Review Dufour 430 - New Family Cruiser under 300.000 Euro

More than half a century ago, 55 years to be exact, aspiring sailor Michel Dufour revolutionized the choice of material in the construction of yacht hulls. He was the first in Europe to start production of sailing cruisers made of fiberglass. After the first series the amount of applications for their acquisition grew linearly and soon after began to grow exponentially. The shipyard still sells more boats than its main competitors in France today and holds a significant share of the sailing cruiser market in Europe.


Dufour 430 Review

The sailing family cruiser Dufour 430 was presented at the Annapolis Sailboat Show at the end of 2019. It has been an epic year for the shipyard as the yachtsmen also met representatives of the new corporate owner, Fountaine Pajot, a catamaran manufacturer, at the same show. The Dufour line is in good hands and continues its triumphant march, bringing together the best features of family and offshore sailboats to the maximum, although before it seemed impossible.

An offshore sailboat with clear features of the Dufour, model 430 family cruiser is a clear proof that even with a racing boat shifting towards comfort, an optimal middle ground can be achieved. As a result, we have a boat that impresses with its versatility, high comfort and low price. Not surprisingly, the Dufour 430 was immediately nominated for Best Boats 2020 in the cruising monohull category.

 

Features

Features Dufour 430

  • Architect: Felci Yacht Design
  • Year: 2019
  • Hull construction: Fiberglass / contact
  • Deck construction: Injection
  • Overall length, m: 13.24
  • Max beam, m: 4.30
  • Keel weight, kg: 2600
  • Engine power, HP: 49,3 cv (50 cv opt.)
  • Waterline length, m: 11.69
  • Light displacement, kg: 9700
  • Fuel tank capacity, l: 250
  • Sail area, m²: 92
  • Genoa, m²: 40
  • Hull length, m: 12.50
  • Draft, m: 2.10 (1.75 opt.)
  • Water tank capacity, l: 430
  • Mainsail, m²: 52
 

Dufour 430 Review by topRik Team

In a row of moored yachts, we recognized this Dufour cruiser from afar. All the hallmarks of the Dufour Grand Large were present in the wide chines, high freeboards and short bowsprit for the model 430’s anchor, despite the fact that architect Umberto Felci had significantly redesigned the hull, both in design and shape. This we have already been able to determine after climbing on board and immediately noted the extended stern and integrated bulwark. As we got closer, a number of other changes were discovered.

Since we are well aware of the demand for ships for their intended purpose, the Dufour 430 Grand Large was also studied from two sides: as a sailboat for charter use and a yacht for a family cruise.

Dufour 430 Review by topRik Team

 

The More the Merrier

First of all, the capacity of the yacht for a charter was estimated. 8 people of different heights and weights were unleashed onto the deck with limited luggage of one bag each. In the cockpit everyone was freely accommodated along with their bags. Luggage with some difficulty was placed in lockers and cabins.

It was determined that during sailing all passengers can freely stay in the cockpit and enjoy the food that is prepared right there on the aft grill. At the same time, the skipper can be at the helm - and no one will interfere with him managing the boat. Several people can even sit down (or one can lie down) on a long sofa behind the steering wheel.

The More the Merrier

Since we researched the option for a charter, we chose the appropriate layout of the cabins: 4 cabins and 8 sleeping places in double beds + 2 extra berths one above the other.

Everyone was accommodated, although the two tall guys did not like the prospect of lying on their side all the time, since in the cabin with bunk beds their feet rested on the bulkhead. But to accommodate children (or people below 2 meters) they are completely fine.

The rest of the sleeping places are spacious enough for people of any height and complexion.

In addition, the dining area of the salon is easily converted into two beds. In the skillful hands of yachtsmen, the table was transformed in less than a minute.

Same about the shower - it will be a pleasure if you are not a giant. The bathrooms are surprisingly spacious, and at the toilet knees do not bump into anything. Many lockers allow you to freely place all sanitary and hygiene items without fear of mixing up toothbrushes.

Something should definitely be said about the fairly wide deck aisles – they provide quite some space too. But if you want to further expand the usable area, and at the same time provide additional space for relaxation and sunbathing, you can optionally order a variation with transom platform built-in.

The shipyard offers several options for completing the cabins and galley, their features are well demonstrated in the layout below.

 

Who Eats Well, Works Well

After we practiced driving (which we will write about below), we wanted to refresh ourselves with something more substantial than the cockpit grill can offer. So, we went down to the salon and began to take places around the table.

