When my husband and I were searching for a cruising boat, a broker offered to show us a Dufour 35. I wasn’t interested, until he explained that this 1980s hull had little in common with its modern cousins. In fact, the 35 was exactly what we were looking for: a Bermudan-rigged sloop comfortable enough to live aboard but solid enough for blue water. Five years and 10,000 miles of cruising later, we couldn’t be happier with our choice. The Dufour 35, produced from 1972 to 1982 in La Rochelle, France, is a wonderful blend of classic features and innovation, another feather in the cap of the iconic French designer Michel Dufour.