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Dufour Sailboats: A Comprehensive Guide for Enthusiasts

Dufour Yachts is a renowned manufacturer of luxury sailboats, known for their exceptional craftsmanship and innovative designs. Founded in France in 1964, the company has since established itself as a leading name in the world of sailing, offering a range of vessels designed to meet the diverse needs of sailors around the globe. With an impressive lineup of sailboats, from the compact Dufour 32 to the spacious Dufour 61, the brand caters to various preferences and sailing requirements.

The signature features of Dufour sailboats include modern design, efficient performance, and unmatched comfort. Built to deliver an enjoyable sailing experience, these yachts boast durable construction and high-quality materials that ensure safety and longevity. A testament to the brand's commitment to innovation, many Dufour models are equipped with advanced technologies that enhance navigational capabilities, making them suitable for both weekend cruisers and long-distance voyagers.

In addition to their popularity among sailing aficionados, Dufour sailboats have also captured the attention of the broader market, with offerings at competitive price points. Potential buyers can find a range of Dufour yachts for sale on platforms like <a href="">YachtWorld</a> and <a href="">Boat Trader</a>, making these luxurious vessels more accessible than ever.

History of Dufour Sailboats

Dufour Yachts, a French sailboat manufacturer, was founded in 1964 by naval architect and engineer Michel Dufour. He was intrigued by the potential of polyester, a material he discovered in 1957 while working as a young engineer. His passion for yachts, class rules, and hydrodynamics led him to create a polyester sailboat, launching the Dufour brand we know today [<a href="">source</a>].

In the early years, Michel Dufour designed the "Sylphe" transportable yacht, which laid the foundations for the company's success. Between 1964 and 1974, over 400 Sylphe models were sold [<a href="">source</a>]. Building on this achievement, Dufour Yachts introduced the 29-foot L'Arpege in 1967. Within a decade, more than 1,500 L'Arpege models were built, earning the sailboat its status as a legitimate classic [<a href="">source</a>].

As the company grew, its range of sailboats expanded to include various models suitable for different sailing needs. As of February 2021, the Dufour Yachts lineup features the Dufour 310, Dufour 360, and Dufour 390 [<a href="">source</a>]. In 2018, Dufour Yachts was acquired by Fountaine Pajot, another well-known French boat manufacturer, though Dufour continued to operate as a separate brand [<a href="">source</a>].

Today, Dufour Yachts is celebrated for its innovative designs and the exceptional quality of its sailboats. Each model reflects the company's commitment to upholding the tradition of French craftsmanship, making Dufour sailboats a popular choice for sailors worldwide.

Main Models of Dufour Sailboats

Dufour 37

The Dufour 37 is a reliable and capable sailing yacht designed for cruising enthusiasts. This model offers a spacious layout and comfortable accommodations for its passengers. Notable features of the Dufour 37 include:

  • A streamlined hull design
  • Spacious and well-equipped interiors
  • Advanced navigation systems

Dufour 56

The larger and more advanced Dufour 56 combines luxury with performance, making it a popular choice among serious sailing enthusiasts. Key features of the Dufour 56 include:

  • A cutting-edge hull design for improved speed and stability
  • Multiple cabin layout options for customizable accommodations
  • A versatile sailing platform suited for both cruising and racing

Dufour 61

Built for maximum comfort and functionality, the Dufour 61 is a luxurious sailing yacht that sets the benchmark for its class. Some highlights of the Dufour 61 are:

  • A sleek and elegant exterior design
  • Advanced features such as a hydraulic swim platform and retractable bow thruster
  • A refined and spacious living area perfect for extended cruises

Dufour 390

The Dufour 390 is a versatile and maneuverable sailboat designed for leisure sailors and cruising enthusiasts. Notable characteristics of the Dufour 390 include:

  • A user-friendly sailing platform with responsive handling
  • Multiple layout options for customizable accommodations
  • A comfortable and inviting interior design

Dufour 470

Designed for cruising and racing alike, the Dufour 470 offers a balance between performance and comfort. Key features of the Dufour 470 are:

  • A choice between racing and cruising hull configurations
  • An innovative cockpit layout to facilitate sailing maneuvers
  • Spacious accommodations and ample storage space

Dufour Gibsea 43

This preowned model, the Dufour Gibsea 43, is a comfortable cruising sailboat able to accommodate larger groups while still being easy to handle. Features of the Dufour Gibsea 43 include:

  • A well-equipped galley
  • Multiple cabin layouts for various passenger configurations
  • A wide and stable hull design

Dufour 35

The Dufour 35 is a modest but capable sailing yacht suitable for smaller groups or families. Highlights of the Dufour 35 include:

