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Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years?

  • Toby Hodges
  • March 14, 2023

Is the Beneteau First back to its iconic best with the new lightweight, sporty cruiser-racer for all levels of sailors, the Beneteau First 36?

Product Overview

Price as reviewed:.

You might not appreciate it at first glance, but this could well be the best performance production yacht we’ll see for some time. This realisation creeps up on you slowly, and is further confirmed the more time you spend aboard the new Beneteau First 36.

I’m far from alone in thinking this and the Beneteau First 36 won the highly competitive performance category in this year’s European Yacht of the Year competition – and with unanimous votes from the 12-strong jury.

The Beneteau First 36 is neither brash nor sexy. Rather, it’s modest, simple even, but, as you soon discover, ergonomically brilliant. It’s not perfect of course – a comparatively small and fiddly heads compartment ensures that – but it is a superb marriage of design, engineering and industrial nous. All of which begs the question, is this finally a return to the dual purpose cruiser-racer roots of the First?

First and foremost

What’s in a name? A lot. More than 25,000 yachts in over 70 different model formats have launched bearing the First branding over the last 45 years. These boats gained a reputation for offering cruising comfort combined with race-winning potential, all at an acceptable price point. That hasn’t really been the focus for many years – until now perhaps.

This Beneteau First 36 was conceived initially in 2018 by Seascape, the sportsboat specialists which Groupe Beneteau bought and rebranded the year before. It became a major collaboration between the brands, their designers and engineers. This is the Slovenian yard’s first new Beneteau, tasked with reviving that dual purpose ethos of First and designed to bridge the gap between its sportsboats and the larger, more luxurious French-built Beneteau First 44 and Beneteau First 53 .

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

The First 36 is arguably the only mainstream production cruising yacht that can plane in moderate winds. Twin rudders allow you to push but remain in control. Photo: Beneteau First/Ana Šutej

Seascape founders and mini Transat sailors, Andraz Mihelin and Kristian Hajnšek, have collaborated with Sam Manuard on all their designs to date. The racing scene has since caught up and Manuard is now the in-demand Class 40 and IMOCA 60 designer.

Mihelin defines their creation concisely: “It’s designed with one purpose: to motivate people to sail more.” That’s quite the task! Yet since I first sailed with Mihelin on their debut Seascape 18 in 2009, we have seen and frequently discussed how sailing has changed. The desire for space and comfort has driven a burgeoning multihull market, while the planing monohull market has been left largely to a few skilled niche yards such as Pogo and JPK.

Get people sailing

Typically, when you crave the conditions to really send a yacht, you get no such luck. I had two trials out of La Rochelle, where we spent the majority of the time in single figure windspeeds. That said, there was plenty of opportunity to see just how easily driven – and easy to drive – this design is, and to learn more about how it achieves that from the designers and builders who joined us on board.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Simple but really neat control lines led to hand. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

The light breezes dictated that our preferred option was to reach whenever possible with a big (140m2) blue gennaker, where we could induce some heel and make average speeds of 8-8.5 knots. The Beneteau First 36 is designed to hit double figures in around 14 knots wind and we noted how it starts planing in the high 8-knot boatspeeds in around 12 knots wind.

It also has the stability and control to keep plenty of sail up when speed reaching. A couple of my fellow European Yacht of the Year jury members did get to sail it in 20 knots and recorded figures of 10-13.5 knots under Code 0 at 90° and up to 14.5 knots under kite at 120°. That’s rapid for an 11m monohull.

The Beneteau First 36 is also quick upwind, even in the light stuff, where we typically made around 7 knots in these conditions, although it’s not one for pointing too high – start to pinch (less than 45° true) and you quickly sacrifice half a knot.

The sporty feel on the helm and how it moves on the water is the real take away. It’s a light boat with plenty of rocker and is responsive to longitudinal weight distribution, so crew weight distribution will be important when racing. Nevertheless, on the second day in slightly lighter breezes and with eight people aboard, we maintained a consistent 7.5 knots, occasionally touching 8 knots with the gennaker (with little attention to crew weight positioning!).

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Manuard’s powerful hull shape uses reverse sheer for a low look. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

It’s the ease of that speed that stood out. For a 36ft boat to be averaging high rather than mid single figures, is the difference between sporty and displacement sailing. That translates to a significant increase in fun factor too. The First has a very high sail area to displacement ratio and although it’s technically a planing/high performance boat, it doesn’t look like one whether on or below decks.

How do they do that?

The mastery lies in the engineering and build. The Seascape team has produced an impressively light standard boat, a fully cored, vacuum infused hull and deck with sandwich bulkheads. Everything is structural with no needless weight. It’s closer to specialist race boat building than the more industrial methods its parent company specialises in, yet without the expensive exotic materials. The wide but short foam cored swim platform weighs just 8kg for example, and the overall light displacement is under 4.8 tonnes.

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beneteau first 36 sailboat data

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“There’s no silver bullet here, it’s lots of small things,” Mihelin comments. All scantlings were optimised by Kiwi specialists Pure Design and Engineering and adapted by Manuard and Hajnšek to within labour cost targets.

The ease with which you can maintain good speeds on the water is one thing, but then there’s the ease of sailing the boat. As the boat’s interior designer Lorenzo Argento proved, you can spend long periods reaching with no hands on the wheel as it tracks along effortlessly. He is so impressed he has bought a Beneteau First 36 for his 60th Birthday.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

The First 36 is a great deal of fun to sail. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

In fact, there was very little pressure increase in helm on all angles, whether sailing upwind under jib at 7 knots, or beam reaching with the code 0 at 8.5 knots. “Sam’s brief was that we don’t want a boat that’s hard to sail,” says Mihelin.

The Jefa steering links to high aspect rudders on stainless steel stocks. Were twin rudders really needed on this, as it’s not an overly beamy shape? A well mannered boat is part of the core brief, Manuard replies, adding that with this type of hull shape even pros would struggle to control it with a single rudder when pressed.

Manuard has found fame with his scow bow shapes so I was also curious if he’d considered that approach here. “We thought it out of the scope of the boat – it’s not an extreme racer,” he explains. “The scow comes with negatives, the slamming is really difficult to bear… the biggest point of this boat is that it suits a lot of people.”

