Sailboat Preview: Dufour 44

This sailboat introduces new features while integrating elements from Dufour's 470 and 530.
Dufour 44
The Dufour 44 maintains the brand’s DNA of comfort, versatility, and seaworthiness. Courtesy Dufour Yachts

Dufour Yachts has settled into a rhythm of late. Coming off launches of the Dufour 37, 41 and 61 in a little more than a year’s time, the French sailboat builder’s newest offering is a sturdy 44-foot model. According to Dufour, it was designed to be a game-changer in the midsize cruiser category. 

A collaboration between Felci Yacht Design and the Dufour design team, the Dufour 44 maintains the brand’s DNA of ­comfort, versatility, and seaworthiness. The hull design is optimized for speed and stability, whether cruising along ­coastal ­waters or embarking on offshore passages. 

Some new features are aimed at enhancing the overall sailing experience, including a hexagonal table in the salon. It’s a notable design element with seating for up to 10 people. This boat also has versatile layout options, called Adventure and Ocean versions, in three- and four-stateroom configurations. 

Owners can also choose a longitudinal galley or a forward galley. The longitudinal galley has a larger work surface, while interior designer Luca Ardizio penned a reimagined version of the traditional forward galley. The warm, light-filled salon layout prioritizes atmosphere and flow, with maximum space for ­entertaining, and more stowage than on previous models. 

The owner’s stateroom is forward, with an island berth and a separate head for privacy. 

“The approach we adopted was to create a soft design, playing with curves and experimenting with materials,” Ardizio says. “We opted for the abundant use of white to create a luminous atmosphere. We focused on creating a harmonious ambience by playing with light to enhance the space we were given. This meant making specific decor choices to enhance different areas of the boat.” 

On deck, the enlarged cockpit can seat at least six people, making it ideal for socializing and relaxation underway. The swim platform is enlarged, with a dual-access concept that’s intended to ease the guests’ transition between on-deck activities and relaxation. 

“The objective was to create a spacious outdoor living area, resulting in a proportionally larger cockpit compared with her predecessor of the same size,” says naval architect Umberto Felci. “Our focus was on integrating elements from the Dufour 470 and Dufour 530, emphasizing fluid communication in the cockpit, facilitating easy passage to the deck, and optimizing the overall length of the boat. We have taken successful elements from the Dufour 41 while introducing new features.”