Review Dufour 32 - cruiser with a Mediterranean cockpit
In this article TopRik team talks about the new Dufour 32, a cruising sailing monohull cruiser with a Mediterranean cockpit. In addition to opinions from the team's experts, we offer reviews of the new sailboat from reputable sailors in the world of yachting and journalists from the leading yacht mass media. Photos and video reviews complement the story.
The sailing racer Dufour 32 has become a notable event in the world of sailing. Especially considering the fact that manufacturers are increasingly moving towards increasing the size of yachts and comfort on board. Often this leads to a violation of the parity between the ship's seaworthiness and its luxury in favor of the latter.
Therefore, a sailboat with a length of just over 10 meters made the expected sensation among yachtsmen. Dufour 32, aptly labeled "hipster" by reviewers, has already won several prestigious awards, for example, the title Sailing Yacht of the Year 2022, which awards good looks and functionality. This sailing racer also Winner of the 2022 Innovation Award by Voile Magazine.
And we can assure you that it was not only the waterline length of the sailing yacht Dufour 32 that played a major role in snatching these prestigious awards. Here's a photo of this cruiser to get you started that might intrigue anyone who's been at the helm of the latest Dufour models.
To help you recover a little from what you have seen, check out the technical specifications of the boat while the topRik team approaches the pier to conduct a detailed review, and if we are lucky with the weather, then also test the sailing yacht Dufour 32.
Features of Dufour 32
- Brand: Dufour Yachts
- Hull type: Sailing yacht
- Overall length, m: 10.31
- Width, m: 3.31
- Draft, m: 1.9
- Displacement, t: 4.9
- Keel weight, t: 1.33
- Water tanks, l: 160
- Exterior design (Architect): Felci Yacht Design
- Interior Design: Felci Yacht Design
- CE Certification: A
- Mainsail type: Fully battened
- Jib type: Furling genoa
- Mainsail area, m²: 34
- Jib area, m²: 22
- Engine, hp: 19
- Fuel tanks, l: 90
Dufour 32 Review by TopRik Team
It is good that we prepared our readers in advance. But your confusion from the photo above cannot be compared to ours, when we first saw that in order to get on board the Dufour 32 you have to climb this inflatable platform, or rather, a paddleboard.
View from the Pier
Yes, indeed - Dufour replaced the hydraulic transom platform with an inflatable version. At the same time, it also serves as a continuation of the transom, if raised on board. And what if you remove it? An open transom is an unusual solution for a Dufour stern.
The platform can be used as a beach place with close access to the water. We had a question: how to climb this platform from the water? Is it really only relying on the strength of the arms and shoulders? Probably, it is assumed that yachtsmen are trained people, and they will cope with such physical exercise. It seems that here it would be necessary to provide a place for a removable ladder for some of the less fit yachtsman’s friends.
Even at the first glance at the Dufour 32, one can confidently state that the developers have introduced a number of innovations to significantly reduce the weight of the yacht. As we have already demonstrated, they unloaded the transom, and also used inflatable elements, in particular, a removable inflatable cockpit door, an inflatable base for solar panels and an inflatable lazy bag. The bimini stands above the cockpit were also removed. Now for a canopy on board only rack rings are provided.
And if we compare the full length of the yacht with the length of the hull and waterline, we will see that the naval architects have achieved the maximum reduction in the area of the bottom wetted surface. This greatly improved the nautical characteristics of the boat, especially its maneuverability and speed.
In the Cockpit
But let's still overcome our doubts and climb into the cockpit. Oops - there is something under my feet – and it's a folding tiller! We are already so accustomed to the helm, or even a pair of helms, as in large Dufour models. What does it tell you about this boat?
Well, the desire to get hip is once again raised to the banner of young lovers of everything vintage, and Dufour does not want to miss his chance. The shipyard produces a sailboat for the young, daring, energetic and physically hardy. More experienced (and matured, alas) yachtsmen are increasingly moving to comfortable yachts, luxurious catamarans and even trimarans, and young people who want to learn the basics of yachting “as it was before” get Dufour 32 with various bells and whistles, emphasizing the model’s youth affiliation. Like, for example, these bindings for sailboards for windsurfing.
We went pretty far in our reasoning, and we had only just climbed into the cockpit. That’s what this boat does - it evokes thoughts about the development of trends in yacht building, as well as in sailing in general.