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Warmth of wood. The compact galley has adequate stowage, particularly in the raised lockers and bin outboard of the sink. Photo: Branko Ceak

The designer used reverse sheer as a styling and space trick, to keep the bow and stern comparatively low (the latter to avoid a bulky appearance), yet maintain reasonable coachroof height for access. The deck design is also deliberately simple. “It’s one of the reasons we threw out a tiller system,” says Mihelin, explaining that the Beneteau Group has a lot of customer and user data, and knew that 90% of 37.7s were sold with wheels.Nevertheless, a tiller is an option many racing and short-handed sailors would love to have on this boat.

Keep it simple

The clean, working cockpit transforms from cruising to racing mode by removing the aft sets of cockpit benches and table, leaving just the short forward benches. This not only jettisons some weight but frees up key space to work the sheets, particularly the primary winches, where there is then space enough to stand and grind.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

The navstation is comfortable and a good size, although you lose seated headroom outboard, and the saloon is generous and comfy. Photo: Branko Ceak

A prime benefit of creating a lightweight shell is that you can take weight out of the appendages too. Here a 1.5 tonne cast iron keel and unfussy Z-Spars aluminium rig comes as standard, while a square top main was rejected because it adds weight to the mast and the additional complication of runners.

All running rigging is left exposed, led aft to a bank of six clutches each side of the companionway. The jib sheets are led through low friction rings, controlled via in- and outhaul purchase systems each side, to give full cockpit control of jib sheet leads and angles with minimal weight. Tail bags help keep the cockpit and companionway area tidy and the six-winch layout is designed to allow cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side.

There’s a slot in front of the wheels to work the mainsheet winches, and without the aft benches, more space to sit and trim the main or jib. The traveller controls and backstay purchase are led neatly to camcleats here too, within reach of trimmer or helm.

The stanchions are through-bolted with supports for hiking crew, while an offshore hatch on the foredeck provides bracing if changing headsails. On deck stowage is in a quarter locker and one large main aft locker, from where the steering gear is accessed.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

simple, no frills forward cabin has 6ft headroom up to the berth, a single locker and raised shelving. Photo: Branko Ceak

Lightweight performance yachts are typically stripped or have a very minimalist feel, an impression you certainly don’t get here. The Beneteau/Seascape team has been clever in maintaining a feeling of warmth and a certain level of cruising comfort needed for a dual-purpose boat.

The surprising part is perhaps how this is achieved, in that many of the kilos that have been saved, by using sandwich bulkheads rather than any structural plywood for example, are added back in the form of proper doors, tables, wooden floors and trim. It makes a difference between cruising and camping aboard.

Key criteria were to include a proper navstation for racing with a chart table large enough to be used as an office desk, and a three cabin only layout. The thinking is that a two cabin yacht of this size would typically have a stowage area in place of the third cabin, whereas here the identical aft cabins are adaptable and can both be used either as doubles or a single with large work cabin/stowage space.

Overall, the interior is kept symmetrical and simple with easy flowing access. The central island, with its integral two-level fridge, is an excellent feature. Conceived by Argento, it provides bracing where you need it most, yet a clear passage each side, which will be valuable for moving or stacking sails. A large wooden chopping board extends work surface space by joining the island to the sink or chart table.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Aft cabins are clever as they can be used as doubles or work cabin/stowage space. Photo: Branko Ceak

The saloon has long, sleepable berths with particularly comfortable cushions, however, with tanks below the berths, practical accessible stowage is found wanting. An angled V-shaped entrance to the forward cabin and heads helps extend the saloon and there is decent space at both ends of the table to sit or walk around.

The small heads compartment and decision to go with a door that opens inwards will be an area of contention, and the lack of separate shower a potential deal breaker. The solution is more reminiscent of an airline- or train-style toilet. While it is possible to shut the door after you, it takes a bit of practice and larger crew will need contortionist skills. The folding sink is neatly done, with a drop down mirror above it, but it leaves you questioning the long term practicality and durability of such a fitting.

Build quality is impressive. The Beneteau First 36 has a vacuum infused Vinylester hull and deck and a Corecell foam core. “Using foam helped us take 200kg out of the hull”, says Seascape’s CTO Hajnšek, adding that Pure Design helped them to get rid of balsa as a core. The lightweight sandwich technique results in all the liners weighing just 60kg for (an estimated 200kg saving).

Seascape will know better than any that it can shed another 300-500kg by removing timber and using a different keel. It leads one to think there’ll be a turbo edition of this model in the future, with tiller, water ballast and foam cored furniture.

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The First 36 strips away sailing complexities in an effort to ensure it can be fun for crewed racing and short-hand sailing. This is the planing boat amateur sailors can enjoy. It’s no glitzy head turner, we’ve yet to see how it will rate and perform on the race course, and it’s fairly basic with small tanks for cruising. However, it still firmly ticks the cruiser-racer box. It’s built with production ‘standard’ (non-exotic) materials, and thanks to good design and engineering, it delivers on the water. Is this a new First icon then? The First marque used to dominate the value-for-money cruiser-racer sector, and this model arguably takes us back to those roots. And yet the 36 introduces another factor above these – high performance that is approachable enough to encourage fun for all levels of sailors. The heads is arguably a mistake and will be inconvenient for larger crewmembers. I also wonder if they can be built quickly enough to this standard, while hoping that the more sustainable materials Beneteau is already employing on its First 44 can be used for this model soon too. But how refreshing! A stiff, planing boat that puts the focus back on sailing is surely the way to go. Easy speed equates to more sailing time. The 36 is indeed class. First class.

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Beneteau First 36, Sailing World 2023 Boat of the Year

  • By Dave Reed
  • December 16, 2022

Boat of the Year

Sailing World Magazine’s  annual Boat of the Year tests are conducted in Annapolis, Maryland, following the US Sailboat Show. With independent judges exhaustively inspecting the boats on land and putting them through their paces on the water, this year’s fleet of new performance-sailing boats spanned from small dinghies to high-tech bluewater catamarans. Here’s the best of the best from our  2023 Boat of the Year nominees »

The Total Package

  • Beneteau First 36 2023 Boat of the Year
  • Stated purpose: Shorthanded racing, club racing, coastal cruising
  • Crew: Solo to six
  • Praise for: Build quality, deck layout, versatility
  • Est. price as sailed: $345,000

Like a runaway, the Beneteau First 36 careens across a westerly-whipped Chesapeake Bay. The boat’s big-shouldered spinnaker and mainsail are silhouetted in the early October morning light. It’s making trees on the Eastern Shore as we peg the throttle down to keep chase in a 19-foot RIB. The four crewmembers on board are having a casual conversation—like no big deal—when a cold and meaty gust fills the spinnaker. The leech flickers, and the boat surges forward onto plane. Twin rudders zipper the slick streaming out from the transom as the helmsman, hands at 10 and 2 on the carbon steering wheel, effortlessly weaves the boat across waves tops. The boat is, as the saying goes, on rails.

