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Dufour Quality Control

 
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Peter Richardson



Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 30
Location: England, Ipswich

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Dufour Quality Control Reply with quote

After nearly a season with my new D34 I thought forum members might be interested in the problems I have had.

Dufour withdrew the franchise from several UK dealers right at the beginning of the season just before the majority of 2008 boats were delivered. This meant that my boat, which should have been delivered by road to the east coast of the UK, was sent to Plymouth for commissioning and then sailed round by a delivery crew.

When the boat arrived it was full of water and the delivery skipper mentioned that there was an intermittent charge warning signal on the engine panel.

http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/PSRichardson/D34Problems/

Solving the water leak has taken about six months. Initially the water was obviously salty and we rapidly tracked the source to the bow well drain holes. These had been drilled about half an inch too low so that the bottom of the holes left a gap between the floor of the bow well and the side of the hull. The new local dealer attempted to repair this by squeezing resin into the holes but as there was no way of getting below the bow well to ensure the resin bonded to the under side of the bow well or hull this always seemed a dubious solution. The rate of water ingress was slowed but after a days sailing, even in flat water, there was at least a bucket of water in the bilges. This did not reach the bilge pump but gathered in the recess just in front of the galley and the beams in front and behind. Despite my constantly sponging the water out before it got deep enough to spread elsewhere the woodwork around the galley began to discolour. Eventually, we found that there was a small freshwater leak from one of the t-pieces below the sink. This was only leaking a small amount when the system was pressurised but that water was soaking into the woodwork. Assuming the problem was cured I went on a longer trip across the English channel but found I was spending about 5-10 minutes every half hour sponging out the bottom of the boat. Then, in Dieppe, I used the cockpit shower hose to wash off some debris and suddenly water started gushing out of the limber holes. The water was fresh and stopped when the pressure was turned off. This turned out to be caused but the inner end of the cockpit shower hose having come out of its fitting in the stern completely and was quickly cured by pushing the hose back into place after resitting it so that it had a fair lead. Unfortunately, although the rate of ingress slowed further water continued to get into the bottom of the boat when sailing and in desperation I drained both tanks for the last day of the trip. This had no effect and I was still having to sponge out bilge water. I then tried sealing the bow well drain holes externally and filled the bow well with fresh water which duly drained into the boat. The only reason I could find for this was that the screw holes for the bow well covers had been drilled right through the hull. The upper two holes on each side went into the bow well but they must have also opened into the hull. The lower screw holes were drilled straight into the hull and had no mastic sealant.

Eventually, Dufour sent out a technician from La Rochelle who reglassed the floor of the bow well and flowed a coat of resin over the entire interior of the well followed by 2 coats of flowgel. He also refaced the woodwork around the galley to hide the discoloured wood. Finally, I have a dry boat, except that is when I remove the log impellor because the well surrounding it has separated from the floor above.

The charge warning signal, which could have indicated under or over charging, turned out to be an undercharge warning caused by someone failing to connect the battery charge sense wire to the back of the alternator.

The port and starboard navigation LEDs have both failed and I am now waiting for replacements.

Other more minor problems include:

Mounting the radio upside down.
Misfitting one of the electrical panel retaining clips so that it failed.
Misfitting the nav station flexible light so that it would not work with its cover in place.
Forgetting to fit velcro retaining circles for the starboard settee.
Missing the battons with about 30% of the screws though the wooden panels in the sail locker.

I have been very happy with the performance of the boat and the way Dufour have dealt with the problems but I have to say their original quality control has been appalling and they could have saved both themselves and myself a great deal of time and money by adopting more rigorous quality control measures in the factory.
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amusgrave



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Canada, Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter .. I have a 2004 D-34 #106 and have also had some problems with the anchor drains. Noticed seawater getting into the inner grid system after the 1st season after sailing in anything but flat water, especially when it was rough rolling seas. We traced the problem to the anchor drains. It appeared that the gelcoat wasn't finished properly and water was working it's way into the boat. It never reached any of the wood work and I was able to pump it all out of the bilge before any damage. I've attached some pictures of the drains after my first season.

The dealer here fixed it and I have been dry pretty much since. The drains are a bit different on my boat than the set up on the newer D-34's. There's no cover or screws and the holes are nicely tapered.
I've heard this is a common problem on the 2003-4 D-34s. A few of the Durch owners have complained about this,

Overall, I'm quite happy with the boat. The only other problem I've had was replacing the batteries last year. One of them boiled over making quite a mess, and a problem with the water heater releasing some water from the pressure release valve when the engine warms up. This also seems to be a common problem with the Dufours. SOme owners have rigged a tube from the pressure release valve to a container so the water doesn't spill into the bilge. What I do is leave the water pump off while the engine is on or warming up and open the hot water faucet. It seems to equalizer the pressure. Once the engine has been run for a while I can turn the water pressure on and everything stays dry. A bit of an inconvenience but manageable.

