The second largest yacht builder in France after the Beneteau group is the Dufour brand, which was founded in 1964 the engineer and navigator Michel Dufour from La Rochelle. Faced with heavy debt, Dufour had to sell the site in 1976 to the famous founder of the Bic company, Marcel Bich. In 1988, Olivier Poncin took over the site and renamed it Dufour Yachts and developed the brand for the next 10 years. From 1996, the brand acquired many shipyards such as Gilbert Marine, ACM motorboats and the Breton manufacturer Kelt. As the Dufour shipyards found themselves in difficulty again, Olivier Poncin sold the brand again to its financial partners in 2000. <p> </p> Today, with more than 50 years of expertise, the brand is well known for its innovation and excellence in the nautical world representing a strong pillar in the design of sailing yachts. The brand continues to be committed to giving its customers maximum pleasure in sailing. Two lines of of sailing boats were created, the Grand Large highlighted by its high levels of comfort and fast sailing boats, and the Exclusive range offering highly equipped luxury sailing boats with ultimate comfort. <p> </p> In the Grand Large range, Dufour has the GL 310, 360, 382, 390, 412, 430, 460 and 520. In the Exclusive range, Dufour has the Exclusive 56 and the Exclusive 63. Dufour Yachts are highly appreciated by sailors for the elegance, performance and comfort of its yachts. In terms of design, sailboats are characterised by hulls with a very balanced shape that appeal to many sailing enthusiasts. <p> </p> The brand is proud of the 100% French manufacturing of its sailboats, designed and conceived in La Rochelle. The brand has nearly 400 models manufactured each year. The main design office works with one of the greatest naval architects, Umberto Felci. In regards to its shipyard, the production capacity is 1800m² with 420 employees representing one of the largest shipyards in the world.