“Wicked,” is how senior Boat of the Year judge Chuck Allen summarizes his experience when he steps off. “That boat is going to be hard to beat.”

Three days and 10 boats later, nothing comes close to usurping the Beneteau First 36 as the obvious and unanimous Boat of the Year, a boat that has been a long time coming and overdue. It’s a boat that will serve many masters.

J/45

Beneteau initiated its First 36 project in 2019 by surveying a broad focus group of First “Point 7” owners and dealers about what they wanted in the marketplace, and the takeaways were: 1) Not another ­displacement boat—it had to plane. 2) They wanted a lounge, not a dining room. 3) They wanted their nav station back, and 4) for that, they were OK with having a smaller head.

Beneteau First 36 berths

Given the boat was to meet all three of its club racing, shorthanded and cruising demands, the brain trust assembled inside and outside of Beneteau focused on No. 1—keeping it light and fast. Naval architect Samuel Manuard, the new hot talent of the IMOCA 60 and Class 40 scenes, did the hull, keel and rig. Pure Structural Engineering took care of the structure, and the weight-obsessed glass slingers at Seascape’s factory in Slovenia ensured the boat came in at not a pound more than 10,580. At that weight, of course it’s going to plane.

The entire boat is ­vacuum-infused with CoreCell (hull) and PVC (bulkheads) from the deck down, inside and out, and everything, except the fridge, is somehow a piece of the structure puzzle.

Beneteau First 36 V-berth

“We are saving big weight there, as furniture is also part of the structure, and all of it glued together makes the boat extremely stiff and very light,” says Beneteau’s Tit Plevnik. “What is special is how calculated it is. In mass-production building, you can’t rely on precision, but we do. The boat is built to the same standard as a pure ­racing boat.”

“The moment I saw it, I knew it would be good. It’s a great-looking boat at the dock and even better with the sails up.” —Greg Stewart

Built like a race boat, the judges all agree it sure sails like one. “It’s a big 36-footer,” says veteran BOTY judge and naval architect Greg Stewart. “It’s a full-ended boat that has a hint of a scow-type bow with a lot of buoyancy forward. Looking at the numbers, what they achieved with the weight and its placement is impressive—10,000 pounds for a 36-foot waterline length is a very good number. I could tell the minute we put the spinnaker up it was a slippery boat.”

Stewart set the day’s top speed at a tick over 18 knots and says: “I remember feeling the puff hit and load the rig, and the boat just scooted off with really nice steering. It felt like a Laser when you get it in that groove and it just levitates. With the dual rudders, which are pretty long, the boat has more of a power-steering feel upwind, so it lets you do a lot of things. There’s so much control, which is a good thing because you can drive out of situations, but at the same time, it’s easy to oversteer.”

Beneteau First 36 sink

Multiple cockpit mock-ups done at ­different heel angles produced a workspace that the judges could find no flaw with. “It’s all legit, easy and clean in the pit,” Allen says. “With the four of us in the ­cockpit, we had plenty of space to move around and were never into each other.

“I was doing a lot of trimming downwind,” Allen adds. “You can feel the boat take off. It was really stable and easy to handle. The thing is light and fast, and we did push it to try and wipe it out, but it was hard to do.”

All the judges praised the clever location of the primary winches on sloped coamings, which were easier to trim from than a traditional winch-on-the-coaming setup. “They’re at the perfect height,” says judge Dave Powlison, “and with them angled like that, you don’t have to crane your neck to see the sail, and the lead is virtually override-proof.”

Beneteau First 36 nav station

Also noteworthy is the generous space between the high carbon wheels and the cockpit walls that allow the helmsman to slide forward without having to step up and around the wheel. The jib trimmer has easy access to the three-dimensional clue adjustment systems, and for the pit, there’s plenty of clutches, redirects and cleats to keep everything sorted and tidy.

Beneteau First 36 judges

The standard spar, and that on the demo boat, is a deck-stepped Z Spars aluminum section with Dyform wire rigging that carries 860 square feet of upwind sail area, which Stewart says is considerable for the displacement of the boat. The mast is well aft, which really stretches out the J dimension and opens the foredeck for a quiver of headsails—for this, you’ll find two tack points on the foredeck. There are four halyards total: one for a masthead gennaker, a 2-to-1 for a code sail, a fractional gennaker, and a 2-to-1 staysail. Allen, a semi-retired sailmaker, put an estimate for a complete race inventory at $60,000, which would put the boat on the racecourse for roughly $400,000. (Base boat is priced at $345,000.)

When the race is done, however, how about that interior?

Step down the wide companionway steps into a space of design simplicity and efficiency, some of which makes you say, “Duh, of course.”

Beneteau First 36 during sea trials

For example, there’s no ­traditional L-shaped galley to port or starboard. There is, however, a tall and slender fridge smack in the middle of the boat (that you connect to the galley with a removable cutting board to complete the L). Walk on either side of it to get forward, past the proper nav station, the fold-down dinette table in the middle with roomy 6-foot berths on both sides, a jetliner-size head with a stowaway sink to starboard, and then a gigantic V-berth that benefits from all that volume in the bow. Back aft, under the cockpit, are large quarter berths as well that easily cruise-convert into storage space for water toys, like kites, wings and foils, all of which takes us back to survey result No. 2. This is where the post-race party begins and ends.

With the usual supply-chain delays, compounded with the build and design team’s obsessive and calculated approach to getting the Beneteau First 36 perfect at Hull No. 1, its debut got off to a later start than hoped. But with early boats landing at eager dealers worldwide, Plevnik says the goal is 32 boats per year for the next two years. The BOTY judges assure us it’ll be worth the wait and give you plenty of time to start planning what you can and will do with it.

  • More: 2023 Boat of the Year , Beneteau , Boat of the Year , Print Winter 2023 , Sailboats
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Sailboat Review: Beneteau First 36

  • By Mark Pillsbury
  • June 29, 2023

Beneteau First 36 sailing

When France’s Groupe Beneteau purchased the Slovenian shipyard Seascape in 2018, it acquired designs, tooling and production facilities, along with a team of sailors who know how to build no-frills boats that are slippery and fast. And, yes, very fun to sail.

