A 33ft yacht sporting a large cockpit, twin helms, wet bar and grill, and down below she has nine berths – surely there must be some mistake?
The Dufour Grand Large 360 is aimed squarely at the summer cruiser; someone who, with their family and friends, port hops along the coast from anchorage to anchorage or harbour to harbour.
After all, there’s not much need for a wet bar and grill located on the bathing platform in the winter months. Take her to the West Country or cruise northern France and relax in the cockpit while dinner sizzles and the sun sets.
The 360 offers the deck space to make this dream a reality – that’s not something many 9.99m (32 ft 9in) yachts can do.
The 360 is an improvement in many areas on her predecessor, the 350, especially around the helm, and is designed to be easy to sail and offer good accommodation filled with natural light.
After 54 years of building yachts, Dufour has the knowledge and the experience to make the 360 a perfect cruising yacht for UK and European waters. But did they?
THE TEST VERDICT
There is so much on this boat that is right, but on this layout there are also a number of significant details that beggars belief too.
It’s almost as if those designing the deck mould, engine space and hull layout were working independently of each other. The starboard aft cabin has the lowest legroom I’ve ever seen and was pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable as a ‘berth’. Only be able to access the primary fuel filer by taking the boat apart left me confounded.
Luckily, virtually all of this boat’s flaws can be remedied by opting for the two-cabin version.
You then swap this berthed space for a good, large cockpit locker, and for the sake of a few meters of pipe make the fuel filter more accessible too.
This leaves you with a delightfully easy-to-sail cruiser with great cockpit layout, a light and spacious saloon and open forecabin, you also get a boat with loads of deck stowage, a bigger heads compartment, a decent fixed forward-facing chart table and a good sea berth to starboard in the saloon that can be used without the navigator interrupting your sleep.
WOULD SHE SUIT YOU AND YOUR CREW?
As the two cabin, six/seven-berth boat (which I saw at Boot, Düsseldorf) she works well, although more lighting around the boat, especially the galley would have been nice for when tidying up or preparing food during the hours of darkness.
She sails well and while those who know what to do with a mainsheet track might miss it, most won’t, making her simpler to sail.
Under power she’s easier to handle in tight spaces thanks to her deep single rudder that catches plenty of propwash.
The construction methods might be a bit utilitarian for some, but for those who can look past these details she offers a simple-to-sail coastal cruiser that will get you and your friends or family on the water and provide the platform for some wonderful summer cruises.
*The boat tested is available to charter from Universal Yachting, giving you the opportunity to try before you buy.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Price as tested: £159,807
LOA: 10.73m (35ft 2in)
Hull Length: 9.99m (32ft 9in)
LWL: 9.05m (29ft 8in)
Beam: 3.54m (11ft 7in)
Draught: 1.90m (6ft 3in)
Displacement: 5,775kg (12,732 lb)
Ballast: 1,550kg (3417 lb)
Ballast ratio: 26.8%
Sail area: 60m2 (645.8 sq ft)
SA/D ratio: 19
Diesel: 160 litres (35 gal)
Water: 220 litres (48 gal)
RCD: category A (6) B(8)
Designer: Felci Yachts
Builder: Dufour Yachts
UK Agent: Universal Yachting
Tel: 01243 697274