Accommodation of eight people (two more remained in the cockpit) at the table took slightly longer than its transformation and went on until the “passengers” were able to correctly distribute their elbows and knees in relation to the elbows and knees of their neighbors. True, it should be borne in mind that most of us are yachtsmen who are actively involved in sailing. If the passengers do not have muscles, height and weight of professional yacht crewmen, then they can sit at the table much more conveniently.

By the way, the outdoor grill was unanimously rated "Mmmm, what a yummy!" In the cabin, we evaluated not only the result of cooking, but also the galley itself. In our option for a charter or traveling with a family with children, or maybe with a small group of friends, the dining room is different from the option with three cabins.

Do you remember the little bunk cabin where we originally placed our giants? So, its existence became possible due to the removal of the navigation table from the cabin. And really, who needs it in the dining room?! In return, in addition to the extra cabin, we received a different layout of the dining room.

The table on the port side is flanked by sofas, a pair of pouffes and an upholstered bench, while the galley is located along the starboard side.

Let's add right away that with a different layout of the cabins, the location of the dining area and the galley are reversed, and the galley’s layout itself is L-shaped, as in the photo below.

While we were getting acquainted with the equipment of the galley, which had everything necessary for cooking, storing food and utensils, an hour passed after laying veal, fish, poultry and vegetables in the oven. The result surprised us, and in a positive way - all the products were completely ready in an hour.

The vessel was put on autopilot, and almost everyone who tested the performance of the Dufour 430 gathered around the table. Understandably, paying tribute to the delicious lunch, the members of the topRik team shared their impressions of the controls, access to various equipment and the equipment itself - sailing wardrobe, engines, etc.

 

At the Helm under Sail and without It

The presence of two helms in the cockpit is no longer amazing. But their obedience to the slightest touch of the navigator completely satisfies the most captious sailor. Our helmsman appreciated this immediately after starting the engine.

We impatiently unmoor - let's go!

We liked the location of the control panel just behind the helm. Here, from behind the steering wheel, you can control the ropes and electronics, including the autopilot - everything is at hand. The control post is located on the starboard side and the throttle is right at arm's length.

It would be nice to add a chartplotter to all the instruments located on the panel. Unfortunately, it is located very inconveniently: between the helms low above the deck.

We would also add more information gauges to the panel.

In practice, the topRik team was convinced that the Dufour 430 was made to sail. This is evidenced by all large and small details - from the classic sailing rig to the retractable footrest for support when managing the sails while tacking.

We started under the engine at 1200 rpm and 3.9 knots and then maxed out at 3000 rpm for 8.6 knots.

The calm weather made it possible to check the movement of the Dufour 430 under sail. Raising the classic mainsail, setting up the staysail… Even with no wind, the speed of the boat turned out to be 1.5 knots.

We had a variant of the equipment without a thruster, but our helmsman – Sergei Mazur the director of both topRik and SimpleSail companies - coped perfectly with single-handed mooring, which is carried out at this berth stern-to. Of course, ideally you want to know how the boat obeys the helm, where the stern ends up going when the propeller is turned on. Therefore, sometimes it happens that you can just practice on free water, walk astern and see how the yacht reacts. We rested the fenders of the left side against another yacht, but this is not a problem for us, on the contrary - it helps us to navigate. Overall, it is quite possible to moor Dufour alone Partly, of course, the experience of the helmsman affected the process, but he also paid tribute to how obedient and easy the yacht is to manage.

As you can see, one person can easily handle a sailing cruiser. If, of course, he has same training as the members of the topRik team.

Also, in Sergei Mazur’s words, the mainsail on this yacht is classic and will appeal to sailing lovers. Unlike the furling mainsail, it has better characteristics, which means that the yacht will go faster. In general, Dufours sail well and that’s why these yachts are loved by those who race in amateur regattas.

The final Sergei’s conclusion was: “I was amazed that the boat really passed all the tests and did well overall. Of course, it is not suitable for constant usage. But as a personal boat it’s perfect.”

 

Advantages

The topRik team has checked all the main features, structures, living and working spaces, equipment and rigging of the sailing cruiser Dufour 430 Grand Large and based on this we have concluded the following advantages of the yacht.

