Skip to main content

Boat Review: Dufour 382 Grand Large

A well-proportioned and speedy couple’s boat

A well-proportioned and speedy couple’s boat

There’s always a temptation to buy big when looking at sailboats. However, just about everyone I know—myself included—wonders at some point if a smaller boat wouldn’t have been easier to manage, both physically and financially. That is why it’s good to see a “couple’s boat” under 40ft that provides not only a good turn of speed but comfortable accommodations as well.

Dufour, builder of uniquely styled yachts up to 56ft, drew on its experience with three previous under-40 models when it created its 382 Grand Large. The result is a boat that does just about everything two to four people could want in less length.

Design & Construction

The hull of the Dufour 382 Grand Large is hand-laid in polyester with an ISO/NPG outer layer to resist blistering. The deck is constructed using a dry layup in a mold with a PVC core that is then resin injected to better control the fiber and resin placement, making for a stiff, light structure. As an added benefit, the injection process creates a smooth lower surface, which in turn allows Dufour to forego the use of any kind of liners.

An integral grid distributes loads from the rig and the L-shaped keel (available in drafts of 6ft 4in or 5ft 4in), which also has a bulb and hefty stainless steel backing plates. A powerful, semi-elliptical high-aspect rudder is mounted on a stainless stock and is filled with closed-cell foam. It is also positioned somewhat forward where it will remain immersed and maintain a good grip even at a pronounced angle of heel. A teak toerail on deck provides extra security when making your way forward from the cockpit. 

The 9/10s fractional rig has a deck-stepped Z-Spar mast and twin aft-swept spreaders. A tall mast is an option and brings the total sail area of the Dacron Elvstrom mainsail to 409ft², with full battens as another option. Our test boat had a 95-percent self-tacking jib on a Facnor furler with a slightly curved track just ahead of the mast. However, a majority of buyers apparently choose the optional 333ft² 110-percent overlapping genoa, which will boost performance in light air, but isn’t as easy to singlehand as a self-tacker. There are two backstays, and the chainplates are outboard, leaving plenty of room on the side decks to move forward and aft quickly.

An integrated stainless steel/composite bowsprit is yet another option and a good idea to keep ground tackle from dinging the hull when anchoring. It also moves the attachment point for an asymmetrical well forward and away from the jib furler. Without the fixed bowsprit, the standard choice is a traditional bow roller, slightly offset to port. Our test boat had a Lofrans X2 electric windlass, but with a dicey weather moving in, we did not take time out to anchor.

On Deck

The slightly reversed cantilevered transom drops down to form a swim platform. Because this opens up the entire aft end of the boat, it’s easy to board from the dock or a dinghy. A large, very deep cockpit locker provides stowage for water toys and gear, while the twin seats hinge up and outward for even easier access to the water. A step up brings you to the twin wheels, which come standard. On our test boat, a Raymarine chartplotter and instruments were at either wheel with engine controls to starboard.

A large drop-leaf table bisects the cockpit with Lewmar primary winches on the coaming just ahead of the helms. Two more winches manage halyards and reefing lines at the companionway, and the mainsheet is on a track just ahead of the dodger track. Fixed ports on the forward cockpit bulkhead bring light into the cabin below or provide backrests for those lounging on the full-length bench seats.

The cockpit has teak slats for good footing, but the fiberglass decks are topped with a good molded-in anti-skid, which anyone who has ever had to maintain teak decks, will appreciate. The only other sign of exterior teak is the grab rails on the cabintop, which in my view, is a win. As is the case on all low-profile production boats that want to retain their sleek lines, the double lifelines are lower than ideal.

There are no less than six layouts belowdecks to choose from

There are no less than six layouts belowdecks to choose from

Accommodations

The GL 382 offers six different ­interior ­layout options, some of which differ only slightly. Basic choices include two or three cabins, one or two heads, a smaller or larger nav station, and the choice of an L-shaped or in-line galley. This modularity helps Dufour satisfy tastes on both sides of the Atlantic, with U.S. couples most likely leaning toward a two-cabin interior with a traditional L-shaped galley to starboard and a single head to port with a large shower stall. Note that while this layout opens up the saloon nicely, it forces you to go with a smaller nav station to port. The larger nav desk to starboard is only available if you elect for a straight-line Mediterranean-style galley.

Our test boat had the L-shaped galley with twin sinks (one large and one small) on centerline, a top-loading Isotherm fridge and fiddles formed into the Corian countertops all around. The two-burner Eno stove also had a Corian cover to add countertop space when the cooker is not in use.

