The Grand’ Large line of Dufour Yachts consists of seven designs which hold their own in summer club races but make great cruisers as well. The new design in the lineup, the GL 405, recently joined her sleek and performance oriented sisters and won European Boat of the Year 2010 in the Family Cruiser category.
The GL 405 is a light displacement production boat that sails fast and looks fast. With long angular windows in the low coachroof and a plumb bow, she looks mighty speedy. The hull is solid, hand-laid fiberglass with a Twaron reinforced structural grid running the length and width of the hull. The deck is a balsa core injection which is light but rigid.
Two cast iron bolt-on keels are available – standard at 6’ 6” or a shoal keel with a 5’ 9” draft. The Dufour 405 displaces just over 17,800 pounds and is easily managed by the deep rudder.
The GL 405 will tack through 80 degrees and will do 8 knots in 15 knots of apparent wind at 40 degrees. She likes to be reefed in 16-18 knots but her beamy aft section provides a stable ride off the wind.
The 9/10ths fractional rig has double spreaders and is deck stepped. There is a double backstay and an inner forestay is optional as is a short alloy sprit to fly an asymmetrical. Genoa tracks (100% jib is standard) are on the deck near the coachroof so the sheeting angles are tight. The standard mainsail has conventional battens and two single-line reefing points.
The 40 hp Volvo Penta diesel with a Saildrive and a fixed two-blade prop will push her at 7.5 knots at 2,400 rpm cruising speed or 8.0 knots at 3,000 rpm max speed. A 55 hp engine and a folding 2-blade propeller are optional.
The profile of the GL 405 is low and sleek and there are twin wheels in the cockpit. With the drop-down transom that forms the swim platform, it’s easy to board. Engine controls are at the starboard wheel and genoa sheet winches are within the helmsman’s reach on both sides for easy short-handed sailing.
Two self-tailing winches on the coachroof control the mainsheet and halyards which are led aft through rope clutches. A drop leaf center table houses a plotter/radar display. Three cockpit lockers provide good storage and there is a liferaft locker under the aft end of the cockpit sole near the emergency tiller access to the rudder post. The foredeck is clear, with a recessed electric vertical windlass and a large, opening chain locker.
The Dufour GL 405 comes in two and three cabin versions with the port side identical in both versions but the starboard side offering customization. The décor features Moabi mahogany and is very contemporary with angular furniture and a nice finish. The saloon has a U-shaped settee to port with a dining table and a double bench seat inboard. Also on port is a good sized aft cabin behind a head with a separate stall shower.
In the two cabin version, the galley, on starboard, is L-shaped and close to the companionway. Two seats with a cocktail table face the main settee. Aft is a very large storage space accessible via the cockpit or the cabin with room for the optional genset or a workshop. Polyethelene water (100 gallons) and fuel (53 gallons) tanks are underneath the berth in either cabin/aft space.
In the three cabin version, the garage storage aft is replaced with a cabin identical to the one on port. The galley is in a straight line up the starboard side across from the settee with the large fridge separating it from the small nav station and bench. In this version, you lose the two seats outboard in the saloon but gain a forward facing nav desk.
The master forward is identical in both versions with a head to port, a large hanging locker to starboard, and a semi-island v-berth.
A fun feature that that gets attention at boat shows is the built-in wine cellar below the floorboards by the companionway. It holds over a dozen bottles of wine, and how many boaters can legitimately boast a wine cellar?
With the Grand’ Large 405, it seems Dufour will appeal to cruising couples and small families looking for space and comfort but desire to do well in club races. The sailaway price, including transport, commissioning, bottom paint, fully battened mainsail, electric windlass, rigid vang, cockpit shower, and a few other nice items including the wine cellar, is $269,000.
Dufour GL 405 Specs
Designer Felci & Roseo
LOA 39’ 10”
LWL 34’ 10”
Displacement (dry) 17,820
Standard draft 6’ 6”
Shoal draft 5’ 9”
Standard keel weight 5,185 lbs
Engine 40 hp Volvo Penta
Water 100 gallons
Fuel 53 gallon