Dufour 530 Review

We talk about how and why the sailing cruiser Dufour 530 made a splash at the world premiere during Boot Dusseldorf 2020, where the cruising racer collected all possible awards in its category. We also provide the reviews of famous yachtsmen writing for the leading yachting media. Of course, the topRik team gives their thoughts on monohull Dufour 530 based on the experience at the exhibition and during further testing.

Dufour 530 review

Dufour Yachts together with Felci Yacht Design naval architects and design team has unveiled a new model for 2020 with a new concept of comfort on board. Even though the main Dufour's DNA was preserved, many updates were introduced, up to and including a completely rebuilt hull.

Of course, at first glance it is noticeable that the Dufour 530 is a close relative of such Dufour bestseller yachts like the 520 and 500. But after a closer acquaintance, a tendency is clearly visible for a racing sailboat to increase its cruising characteristics. This is emphasized even in the buyer’s ability to choose the version depending on the preferences in the management of the boat and the conditions of life on board.

Performance version is designed for non-glamorous yachtsmen who prefer speed under sail, modern control options and seaworthiness regulation.

For lovers of traditional methods of control and sailing weapons, the Ocean version is intended.

In the Easy version, this sailboat appears as a cruising yacht, with maximum ease of handling, freedom of movement on deck and comfort in living quarters.

Features of Dufour 530

  • Brand: Dufour Yachts
  • Hull type: Sailing yacht
  • Overall length, m: 16.35
  • Width, m: 4.99
  • Draft, m: 2.8
  • Displacement, t: 16.193
  • Keel weight, t: 4.6
  • Water tanks, l: 740
  • 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: 69
  • Jib area, m²: 62
  • Engines, hp: 75/110
  • Fuel tanks l: 440
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Max speed Dufour 530

According to the official website of Dufour Yachts, the maximum speed of the Dufour 530 is 10 knots when powered by sail. However, the actual speed achieved by the yacht may vary depending on various factors such as wind conditions, sea state, and the skill of the crew.

It's worth noting that the Dufour 530 is also available with an optional engine, which can provide additional speed under power. The maximum speed of the yacht with the engine will depend on the specific engine selected and the conditions in which it is used.

Review of Dufour 530 by TopRik Team

As we said above, Dufour Yachts doesn't want to deny racing performance to its famous sailboats, but leaves it up to buyers to determine the ratio of tension and comfort that their personal concept of racing cruisers allows.

TopRik team really liked this differentiated approach of the shipyard to the requirements of the boating community. Even in such a small team as ours, there were adherents of all three versions! The opinions expressed were not even affected by the fact that our skipper and topRik team leader prefers the unglamorous yachting. But he also agreed that the marketplace is focused on the prevailing demand, and in recent years it has been noticeably leaning towards increasing comfort - both in driving a boat and in living conditions on board during long autonomous navigation.

Therefore, for practical testing, we took the charter version with 6 cabins and 14 berths in the Easy version. In order to immediately remove all questions about steering, we will inform you that our skipper did not need additional help in driving the Dufour 530.

Dufour 530 review

But let's start from the very beginning, that is, from the moment when only a few representatives of the topRik team first saw this sailboat at the world premiere. We will combine their impressions of what they saw with the results of later testing, when the team, according to tradition, before offering the boat to you, felt everything with their own hands.

Impression from What We Saw at the Transom

We noticed the changes right away, not being able to fine a locker in the center of the transom. It was reduced in size, moved to starboard and is used to store life rafts now. The vacated space in the Dufour 530 is used to accommodate equipment below deck, in particular, a generator, air conditioner, watermaker with access from the cockpit.

In the center of the transom, you can equip davits for a motor boat if you do not want to use an electric platform to transport it.

The deck shower is located by the ladder to the cockpit. A locker is equipped under one of the steps of this ladder. Part of the same step serves as a cover for the locker, and in a different position it serves as a rest for the helmsman's feet behind the left helm.

Since we said "left helm", you already might have guessed that the Dufour 530 is a double-rudder sailboat.

Dufour 530 review

Our skipper, as always, rushed to the helm. Did he not notice that we are not finished with all the features of the transom? There is also a wonderful grill with a sink. Cooking outdoors while standing on the platform is possible at anchorage.

Dufour 530 review

By the way, if you lower the lid of the grill, this place turns into a great lounger on which you can pass the time while the autopilot performs its mission.

During the exhibition, our representatives, of course, were not able to test the operation of the grill in the field, but on the day of testing we did not refuse such an opportunity.