  • Security. The fiberglass hull of the yacht eliminates the possibility of being damaged due to the osmosis process. When making the vessel, materials were used that are not susceptible to sea water and corrosion.
  • Quality. The yacht is equipped with the most modern equipment, starting with sailing equipment and ending with a galley.
  • Performance. The shipyard's naval architects have achieved an excellent balance of volume and seaworthiness. The boat completely obeys the helm, perfectly maneuvers under sail, as well as when mooring and setting off.
  • Multifunctionality. The balance of comfort and seaworthiness allows the yacht to be used for charters, offshore sailing, and family cruises. The main thing is to correctly determine the configuration.
  • Multivariance. This boat is available in three cabin and galley options: three and four cabins with accommodation from three to ten people.
  • Easy handling - with appropriate training, one person can handle the control without much effort.
  • Spaciousness, which is important for the organization of commercial flights.
  • A significant set of available additional options that will improve the quality of control and the comfort of being on board.

Advantages Dufour 430

When testing the yacht, we found both minor flaws and more serious flaws. Minor problems include some unkemptly sealed joints, as well as a floor that sags in one place. The biggest drawback we found was the bimini in the cockpit not completely protecting us from the rain, although this is typical for many models from different manufacturers. The remaining disadvantages relate to the location of the navigation tools, as mentioned in the section on the features of the boat control.

That is, the identified shortcomings do not affect the safety of the crew and passengers, as well as the seaworthiness of the Dufour 430.

Combining a lot of advantages and some identified disadvantages with the cost of the boat, we believe that the Dufour 430 is a high-quality and reliable family and offshore cruiser with excellent seaworthiness for its price.

 

Reviews of Dufour 430 from Professionals

Sailing Magazine contributor Robert H. Perry summed it up in the subtitle of his review of the Dufour 430 sailing yacht: "An elegant, high-performance cruiser meets the demands for offshore sailing." In other words, he noted the safety of sailing on this boat far away from the coast, on the high seas. In support of his conclusion, he gives the following arguments.

First of all, he appreciated the dimensions of the new model as such that they provide sufficient volume to accommodate the most necessary equipment. The boat is 0,88 m (2.91 ft) wide and 12.5 m (41 ft) long, and with a short anchor bowsprit, it is over 13.1 m (43 ft) long. In addition, the Dufour 430 has a high freeboard.

All of the above, according to the author, allows you to expand not only the space of the saloon, cockpit and cabins, but also provide a productive balance between innovations that increase the performance of the yacht, and innovations that increase the usable internal volume.

Of course, Robert was not silent about the layout of the cabins, discussing options with three cabins and two bathrooms, as well as four cabins and two bathrooms. He drew attention to the fact that each configuration provides for different layout options for the cabin, which is especially noticeable in the placement of the galley and dining area.

With three cabins, the galley will be housed in a saloon with a large L-shaped table located between the sofa on the port side and the bench on the starboard side. To the author of the review, this arrangement of the galley and dining area seems unusual. He admits that he would have to get used to it for some time to recognize the merits of such a layout.

The layout for 4 cabins assumes the location of the galley in one line on the starboard side. The reviewer acknowledges that this placement is optimal for most cruising sailboats.

Since the 4-cabin layout assumes 8 people on board, the same number should be accommodated in the dining area. Robert doubts that the dining room of the Dufour 430 will be spacious enough for such a large number of passengers.

As an innovation, the absence of a navigational station in a four-cabin layout was noted. Due to space savings, an additional cramped double cabin with upper and lower berths is equipped. Both of these layouts free up huge space for the main cabin.

Robert couldn't help but pay attention to the organization of the boat's control panel. He noted that four winches for sail control are located on the sides of the ladder, the main ones are at the stern next to the helms, which makes it easier to access. And sail control is facilitated by a special footrest, which is located in the cockpit, near the large dining table.

Sandy Parks got to know the Dufour 430 at the Annapolis Boat Show where Dufour Yachts introduced the company's new owners, Fountaine Pajot, and two brand new designs.

Journalist and yachtsman Sandy Parks immediately noted the huge, according to her, the internal volume of the boat. She once owned a classic Mason 43 that could fit twice in the volume of a Dufour 430 sail cruiser.

Evaluating the sailing equipment of the yacht, Sandy Parks noted the wide possibilities that the sailboat's equipment provides. It is based on a simple boat rig with swept back spreaders. This makes it possible to use a furling genoa as standard. You can also opt for an overlapping genoa, as Sandy herself would prefer, while also adding a larger sail to the bow sprit.

The reviewer noted that the sailing performance of the yacht is significantly improved due to the bulb-fin keel and the spade-shaped thin and narrow rudder.

The yachtsman suggests pre-reefing the yacht to ensure better speed and balance, a common practice for boats of this design. The wide beam and the shape of the chine allows it to develop high speed with a bank of no more than 12 degrees if the Dufour 430 is moving against the wind.

