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With his latest design, the 455 Grand’Large, Dufour’s architect Umberto Felci once again shows his ability to bring a new dynamic to the company.
In 1965, Michel Dufour designed Arpège. 30 years later he invented the concept of the fully equipped yacht. The highlight of 2005 was the launch of the 455 Grand’Large, voted sailing yacht of the year in Denmark. Danish journalists described the boat as “magnificent, high-quality and very spacious, of robust construction with excellent sailing potential”. Such praise is well-deserved since, in 2002, as the company prepared to turn 40, Dufour placed the helm of its design office in the capable hands of Umberto Felci. The architect specialises in sleek, speedy hulls, as proved by the 2005 IMS 670 World Championship victory of “Quum”, a mass-produced Dufour 40 model. Having already overhauled the 40-footer, the Italian architect then designed the 455 GL, with help from Patrick Roséo for the deck and interior design. When it was presented at the Paris boat show, visitors were particularly impressed by its long, slender hull.
Spacious and attractive
The 455 Grand’Large, with its stylish deck and hull lines, is also designed for space and comfort. The cockpit is spacious, with an impressive table. The pure hull, 2-metre draught and double helm make for maximum sailing comfort, even with a small crew. Like the hull, the interior is particularly well designed and stylish. The space below deck is well-lit and ventilated, with Moabi mahogany joinery with solid wood wash boards and mouldings. In the 3-cabin version, the bow contains a large restroom with shower, and a cabin with a berth of almost 2 metres, storage cabinets and a closet with shelf. The saloon is well laid-out, and the long galley is fully equipped. There are two comfortable aft cabins. In all, life on board the 455 GL can be nothing but pleasant, especially given the excellent autonomy ensured by its high capacity for fresh water (530 litres) and diesel (250 litres).
The 455 Grand’Large is powerful and comfortable, and was launched to unanimous acclaim from the press. Voile Magazine described it as “a large cruising yacht with charm”, and Bateaux deemed it to contain “all the qualities expected of a genuine, long-distance cruising yacht, with attractive lines to boot”. Dufour’s latest model is now it’s flagship before the 525 GL already under construction. It is expected to be a great success with the general public and ensure that the La Rochelle shipyard sails comfortably into its fifties.
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