The Dufour Classic 45 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Dufour Classic 45, a light displacement fractional sloop, was designed by J&J Design and built in France by Dufour Yachts.

A Dufour Classic 45 sailboat prepares to drop the anchorA Dufour Classic 45

Published Specification for the Dufour Classic 45

Underwater Profile: Bulb fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 45'11" (14.0m)

Waterline Length: 37'5" (11.4m)

Beam: 14.2'x" (4.3m)

Draft: 7'8" (2.3m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 24,180lb (10,968kg)

Designer: J&J Design

Builder: Dufour Yachts (France)

Year First Built: 1988


Published Design Ratios for the Dufour Classic 45

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.0

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 36.0

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 206

4. Comfort Ratio: 27.4

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.9

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Dufour Classic 45

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.0 suggests that the Dufour Classic 45 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 36.0 would usually mean that the Dufour Classic 45 would have a tendency to heel uncomfortably in a gust, and need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

However, as she has much of her ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, she's likely to be considerably stiffer than her published Ballast/Displacement Ratio might suggest. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 206 tells us the Dufour Classic 45 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 27.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Dufour Classic 45 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a coastal cruiser with moderate stability, which is not encouraging news for anyone prone to seasickness. 

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.9 indicates that a Dufour Classic 45 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Any Questions?

In the Dufour range of sailboats, what is the difference between the 'Grand Large' range, the 'Classic' range, the 'Performance' range and the 'Exclusive' range?

The Dufour range of sailboats consists of four different lines that have different design features and target different sailing styles. Here are some of the main differences between them...

The 'Classic' range:

  • has a more classic and warm interior, with dark woodwork, small portholes, and separate cabins;
  • has a higher and rounder profile, with a raked stem, a soft chine, and a narrower transom;
  • has a smaller sail area, a shorter rig, and a shallower keel;
  • is more focused on comfort, space, and traditional elegance;
  • has a more cozy and traditional cockpit, with a single wheel, a fixed transom seat, and standard bench seating.

The 'Grand Large' range:

  • is more focused on performance, speed, and modern aesthetics;
  • has a lower and sleeker profile, with a plumb stem, a hard chine, and a wide transom;
  • has a larger sail area, a taller rig, and a deeper keel;
  • has a more spacious and ergonomic cockpit, with twin wheels, a drop-down transom platform, and optional sunlounger conversions;
  • has a more modern and minimalist interior, with light woodwork, large windows, and open-plan layouts.

The 'Performance' range:

  • is designed for racing and fast cruising;
  • has a more sporty and streamlined profile, with a higher and lighter rig, a deeper and narrower keel, and a smaller and more ergonomic cockpit;
  • has a larger sail area, a taller mast, and a deeper keel;
  • has a more functional and simple cockpit, with twin wheels, an open transom platform, and standard bench seating;
  • has a more modern and minimalist interior, with light woodwork, large windows, and open-plan layouts.

The 'Exclusive' range:

  • has a more luxurious and spacious profile, with a plumb bow, a hard chine, and a wide transom;
  • has a smaller sail area, a shorter mast, and a shallower keel;
  • is designed for luxury and comfort;
  • has a more comfortable and elegant cockpit, with twin wheels, a drop-down transom platform, and optional sunlounger conversions;
  • has a more luxurious and spacious interior, with light woodwork or leather upholstery options, large windows or skylights, and open-plan or modular layouts.

Is the Dufour Classic 45 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

No, the Dufour Classic 45 is not in production anymore. Production ended in 2001 after 13 years. The exact number of boats built is not known, but it is estimated to be around 200.

What is the difference between the standard (or owners) version and the charter version of the Dufour Classic 45?

The standard (or owners) version of the Dufour Classic 45 has three cabins and two heads, one of which is en-suite to the owner's cabin in the bow. The saloon has a U-shaped settee to port and a long settee to starboard, with a folding table in between. The galley is L-shaped and located to port, opposite the navigation station.

The charter version has four cabins and two heads, with two double cabins in the bow and two double cabins in the stern. The saloon has two U-shaped settees on both sides, with a fixed table in between. The galley is linear and located to port, next to the companionway.

What keel options are available for the Dufour Classic 45?

The Dufour Classic 45 has two keel options: a deep fin keel with a bulb or a shallow fin keel with a wing. The deep keel has a draft of 2.3 meters and a ballast of 3,946 kilograms. The shallow keel has a draft of 1.95 meters and a ballast of 4,100 kilograms.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Dufour range include:


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