The boat plumb stem and relatively straight sheer hint at the race boat demeanor and round-the-buoys reputation of the competitive Dufour 44. The 425 comes standard with a full-batten main and a boom-mounted sail pouch, the 425 is clearly set up for ease of sail handling rather than tweaked for speed. In other words, it's a boat that's designed for cruisers looking for a hint of performance to spice up their relaxation. Dufour 425 can be ranked as a high-volume, moderate-displacement cruiser, and designers Umberto Felci and Patrick Roséo have taken their Euro-styling pedigree to heart. The wide aft cockpit is augmented with a central table that acts as a good foot brace when beating to weather; a twin-wheel arrangement allows the helmsman to perch at either rail and trim a nearby jib sheet. Access from the transom remains wide open and allows a single hander to quickly cover the distance between the helm and the mainsheet tailed to the cabin top. Dufour's latest approach to boatbuilding includes a focus on system installations and composite technology. Effective resin control was noticeable in lockers where the inner laminate skin could be seen. One of the big upsides associated with this method is the ability to achieve two finished surfaces and eliminate the need for an under-deck liner to hide the rough surface associated with single-sided molds.