Other than that no complaints. My opinion is that Dufours are a step up in quality than the other North American production boats. My Beneteau and Jenneau friends are envious.




_________________
Alan Musgrave
VICTURA
D34-P, Hull #106
Toronto, Canada
http://sailorman-blog.blogspot.com/
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Koen Van Dyck



Joined: 08 Oct 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Belgium, Antwerp

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Dufour Quality Control Reply with quote

Peter,

I have just bought a new Dufour 365 GL and have the same battery charge warning problem. Do you also have a Volvo engine ? I've seen that there a two cables at the back of the alernator (a red and a yellow one). Only the red one is connected, but i could not find where to connect the yellow cable. I contacted the dealer. He was not sure and asked to contact a Volvo dealer to check during the first control after 30 hours.
any tips for self checking are welcome.



Peter Richardson wrote:
After nearly a season with my new D34 I thought forum members might be interested in the problems I have had.

Dufour withdrew the franchise from several UK dealers right at the beginning of the season just before the majority of 2008 boats were delivered. This meant that my boat, which should have been delivered by road to the east coast of the UK, was sent to Plymouth for commissioning and then sailed round by a delivery crew.

When the boat arrived it was full of water and the delivery skipper mentioned that there was an intermittent charge warning signal on the engine panel.

http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/PSRichardson/D34Problems/

Solving the water leak has taken about six months. Initially the water was obviously salty and we rapidly tracked the source to the bow well drain holes. These had been drilled about half an inch too low so that the bottom of the holes left a gap between the floor of the bow well and the side of the hull. The new local dealer attempted to repair this by squeezing resin into the holes but as there was no way of getting below the bow well to ensure the resin bonded to the under side of the bow well or hull this always seemed a dubious solution. The rate of water ingress was slowed but after a days sailing, even in flat water, there was at least a bucket of water in the bilges. This did not reach the bilge pump but gathered in the recess just in front of the galley and the beams in front and behind. Despite my constantly sponging the water out before it got deep enough to spread elsewhere the woodwork around the galley began to discolour. Eventually, we found that there was a small freshwater leak from one of the t-pieces below the sink. This was only leaking a small amount when the system was pressurised but that water was soaking into the woodwork. Assuming the problem was cured I went on a longer trip across the English channel but found I was spending about 5-10 minutes every half hour sponging out the bottom of the boat. Then, in Dieppe, I used the cockpit shower hose to wash off some debris and suddenly water started gushing out of the limber holes. The water was fresh and stopped when the pressure was turned off. This turned out to be caused but the inner end of the cockpit shower hose having come out of its fitting in the stern completely and was quickly cured by pushing the hose back into place after resitting it so that it had a fair lead. Unfortunately, although the rate of ingress slowed further water continued to get into the bottom of the boat when sailing and in desperation I drained both tanks for the last day of the trip. This had no effect and I was still having to sponge out bilge water. I then tried sealing the bow well drain holes externally and filled the bow well with fresh water which duly drained into the boat. The only reason I could find for this was that the screw holes for the bow well covers had been drilled right through the hull. The upper two holes on each side went into the bow well but they must have also opened into the hull. The lower screw holes were drilled straight into the hull and had no mastic sealant.

Eventually, Dufour sent out a technician from La Rochelle who reglassed the floor of the bow well and flowed a coat of resin over the entire interior of the well followed by 2 coats of flowgel. He also refaced the woodwork around the galley to hide the discoloured wood. Finally, I have a dry boat, except that is when I remove the log impellor because the well surrounding it has separated from the floor above.

The charge warning signal, which could have indicated under or over charging, turned out to be an undercharge warning caused by someone failing to connect the battery charge sense wire to the back of the alternator.

The port and starboard navigation LEDs have both failed and I am now waiting for replacements.

Other more minor problems include:

Mounting the radio upside down.
Misfitting one of the electrical panel retaining clips so that it failed.
Misfitting the nav station flexible light so that it would not work with its cover in place.
Forgetting to fit velcro retaining circles for the starboard settee.
Missing the battons with about 30% of the screws though the wooden panels in the sail locker.

I have been very happy with the performance of the boat and the way Dufour have dealt with the problems but I have to say their original quality control has been appalling and they could have saved both themselves and myself a great deal of time and money by adopting more rigorous quality control measures in the factory.

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Peter Richardson



Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 30
Location: England, Ipswich

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Charge Warning Reply with quote

Koen

Sorry I have not replied I did not get the usual warning that someone had responded. I guess you will already have the answer from the Volvo agent. If not the yellow wire will be the source of your problem. In my case it was tucked back in the wiring loom and not connected to the back of the alternator as it should be. I did not actually fit it but the dealer said he had to do it by feel as it is difficult to get at.

