Skip to main content

Best Boats 2014: Dufour Grand Large 500

The latest installment in Dufour’s well-established Grand Large line, the new 500 doesn’t just carry on the Grand Large tradition of good looks and performance, but also breaks new ground in terms of accommodations to create an even more luxurious experience afloat.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The latest installment in Dufour’s well-established Grand Large line, the new 500 doesn’t just carry on the Grand Large tradition of good looks and performance, but also breaks new ground in terms of accommodations to create an even more luxurious experience afloat.

DufourGrandLarge500-600x
Dual steering in the spacious cockpit

Dual steering in the spacious cockpit

Central to the boat’s new approach is an athwartships galley just aft of the forepeak cabin, which opens up the rest of the saloon in a way that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Gone are the days of people having to shinny past one another as they pass through the bottleneck created by the nav station, galley and head all packed in around the companionway.

For those worried about having to carry drinks and treats the length of the saloon to the cockpit, never fear. Thanks to a sink and optional fridge in the cockpit table and an optional grill in a fixed centerline seat forward of the massive drop-down swim platform, what was once purely a lounging space, can now truly serve as party central.

On a saltier, more practical note, the boat’s well-configured helm stations, user-friendly rig and easily driven hull (with chines and a large single rudder to keep the boat on track in the puffs) make for a spirited, stress-free ride. Wide side decks, a belowdeck headsail furler and an optional retractable sprit for flying a reaching sail, give further evidence of the Grand Large 500’s performance potential.

Luxurious living on board

Luxurious living on board

Construction quality is excellent, both topside and belowdecks, and there are clever touches throughout—including a sliding nav station and centerline bench for transforming the saloon from a lounging center to a seagoing space and back—all in the interest of ensuring a fun and comfortable time afloat. 

While it was undoubtedly taking a risk to put the galley where it is on this boat, the overall result of the new Dufour approach is an innovative new design that is sure to make waves throughout the industry. If the response from sailing community thus far is any indication, expect to see a lot more of this kind of layout in the future.

dufour-yachts.com 

Related

05-DSC_0638

Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the ...read more

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more

ntm

Notice to Mariners: U.S.A! U.S.A! (Well, sorta…)

Some thoughts on a couple of recent developments on the U.S. racing scene that are more than a little at odds. To start with, congratulations to the US Sailing Team (USST) and its outstanding showing at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France, with not one but ...read more