So much fun, in fact, that once Cruising World ’s Boat of the Year judges named winners for the formal 2023 categories, we chose to conjure up a judges’ special recognition award for the First 36 as Best Sportboat . Our dilemma, you see, was that in the fleet of 17 sailboats we considered, there wasn’t really anything quite like the First 36 in terms of size or performance. But, oh, what a ride we had.

With about 12 knots of breeze blowing up a moderate chop, right out of the chute we hoisted a full main, set the big kite and were off, pegging 10 knots SOG on a broad reach. Later, in a bit more breeze and with the reacher safely stowed, we pounded upwind at close to 8 knots under the jib and single-reefed main. Big sail, little jib—it didn’t matter. The Jefa steering and twin rudders were buttery-smooth and totally in control.

Boat of the Year judge Herb McCormick noted: “This is a boat that was conceived ­working backward from the goal of a pure, unfettered sailing experience, and it fully delivers on that score. No surprise, our colleagues at the performance mag Sailing World honored it with their top Boat of the Year prize.”

Beneteau now has two First production lines, the First SE (SE stands for Seascape Edition and includes the former Seascape 14, 24 and 27) and the ­Beneteau-conceived First 44 and First 53 ­models. Like the First and First SEs up to 40 feet, the naval architect behind the 36 is Samuel Manuard. Design is by Lorenzo Argento (designer of the 44 and 53); structural details are by Pure Design & Engineering; and interior styling is by the Slovenian industrial design studio SITO. 

The idea was to build a boat equally adept at cruising as it is at doublehanded and club handicap racing. The trade-offs involved are immediately apparent when you step aboard through the First’s open transom and twin wheels. Removable cockpit boxes (with cushions) provide seating and storage in cruise mode, or can be left on the dock to make room for a racing crew. Hardware is all top notch, from suppliers such as Ronstan, Harken, Spinlock and Antal. The First even has fittings in the cockpit sole for a drop-leaf table that can come and go, depending on the type of sailing to be done.

On deck, jib sheets are routed through adjustable downhauls and inhauls that provide endless ways to shape the head sail. Forward, a 3-foot-3-inch composite sprit does double duty as an anchor roller and place to tack down off-wind sails.

The boat we sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, was fitted with the standard aluminum rig; a carbon-fiber mast is an option, as are several North Sails packages The First’s base price, posted online, is $260,000. But well fitted out, like the boat we sailed, a more realistic number is $350,000.

The First 36 is built using construction techniques in which all components are tied together to contribute to structural stiffness. Hull, deck, and interior bulkheads are vacuum-infused and cored to add stiffness and save weight. Furniture modules are also vacuum-infused and bonded to be part of the boat’s structure. Below, there is just enough wood used for fiddles and trim to give the interior, with LED lighting, a sense of warmth.

Beneteau initially offered just one keel configuration for the First, a 7-foot-5-inch ­cast-iron fin with a T-bulb down low. An option for a shoal-draft foil of 6 feet, 3 inches is in the works.

The builder also offers just one interior layout, with twin staterooms aft and a V-berth forward. There is a single head, also forward, that includes a shower, as well as a clever fold-up sink over the toilet to ­maximize usable space.

In the salon, an L-shaped galley with a sink, a two-burner stove and an oven is to port at the foot of the companionway; opposite is a sit-down nav station. In between, on centerline, there’s a stand-alone island icebox (a fridge is an option) whose top is at counter height, making it a handy place to set things down. Forward, two outboard settees flank a drop-leaf table. Both seats would make handy sea berths ­underway. As McCormick said, accommodations are more than ­adequate for spending ­extended time aboard, ­whether en route to a regatta or off coastal cruising on weekends or vacation. 

Here’s my take on the First 36: It might not be the boat for an owner looking for all the creature comforts of home in a dockside setting, but if the idea is to get out there and go sailing, well, it might be the ideal boat. 

Beneteau First 36 Specifications

LOA39’4″
LWL33’8″
BEAM12’6″
DRAFT7’5″
SAIL AREA861 sq. ft.
BALLAST3,420 lb.
DISPLACEMENT10,580 lb.
D/L124
SA/D28.6
WATER53 gal.
FUEL19 gal.
HOLDING13 gal.
MAST HEIGHT58’5″
ENGINE29 hp Yanmar saildrive
DESIGNERManuard Yacht Design, Lorenzo ­Argento, Pure Design & ­Engineering
PRICEManuard Yacht Design, Lorenzo ­Argento, Pure Design & ­Engineering
WEBSITE

Mark Pillsbury is a CW editor-at-large and served as a 2023 Boat of the Year judge.

  • More: beneteau , Print July 2023 , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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First look: Beneteau First 36

Toby Heppell

  • Toby Heppell
  • September 28, 2022

The new Beneteau First 36 is a new sub-40ft sporty racer/ cruiser from the French yard, which really embraces the 'First' legacy

Product Overview

Although not officially launched at the Cannes Yachting Festival, this was the first time we had been able to step aboard the new Beneteau First 36.

Launches in the sub-40ft market have become a rare thing in recent years, so we were excited to get a look round this little performance yacht. It should be said this feels like a ‘First’ boat of old in that it doesn’t take much looking around to realise that this is designed as a true cruiser/racer.

This racy concept is built into the boat’s DNA, coming from the pen of Sam Manuard, a designer most recently known for designing the radical, semi-scow bowed IMOCA 60, L’Occitane en Provence for the last Vendée Globe (now sailed by Louis Burton as Bureau Valee ).

It’s also worth mentioning this is not a ‘pure’ Beneteau in that she was already under development by Seascape Marine when Groupe Beneteau took a controlling share of the yard. Perhaps this accounts for the slightly more uncompromising racer features that exist on her.

Below she feels every bit the ‘First’ boats of old. The space is comfortable and light but there is minimal wood and it feels more of a practical space than one designed with outright comfort when at anchor in mind. She’s offered with 3 cabins, one in the forepeak and two aft cabins to port and starboard. The latter have been designed to be easily converted to sail or other storage, with one half of the bed removable to create a working storage area.

On deck the performance feel remains, although with wheels instead of a tiller, there are some concessions to cruisers – racers would tend to opt for a tiller on something this size.

