The history of the Dufour shipyard begins in 1964. Michel Dufour, who worked in La Rochelle at a locomotive parts factory, pondered the properties of a recently invented material, polyester. On a proactive basis, Michel developed the polymer hull trailer yacht.
Dufour and his friend Francis Deschamps "added" credit, the sale of their own cars and boats to initiative and willingness to take risks. The risk turned out to be a noble cause and gave its results: in early 1965 Michel received 20 orders for a new yacht, but in the middle of the year the number of orders exceeded 60.
The breakthrough model for this shipyard was the yacht L'Arpege. Its sales in the ten years from 1967 to 1977 amounted to 1,500 boats. The middle of the 70s of the last century was the era of the true heyday of the shipyard. By this time, she already had offices in different parts of the world, and orders for her models were accepted in 40 countries in Europe and America.
In the 80s, Dufour did not have the best time. The situation was saved by a partnership with Lacoste and designer Hermann Frers. With their help, the shipyard began to develop the elite segment of the market and brought the Dufour Lacoste 42 to it.
An undoubted merit of the shipyard is the introduction to the market of vessels fully ready to go to sea. The idea helped this La Rochelle manufacturer to explode the yachting market in the 90s of the 20th century. It was then that he launched the Dufour Classic line, whose models were distinguished by a high degree of comfort.
Ten years later, at the turn of the century, the shipyard surprised its customers with two lines: Performance and Grand Large, on which the Italian yacht architect Umberto Felci worked.
Today Dufour is one of the most demanded and high-quality manufacturers of the big European five, along with such "monsters" as Bavaria, Beneteau, Hanse, Jeanneau. With 420 employees and 18,000 square meters of production space in France, the shipyard is still the world's largest manufacturer in its class. She produces 400 yachts a year and independently controls the entire production process.
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