Dufour 530 review

Double Helms in the Cockpit

As we have suggested many times, twin helms seem to be permanently embedded in the Dufour's DNA spiral. I also remember that we complained about placing the chartplotter on the end of the table in an earlier version, and then we were glad that we were "heard" and it got transferred to the control panel.

So, in this model you have the opportunity to independently determine the location of the chartplotter. As you can see, in this case, the Raymarine multifunction display is located on the panel behind the helm. But pay attention to the end of the table - and you will see a place that is designed to house the chartplotter.

Dufour 530 review

But in this case (pictured below), the owner of the vessel used both options: a chartplotter on the starboard helm panel, as well as a chartplotter on the end of the table, in case you have to take control from the helm station on the port side.

Dufour 530 review

The control station is very conveniently equipped: almost all handles and control buttons are at arm's length. The electronic throttle draws a lot of cheers from those who remember that flimsy side knob on some previous models. Two winches are traditionally placed on the roof.

Lightweight plastic helms facilitate the work of not only the helmsman, but also the autopilot. Behind the right helm there is a step leading to the side deck, under which there is also a locker. There is also storage space under the sofa seat on the starboard side. In general, there are a lot of lockers on the deck – take for example a huge locker that can be placed above the hatch to the compartment with all that useful equipment below deck.

There is a lot of free space in the cockpit, which is convenient for movement on board, including when managing sails. As we have already found out, on the transom you can organize a large place to relax if you close the grill lid.

The table unfolds to a large size, although it does not transform into a big bed, as in previous models. But it contains a built-in vertical refrigerator and another storage box.

There are biminis above the helm stations and above the cockpit, as well as a sprayhood. This is enough protection from rain and bright sun, and also partially from the wind. The sprayhood is transparent so you can see the sails through it.

Below Deck. In the Saloon

Before even stepping into the saloon, we were already delighted with the novelty. Entrance panel will no longer be constantly located in places where no one would think of looking for it. Now it is lifting, the entrance to the saloon from the cockpit opens and closes with a button.

The excellent natural lighting of the cabin immediately attracts attention. Manufacturers went for expensive solutions, equipping all living quarters with hatches, including for the influx of fresh air. Natural light and ventilation are hallmarks of high comfort on any yacht.

The saloon galley is separated from the main area by storage cabinets. The photographer in the photo below takes the picture of the saloon right from the galley side.

Dufour 530 review

And you can see the dining area and seating area next to the chart table. Soft sofas and a table that transforms into a bed for two people are an excellent reserve for a crowded charter.

Large hatches in the ceiling (look how many!) allow you to watch the sails while sitting at the chart table. This helm station is equipped with all the necessary instruments and indicators, with the help of which the skipper controls the equipment of the yacht.

From this angle, the entrance to the cabins, the bathroom and the ladder leading to the deck are clearly visible.

And this is how the saloon looks like from the opposite side - here the galley is already clearly visible, and you can also see the rest of it to the other side. There is a huge fridge with a big freezer, a microwave and a ton of lockers.

By the way, a TV panel is hidden in the counter opposite the refrigerator, it will show itself to you if you find the control panel.

Dufour 530 review

And here is another sign of the comfort of any vessel - the rounded corners of the furniture in the saloon, protecting your limbs and sides from damage during pitching or in case of a collision.

Such an abundance of storage space is pleasing indeed. For the galley, this is especially important. And here, hanging and “floor” cabinets are designed for this - here you can place dishes, kitchen appliances, and some non-perishable products. There is even a cellar for wine storage.

The design and materials used are noteworthy. The decoration includes veneer and solid wood, natural textiles, natural teak veneer. For safety during pitching, handrails are located throughout the yacht: above the deck they are made from stainless steel, and in the interior - from solid natural wood.

Below Deck. In the Cabins

The shipyard provides the buyer with a choice of cabins from 4 possible options:

  • 3 cabins for 8 people - 1 master cabin with separate shower and toilet with a sink, 2 guest cabins with separate toilets.
  • 4 cabins for 10 people - 1 master cabin with separate shower and toilet with a sink, 3 guest cabins with 1 shared bathroom (one of the guest cabins has a bunk bed).
  • 5 cabins for 12 people - 2 cabins in the stern and bow, a cabin on the starboard side with a bunk bed, a berth in the saloon for 2 people, 4 bathrooms.
  • 6 cabins for 14 people - the previous version adds a cabin with a bunk bed instead of one bathroom, 3 bathrooms in total.

Dufour 530 review

In all versions it is possible to get a skipper's cabin in the forepeak, also in all versions the galley is divided along the sides. If a master cabin is present, it occupies the entire bow, which is spacious enough for a boat of this size. There is plenty of air and storage space.

