A yacht can be many things to different people. For some, it is a long-term companion on distant journeys, to others a racing beauty while for some a reliable vessel on coastal cruises. The respectable company La Rochelle with its new addition to the Dufour family, 460 Grand Large has decided for the latter type of sailor. The 460 present a perfect balance of functionality and elegance and is primarily designed for coastal cruising with features and layout that puts great emphasis on the social side of sailing.
With its sleek and beautiful lines, she shall be the object of many envious glances while at the dock, while still weighing in heavy with the practical aspects of sailing with a great degree of comfort and a clever use of space.
The 460 was designed by the famous Italian designer Umberto Felci, who has built his reputation on beautiful vessels. The hull is a lot wider than on the boats of similar size and features Dufour's characteristic chines, which are there for extra performance and allow for a greater amount of control when sailing upward.
The best way to experience the Dufour 460 is by stepping on the electrically powered transom and from there work your way forward. The transom, when lowered, adds 3 more feet to already impressive 46 feet in length and can serve as a snorkeling or swimming platform.
And now for the surprise. The swim platform also serves as a place for the chef to stand while barbequing on the Eno Plancha grill. The two section of the transom seat hides inside the barbeque as well as a sink and a cutting board. This added feature allows for an outdoor meal preparation which will not only leave the interior fresh and cool but also allow for the chef to stay with the party.
The cockpit is massively wide, thanks to the beam placed well aft. A drop-leaf table is in the center with a storage in one and refrigerator at the other, so no one has to discomfort themselves to go below for cool drinks. The spot that ladies will love is on the port site, where the settee transforms into a sun pad.
From the sailing point of view, as usual in the modern yachts in this size range, a set of twin wheels are set aft, with instrumentation in the pedestals while the Raymarine GPS chart-plotter, with controls for the 75hp Volvo sail-drive, is in clear view on the aft end of the central cockpit table. For added comfort, while steering standing up there are adjustable foot braces behind each helm.
Sail handling can hardly be easier. The double-ended German-style mainsheet leads back to two Lewmar primary winches that can be reached from the twin wheels, as are the two halyard and reefing winches.
With this arrangement, the cockpit is left open and workable for short-handed sailing.
The interior layout comes in three varieties:
The Liberty version is the most desirable owner version, while the Adventure version is best suited for charters.
The biggest difference between the two, besides the extra cabin, of course, is the kitchen that stretches right across the boat in the front bulkhead in the Liberty version.
The inside is spacious in all three versions, which can be thanked in a great amount to the width of the boat. When you step inside, you will be welcomed by what can only be described as a lounge, more than a saloon. On an L shaped table, there is a place for eight people which is precisely the number of people the Adventure version is best suited for.
The kitchen is well equipped, which is greatly appreciated on longer voyages, three-burner gas stove, top-loading freezer, along with a large sink and a mixer tap will prove to be valuable for those that enjoy preparing their own meals.
Also, while you dine there should be some wine, so French have tucked in a bottle storage there as well.
With large hatches overhead in the cabin-top you will be basking in natural sunlight, but if the weather proves too hot, they can easily be covered with pull-across shades.
All the interior spaces are very bright, with the choices of interior wood, Moabi which reminds a bit of mahogany and Light Oak, plus a wide range of fabric options.
There are even LED strip-lights under all the cabinetry and blue LEDs for illumination at night. This creative use of lighting and space secures a warm and appealing living area with plenty of ventilation.
The Dufour 460 is a perfect yacht for distance cruising or for anyone that likes a boat that performs well. It's also quite easy to handle and can be even sailed shorthanded.
All Dufour Yachts are built to Category A Ocean Rating and have a high ballast ratio which creates a safe and reliable yacht.
Equipped with a 75hp Volvo sail-drive, she can easily achieve speeds up to 8 knots in good conditions.
A full-width mainsheet traveler provides direct control of the mainsail shape, while low gooseneck offers easy handling of the sail when stowing or reefing.
The Grand Large range was not set to revolutionize the way yachts are designed, but what it has done is produce a cruising boat that is sleek, sporty and very comfortable. The feeling of space you get with Dufour 460 can be compared with yachts much bigger than her size, so much more so when you head down below where that extra volume becomes apparent.
It is a perfect vessel for a sailor who puts comfort and convenience at the top of his list while sailing along the beautiful Mediterranean coast.
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