Exploring the Australian coast on a Dufour 530 sailboat


What Attracted You to Dufour Initially?

We sailed our first boat from England to Australia with our two children in 2009-10. It was a 47-foot monohull, a really good boat, and an amazing adventure. That journey gave us valuable insights into what we wanted in a cruising boat. Back then, we lacked many essentials like a watermaker, a washing machine, and solar panels. Years later, after selling our first boat, we began searching for another cruising vessel. At the Sydney Boat Show, we stepped aboard a Dufour 520 for the first time. The spacious cockpit and ample storage immediately impressed us. We were then advised about the upcoming 55-foot sailboat Dufour 530, which had upgraded features. We ordered it without seeing it in person and first laid eyes on it at the Dusseldorf boat show in 2020. The 530’s premiere reinforced our decision; it was a magnificent cruising boat. We opted for the easy version, which proved perfect for two people to live aboard, offering safety, comfort, and excellent sailing performance.

Tell Us About Exploring the East Coast of Australia.

Initially, we planned to sail to the Mediterranean, but COVID-19 changed our plans. Instead, we decided to cruise the east coast of Australia. This coast, particularly New South Wales, can be challenging due to rapidly changing weather conditions. We left Sydney in April 2022, aiming to reach Queensland. After showcasing our boat at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, we continued north, enjoying the beautiful Whitsundays and Keppel Island. We left the boat in Gladstone for the summer while we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Paris. Returning to the boat, we cruised further north, enjoying the Great Barrier Reef’s islands.


Have You Faced Any Challenges During Your Trip?

One challenge in northern Australia is the strong southeast Trade winds, which can be uncomfortable at anchor. Before leaving Sydney, we equipped the boat with a Screecher sail, which turbo-charges the boat, making good passage times. The boat handles big seas and strong winds well, staying solid and easy to manage.

Are You Happy with Your Sailing Experience?

Absolutely delighted. The 530 has surpassed our expectations. It offers us luxury, comfort, and the space we need. Features like the washing machine and watermaker make life easier, and the headroom is fantastic. We sometimes host dinner parties with friends on board, accommodating up to 10 people comfortably.


Most Memorable Moments?

Several memorable experiences include taking the boat to the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, swimming with humpback whales, world-class snorkeling, and catching magnificent fish. These adventures have made our cruising experience truly exceptional, showcasing what a cruising boat is designed to deliver. The boat’s self-sufficiency, with solar panels, a watermaker, and ample storage, allows us to stay off-grid for weeks. The sailing experiences, when the boat powers up and tracks beautifully, are sensational moments that highlight the joy of cruising on the Dufour 530.