The long-standing confrontation "helm vs tiller" is resolved here in favor of the latter. TopRik's hardcore yachtsmen approved of this choice, and they explained their approval as follows:
- tiller control allows you to feel personal effort;
- tiller control provides quick feedback and allows you to maneuver faster;
- the position of the rudder blade is determined by the direction of the tiller top;
- tiller boats have one rudder blade, which significantly improves handling, especially important when maneuvering during mooring.
Learning to drive a yacht with a helm is much easier, especially for those people who know how to drive a car: turning the helm to the right causes the yacht to turn in the same direction. Although it will be harder for most to get used to the tiller if they have not encountered the tiller system before or have lost the habit - the rotation of the tiller and the boat itself are always mirrored.
In addition, tiller control requires some physical effort, unlike steering: on the latest Dufours that we tested, our team, if you remember, especially noted the ideal sensitivity of the helms even to the lightest touch.
And still, our sea wolves, present on the Dufour 32, agreed that for a 10-meter sailboat, tiller control is what you need if you want to test and develop your abilities as an unglamorous yachtsman.
Replacing the steering wheels with a folding tiller freed up space in the cockpit. Along the sides there are long sofas, behind them there are seats for the skipper, and in the middle there is a large table. In the photo above, you can only see its tabletop, since the table itself is in a folded state. If you lift it, spread it out and use a mattress, you can equip a completely comfortable place for relaxing and sunbathing here.
And if the table is used for its intended purpose, in the cockpit you can have a meal in the fresh air for 4 people.
The topRik's team of 5 people accommodated just fine and there was room for one more person at the table, which is not surprising - the yacht is designed for a maximum of 6 people. To test this statement, we all went down to the saloon and… ended up in the interior of the Dufour 310.
It is understandable, that the interiors of the saloon and cabins remind us of the good old, already discontinued 310th. After all, the shipyard kept working with the same team of naval architects and designers from Felci Yacht Design for many years. In our opinion, this is correct, since the team does not have a desire to redraw everything beyond recognition just to somehow change the boat compared to its predecessors. This is not only expensive for the manufacturer, but also for the customer – not optimal business solutions usually hurt both of them.
This saloon at one time pleased us at the Dufour 310 (first photo) and is just as fine at the 32nd (second photo). As they say, find 10 differences.
There are some layout changes though. I remember that we were disappointed that on the 310th the table could not be used to expand the sleeping area in the cabin. We have been heard! We were happy to see that on the 32nd, the table in the saloon has new magical properties: below you see a table being just a table and (Finite Incantatem!) the same table is now a bed.
And here are some more changes - a full-fledged chart table was removed, now the instrument panel is located behind the back of the sofa, which should be folded back to see it. Excellent panels, by the way, which also differs from the touch screen that was on the 310th, and which caused a lot of displeasure. Now it has been replaced with a conventional push-button, and this is welcomed by our entire team. It also houses a chartplotter, communications equipment and indicators of other devices that can be used to control the operation of the yacht's equipment.
In this L-shaped galley, of course, is not big enough for two people, unless one is standing at the stove and the other is washing the dishes. It is difficult to place a full-fledged linear galley on such a small yacht. But even this is quite enough to provide 2-6 people with regular hot meals, tea and even mulled wine. A gas oven, a top-loading refrigerator, a sink and a sufficient number of cabinets and shelves - everything is thought out and simply masterfully placed in this small area.
Two cabins with two double beds are designed for 2-4 people. When entering the cabins, only our 2-meter-high expert had to bend down a little, but he has to bend down in almost any openings both on land and in the sea. The rest of the topRik team , with an average height of 1.75 m, passed freely through all the doors. The height of the ceilings for everyone was quite sufficient so as not to feel cramped.
Aft cabin with a large enough bed, where two people can rest or sleep without problems.
The bow cabin has natural light and ventilation through the skylight and is also designed for two. The toilet room with washbasin, shower and toilet is intended for all the inhabitants of the yacht.
At the exit from the cabin, we also checked the engine under the ladder, nothing unexpected - Volvo Penta 19 HP.
