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Dufour 410

2014 April 1

I have a small but regular group of critics for my reviews. Dr. Walter is always getting on me about something I wrote. James likes to poke at me from time to time, "Did you really like that boat?" I promised James I'd be more transparent with my opinions this month.

The new Dufour 410 was designed by Umberto Felci. The D/L is 180.6 and the L/B is 2.94, so this is another very beamy boat with a Bt/Bm of 93%. There is a chine that starts amidships. This general hull shape with all that beam aft has a lot of wetted surface. The big, flat aft sections are not fast in light air, but this is a cruising boat. You would have to try your best to heel the boat over to get rid of some of that wetted surface if you were racing. The ends are both dead plumb with a little bit of overhang aft.

I like the look of the hull. There is a single rudder and you have your choice of deep draft, 6 feet 8 inch or shoal draft, 5 feet 10 inch, keels. The hull rocker appears to be deepest right under the engine. I wonder if that is for hydrodynamic reasons or engine installation reasons. It looks good to my eye.

You can pick from three interiors on this boat. There is a three-stateroom, two-head model. There is a three-stateroom, one-head model and there is a two-stateroom, one-head model. The main cabin stays the same for each interior version with a dinette to port and chairs to starboard separated by a small table. I suppose you could call this small table a nav table, but it's more of an end table. The dining table is just large enough for six people. Maybe two could eat at the starboard chairs.

If you get the two-stateroom version with one head you get a huge head with a big shower stall aft. If you go with three staterooms and two heads the heads are small but very adequate. You do give up the shower stall. I think my choice would be for two staterooms and one head. Clearly, the three-stateroom, two-head version is designed for charter. There are long rectangular deadlights in the hull to let light into the interior. Note that all three boats this month have long, rectangular deadlights in the hull, a feature common to many Euro-designed boats.

The deck plan shows lines coming aft partway under cover from the mast to winches flanking the companionway. There are large glass panels in the aft end of the cabintrunk, right under the winches to let light into the aft staterooms. This is a feature I am seeing more and more. I see only one opening portlight per side in the cabintrunk.

The cockpit is almost identical to that of the Sun Odyssey 349. The twin wheels are moved as far aft as possible. There is no aft seat for the helmsman. This doesn't bother me. I think the only time I see people sit directly behind the wheel is at boat shows. The sailplan shows a boat with high freeboard and chopped-off ends. It's not an elegant hull by classical standards, but things change. And it is clear to me that today volume is the king of yacht design.

The sailplan of the 410 is a fractional rig with swept spreaders and outboard chainplates on the hull. One good thing about this rig trend is that moving the chainplates off the middle of the sidedecks is a very good thing. We can thank the fact that big, overlapping genoas are now ancient history. The SA/D is 17.03.