She could absolutely make an excellent performance coastal cruiser and if getting from a to b in a smaller yacht is what you’re after, you’d be hard pushed to do much better than this, but we fully expect to see plenty of these IRC racing too.

Beneteau First 36 specifications

LOA: 11.0m 36ft 1in Beam: 3.8m 12ft 6in Draught: 2.25m 7ft 5in Displacement: 4,800kg 10,580lb Ballast: 1,550kg 3,420lb Upwind sail area: 80m2 860sq ft Downwind sail area: 180m2 1,930sq ft Displacement: 4,800kg Base price: €198,000 ex VAT Builder: www.beneteau.com

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Sail Universe

Modern Hull and Largest Living Space: the New Beneteau First 36 Revealed

Beneteau First 36

Three years ago, Beneteau and Seascape joined forces to co-develop the new generation of First. After launching the sport-cruiser part of the range: First 14, First 24, and First 27, they unveil today the first photos of this first racer-cruiser – the brand new First 36. The Beneteau First 36 has a mission to bridge the gap between high-tech development in the world of racing and mainstream racer-cruisers. To be specific, even the standard version of First 36 fully planes in a moderate breeze. 

Beneteau First 36

The desing team

The design team of the new Beneteau First 36 is coordinated by the experienced hand of Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape , who works closely with the team at French yard Beneteau to bring race-grade construction technologies into the segment of production racer-cruisers. 

Naval architect : Samuel Manuard 

He is currently the hottest name in offshore racing, where his designs are winning Mini, Class 40, and IMOCA 60 classes. He is also the designer of the new First and First SE from 14ft to 27ft. 

Structural engineering : Pure Design & Engineering 

dufour-520-GL-sail-universe

The team from New Zealand was in charge of engineering at some of the most extreme projects in the world of extreme sailing: TP52s, AC75, AC72, IMOCA 60s, and Club Swan, as well as high-end production yachts. 

Design : Lorenzo Argento 

Beneteau First 36 follows the same design language of her larger sister – First Yacht 53 – building on the timeless aesthetic of Lorenzo’s work, most notably seen on the Wally and Brenta yachts. 

Innovation and research : Gigodesign 

This industrial design studio’s design research and innovation insights with multiple Red Dot awards were essential in locking in and developing innovation opportunities. 

Beneteau First 36

The design team is coordinated by the experienced hand of Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape, who works closely with the team at Beneteau to bring modern construction technologies into the segment of accessible production racer-cruisers. 

Beneteau First 36 follows the design language of the 7th generation of First set by Lorenzo Argento as a subtle and super-efficient boat. Thanks to its wide modern hull, the largest living space in its class will offer comfort comparable to the successful Beneteau First 40.7, with plenty of smart solutions to make living onboard a great experience. 

Beneteau First 36

Sailing functionality

Positioning six winches, steering wheels, and other deck gear was thoroughly tested on several mock-ups and a full-scale testbed sailboat to enable the sailing experience promised on the previous page. Details like an offshore hatch on the foredeck or removable cockpit benches show the priority of sailing functionality over style used throughout the design process. 

Standard aluminum rig and cast iron keel of the new Beneteau First 36 were chosen to keep the boat accessible. Yet, Sam Manuard brought his experience and focused on perfecting the shape and design of these two key ingredients for a great sailing experience. The draft of 2,25 m was chosen as a compromise between performance and ease of use. 

Beneteau First 36

Racing Layout

In the racing layout, the wide and modern cockpit allows for different helm and trim positions, either for short-handed or fully-crewed sailing. In this setup, the table and bench extensions are removed, opening the working area in the cockpit. 

A higher-than-average steering wheel position leaves enough room for the helmsman to move forward towards the mainsail winch when sailing shorthanded. The cockpit winches’ positioning allows one or two crew members to sail with legs in and work the mainsail or primary winches in full crew mode. It also allows cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side. Harken , Ronstan, Spinlock and Antal deck gear were combined for performance. 

Beneteau First 36

Cruising layout

When you remove your racing gear and take your family cruising or daysailing , the cockpit benches with cushions increase the seating area and add storage space and rope organization. The cockpit table is big enough to seat a crew of six. Additionally, the design team developed an ultralight bathing platform to give sailors easy access to the water without affecting the boat’s performance. 

The interiors

Simple, comfortable and multi-purpose, the First 36 interior was developed around three-cabin cruising functionality. Its most notable feature is the large central fridge (with a removable cutting board), making this sailboat’s galley the largest of her class. A corridor created together with the foldable and removable table helps sailors move around the saloon safely and offers stacking possibilities. 

Beneteau First 36

Going against the trend, the Beneteau First 36 features a full-sized navigation table. While vital to navigation, it is also a suitable home office. Two portlights in every room allow airflow and natural light, while sectional indirect lighting with a red racing option illuminates the boat at night. Three cabins with easily accessible full-sized double berths and innovative heads round up the features of this bright and spacious interior. 

Beneteau First 36 Specs 

Hull Length  11,00 m / 36’ 1”
Beam 3,80 m / 12’ 6”
Weight 4800 kg / 10580 lbs 
Draft, Standard Keel 2,25 m / 7’ 4,6”
Ballast 1550 kg / 3420 lbs
Upwind Sail Area 80 m2 / 860 sq. ft
Downwind Sail Area 180 m2 / 1930 sq. ft 
Price EUR 198000 ex VAT
Naval Architect Sam Manuard
Design Lorenzo Argento
Structural Engineering Pure Design & Engineering
Interior Design Gigo Design
Concept, R&D Beneteau & Seascape

Beneteau First 36 Review

An interesting cruiser-racer with a wide modern hull and large living spaces

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First 36 s7 Beneteau

The first 36 s7 beneteau is a 35.75ft fractional sloop designed by jean berret and built in fiberglass by beneteau since 1996..

The First 36 s7 Beneteau is a light sailboat which is a high performer. It is reasonably stable / stiff and has a low righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a racing boat. The fuel capacity is originally small. There is a short water supply range.

First 36 s7 Beneteau sailboat under sail

First 36 s7 Beneteau for sale elsewhere on the web:

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Main features

Model First 36 s7 Beneteau
Length 35.75 ft
Beam 12.42 ft
Draft 6.08 ft
Country France (Europe)
Estimated price $ 0 ??

