Dufour Grand’ Large 445: At Home in a Blow
Euro styling on deck and creature comforts below await the sailor looking for a noteworthy day’s run and a good night’s sleep. "Boat Review" from our February 2012 issue.
Moving about the saloon, I found ample handholds thanks to rails built in to either side of the cabin top. A shorter sailor, though, might find them out of reach and the interior volume a little daunting when navigating forward on a heel.
Topside, wide side decks made it easy to move fore and aft. Handrails on the low-profile cabin top were hard to reach, but when the boat was heeled, the lifelines provided something solid to grasp. On every boat he tests, BOTY judge Alvah Simon performs a unique dash from the forepeak, through the cabin, up the companionway, and to the bow pulpit. He pronounced handholds and footing on the 445 to be adequate after running his route.
Fellow judge Ed Sherman also deemed the installation of electronics and other systems as acceptable.
Dufour uses a structural grid that’s bonded to the hand-laid glass hull to distribute keel and rig loads. The foam-cored deck is injection molded, which saves weight and produces a finished interior surface. It’s bonded to the hull’s flange using 3M’s 5200 and mechanically fastened every 8 inches. The cast-iron keel comes in either a deep, 7-foot-3-inch version or a shoal-draft, 5-foot-10-inch configuration.
Under power, the 75-horsepower Volvo diesel and saildrive pushed us along at about 6 knots in cruising mode (2,000 rpm) and just over 8 knots when wide open. The semi-elliptical rudder provided firm control in both forward and reverse. Belowdecks, engine noise was quite tolerable, as we’ve come to expect from boats that aren’t shaft-driven.
From its easy-to-handle, conventional, slab-reefed main and roller-furler headsail to its practical and attractive deck layout to the comforts below, the Dufour 445 offers a lively platform for the sailor who wants to turn heads at the dock and click off the miles while under way.
LOA 44’ 3” (13.49 m.)
LWL 39’ 1” (11.91 m.)
Beam 14’ 3” (4.34 m.)
Draft (deep/shoal) 7’ 3”/5’ 10” (2.21/1.78 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 802 sq. ft. (74.5 sq. m.)
Ballast 6,724 lb. (3,050 kg.)
Displacement 22,770 lb. (10,328 kg.)
Water 125 gal. (473 l.)
Fuel 66 gal. (250 l.)
Holding 26 gal. (98 l.)
Mast Height 60’ 4” (18.39 m.)
Engine 75-hp. Volvo with saildrive (55-hp. is standard)
Designer Umberto Felci and the Dufour Yachts Design Team