have been made as simple as possible which make driving this fabulous 61 feet more instinctive.
Umberto Felci’s design studio always develops comfortable boats characterized by a valuable design with surprising performance. The Dufour 61 incorporates all these features and its particular and distinct design integrates perfectly with an impressive sail plan that is excellent in handling and performance.
The boat overall is 19.22 m (63.06 ft) long; Hull length is 18.30 (60.03 ft); Waterline length is 17.62 m (57.80 ft); Maximum width is 5.48 m (17.98 ft); Draft 2.80 m (9.18 ft); Displacement 21,000 kg (46,300 lbs); Ballast weight 7,150 kg (15,763 lbs); Water tank 880 liters; Fuel tank 780 liters; Total sail area 170 square meters; Mainsail 104 sq m; Bow 66 sqm; Gennaker + Randa 250 sqm; 180 hp engine; Sandwich And Glass Construction – Vynilester Infusion; Construction of the alloy shaft.
Real design work has also been done for the interiors and three possible layout configurations are available, for any type of need the owner has.
However, a layout for the interiors already made in the standard configuration for this boat includes a saloon with kitchen, three cabins with three bathrooms.
The descent below deck takes place via a staircase that is accessed through the hatch located aft of the mast.
The saloon under the deckhouse filled with natural light, thanks to the large windows, is the first room of the interior that we find near the entrance, which occupies the entire width of the beam, which offers a lot of freedom of movement and a lot of very comfortable space.
On the right side we immediately find a refined chart table with a splendid seat and the navigation and plant control system.
On the opposite side we have the dining area with an L-shaped sofa with a central modular table whose height is automatically adjustable on command, plus another sofa in the free part of the table.
Continuing there is the kitchen space, divided into two parts to allow easy communication between the various rooms.
On the left side a hob with three gas burners with a double sink, a large fridge and on the opposite side an electric oven and various accessories.
The whole room, living room plus kitchen, is surrounded by numerous cabinets. The Dufour 61 offers 2 different versions for the kitchen, the front one just described and the other aft that develops along the left side, with an easy-to-use layout that marks an interesting division of the day-night spaces.
The kitchen is full of functional details not only aesthetic that make life on board more comfortable, plus it can be used in any condition because it is equipped with adequate ventilation, lighting and natural light thanks to the large windows at the top and sides.
Forward towards the bow there is a welcoming owner’s cabin a real exclusive very large and high master cabin, with very spacious and well organized wardrobes with a double bed and adjoining sofa. At the far bow we find the bathroom with sink with separate shower.
2 other generous cabins are located aft and can be equipped with double beds or leave one with single beds. All cabins have their own bathroom.
For the composition of the interiors, two variants are offered, one in light oak, the other in teak, however the choice has an incredible brightness guaranteed by the large windows and by the numerous portholes and hatches present in the hull.
The propulsion of the boat is always guaranteed thanks to the presence in the engine room of a powerful 180 hp Volvo engine with three-blade propeller.
The activity of Dufour Yachts has lasted for almost 60 years because it always manages to innovate its models using the most advanced technologies, managing to maintain a loyalty of customers that date back to the mid-60s.
The shipyard was bought in 2018 by Fountaine-Pajot an important French maritime construction company specializing in catamarans for both private leisure, cruising and offshore charter, however Dufour remains a separate brand.