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beneteau first 36 sailboat data

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Sail area / displ. 20.58
Ballast / displ. 31.24 %
Displ. / length 173.74
Comfort ratio 19.40
Capsize 2.19
Hull type Monohull fin keel with bulb and spade rudder
Construction Fiberglass
Waterline length 31.08 ft
Maximum draft 6.08 ft
Displacement 11684 lbs
Ballast 3650 lbs
Hull speed 7.47 knots

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

We help you build your own hydraulic steering system - Lecomble & Schmitt

Rigging Fractional Sloop
Sail area (100%) 660 sq.ft
Air draft 0 ft ??
Sail area fore 289.14 sq.ft
Sail area main 314.40 sq.ft
I 44.62 ft
J 12.96 ft
P 41.67 ft
E 15.09 ft
Nb engines 1
Total power 27 HP
Fuel capacity 24 gals

Accommodations

Water capacity 80 gals
Headroom 0 ft
Nb of cabins 0
Nb of berths 0
Nb heads 0

Builder data

Builder Beneteau
Designer Jean Berret
First built 1996
Last built 0 ??
Number built 0 ??

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Beneteau First 36.7

This dual-purpose boat, designed by bruce farr, is more user-friendly than its high-performance progenitors, but will still sail fast as a one-design or in handicap fleets..

From her office in France, Madame Annette Beneteau Roux, granddaughter of her company’s founder, Benjamin Beneteau, oversees the largest boatbuilding company in the world.

In the US, the Beneteau and Jeanneau brands are madame’s two most popular lines. Under the banner of Beneteau USA, the company markets the Beneteau line, once known as Oceanis models, as distinguished from the First line of performance cruisers. Historically, the Beneteau marque has been stamped on a cruiser with a distinctly European flair. However, recent French-European styling is less pronounced than in boats introduced 10 years ago. They can generally be characterized as having a turn of speed, spacious accommodations, and pricing competitive with American production builders.

First models are sportier, more aggressive designs, and typically exhibit better performance than their more conventional sisters, though they sacrifice little of their appeal for those seeking creature comforts.

Like its competitors, the company has experienced its share of production and blistering problems. However, refinements in raw materials and construction methods are resulting in fewer production glitches.

Beneteau First 36.7 undersail

Most Beneteau boats designed for use in the US are constructed in Marion, South Carolina. The 36.7, however, was the first of the First line to emerge from that production facility in several years. Since its unveiling in the fall of 2001, 100 of the 36.7s have been sold in the US.

The first collaboration of the Bruce Farr design office with Beneteau resulted in the 1992 introduction of the First 45s5. More recently, Farr designed the First 40.7, which the company claims is the most successful performance yacht of its size in the last 20 years. It has a stellar record racing under IMS handicapping.

Though they share a similar pedigree, the 36.7 was not designed to meet a racing rule. Still, whether she’s steered with the big stainless steel wheel preferred by the American market, or with a tiller, which seems to be the choice in Europe, the boat ‘s work zone speaks plainly of performance, with a big mainsheet traveler that spans the cockpit, and efficient grinder stations forward of that.

In profile she displays a flat sheer, plumb bow, and reverse transom. These shapes are getting downright common today, thanks, probably, to the influence of European offshore racing boats. The new J/109 is shaped very similarly.

The swept double-spreader rig with large mainsail and comparatively small foretriangle is another trend of recent years, and a welcome change from the IOR-influenced sailplans that held sway in production cruising boat design long after the IOR itself faded.

Beneteau First 36.7

The underwater hull of the 36.7 is quite slippery, with two nicely shaped keel options-one that gives a draft of a bit over five feet, the other a bit over seven.

Among Bruce Farr’s early creations is Design #51, a 36′ one – tonner known as the 1104. It was so fast that it allegedly caused the IOR to revise design criteria. Although not as flatout as the 1104, the 36.7 can be seen as a direct descendant. Comparing the differences between the two, Jim Schmicker of the Farr office says, “The 1104 was designed primarily for the New Zealand and Australian markets, where proportionately less sail is needed because of windy sailing venues. “The 36.7 has similar sail area to wetted surface ratios, but carries more cloth because it’s 25% heavier.”

The new Beneteau was driven by a “different design requirement that requires a more luxurious interior while at the same time producing a fast boat.”

The 36.7 is also an offshoot of the Beneteau 40.7, although Schmicker says the 36.7 “has a more advanced hull shape and refined look when heeled at high angles.” That heeled shape, combined with what the Farr office calls a “generous rudder area,” simply means that the rudder keeps its bite in the water when the boat is reaching in big winds.

“The changes are more noticeable when the boats are side by side,” says Schmicker. “The 36.7 is straighter in plan at the sheer, with less curvature than the 40.7. It has less volume above the waterline amidships because more volume was placed in the ends. The result is a longer heeled length, producing good handling throughout the heeled range.

“We created the same interior layout in a boat that is nearly three feet shorter. However, there’s less space between the stem and V-berth, and aft berths and transom.

“With the keel design it’s all about laminar flow. This keel on the 36.7 is the result of years of intensive research that produces airfoils designed specifically for the boats that we design. They don’t come from the pages of a NACA foil book. They are the result of 15 years of IOR, IMS, America’s Cup, and Volvo Race research. We provide complete 3D representations to Beneteau so they can produce our designs accurately. The objective is to design the smallest rudder with the maximum lift and low drag that will withstand high loads in heavy winds without stalling. We place the rudder shaft in the blade and set the sweep of the blade tip to give the right amount of helm load for all conditions. We also want robust sections that don’t stall abruptly. And, they must be able to be made in a mass production line that produces the same surface finishes.”

Beneteau USA president Wayne Burdick points out that many yacht designers are surprised “if a boat comes within 1,000 pounds of her designed weight,” because boats tend to put on weight in the production process. However, the weight target is critical to one-design racers, who expect a level field. Schmicker says that the collaboration between the Farr office, Beneteau production managers, and Sparcraft, which builds the mast and boom, yielded a prototype within 100 pounds of targeted weight, and the first boat off the production line was “spot on.”

Deck Layout

Like other aspects of the boat, excepting the massive wheel and location of the traveler, the deck arrangement is typical of many production boats.

Halyard and mainsail controls are led aft to Spinlock ST clutches on the cabintop. Jib and spinnaker sheets are led to Lewmar 48 and Lewmar 40 selftailing winches. The solid vang is supplied by Sparcraft.