Dufour 530 review

In guest cabins, depending on the wishes of buyers, both a full double bed and a bunk bed or two separate beds can be installed. All hatches and portholes are provided with blinds or blackouts, and opening windows - with mosquito nets.

Dufour 530 review

The restrooms are not luxurious, but practical and equipped with everything necessary for all usual procedures.

On Deck

We talked about a large number of hatches above. We only add that they are all flush, and nothing threatens the bare toes of passengers and crew when moving around the deck. The safety of those who are here is also provided by rollers and lifelines.

Well, that’s new! The bow of the boat is equipped with an excellent soft sunbed - a wonderful solution. We recommend that you use it only at anchorage, regardless of which version of the sailboat you are traveling on. After all, the Dufour 530 tacks well under sails even in the Easy version, and the raised sides around the perimeter of the entire sunbed are unlikely to save you from rolling off the foredeck. In the center of the lounger, one of the pillows rises, revealing another locker under it.

Sufficient storage space is also an element of comfort on a cruise yacht. Passengers on this yacht may not limit themselves, but for many, the selection of the necessary things for cruise luggage is a painful process. The developers of Dufour 530 removed even the possibility of this pain syndrome.

The forepeak is so voluminous that it can be used not only as a storage room, but also as an additional cabin for a hired skipper.

An electric windlass is installed at the bow. The bowsprit is stationary, it serves to increase the sail area when choosing more productive versions of the sailing rig compared to the Easy option.

The standard version has an automatic staysail, as evidenced by the shoulder strap on the deck.

Advantages of Dufour 530

TopRik experts unanimously called multiversion the most important advantage of Dufour 530, and then added a dozen more, but decided to leave the most basic ones on the list.

  • Multiversion. The sailboat can be equally successfully operated by yachtsmen who have different requirements for a sailing cruiser in terms of sail equipment, control complexity and comfort of life on board.
  • Multivariance is another advantage of this racing cruiser. The future owner can "create" his own version, using the proposed individual settings, ranging from the selection of sailing equipment and ending with the number of cabins, passengers and type of galley.
  • Excellent seaworthiness in all 3 versions. Thanks to the possibility of selecting sailing rig, rigging and keel, the owners of this sailing cruiser with different levels of professionalism can easily control the boat and get the speed, tacking and maneuvering characteristics they need.
  • The quality and safety of Dufour sailboats has been mentioned more than once in our reviews. This model confirms once again: even in the Performance version, the boat behaves perfectly in strong winds and fully rigged. Innovative technologies such as using special fiberglass and sandwich structures were justified even before, on the example of immediate predecessors of the Dufour 530.
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Qualified selection of equipment ensures its reliable functioning in autonomous navigation mode. The Dufour 530 is reliable, safe and comfortable for passengers and crew with different offshore experience.

Dufour 530 review

Reviews of Dufour 530 from Professionals

Learn about the performance of the Dufour 530 from those who first tested this cruising sailboat – journalists and yachtsmen trusted by the yachting community.

Let’s give to floor to a group of sailing journalists from SAIL Magazine, which in 2021 participated in testing for the title “Boat of the Year”: Tom Hale, Adam Cort, Zuzana Prochazka & Tom Dove.

Dufour 530 review

The year the Dufour 530 won the “Best Large Monohull 50 Feet and Above” title, was, in the words of the reviewers, "strange and tragic". Despite the fact that almost all boat shows were cancelled, SAIL employees participated in modestly passing testing while cruising the East Coast of North America. At first, it seemed unlikely that this could be done at all. But as a result, the modest expectations of the team were significantly exceeded. And this concerned not only the number of yachts that were tested, but also the quality of the boats.

Dufour 530 became the leader in the nomination mentioned above - presenting this boat, the authors of the review noted that Dufour has not departed from tradition, continuing to produce two lines of sailboats: Performance and Grand Large, which is marketed as a cruising version of the racing monohull.

The Dufour 530 combines the features of both options: a sailboat that combines high performance seaworthiness with an unprecedented Grand Large cruising comfort.

The testers paid tribute to the Felci Yacht Design team, who let future owners customize this racing cruiser to their needs. Incredible versatility for customization: 3 to 6 cabins, 2 to 4 setups, galley options, keels in 2 depths, custom rigging.

SAIL Magazine team began by putting together three different layouts for the different uses of the Dufour 530. For charter they have designed an "Easy" package - with this layout, sailing requires a minimum of effort. For those who are in the mood for long autonomous sailing, the Ocean version with upgraded sail control is suitable. The "Performance" variant with a larger sail area and a deeper bulbous keel is designed for racing enthusiasts.

