Dufour rolled out five models over the last two years, which is a good clip. What made this possible was dialing in suggestions from market feedback about what makes a boat fit today’s lifestyles at anchor as well as under way. With this latest launch, the Dufour line consists of seven models, 31-56 feet, and the new GL 460 is a puzzle piece that fills in an important gap in the midrange.
Perhaps the best way to experience the Dufour GL 460 deck and outdoor amenities is by stepping aboard the drop-down transom and working forward. The transom raises and lowers electrically and adds three feet to the boat’s overall length when at anchor or in a slip. This teak bench provides extra room for those getting ready to snorkel or for anyone wanting to just relax at the water’s edge. It’s also a great way to board from a dock or dinghy.
The coachroof is low and the side decks are wide. Hatches are flush to save your toes. Nothing really impedes quick progress to the bow where the pulpit opens onto the composite delphiniere or bowsprit. This metal structure is overlaid with fiberglass that blends nicely into the hull. The sprit’s dual purpose is to keep the anchor tucked neatly beneath so no lines catch on it, and to serve as a sprit for tacking down the optional gennaker.
Due to a complete boycott by the wind during our test sail on Chesapeake Bay, I can report first hand only on the GL 460’s performance under power. Our test boat was equipped with the standard 54-hp. Volvo Penta diesel with a sail drive. Maneuvering from a tight spot at the marina was easy with the help of the Holland Marine jet bow thruster. It has replaced the traditional drop-down, propeller version and while it provides ample power and seems a bit quieter, it has no prop to snag lines or debris.
SURPRISES BELOW DECKS
Although the GL 460 comes in a variety of interior layouts, the standard is the one most requested by customers. The GL 460 replaces the previous 45-foot model and the interior redesign makes the new boat look and function more like her popular siblings. The split galley is forward between the master stateroom and the saloon. This creates effectively two workspaces; to port is the Eno stove and a large single sink while to starboard are twin Isotherm refrigeration drawers, good countertop prep space and a cupboard that hides a pullout espresso coffee maker.
Not only does the galley provide a bit of privacy for the forward stateroom, but it also uses space efficiently when the boat is at rest. One drawback is that a lateral galley leaves few places to brace oneself when cooking underway and heeling. Another issue is that walking from the galley to the cockpit with a bowl of hot food makes for a long journey when the boat is on its ear.
Two cabins are aft and that is the standard configuration. One or two heads may be specified on this end. The other head is en suite in the forward stateroom and is split into the toilet and sink compartment and a large separate shower room. The master berth is an island with large stowage drawers below and an overhead hatch that combines with deck portlights and hull windows to bring lots of light into this cabin.
A wine cellar is a Dufour trademark so, of course, a rack is tucked under the floorboards at the base of the companionway. The stowage options throughout are plentiful. The finish on our boat was Canadian, oak-colored Maobi wood with a white headliner for a bright and modern appeal.
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