The test author commended the layout and freedom of movement in the saloon, cabins and on deck. She promised that you will be impressed by the craftsmanship with which the fiberglass hull and deck moldings, as well as the wood trim details, are made. The European style of design is emphasized by the combination of light veneer and fabric, which provides a homely and cozy atmosphere to the interior of the saloon and cabins.

Summing up, Sandy Parks said that the company has once again introduced a new family cruiser, in which everything is very well organized.

Renowned yachtsman and journalist Michael Good participated in the trials of the Dufour Grand Large Large 430 cruise yacht, which made its way to him from France. He noted that the model can successfully compete with other sailing cruisers, thanks to the increased volume, the mature concept of naval architects and designers, the unusual diversity that is presented as in a sailing equipment, and in the configuration of the cabins.

The new Dufour, the author noted, offers unique options for the charter business, which is a profitable selling proposition compared to competitors. This refers to the possibility of configuring the living space up to four double cabins.

According to Michael, the basic equipment of the Dufour 430 fully meets the standards for boats in this class. This option provides three double cabins for owners with two bathrooms.

Particularly noted was the exclusive location of the galley in one of the options - on the main bulkhead in front of the saloon, representing functional niches.

Michael Good claims that the Dufour 430 demonstrated excellent maneuverability and other seaworthiness during the sail test. At the same time, he emphasized the features of the cockpit layout, from where the boat is controlled. Although this part of the yacht is designed exclusively for the needs of yachtsmen who prefer sea travel, it is also an attractive platform for yachtsmen who love active sailing.

Journalist and yachtsman Peter A. Robson tested the boat on Vancouver's Granville Island in winds in excess of 15 knots with broker Richard Hargreaves and Richard Carrier from One4 Yachts. He anticipated his review with a summary: "A top-quality French cruiser that ticks all the boxes."

He, unlike other observers, immediately positively assessed the option of a galley with the division of working areas on different sides, noting that this makes it possible for two people to cook food at once and at the same time not to bump into each other. It was noted that this arrangement of the galley allowed for natural light from the large windows.

The team made several races on the engine. At 2500 rpm, the speed of the yacht was 7 knots, and at 3000 rpm – 8 knots.

She was rigged with a battened mainsail lifted by a Lewmar T40 electric winch and a 95% automatic jib. The wind did not live up to the crew's expectations, but they still managed to get to 12 knots.

This made it a real pleasure, according to Peter, as the helm was perfectly balanced and "silky smooth".

Dufour 430, according to the journalist, proved to be a cruiser suitable for short trips or long cruises - this is a versatile vessel.

 

Video Review

If you are in need of more visuals, here are some video reviews of the model 430.

Teaser made by Dufour Yachts themselves:

Great review by Cruising World:

2021 Cannes Festival review with relaxing music:

Short, yet sweet interior review by YachtPlace:

Full extensive sea trial of Dufour 430 in real-life conditions:

 

Conclusion

As a result of several hours of life on a sailing cruiser Dufour 430, as well as after tests conducted with engines on and under sail, the topRik team found out that all the manufacturer claims in terms of seaworthiness, performance, crew and passenger comfort are true.

Therefore, we recommend the Dufour 430 Grand Large in good conscience to anyone who:

  • likes to enjoy life at sea under sail with family or friends;
  • prefers speed and participates in various amateur sailing regattas;
  • organizes sailing trips for charter passengers;
  • rents or leases boats;
  • organizes corporate events on the water;
  • prefers to sail alone;
  • chooses the maximum combination of price, comfort and high seaworthiness.

The Dufour 430 is made for people who enjoy speed, sailing and being emerged into thoughtful and cozy interiors.

 

Where to Buy

If you have opted for a Dufour 430 sailing yacht, the experts of our marketplace will advise you on all your questions. The topRik team is made up of practicing yachtsmen and experienced businessmen in the sailboat and motorboat services.

They thoroughly understand all the nooks and crannies of sailing, the organization of charters in coastal and cruising navigation. Therefore, they will give you practical and comprehensive advice regarding your particular situation.

We provide our clients with full support when buying a yacht, which includes:

  • selection of the required version of the boat in strict accordance with the requirements of the buyer;
  • recommendations on the most profitable and convenient payment options;
  • delivery of the yacht to the specified place;
  • selection and delivery of all additional accessories, equipment and fittings that are not included in the standard and optional equipment (dishes, bed linen, marine display, watermaker, etc.)

Contact our experts through the “Contact us” page in the bottom - don’t be afraid to reach out!

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