  • A practical and seaworthy design
  • Comfortable accommodations and living spaces
  • Simple sail handling systems for ease of use

Dufour 385 Grand Large

As part of Dufour's popular Grand Large line, the Dufour 385 Grand Large sailing yacht offers ample space for cruising and living onboard. Key characteristics of the Dufour 385 Grand Large are:

  • A beamy hull design for added stability and interior volume
  • Multiple cabin layout options for varied group sizes
  • Advanced navigation equipment and user-friendly sailing systems

Design and Performance

Dufour sailboats are known for their exceptional design and performance. Working closely with one of the world's leading naval architects, Umberto Felci from Italy, Dufour's Design Office creates well-balanced hull shapes with strong aft sections and reduced wetted surfaces for superior performance and comfort (source).

These monohull sailing yachts are designed as sloop rigs with a deep draft, making them suitable for both racer/cruiser and cruising categories. With a distinct focus on combining performance and luxury, Dufour consistently looks to the future and has been refining their models for over 60 years (source).

One example of a Dufour yacht that showcases both performance and cruising capabilities is the Dufour 36 Performance model. This yacht is fast, responsive, and easy to sail, making it an ideal choice for both racing and comfortable cruising experiences (source).

When it comes to engine options, the Dufour 530, for instance, can be equipped with either a 75hp Yanmar diesel engine and saildrive or a more powerful 110hp Volvo Penta engine and straight shaft. The latter option allows for a maximum motoring speed of 8.2 knots at wide-open throttle and 3,000 RPM, with an economical cruising speed of 6.8 knots at 2,400 RPM (source).

Overall, Dufour sailboats successfully balance performance and comfort, making them an excellent option for sailors seeking versatility in their yachts. With a rich history and innovative design process, the Dufour brand continues to create high-quality yacht models for both racing and cruising enthusiasts.

Popular Destinations for Dufour Sailboats

Dufour sailboats are known for their performance and comfort, making them an ideal choice for sailing enthusiasts around the world. In this section, we will discuss some popular destinations where you can find Dufour sailboats in action.

United States

The United States offers a vast coastline and numerous sailing hotspots for Dufour owners. One popular destination is the East Coast, particularly the waters of New England and the Chesapeake Bay. The region offers picturesque scenery, quaint coastal towns, and excellent sailing conditions throughout the summer months.

On the West Coast, San Francisco Bay is a prime destination for Dufour sailors looking for challenging winds and iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. Southern California also offers ample opportunities to enjoy the performance and luxury of a Dufour sailboat, with popular harbors such as Marina del Rey and Newport Beach.


As the home of Dufour Yachts, France boasts an extensive network of sailing locations for Dufour enthusiasts. The French Riviera is a world-renowned sailing destination, with glamorous ports such as Cannes, Saint Tropez, and Nice providing a luxurious backdrop for Dufour sailboats.

For a more tranquil experience, consider the Brittany coast or the island of Corsica, both renowned for their natural beauty and excellent sailing conditions.


Italy's extensive coastline is dotted with picturesque ports and captivating sailing grounds, making it an ideal destination for Dufour sailboats. The Amalfi Coast, with its dramatic cliffs and small villages, is a popular location for sailors. Other noteworthy Italian sailing destinations include the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, as well as the idyllic Ligurian coast.


Spain's Mediterranean coastline offers plenty of variety for Dufour sailboats, including the picturesque Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza. These islands provide a mix of bustling marinas, secluded anchorages, and fantastic sailing conditions throughout the year.

The picturesque Costa Brava on the northeastern coast of Spain also provides a stunning setting for sailing enthusiasts, with clear waters, charming fishing villages, and world-class marinas to explore.

Ownership and Dealers

Dufour sailboats offer a combination of luxury and efficient sailing, making them an appealing option for yacht enthusiasts. The opportunity to own a Dufour sailboat is available through various dealers and programs.

One popular way to purchase a Dufour yacht is through Dufour's official website, where you can find a listing of authorized dealers near your location. These dealers are ready to guide potential buyers through the buying process, from selecting the ideal yacht, to providing support after the purchase.

Another excellent source for boats for sale is YachtWorld, which offers a comprehensive listing of new and used Dufour yachts available around the world. The platform features 360 yachts for sale, including 96 new vessels and 264 used ones, listed by experienced yacht brokers in various countries like Italy, France, United States, Spain, and Croatia.

For those interested in new sailboats, Navigare Yachting provides information on the latest models, yacht ownership programs, and the best offers on Dufour sailboats. This platform allows you to take advantage of their expertise and services to make your yacht ownership journey smooth and enjoyable.

The prices of Dufour sailboats vary significantly, depending on the size, model, and condition of the yacht. Buyers will find a wide range of options and prices through dealers, ensuring there is a suitable Dufour sailboat for every budget and preference.

