“There is no point in changing a winning boat”. It isn’t always true. In the case of Dufour 412 (which replaces Dufour 410), one of the most successful 12-metres-boats of the latest years, the French shipbuilder has decided to make a step forward. It is a part of an operation which involves most of Grand Large range, by making it more modern and attractive for the market. So, some innovations on a boat which is always the same and with the traditional hull designed by Felci Studio.
We tested it, in absolute preview for Italy, in the Gulf of La Spezia, just before Dufour Day, the big festival organized by Settemari Yacht to show its cruise range.
Two of the main changes are here, at the two far ends of the deck. There is an intelligent bowsprit which allow to manage fore sails in an easier way. It hosts the anchor and it makes all manoeuvres easier. We have particularly appreciated the locker’s design, the chain falls in the right way without the risk to get jammed, the hatch is wide and, when it is open, you can enter without any problem.
The other important change is on the stern area, where there is a real external kitchen. This feature involves also the elder sisters of the Grande Large range. It’s a comfortable solution, especially for family cruises.
Just behind the helmsman are the burners/grill, a sink and a cutting board. All in all, a real kitchen you can use directly from the pilot house. It is 270 cm wide and 70 cm deep, comfortable enough to move and cook with calm. A small paradise for sailing cooks.
The one-metre-wide-passage on the right replaces the two smaller ones of the previous version. Thanks to the 65 cm between the two wheels, circulation is rather functional. The only imperfection is the astern mug-holder of the table and under the space dedicated to the plotter installation. Fortunately, it will be removed on the next models.
The rest of the deck is the same than on Dufour 410: large gangways (41 cm), an ample cockpit (179 x 230 cm) with very comfortable seats (benches are 179 cm long). There is the possibility to convert the entire cockpit into a huge sunbathing platform. A little complex but an excellent idea for those who love tanning.
As regards manoeuvres, their arrangement is extremely traditional: the genoa sheet and the furler are at the helmsman’s fingers, while the rest is near the hood.
As regards interiors, the main changes involve the kitchen. It is one of the strongest points of the boat because it is provided with a long work table, a very big fridge, a good ventilation and brightness. This is maybe the second strong point of the boat thanks to the large windows on the entire boat.
What we liked particularly: the comfortable spaces everywhere, the wine cellar under the floor, the compartment for an additional icebox under the seat of the lunch table (excellent for 7 people). The boat is a continuous discovery of cupboards and chests; the chart work table is convertible into a sofa and it has a good size (52 x 67 cm)
Inner volumes are good, starting from the two metres of height in the dinette which continue in the passageways of the cabins. On the boat we tested, the cabins were three: a fore shipowner’s cabin and two astern double ones. In the basic version, on the contrary, the cabins are two and there is a big technical locker accessible from the cockpit. In this configuration, the bathroom is bigger and equipped with a large shower box.
DUFOUR 412 – NUMBERS AND PERFORMANCES
As we said at the beginning of this article, the best of this boat is guaranteed by the hull design (by Felci Studio). It has been conceived to give some beautiful sensations even with little wind. The boat, until the swerving doesn’t increase, drags little water. This means not only good speed but, above all, great agility. As in our sea trial, with a typical Mediterranean-12-knot-breeze, the boat is pleasant to drive, you can “feel it” and it obeys, even if it was designed for an easy comfortable safe family cruise. With a close hauled of 12 knots, we sailed at 6.7 knots, which became 7.6 by bearing away until 55 degrees. The pace is good on the beam at 7.0 knots. But by decreasing, it’s necessary to lift something on the bow ( we didn’t it for our test) or to start the engine. In this case, cruising speed is 7.4 knots with 2,5000 revolutions, while the maximum speed – 3,000 revolutions – is about 8.3 knots.
DUFOUR 412 – TECHNICAL FILE
Project Studio Felci
Builder Dufour Yachts, France
Sea trial Dealer Settemari Yacht, Office of La Spezia (Porto Lotti) La Spezia Italy, Viale San Bartolomeo 394 , tel/fax +39 0187 532240, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
CE Planning Category A
Overall Length 12.70 m
Floating Length 11.15 m
Max Width 4.20 m
Draught 2.10 m
Displacement 8,940 Kg
Ballast: 2,600 Kg
Engine 40 HP
Fuel Tank 200 l
Water Tank 380 l
Construction fiberglass hull and deck, full laminate for the hull, sandwich tecnology fot the deck.
Basic Price 121,490 Euros, VAT excluded
Sailign area: 71 sq.m.
Mainsail: 38 sq.m.
Genoa: 33 sq.m.
I: 14.50 m
J: 4.30 m
P: 13.92 m
E: 4.70 m
LP: 4.61 m