Cockpit seats are 19″ wide, 15″ high, and 52″ long, and accented by teak veneer. Though the cockpit arrangement appears conventional, a Farr touch is that it is a convertible: Seats port and starboard with shallow storage compartments below may be removed to make space for sail trimmers, shortening seats 20″.

Length on the centerline between traveler and companionway is 58″, and the width of the footwell is 39″.

With room for the helmsman and a passenger in the stern, she seats seven comfortably in cruise mode, about what we’d expect in a boat this size.

From the perspective of a nonracer or shorthanded sailor, the big wheel is an obstacle in getting to the traveler, and the traveler is an obstacle in getting to the companionway or back to the stern. Singlehanders will need to be nimble, especially when trying to work the sail controls on the cabintop.

An excellent footrest provides a brace for the driver. An additional brace on the cockpit sole would increase crew comfort when heeled. An instrument pod at the companionway provides helmsman and crew with excellent visibility while avoiding the risk of the “knee-through-the – instrument-lens” repair job.

Since the mainsheet is located at the end of the boom, it allows guests to sit in front of the traveler, or move below easily. That layout is a refreshing change, since many builders locate mainsail controls on the cabintop, with mid-boom sheeting. That compromise does prevent interference of the mainsheet with guests, but often at the expense of good sailtrim and efficiency.

Our test boat lives in rainy Washington, where year-round sailing mandates a dodger. Properly fitted, it doesn’t interfere with movement of skipper or crew while underway.

At one end, the bow sports an anchor roller and locker. A foot brace molded into the foredeck, double lifelines, aggressively patterned non-skid, and a teak toerail provide a bowman with a safe working area.

At the other end, the stern seat is removable to ease boarding. A telescoping ladder, shore power, and cockpit shower are standard equipment. A liferaft can be stowed below the helm seat.

There’s little storage in the cockpit, since quarterberths occupy spaces on both sides belowdecks. A small storage area in the starboard quarter provides room for fenders and lines. Most cruisers will sail with a genoa on a furler, and racers underway will keep sails amidships and forward, but still, a boat this size will always have gear that’s best stowed in a cockpit locker or lazarette-bucket, hose, shorepower cable, maybe a grill, and so forth. Much of that will have to live below, and the smaller aft cabin is the likely candidate for “shed.”

The layout of the 36.7 is a smaller version of that on the 40.7. The saloon provides seating for six, and there are bunks for seven, but tall people’s toes will be closer to the ends than they are on some comparable boats.

The appearance is traditional (that is, without the Philippe Starck stylized interior that Beneteau used on many of its boats). The saloon measures almost 10′ on the centerline. There’s 6′ 2″ of headroom, and 8′ of clearance between the settee backs. Settees are 6′ 4″ long and 2′ 1″ wide, and will double as berths if leecloths are installed.

The versatility of design is reflected in the saloon table: When in place it provides a surface for four to six diners; remove it, and its stainless steel support provides a foot brace for crew when underway.

Removal of the table also eases sail packing when in race mode. On our test boat, the brace also provided a space between settee and footrest for a 25-gallon plastic storage bin that holds lifejackets and crew gear. However, if the table is not stored in the garage, odds are it will be atop a bunk.

Beneteau First 36.7

The L-shaped galley to port is small but adequate, equipped with a twoburner stove and double sink. A counter covers a 24″ deep x 17″ wide reefer located outboard that needs shelves or portable baskets to be organized. Storage is in enclosed cupboards with teak doors, and opening ports provide ventilation.

To starboard, the nav station faces forward and is fitted with wood cabinetry large enough for mounting electronics and fuse panels. The chart table measures 31″ x 23″-large enough for use with a folded chart.

Storage drawers and shelved compartments are below the chart table and navigator’s seat. In a world in which gear expands to fill the space available, the well-organized skipper will find room for necessary gadgetry, but with little space left over.

The master stateroom is furnished with a V-berth measuring 6′ 1″ long and 5′ 3″ wide at the head. The cabin also has a hanging locker and shelves on the hullsides.

Since Americans’ preferences in sleeping quarters differ from their French counterparts, US boats were reconfigured to suit the marketplace. Rather than having equal-sized spaces in the aft staterooms separated by a bulkhead on the centerline, the bulkhead has been moved outboard to starboard. As a result, the bunk to port is nearly queen-sized, while the one to starboard is basically a single quarterberth with some privacy-actually an ideal sea berth.

The head compartment on any three-cabin, 36′ boat will be, at the least, a designer’s challenge. On this boat, a clear choice was made, and the head is Lilliputian. With six feet of headroom, crew can brush teeth while standing, but showers will be taken while seated on the toilet with little space left for swinging arms. On the plus side, small head compartments in which elbows and knees can be wedged against bulkheads are best in a seaway (if any head in a seaway can rate above “dismal”), and this space is shiny fiberglass, vented overhead- so it will be low-maintenance.

Construction

Since Beneteau promotes the 36.7 as a one-design racer, it’s being produced with close scrutiny of the weight and application of raw materials. Boats are constructed to CE Class A requirements for unlimited offshore use.

Mike Thoney of Beneteau says the laminate, laid up behind the gelcoat with glass and vinylester resin, is precut to assure proper dimensions. Beneteau has discontinued use of the Beneteau Underwater System in favor of vinylester resins designed to prevent osmotic blistering. The company is mixing resins to its own formula. Mike Thoney declined to provide details about the mix.

Internal structure is a one-piece grid used in most models that reinforces the hull and distributes mast and keel loads. It also provides a bed for bulkheads and furniture, engine mounts, keel, chain plates and tankage.

Bulkheads become part of the structure when they are bonded to both hull and deck. Chainplates are attached using tie rods molded into the grid system.

The hull-deck joint is an inwardoriented flange onto which the deck is laid and secured with PU 501, a proprietary polyester glue, and mechanical fasteners through-bolted through deck and toerail.

“The deck is laid up with a skin coat, layers of precut fiberglass, and cored with balsa,” Thoney says. “Hardware is all bolted through solid glass and secured with backing plates. Where it goes through coring, the coring is removed and replaced with fiberglass. Backing plates for stanchion bases are bedded in putty to avoid movement. Engine mounts are through-bolted and secured with backing plates and nuts.”

On our test boat, 31 keel bolts and plates designed to disperse loads were easily accessible in a shallow bilge. A robust mast boot prevents water from intruding. In the three rainy months before our inspection, no water had appeared in the bilge. Water and fuel tanks are form-fitted to beds and secured with stainless steel rods. A holding tank is held in place by straps.