In summary, Dufour sailboats represent a luxurious and efficient sailing experience. Prospective buyers have several opportunities to explore and choose from a variety of new and used vessels, with the support of knowledgeable dealers and yacht brokers.

Types of Dufour Sailboats

Dufour Yachts is a well-known French manufacturer that specializes in producing high-quality luxury sailing yachts, which cater to various needs of sailors worldwide. Their range includes a broad selection of yacht types.

The Dufour 430 is a prime example of a Dufour sailing yacht, designed to offer the perfect balance for an authentic cruiser with remarkable seafaring qualities. With a sleek hull and slightly higher, rounded rear bilge, the 43-foot yacht stands out as an elegant vessel.

Another notable addition to the Dufour lineup is the DUFOUR 32. This 10.30m sailboat is innovative and intelligently designed, boasting spacious volumes rarely found in boats of its size. Ideal for those who seek great sensations at the helm, this model adds a refreshing touch to the range.

The Dufour 460 Grand Large is a larger option, designed by Umberto Felci, Dufour's go-to naval architect. This yacht offers impeccable style, sophisticated design, and impressive performance. The base price starts around $300,000, and, with additional equipment such as electric winches, a generator, air conditioning, and electronics, can increase to over $400,000.

Dufour Yachts also features boat hull types for different sailing activities, such as:

  • Monohull
  • Displacement
  • Catamaran
  • Planing

These hull types cater to various purposes, including traditional overnight cruising, watersports, sailing, and day cruising. This diversity in design and functionality ensures that Dufour Yachts can cater to the specific needs of sailors across the globe. Whether it's a day on the water or an extended voyage, Dufour sailboats deliver the performance, style, and luxury that today's sailors demand.

Propulsion Systems and Motorization

Dufour sailboats are engineered with precision and commitment to quality, offering various propulsion systems and motorization options to cater to the unique needs of each sailor.

Inboard Motors

These sailboats typically use inboard diesel engines as their primary propulsion system. Inboard engines are installed within the boat's hull, providing a centralized weight distribution and a low center of gravity. This results in enhanced stability and overall sailing performance. Diesel engines are preferred in Dufour sailboats due to their fuel efficiency, durability, and high torque output.

Outboard Motors

Alternatively, some Dufour sailboats may be equipped with outboard motor options, which are mounted to the transom's exterior. Outboard engines are generally more accessible for maintenance, as they can be easily removed from the boat when necessary. Outboard-4S or four-stroke motors are a popular choice for outboard systems, providing improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to their two-stroke counterparts.

Propulsion System Innovations

Dufour sailboats continuously evolve to integrate innovative propulsion systems in their designs. Some of these advancements include hybrid diesel-electric systems and fully electric propulsion systems. Such systems offer environmental benefits and emission reductions while maintaining the performance and reliability expected of a Dufour yacht.

In summary, Dufour sailboats provide a variety of propulsion systems and motorization options, including inboard diesel, outboard, and innovative electric solutions. These options cater to the diverse preferences and requirements of sailors, ensuring each Dufour yacht delivers an exceptional sailing experience.

Activities with Dufour Sailboats

Dufour Sailboats offer a variety of activities to enjoy while onboard. These luxury yachts are built for sailing enthusiasts and watersports lovers, providing ample opportunities for an adventurous experience on the water.

One popular activity with Dufour Sailboats is sailing itself. With their range of models, such as the Dufour 32, Dufour 390, Dufour 430, and the Dufour 61, there is a sailboat suitable for different levels of expertise and sailing preferences. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sailor, cruising or racing, you'll find a Dufour model that fits your needs (source).

These French-made sailboats are famous for their performance and handling, allowing sailors to navigate with ease and confidence. Regatta enthusiasts can participate in regional or international racing events, as Dufour yachts have the pedigree to make a good showing (source).

Dufour Sailboats are also excellent choices for watersports activities. The spacious deck and swim platforms enable easy access to the water for activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The deck space also supports handling kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and other similar equipment.

When it comes to power, some of the recent models, like the Dufour 530, come equipped with powerful engines that further enhance the boating experience. Whether it's a 75hp Yanmar diesel and saildrive or a 110hp Volvo Penta engine, motoring efficiently across the water is achievable with these yachts (source).

Relaxation is another enjoyable activity on Dufour Sailboats. With their comfortable living spaces, luxurious accommodations, and modern amenities, spending time with family and friends while anchored in a serene bay is a pleasure.

In summary, Dufour Sailboats offer a wide array of activities to create unforgettable experiences on the water. From sailing to watersports, these luxury yachts cater to different preferences, allowing you to enjoy the beauty and excitement of the open seas. 

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