The drop-leaf saloon table folds out to connect the two settees on either side, providing ample dining space for six crew. The table has a padded and radiused aft end to cushion any collisions, and a small cubby with a tray in the middle that captures loose items like an opener to help with the wine bottles that may also be stored within.

A double door opens down the middle to reveal the master suite forward with a V-berth bunk and lockers on either side. In the two-cabin model, guest accommodations are aft to starboard, leaving a large lazarette to port behind the shower stall. It’s great stowage that will swallow up lines, fenders and all sorts of cruising gear.

The finish on our test boat was real Maobi wood with a white headliner and a Maobi laminate cabin sole. A lighter-colored oak finish is also available. Because it is a Dufour, there is always a wine cellar regardless of the size of the model, and the GL 382 has its wine rack below the floorboards at the foot of the companionway. There are numerous fixed ports, four opening ports and four opening hatches, so air and light flow easily.

Under Sail

Our test sail was on the Chesapeake Bay in the kind of fluky wind conditions that precede a thunderstorm. With the intial breeze at 10 knots, we swung around to a broad reach at a 110 degree apparent wind angle and slid along at 5.6 knots. When we hardened up, the wind came up as well, and we managed 6.4 knots in 15 knots of apparent breezes at 60 degrees. As we pinched up to 30 degrees, the speed dropped a bit to 5.8 knots, but the wind also dipped to 12. Tacking was easy as the bow sliced through the light chop, and the boat was well balanced with its tall rig and self-tacking jib. There wasn’t really much to do but enjoy, exactly as it should be aboard this kind of a boat.

Under Power

A 30hp Volvo Penta diesel is standard, but our test boat was equipped with an optional 40hp engine. With wide-open throttle at 3,100 rpm, we motored at 7.8 knots. A more fuel-efficient cruising speed would be around 7.2 knots and 2,600 rpm. The GL 382 carries 53 gallons of fuel and 100 gallons of water with both tanks in the aft cabin, or cabins below the bunks.

Conclusion

Our test boat was outfitted with a few extras, including the tall mast, deeper keel, larger engine, an electric windlass, a rigid boomvang and a full-batten main that was brand-new and felt crisp as a potato chip as we folded it. Delivered to the U.S. East Coast, this particular iteration came in at $245,000, but a basic GL 382 starts at $189,000 with oodles of opportunity for each couple to make it their own. 

Dufour-382-Sailplan

What do the ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

dufour-yachts.com

October 2016

Related

_DSC8952-2048

Sailing Scholarship for Teenage Girls

The Women’s Sailing Foundation is offering the Sue Corl Youth Sailing Scholarship to one teenage girl, aged 14-19 years old, who wants to expand her sailing experience and needs financial assistance in order to do so. Established in 2015, the scholarship allows the recipient to ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-26-at-9.50.45-AM

Celestial Navigation Part 4

In episode four of The Nav Station’s Celestial Navigation series, learn how to calculate your assumed position and the local hour angle using your Greenwich hour angle and dead reckoning position. Using examples in the western and eastern hemispheres, Andy Howe discusses why the ...read more

AdobeStock_15671180

Orca Encounters in Spain

The waters off the Atlantic coast of the southern Iberian Peninsula can be tough enough as it is, but in recent months resident pods of orcas have created a whole new kind of challenge, ramming boats and chewing off rudders. Though initially confined to smaller vessels, larger ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

Video: Celestial Navigation Pt3

. In episode three of the Practical Celestial Navigation course, Andy Howe examines the theory behind celestial navigation, the celestial triangle and the celestial sphere, and why it is important to have a basic understanding of each. Topics introduced include zenith position, ...read more

01-LEAD-6.-After-2-years-ashore,-Nada-headsto-the-water-(3)

Sailing in the Time of Covid

In mid-August 2019, my wife, Terrie, and I laid up our Malö 46, Nada, in Falmouth, England, and flew home to Maine. We booked flights back to the UK for May 2020, anticipating a summer of cruising the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Then Covid struck. Remember that first ...read more

Ulysse Nardin promo photo

The Ocean Race Names Official Timekeeper

With just under one year before the start of The 2022-23 Ocean Race, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has been named the official timekeeper of the race. The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race, announced ...read more

Arthur Daniel_RORC Maserati - RORC Transatlantic 2022 - Jan 15th -Social Media-4

Fast Finishes for the RORC Leaders

Over the weekend, the first finishers of the 2022 RORC Transat made landfall in Grenada, led by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which was awarded line honors with a corrected time of six days, 18 hours and 51 minutes. Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 ...read more

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more