Sneak preview: Dufour 530

Dufour 530 Exterior

May 13, 2021

French sailboat builder, Dufour Yachts, has, for a long time now, marketed two lines: Performance and Grand Large – the first was speedy and the second swanky (read: comfort-laden). Their new launch, however, refuses to be pigeonholed. It’s a type of hybrid that debuted in Dusseldorf last year and then made its way across the Atlantic. Is this a strategy shift for Dufour and is it likely to bring two markets together successfully? We tested one mid-pandemic to find out.

On Deck

With this new model, Dufour’s focus was the on-deck experience. When sailing, everything is within easy reach. The optional German-style mainsheet leads back to two primary winches near the wheels. Two more winches for the jib sheets are on the cockpit coaming and halyard winches are on the cabin top near the companionway. All winches can be made electric and all lines are led aft.

Dufour 530 GalleyThe cockpit is large, A-shaped and fairly standard for Dufour. Twin helm stations are set on sexy, minimalist pedestals with 12-inch Raymarine HybridTouch MFDs. Engine controls are to starboard and are mounted on the pedestal, which is ideal when docking and needing to keep your eyes up and forward instead of staring down at your knees.


Master CabinOur test boat was set up for proper owner cruising with the master in the bow and two cabins aft. That left an open, uncluttered saloon in the middle with a U-shaped dinette to port and an L-shaped lounge to starboard so there were two distinct spaces where to relax.

Still present is Dufour’s signature split galley that slips in between the master stateroom and the saloon. Besides providing separation and privacy for the owners, there’s another reason why having the galley forward works well. It pushes the spacious saloon aft to the point of maximum beam. If you can resist loading this model up with extra cabins, you’ll even get an aft-facing nav desk and you’ll still feel like it’s a palace below. The overall fit and finish are quite up-market for a production boat and there are clever stowage details that Dufour is known for right down to the always-appreciated bottle locker.

SaloonThe Dufour 530 replaces the wildly popular 520 and does that exceptionally well. She’s the first of Dufour’s nine models (31-61 feet) to launch with the hybrid treatment, If streamlining their offering while creating an immensely sailable boat was their goal, Dufour hit it out of the park. There’s no telling how these types of changes will impact the rest of the line but the 530 came out sailing like a witch while riding like a Cadillac.

Read Zuzana Prochazka’s full review in the June issue of Canadian Yachting, arriving this month!

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