New boat: Dufour 350 Grand Large
From the bird's eye view, the Dufour 350 looks like a race boat, with the beam carried far aft. That trickle-down feature from racers to cruisers has been a boon to sailboat designers because it increases the interior volume, allowing for more cruising gear and features inside the boat and more space in the cockpit. Dufour's designer, Felci Yacht Design, made full use of the extra space in the 350, a 34-foot, 9/10th fractionally rigged cruiser. This boat is loaded.
The roller furling genoa self tacks, and its tack is mounted on a short, fixed sprit that doubles as a anchor roller. There is no provision for a spinnaker. The shrouds are mounted outboard–this boat is all about space, on deck and below. Under the broad cockpit, a sealed locker holds the propane tank and another locker has space for a life raft. There is also a tender locker, and one with a lockable top. The seats are teak, with a nonskid deck. The transom drops down into a swim platform with easy access between twin steering wheels. Swept spreaders allow for the absence of a backstay and the mainsheet is mounted on the cabintop.
There are three interiors: two three-cabin models and a two-cabin model. All of the models have a single head, and the room for the three-cabin models comes at the expense of the chart table across from the galley. One three-cabin model replaces the end of settee with a chart table. All models have the same L-shaped galley and saloon arrangement: a square table flanked by settees.
The countertops are Corian and the twin galley sinks, with hot and cold water, have Corian covers. There is a 12-volt refrigerator and two-burner stove with oven. The mast support is chromed, and the hatches are clear, all of it adding to the belowdecks shine.
The 350 looks like a fine boat for gentle cruising, but according to Dufour, it was designed for long-haul sailing.∫ That explains why the 350 has one head–and lots of storage space instead. It has an A-6 CE certification, and at 12,300 pounds, with 3,400-pound ballast and a sail area-to-displacement ratio of 17.5, the boat is sturdy and manageable.
Dufour's two-cabin 350, with the auxiliary upgraded to the 30-horsepower option, is perfect for a crew of four to sail off for an easy week down the coast, skipping past the weekend watering holes for destinations less traveled.
LOA 33'6"; LWL 29'6"; Beam 11'6"; Displ. 12,300 lbs.; Ballast 3,400 lbs.; Draft 5'1" (shoal), 6'3" (deep); Sail area 600 sq. ft.; Auxiliary 19-hp diesel saildrive (30-hp optional); Fuel 42 gal.; Water 58 gal.