The open saloon with separated galley is already familiar to Dufour fans. The location of the cabins also remained the same: the master cabin is in the bow with a shower cabin to the port and a washbasin with a toilet to the starboard.

Ascent to the yacht is done through the drop-down transom, you can get into the cockpit climbing the steps on the left. The galley in the cockpit deserves attention, which, when closed, can be used as a place to relax if you put a mattress on it. Sunbathing lovers will find a few more sun loungers in the bow of the boat.

The team of marine engineers and designers has completely redesigned the fiberglass hull, which sets the Dufour 530 apart from its predecessors. To reduce the weight of the boat and change the center of gravity, innovative alloys were used to make the deck.

But, of course, the greatest achievement of the SAIL team was that the Dufour 530 is a pleasure to sail. The sailboat is equipped with a self-aligning jib for easy handling and code 0 for downwind operation. The team and the jury were lucky: during testing on the water, they had a serious game with a breeze of 20+ knots.

The decision of the judges was certainly influenced by the fact that, according to journalists, the Dufour 530 made the most of the sailing conditions in order to demonstrate its best performance. At the same time, she reveled in the rip current and felt completely royal, “like a kind of water Cadillac.”

Mark Pillsbury also participated in the Dufour 530 sea trials in autumn of 2020 for the title “Boat of the Year”. Their boat was equipped with an in-mast furling main and genoa.

Mark elaborated on three version choice regarding the sailing rig of the Dufour 530:

  • Easy version is characterized by the presence of a self-aligning boom, all lines are led to the couplings and winches at the helm;
  • Ocean version provides two winches on the roof, to which the halyards, vane, reef and lines for spin are brought out;
  • Performance version is intended for racing yachtsmen and comes with a mainsail attached to the cockpit floor in front of the helm, 6 winches to control the sails, a hydraulic backstay and vane, an extended mast and boom that increase the sailing area by almost 20 m².

Dufour 530 review

Video Reviews of Dufour 530

This yacht needs to be understood in-depth to be fully appreciated. There’s nothing better for that than trying it firsthand, of course, but the next best thing is watching some good video reviews.

The first one we have for you is from Yachting World – the team demonstrates various features during interior tour:

Quick showcase of main features of the yacht if you are short on time:

Walk-around tour of the boat with no commentary:

An interior tour by BoatTube at 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival, also silent:

If you wonder how Dufour 530 looks in action, here’s the answer – the sea trial video from Barche:

Yet another tour by BoatTube, 2022 edition:


High seaworthiness, including speed and tacking under sail, makes this boat attractive and in demand among fans of offshore racing. And the high level of comfort of life on board, sufficient space for living attracts the attention of the organizers of charters, as well as those who love sea cruises with their family or close friends.

All these seemingly incompatible qualities coexist perfectly in the cruising yacht Dufour 530, so it is in demand among:

  • couples who wish to race in the middle of the ocean under sail without witnesses;
  • lovers of long autonomous trips without asceticism;
  • those preferring full-fledged family cruises without the need to send children to their grandmothers;
  • yachtsmen who are ready to share the excitement of sailing with friends without the burdensome choice of one “best” friend you have to take with you;
  • experienced businessmen who managed to appreciate all the advantages of the Dufour 530 for charter, without the risk of overpaying too much.

Dufour 530 review

Price calculator

Where to Buy Dufour 530 at a Bargain Price

Don’t worry - you are already where you need to be. The topRik marketplace is a reliable link between yacht and marine equipment manufacturers and yourself. We will provide you with comprehensive assistance so that you can buy the Dufour 530 in the configuration that you need and at the price that suits you.

Experienced yachtsmen of our team regularly test new yachts - sailing and motor, single-hull and multi-hull. We offer only what we ourselves have experienced and know thoroughly. Therefore, no one will be trying to impose unnecessary equipment on you - if you are a true spartan, we will include only items without which it is impossible to survive in the sea. Or you can get the most expensive and comfortable boat – either way, you get the boat of your dreams.

Our marketplace experts:

  • will select a yacht that fully meets your requirements in terms of equipment, quality and cost;
  • conduct all negotiations with the manufacturer or dealer;
  • prepare and correctly execute the necessary documents;
  • will deliver the yacht to the agreed point.

All preliminary consultations are free of charge. If you need additional accessories, equipment, services - we are ready to help with these too.

Dufour 530 review

If you doubt your qualification, take the IYT Yacht Training course “International Bareboat Skipper” at our yachting school SimpleSail - the official partner of IYT Worldwide. Finishing this course will allow you to obtain an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

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