Just Launched: Jeanneau Yachts 60 & Dufour 61

Sail News

Among the many developments in the boatbuilding industry in recent years, arguably the most noticeable has simply been the increase in size. Time was a 40-footer was a “big” boat. Not anymore, with production boatbuilders like Dufour and Jeanneau now regularly launching designs not that much smaller than boats sailors of a certain age would have once called “maxis.”

Jeanneau Yachts 60

Jeanneau Yachts 60 

The latest in Jeanneau’s “Yachts” line, the French-built Jeanneau Yachts 60 is amazingly not the flagship of the line, but follows in the wake of the company’s Jeanneau Yachts 64. Designed by longtime Jeanneau collaborator Philippe Briand, the new 60-footer boasts many of the same features found aboard her predecessor. These include large twin rudders (essential aboard boats that carry substantial beam well aft) aggressively molded angular lines topside, chines running much of the length of the hull, twin wheels, a low cabintop and the now almost ubiquitous plumb bow and fixed sprit found aboard Euro-built boats of this type.

Options abound belowdecks aboard the new Jeanneau Yachts 60 

Options abound belowdecks aboard the new Jeanneau Yachts 60 

That said, the Jeanneau Yachts 60 remains very much its own boat. It’s also available in such a wide range of iterations, that even if it wasn’t its own boat, sailors of all kinds can still make it their own.

Especially interesting is the boat’s impressively spacious cockpit layout, which to my eye seems more than a little reminiscent of the catamaran-inspired Jeanneau Sun Loft 47, a monohull purpose-built for the charter trade. Combining the optional arch and hardtop with the boat’s aggressively curved dodger will provide all the sheltered space aft you could ever want, whether on passage or at anchor. A clever step also allows easy access to a swim step/boarding platform that drops down to reveal a substantial tender garage. In keeping with other recent additions to the Jeanneau line, the transition from the cockpit to the side decks is a seamless one.

Belowdecks, the accommodations space can be split up into four areas, each offering multiple options creating an incredible 19 different layouts (not counting fabrics and veneers). A skipper’s cabin, multiple galley arrangements, a large sail locker, berths versus sofas—you name it. The choices are seemingly endless. Topside, you can go with either in-mast furling and self-tacking jib or a full-batten main and 110 percent genoa. An A-sail or Code 0 can be flown from the sprit. A deep 8ft 4in or shallow 6ft 10in keel are available. The hull is vacuum-infused with solid laminate in the keel area and a barrier coat against osmosis. The deck is also infused.

Dufour 61

Dufour 61 

Dufour 61 

Also from France, the Dufour 61 is both the company’s new flagship and the latest in a flurry of new designs to come from the storied building since it joined forces with catamaran builder Fountaine Pajot in early 2018.

Standout features include a mainsail arch that also serves as an anchor for the boat’s dodger and bimini; wonderfully clear side decks with a low bulwark/toerail for extra security; a seamless transition between these same side decks and the cockpit and twin helms; and carefully sculpted topsides including chines aft and a kind of eyebrow feature at the same level as the hull windows to accentuate the boat’s already impressive length.

Note the forward-facing overhead hatches in the Dufour’s saloon 

Note the forward-facing overhead hatches in the Dufour’s saloon 

Created with the express intent of emulating (and competing with!) its slightly larger brethren in the superyacht world, Dufour is offering the 61 with two distinct layout concepts, both expressly designed for owners in search of luxury. One “sees the galley integrated into the saloon for young families.” The other includes space for a paid skipper and crew, with what Dufour describes as a “fairly discrete” galley to port of the companionway. In combination with these two concepts, a plethora of other options is available. As is the case with the Jeanneau, prospective owners will have little trouble making their boat feel like their own. An especially nice feature that comes standard belowdecks is a set of centerline hatches forward and overhead in the saloon, which admits scads of light and provides a fun view of the triple-spreader rig above.

Aft topsides, the massive, hinged swim platform drops down to reveal a spacious dinghy garage (like plumb bows and fixed sprits, features that are now de rigueur aboard boat of this size and type). The 9/10 fractional, keel-stepped rig is anodized aluminum. The hull (drawn by Felci Yacht Design) is infused in polyester with a PVC and PU foam core as is the deck.

Granted, it may be purely subjective, but Dufour has been building some darn good-looking boats of late, and the Dufour 61 is no exception. Indeed, the blunt ends, barely noticeable sheer and sculpted cabintrunk set well aft seem to work especially well in this LOA.

Wouldn’t it be great fun matching these two fine 60-footers up against one another out on the water! 

May 2021

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