Dufour 512 Grand Large: a concentrate of good ideas


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dufour 512All a matter of family feeling. This I think as I jump aboard the Dufour 512 Grand Large, in Portopiccolo, a few miles before Trieste. That’s right, because with this latest evolution, one of the transalpine shipyard’s most successful models, the 510 Grand Large, has had a makeover, especially internally, focusing on streamlining space and even greater attention to detail.

Why intervene on a boat that is having such success? Meanwhile, because it is one of the first models of the new Dufour course signed entirely by Umberto Felci and, following a mode that has been in vogue in the automotive market for years, it was time to “update” it, adding the solutions that have been so popular in the latest models launched.


Therefore, it could not miss, for example, the cockpit barbecue, now a real “must,” launched by Dufour and also taken up by several other shipyards. The cockpit is designed so that those who helm and those who enjoy cruising can do so fully without disturbing each other in any way. Both the large aft platform and the numerous sunbathing areas should be seen in this light. At the bow, the main novelty is the fixed dolphin guard, designed to enhance the sporting qualities (remember we are talking about a hull designed by Felci) of this fifteen-meter yacht and her gennaker.

Below deck, the main difference from its predecessor is immediately noticeable, namely the presence of a “split” C-shaped galley, which frees up space for an additional sofa at the broadside. But it is not just a matter of spai: with this configuration, the kitchen is much more ergonomic and easy to use while sailing. For the rest, the shipyard has worked on improving finishes, with a desire to enrich, even to the touch, its models. Different then the layouts, from three up to a maximum of five cabins, designed the latter for the charter world.


At sea we were lucky, finding wind above 10 knots. At the helm the boat is precise and smooth, and no special corrections are needed to keep it in trim. After each turn, it quickly regains speed. The bow, without excessive overlap, is easy to manage. Upwind, tightening an angle of about 35° and with 13.5 knots apparent, we maintained a speed of 5.5 knots, which increased to 7 when we widened the angle to 60° even with the wind beginning to drop.



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