Construction quality is the foundation of what makes a Dufour a Dufour and we take great pride in the way our hulls and decks are built and strengthened. Strict attention to detail and sophisticated engineering is just one of the many things that make Dufour Yachts such solid performers. But the truth is, lots of the quality you get in a Dufour goes on underneath the floorboards and behind furniture. So, like the foundation of your house, the benefit from these essential functions often go unseen.
So the next installment of this popular series is going to show how all Dufour Yachts start to take shape beneath the surface during construction. And as you can see in the photo above, bulkheads are some of the first elements to be added as the open hull makes its way down the production line. The yellow metal frame pictured above holds the bulkhead in place to ensure a precise fit.
Here in this close-up shot you can see bulkheads are tabbed to the hull with a wide layer of fiberglass and resin to form a ultra-strong bond and are closely inspected to ensure structural integrity.
An incredible amount of hand craftsmanship goes into every Dufour Yacht. But we also use highly efficient CNC machines to cut wood panels very quickly and precisely to help speed production along as well.
Modular construction–i.e. the interior gets built in sections (modules) and then installed in the hull as it moves down the production line. This makes it possible to improve both the quality and the speed of production.
Here’s a completed nav station (including the electric panel and the highly insulated refrigerator box) that’s been built in the woodshop and waiting to be placed into the appropriate hull that’s moving down the production line.
Modules can also be pre-wired with all the necessary wiring and electronics and then highly skilled electricians make sure all the connections are complete once the module has been placed into the hull.
As you can see above, air conditioning ductwork, vented loops, soundproofing, and even the engine’s fuel filter can be pre-installed.
This module also includes a section of bulkhead that must be bonded with the hull. The area that will be joined with the hull is prepared to insure there is a solid mounting surface that’s receptive to resin for the tabbing material.
Completed modules then get lowered into place in the hull. Workers use remote-controlled hoists in the factory that allow easy handling and placement of the module sections/ The piece is then bonded in place with adhesive, fiberglass tabbing, and other mechanical fasteners.
We’re not at the finished boat yet. But we’re getting there. Tune in next week for the next installment in this How the Boats are built series to see how the interior fits together before the deck is installed.