by Des Ryan
With the tendency to longer and longer boats for cruising, it's worth reflecting on whether you actually need the space or not. Every foot of length brings extra complications, and sometimes small IS better AND less is more. That's why this week's featured yacht, the Dufour 36 Performance could be a great choice for the ardent sailor.
Dufour 36 fun to sail as well as great for cruising
The Dufour 36 won't disgrace you if you want to race around the buoys, but, while she may not be the first choice for crossing oceans, she's great as a cruising boat as well. While being both sporty and fun to sail, she is adaptable easily for weekends away, or longer cruising.
The wider mid beam and greater topside flare results in reduced drag and improved stability; the larger sail plan gives more power when required.
There are options, as with all boats, but the wide, open cockpit allows comfort and efficient sailing with controls placed to facilitate shorthanded sailing; Coming about, one person can easily take care of the headsail sheets.
Dufour 36 in anchorage
The traveler, mounted on the coachroof forward of the dodger, leads to the port side with its own rope clutch. There are three clutches to port, and five to starboard. The main comes with three reef points, and two are rigged as part of the standard package.
Deck hardware is all Lewmar, with the exception of the Spinlock rope clutches. A bank of five Spinlock rope clutches holds the various lines, all led aft to the starboard side coachroof. Three more were to port.
In-mast main furling by Z-Spar, supplier of the mast and boom, is offered, but the Facnor roller-furling 130 percent headsail is standard.
Optional instrumentation, in the form of an Autohelm ST60 package and an Autohelm 4000 autopilot, are nicely displayed on a stainless steel binnacle.
From the steering position, visibility is excellent when standing, and it's comfortable to steer while sitting as well.
This boat comes with the optional rigid boom vang, and the deck-stepped mast sits on an aluminum plate, with cutouts for drainage. The twin-spreader mast allows the boom to carried well out for running.
The lifelines are sturdily mounted, and there's good storage space on deck.
Dufour 36 - lots of storage
The chain locker is a triangular well three feet on a side and is separated from the rest of the boat by a watertight bulkhead. One stainless steel pivoting anchor mount with a rubber roller is standard, with room for a second mount.
The spacious and well appointed accommodations provide comfort underway for families, friends and crew! The hull and deck port lights provide bags of natural light and airflow.
Dufour 36 - looking aft from saloon
Moabi woodwork provides warmth and functionality. The spacious feeling is enhanced by double doors into the forward cabin. Both cabins can be split into separate sleeping bunks providing ultimate flexibility.
The 36 was originally an evolution of the Dufour 35. The designers, Alain Mortain and Yiannis Mavrikos, also designed the Dufour 37 and 42, and have turned their hands to boats ranging from a BOC Open 50 to a series of cruising monohulls for Etap.
Dufour 36 - main saloon
Length overall 10,99 m / 36'
Length waterline 10,21 m / 33' 6'
Hull length 10,99 m / 36'
Hull width 3,61 m / 11' 10'
Displacement 6 400 kg / 14,109 lbs
Draft 2,20 m / 7' 2'
Mainsail surface 72,1 m² / 776 Ft²
Water capacity 220 L / 53 Gal
Fuel tank capacity 90 L / 24 Gal
Engine 40 KW / 30 HP
Certification CE Category A