Comparing a cruiser: Dufour 470 with a performance yacht: X-yachts x46 will give you insight how these yards position their models
Throughout the years of modern boatbuilding, one can see a recurring wave of interest in better performing designs. This century the large boat production companies, focussed mainly on the cruising type of clientele, totally ignored what sailing is about; after all, sailing is a sport.
However, some brands stayed true to their heritage of building yachts with sailing performance being the starting point of their design. Since a few years, the prominent names in mass-produced boats are riding the wave of renewed interest in sportiveness too.
In this article, we place the X-Yachts X46 next to the Dufour 470. The performance yacht against the cruiser (with a twist). Both offer a comfortable interior and a spacious cockpit, but the difference can be found in the details. We will also reveal where to look for when looking at these models.
The Dufour shipyard, based in the North-West of France, has a long history of boat building. It all started in the sixties with one of the first grp production yachts, the production of cruisers in the seventies and eighties was very successful. So in the nineties, Dufour focused on the cruiser market with their Classic. Felci designed this century the Performance and Grand Large yachts. The yard stopped the Performance line and nowadays only offer one line of yachts, but with each model in various versions. With the latest Felci designs, such as the Dufour 470 Dufour tries to tap into the performance market, by offering sail enhancing options.
The brothers Jeppesen established X-Yachts in the early eighties, with fast sailing boats winning many international regattas. Their no-nonsense approach to boat designs, a X-yacht should be fast before anything else, brought them worldwide fame. They have built mostly cruiser/racers as we use to call them in those days, but also flat out racers. They also have their pedigree in the regatta scene, and currently, all three different model lines are outperforming 80% of the market. For this comparison, we chose a model from the range in between the Performance and Cruising lines of X-yachts
The Dufour 470 is a true cruiser because of the higher weight and lesser sail area compared to the X46. The lighter hull of a X46 is only possible with a more sophisticated building method as used to produce a Dufour 470. X-yachts are being build in sandwich construction with steel inner grid, a comprehensive building method which has proved itself since many decennia. The focus of the cockpit layout of the Dufour 470 is on comfortable outside living, with the mainsail sheet attached to the roof.
The mainsheet on the X46 is attached to a traveller right in front of the helmsman positions. The layout of the winches is comparable, on both boats, the halyard winches are on the top of the coach roof next to the saloon entrance. There are also a pair of winches right in front of the steering positions on both boats. On the X46 the emphasis of the cockpit is on sailing, with more working room for the crew. The quality of the deck fittings is from a higher level than that on the Dufour.
Where the X46 has one version, the Dufour 470 offers you three versions; easy, ocean and performance. Same hull, different finish in sails and sail handling. Their claim ‘the Performance version is a pure racer’ is a bit too much to ask from this yacht, but it will have a positive influence on her sailing capabilities.
The interior reveals more differences; the wider hull of the Dufour 470 enables a roomier interior but with a mass production finish. The X46 interior has been produced with much more eye for detail, possible because X-yachts dedicates more time to build their models.
If you are looking for a yacht with as much volume as possible, the Dufour 470 could be your choice. If sailing characteristics and attention to detail are what you appreciate, the X-yachts X46 should be on your shortlist
So the Dufour 470 has a modern hull, created by Felci yacht design, and follows the current Dufour design language. All modern Dufour yachts have wide beams and a recess in the topsides with large hull windows. This recess gives the fairly high free board an elegant touch.
Despite her wide stern, she is fitted out with just one rudder, the stern contains a large folding bathing platform and behind the helms there is a bench alongside the stern with in the middle a cockpit locker.
The superstructure which starts a bit in front of the mast, has many windows and deck hatches, which makes the saloon but also the aft cabins remarkable bright.
The X46 hull design is understated, with her moderate width and height of the topsides. Also the hull windows are small by todays design standards. She appears to be much more elegant, but ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.
The cockpit is not so wide as the on the Dufour 470, but is standard more suited for those who want to tyrim their sails regularly without leaving their steering position. The space behind the steering wheels is massive, because of the lack of helmsman seats.
The long superstructure starts a bit further to the front, leaving more headroom in the front cabin, and obviously decreased the surface of the foredeck.
Compared with her direct competition such as the yachts from Jeanneau and Hanse, the Dufour 470 offers more refinement in terms of woodwork finish.
The Dufour 470 offers a voluminous front cabin or double cabins because of the wide hull. With the double front cabins, you will also get two separate heads. The owners cabin is combined with heads on starboard and a separate shower stall on port.
The saloon has two versions; a galley against the main bulkhead at the front of the saloon and the seating arrangement near the entrance and at the widest part of the hull, or the galley at starboard opposite to the U-sofa, because of the fifth bunkbed cabin or third or fourth large heads on starboard next to the entrance.
The aft cabins are pretty usual with two double beds.
The interior finish of the X46 is from another level. The choice of veneer, how precise the parts are built-in, the number of cupboards and smart storage solutions, all are proof of the eye for detail at the X-Yachts shipyard.
Another example is the sound insulation of the engine room, consisting of a solid rubber layer, sound deadening Rockwool and finished with perforated aluminium plating.
The cabinets are made with massive fiddles and ventilation grooves. Even the heads are fitted out with nicely produced woodwork. One of the aft cabins can be delivered with two separate beds instead of a double.
There is only one interior layout, with L-galley near the entrance and a dedicated navigation table, facing forward.
Because of the relatively narrow bow, the yard only offers an owners cabin in front.