But the bow part surprised us even on the way to the boat. We figured out the desire of the developers to repeat the style of the 470, and when we boarded and then went on deck, we were confirmed in our opinion. The bowsprit on such a small boat is not only for the sake of beauty, although, of course, it gives swiftness to the appearance. It also allows you to slightly increase the sail area by shifting its center. The deviation of the mast to the back has the same purpose. As a result, a mainsail and genoa with a total area of 56 m² can be used on the yacht. There is also equipment to attach a gennaker.
The shoulder strap of the automatic staysail suggests that its installation is possible as an option.
So, in all respects, the Dufour 32 yacht is very productive - about half a ton of mass was removed from it, the area of the wetted surface of the bottom was reduced, one rudder was left and the sail area was increased. These are the characteristics of a real offshore racer.
And if you take into account the possibilities of autonomous navigation, then the Dufour 32 can be safely classified as a racing cruiser, which is very easy to manage alone, especially if you install a couple of additional winches to the two available.
Advantages of Dufour 32
For the topRik team, the main advantage of the Dufour 32 was the fact that the developers eliminated all the shortcomings that we saw in the model 310 - a touch panel, two helms, and the lack of an extra bed in the cabin.
Seriously though, we think it was the right choice to build a racing sailboat designed for young challenge lovers without too much comfort to relax while cruising or competing.
Some of us are adherents not of glamorous cruising, but of hardcore yachting, therefore, we can appreciate the capabilities of this sailboat, which will enter lives of many beginners under the nickname “my first boat”. Dufour 32 has everything that attracts active youth: challenge, adrenaline, mobility, originality. Not the last thing here is the affordable price of both the boat itself and its rental.
With all this, the yacht is not without sufficient comfort, especially when it comes to a solo voyage or in the company of a loved one.
At the same time, this model is a great option for commercial purposes. There were 6 of us on the boat, and this did not create any problems, so both small groups of people and lovers of sailing alone could be interested in renting the boat.
This yacht is an excellent textbook sample for yachting schools. It is much easier for a person who has learned to steer a boat with a tiller to switch to steering with a helm than vice versa. In addition, it is an opportunity to experience the power of a sailing cruiser in direct contact with its driving force - a single rudder, sails and wind.
Reviews of Dufour 32 From Professionals
And here is how the new boat Dufour 32 was rated by media journalists from various countries. At the time of the release of "First Sight" by Theo Stocker yacht was just getting ready to be presented to the public. There are also Rupert Holmes and Michael Good, who participated in her first trials. Rupert in La Rochelle tested hull number 1, which became the basis for all subsequent Dufour 32s.
Video Reviews of Dufour 32
As always, here’s some video footage of this agile little yacht.
First, the teaser from Dufour Yachts, featuring all kinds of fun activities you can do on the boat:
Simple overview of the boat’s interior:
Detailed review of Dufour 32, at the sea and inside, demonstrating various features:
More footage of the vessel from Azur Boats Méditerranée:
As the sailing yacht Dufour 32 is clearly a racing cruiser and at the same time provides just enough comfort for those on board, it is ideal for those who:
- do not see their life far from the sea and without sails;
- prefer speed, movement, adrenaline and the challenge of the sea element to a quiet life on land;
- prefer a noisy large company of close friends engaged in a common cause;
- likes to change places of stay, travel;
- provides services in coastal or offshore cruising by renting out boats.
Where to Buy Dufour 32 at a Bargain Price
If you decide to buy Dufour 32, marketplace experts topRik are ready to deliver the yacht to the agreed location at a bargain price.
Beforehand, we will find out what you expect from a sailboat, and we will offer a configuration option that will meet your requirements precisely. All employees of the marketplace are active yachtsmen who have studied in practice the characteristics and features of all sailing and motor yachts that topRik offers.
We will not only pick up a Dufour 32 for you according to an individual order and deliver it to the specified point at a favorable price, but we will also provide you with all accessories and equipment that are not provided as the standard or optional equipment from the manufacturer.
Since we are interested in further cooperation with our customers, we do not engage in upselling or including additional unneeded goods in your order.
If you are new to yachting, before or after buying your first boat, you can study at our yachting school SimpleSail to receive a certificate of IYT Yacht Training Course "International Bareboat Skipper".
Contact our consultants via the feedback form on the website, call the specified phone number or send us an e-mail message if you wish to buy Dufour 32.
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