The boats have a split charge diode which drops the voltage reaching the batteries and if the yellow wire is not connected to sense the lower voltage at the battery you will not get a full charge. In my case I was getting a maximum of 13.2volts when what you need to achieve a full charge is between 13.8 and 14.2 volts. The moment the yellow wire was connected thats what I got.

Hope you have it sorted by now.

Peter
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paulcheck



Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: New Zealand, Auckland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes i agreed Dufour need more rigorous quality control measures in the factory
my new 325 was shipped to New Zealand with out the keel bolts
the keel had to be removed sand blasted and replaced 6 months from launch due to fairing and paint falling off
minor problems found in the first week sailing
cabin sole floor screws missing
house batteries to small needed to be up graded
nav station flexible light not working
leaking shower pump
shower timed control switch board fault
leaking hull windows
sea cock hose connections leaking
drain hole socket for bilge pump pick up not formed and full of loose building glass fibre
wireing used in boat std copper not tinned
halyards and sheets to light
holding tank pump out deck flange leaking
hot water relief discharge not piped away or to a container
no sea water filter on motor intake
VHF not working and not wired to sat nav station
still its a great boat and i am very happy now its all sorted and am happy sailing
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KENOBI



Joined: 03 Nov 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Spain, palma de mallorca

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My unpleasant experience with DUFOUR:
In 2007 I bought a new Dufour 40 performance. As soon as I received it, I complained to the distributor in Spain (MOTYVEL) about the continuous crunching and movement of bulkheads, bending the deck when I stepped on some areas and detaching the silicone from the bulkheads. His answer was that they were unimportant aesthetic problems. Not satisfied with the response and seeing the bad treatment received from the distributor (MOTYVEL), I hired a naval architect and a lawyer and denounced the DUFOUR shipyard and the MOTYVEL distributor for the bad quality of the ship based on the fact that it did not meet the requirements for ocean navigation. (navigation category A).
I won the trial after almost 3 years, and the judge condemned them to take the DUFOUR 40 performance because they did not comply with the oceanic navigation requirements and to deliver a new boat. At that time the D40 was no longer manufactured and they had to give me a DUFOUR 40E.
I had the D 40E from 2010 to 2017. I did not have as many problems as the D40 performance, but it continued with crackle of bulkheads and little rigidity of the hull.
Dufour has a disappointing quality and I think it is getting worse.
I finally sold it last year and bought a new boat from another shipyard.
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KENOBI



Joined: 03 Nov 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Spain, palma de mallorca

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: DUFOUR QUALITY Reply with quote

My unpleasant experience with DUFOUR:
In 2007 I bought a new Dufour 40 performance. As soon as I received it, I complained to the distributor in Spain (MOTYVEL) about the continuous crunching and movement of bulkheads, bending the deck when I stepped on some areas and detaching the silicone from the bulkheads. His answer was that they were unimportant aesthetic problems. Not satisfied with the response and seeing the bad treatment received from the distributor (MOTYVEL), I hired a naval architect and a lawyer and denounced the DUFOUR shipyard and the MOTYVEL distributor for the bad quality of the ship based on the fact that it did not meet the requirements for ocean navigation. (navigation category A).
I won the trial after almost 3 years, and the judge condemned them to take the DUFOUR 40 performance because they did not comply with the oceanic navigation requirements and to deliver a new boat. At that time the D40 was no longer manufactured and they had to give me a DUFOUR 40E.
I had the D 40E from 2010 to 2017. I did not have as many problems as the D40 performance, but it continued with crackle of bulkheads and little rigidity of the hull.
Dufour has a disappointing quality and I think it is getting worse.
I finally sold it last year and bought a new boat from another shipyard.
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KENOBI



Joined: 03 Nov 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Spain, palma de mallorca

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:27 am    Post subject: DUFOUR QUALITY Reply with quote

My unpleasant experience with DUFOUR:
In 2007 I bought a new Dufour 40 performance. As soon as I received it, I complained to the distributor in Spain (MOTYVEL) about the continuous crunching and movement of bulkheads, bending the deck when I stepped on some areas and detaching the silicone from the bulkheads. His answer was that they were unimportant aesthetic problems. Not satisfied with the response and seeing the bad treatment received from the distributor (MOTYVEL), I hired a naval architect and a lawyer and denounced the DUFOUR shipyard and the MOTYVEL distributor for the bad quality of the ship based on the fact that it did not meet the requirements for ocean navigation. (navigation category A).
I won the trial after almost 3 years, and the judge condemned them to take the DUFOUR 40 performance because they did not comply with the oceanic navigation requirements and to deliver a new boat. At that time the D40 was no longer manufactured and they had to give me a DUFOUR 40E.
I had the D 40E from 2010 to 2017. I did not have as many problems as the D40 performance, but it continued with crackle of bulkheads and little rigidity of the hull.
Dufour has a disappointing quality and I think it is getting worse.
I finally sold it last year and bought a new boat from another shipyard.
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