Friday, November 14, 2014

DUFOUR 382 VERSUS OCEANIS 38

The boat hit the water recently and is going to be one of the attractions of the Fall and Winter boat shows. The 382 substitutes the 380 and has a slightly more modern hull, with chines and the beam more pulled aft but in any other way it is very close on the overall dimensions to the previous boat. The type of hull is close to the  410 one, but the 382 does not look as elegant as the big brother...neither as elegant as the smaller brother, the 310.
The 382 has some interesting features, like the boom inclined to the bow, that allows an easier work on the mast and on the main sail, a very big main traveler over the cockpit and one of the new furlers derived from the ones that are used on solo racing.
It has also some odd features like having only two winches!!!, being the two on the back of the boat, near the wheel, optional, no grab rail at the wheels or at the cockpit table and having on this type of hull only one rudder. That one I don't get it: Felci designed the 310 and the 410 with twin rudders and this one, with the same type of hull, with a single one? When I saw that and the very similar identical dimensions I thought that this one was a 380 MKII, but the transom is different and this one has chines.

I don't like the interior. Sure it has six possible versions, but a lot of flexibility is not the only thing that matters: it has to be cozy and nice and  by the images they show and for what I have seen on the movie the interior is just...cold and uninspired, as much as the one of the 38 is bright and cozy. The only advantage I saw: A big freezer/refrigerator of a size I had never seen on a 38ft boat. The Beneteau 380 clearly wins in what regards boat interior, except if for you that huge refrigerator is more important than all the rest. 

Regarding hulls, the Beneteau one is more inspired by a solo Open racer type of hull, with more beam and a transom allowing less heel: 3.99m to 3.85m; the Beneteau LWL is considerably bigger: 10,72m to 9.90m , the weight is smaller 6850kg to 7060kg, the Beneteau keel design, B/D ratio and draft indicates a bigger  RM coming from a lower CG: Draft - 2.08m versus 1.90m; B/D ratio - 26% to 22% .

To the bigger RM that comes from the lower CG the Beneteau adds a considerably superior RM coming from the hull form stability (more beam) and that means  a boat with a considerably bigger overall stability, a more powerful boat that will be able to carry more sail when the wind goes up, to reef later and to sail faster. It is possible that the Dufour will have a slightly better performance with light winds, or close upwind (it remains to be seen) but not much since the Oceanis  not only has a bigger LWL as it is lighter and carries substantially more sail: Upwind 65.7m2 versus 60m2 and downwind 146.7m2 to 117m2.

Contrary to its little brother, the Dufour 310, that I find a great little and boat, I don't think the 385 has the arguments to oppose the market leader on this size and category.
 Sure, I really hate the Oceanis no traveler system, up there on the air and I like a lot more the  big traveler of the Dufour, but that is too little for opposing to the Oceanis 380 advantages in what regards the sailing performance, not to mention the superior control and easier sailing offered by the Beneteau twin ruder that is also a more reliable solution. Between the two I would chose the Dehler 38....well that would be between the three LOL. Between the two I don't think the new Dufour 382 will be a match to the Oceanis 38...but who knows, I might be wrong ;-)

8 comments:

  1. Curious, what is the issue wit h the Beneteau arch mounted traveler? Could that traveler be minted on the coach roof?

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    1. Glad you ask since the way I put it could raise some doubts:There is no issue with it and it works well for casual sailing, that is much what most cruisers do. Beneteau uses them over the entire Oceanis line.
      But a system like that would never provide a sail tuning as good as the big traveler on Dufour . It may not matters for many, even for most, but for the ones that like to have fun sailing and like to extract the maximum performance from their sails, the Arch system is not even a close match to a good traveler. The Beneteau 38 has a good sailing performance, specially out of light winds, and I think it deserved a better rig. That's all.

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  2. I believe the bare bones B 38 daysailer starts out with a cabin top mounted traveler.
    I'm with Paulo, this boat needs a deck mounted traveler and a performance rig.

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    1. Regarding the Beneteau Oceanis 38 with a cabin mounted traveler I never heard about one. Maybe they make a performance version, it depends of what is happening with the First line. Or they are finishing with it (and then it makes sense the performance version) or they are going to surprise everybody with something new.

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  3. Dufour 382 interior; "cold and uninspired"? Wow...there is a new one at my club and that's not what people are saying. Beautiful,spacious, warm, bright and functional... are the words that are being thrown around. Sailing on the 382 - super smooth through the water - far cleaner than the Beneteau and faster too. This one has the tall performance rig and sails, along with the fixed sprit and with the Code zero the 382 flies... bye bye Beneteau....

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    1. Sure, if you are talking about light air conditions. In medium to strong conditions the Beneteau is just more powerful: More hull form stability, more B/D ratio. It is a faster boat on those conditions.
      Regarding aesthetics tastes vary but the Oceanis 38 has an interior that become a benchmark in what regards modularity and style.
      Regarding what people say that has an expression in how many boats they bought and being the two boats similar in price, the Oceanis 38 sells much more than the Dufour 382.

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  4. I am currently looking at these two boats and wonder if there are any further current comments and views. I understand the two companies might also be getting ready to come up with the 2017 versions of these boats. I need to decide early next year.

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    1. A boat is an expensive item and it makes no sense not to chose well and you will never know how the boats feel sailing without trying them.

      I would charter each of the two for a week. Talk with the dealer, tell them that you are undecided and want to chart the boat for some days to be sure and probably you will get a very good deal on the charter price.

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