Dufour Grand'large 365

by BWS Staff

Blue Water Sailing
September 2005


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In the 1960s Michael Dufour's 30-foot Arpège shocked the sailing world with its 10-foot beam, then unheard of for a boat that size. Wanting his boat to perform beyond the racecourse, the Arpège design had a clear focus on comfort and living space belowdecks. Judging from standards then and now, Dufour's approach was a success. Arpège led Dufour to become the leading production boatbuilder in Europe in the mid-70s, and today's designs show ever-expanding beams for increasingly generous accommodations.

In 2004 Dufour launched the Grand'large series, a line dedicated to pure cruising, and this year is adding the Dufour Grand'large 365 and 455 as they begin to fill out the series. Both designs show a plumb bow and significant beam, carried well aft to maximize accommodations. The 365's wide cockpit comes with an optional folding wheel for easy access to the aft platform. The 455 has twin steering stations in the divided cockpit with the forward section designed to accommodate the “non-active part of the crew” when they aren't lounging on the generous forward deck. The genoa sheets are led aft to the helmsman in the “active” cockpit keeping her easy to handle from the wheel.

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