Joe Foss, service manager for Beneteau USA, described three post-production problems:

First: “The Edson steering system was designed with a short drag link that inhibited steering, depending upon the angle it met the wheel during the commissioning process. When several boats experienced the problem, the link was lengthened. A repair kit was distributed to the owners of hulls 1-33.”

Second: “A washer at the stemball on one of the shrouds (D-2) was so small it pulled through the spreader bar. Though the problem was encountered only on one boat, hulls 1-43 were examined and found sound.”

Third: One of the boats experienced a broken spreader bar. Since the same spreader is used on the 40.7 and 42.7, and more than 11,000 have been produced with no failures, Foss considers this an anomaly.

Performance

During a test sail near the Olympic Peninsula, we immediately discovered that she’s a responsive yacht. She easily backed out of the marina into a three-knot current with wind on the beam. A 29-horsepower Volvo sail drive provided quick acceleration and produced a short turning radius.

Crewed by a 62-year-old retiree and his small wife, sailhandling proved easy, with an autopilot holding her nose into a stiff breeze. We sailed with 12-13 knots displayed on the wind indicator with full mainsail and 105% genoa. The helm was perfectly balanced, though she felt slightly underpowered.

In 15 knots of wind, we sailed closed hauled at six knots. Footing off to a beam reach, speed held steady at 7.2-8.0 knots, and we steered with two fingers. As we sailed down below a broad reach, speed dropped to 5 knots. In these conditions, a shorthanded crew could hoist an asymmetrical spinnaker and keep the speedo scrambling.

With more than 100 boats sold since its US introduction, the 36.7 is already a success. The base price has increased approximately 10% since its introduction, to $135,000, sailaway, FOB the factory. However, an autopilot adds $2,065; an electronics package with VHF, Raytheon ST60 Tridata, and wind instruments $2,155; and Harken split- drum roller furler $1,695.

For racers, spinnaker gear and an aluminum pole will add $2,505 to the pricetag; a carbon pole adds $1,145.

We suspect that the J/109, mentioned earlier, would be natural competition for this Beneteau, both for one-design fleet racers and performance cruisers. Compare some of the J boat’s specs-LOA 35′ 3″, LWL 30′ 6″, beam 11′ 6″, standard draft 7 ‘, DSPL 10,500 lbs., SA/DSPL 21, DSPL/ L 165-to the Beneteau’s numbers. By those numbers, the J is just a trifle more moderate, and quite a bit higher priced at $165,500 for the base boat. That price differential may have to do with costs associated with the SCRIMP building technique used by JBoats, or with differences in standard hardware and fittings, or maybe with economies of scale-although J/Boats is hardly a low-production builder.

But back to the 36.7. She’s quite nimble. She goes faster and points higher in light air than standard production cruising boats her size. As a racer she’ll be competitive in a onedesign or handicap environment.

Beneteau has laid out restrictive onedesign fleet rules designed to control cost and promote competition among amateurs. There’s an “owner-driver” rule, and boats may not be stripped of standard equipment for racing purposes. Sail inventories are limited to four sails that can only be replaced at 12-24 month intervals.

This enhanced performance, combined with comfortable, functional accommodations and a good price, should attract a broad-based market. She won’t be as comfortable as a fullkeeled cruiser when pounding into big seas, but the adaptable sailplan will allow a shorthanded crew to fly big genoas on a furler easily, or an asymmetrical spinnaker almost as easily as a sprit boat-as long as they’re nimble enough to jump around the wheel and over the traveler.

The lack of cockpit-accessible stowage space is a shortcoming, partly balanced by the good sense of the aft cabin arrangement below. The size of the head compartment really is a matter of preference, and on a race boat or offshore boat, small is fine. Belowdecks, owners will more likely curl up with a book than a television remote, and that, too, is fine.

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Wow, I raced a Yankee 30 out of Olympia WA for 3 years as crew. I was 19 at the time and had to drive 3 hours from the NAS on Whidbey Island to the boat for each regatta. This was my 1st sailboat to sail on as a beginner. You have a nice boat.

I am looking to buy the Beneteau 36.7 to replace my Elite 37 (made in France) because I had planned to charter my own boat (I hold a 50 GT certificate) and need a boat made in the US.

How can you tell if the 36.7 was made in SC?

Capt. Charlie D

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beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Speed made easy : BENETEAU FIRST 36

Welcome to the latest model in our new breed of high-performance cruiser-racers.

With a weight of 4,8 tons and an upwind sail area of 80 square meters, the new First 36 simply presents a different sailing experience.

Actually, we believe this is the first time a mainstream-production boat with full-cruising facilities, a mid-market price tag and the full support of a worldwide dealer network has been pushed this far towards true high-performance sailing. 

But what we are really proud of is making this level of fast, fun sailing available to everyone. Because First 36 has made speed easy, we believe you will simply sail more.

The DIFFERENce

The main difference from most of the other boats labelled as cruiser-racer is this: In a First 36 you are no longer locked in displacement speed.

The main reason for this is its significantly lower weight. Going 9, 10 or 11 knots instead of 5, 6 or 7 knots makes sailing more fun. It also makes your cruising radius bigger. You will not only enjoy sailing more with this boat. You will also spend more time under sail.

The sailing experience

The mission of the team behind the First 36 was to take the drama out of going fast. The sail plan, underwater body and steering system are balanced so well that the boat can be pushed really hard without wiping out or even developing excessive weather helm. You can steer a First 36 with fingertip control on a hard upwind as well as a fast, planning ride downhill.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

how it was done

The all-around speed, seaworthiness,and stability of First 36 has trickled down from modern offshore racers. Our naval architect, Sam Manuard, works at the front end of this development.

Then, the design was given to PURE Design & Engineering, a team famous for making structural calculations for America’s Cup boats, IMOCAs and TP-52s—in other words, the fastest and most abused racing boats in the world.

This was iterated in endless cycles through the design process where Lorenzo Argento and Gigodesign, together with teams from Beneteau and Seascape, shaped the project into the new First 36.

The entire boat is a vacuum-infused, fully-cored GRP composite structure—including bulkheads and most interior parts. Almost all interior elements contribute to the structural strength of the boat.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

Variety of sailing styles

First 36 is designed to fit a variety of sailing styles: cruising with family and friends, shorthanded sailing, club racing or distance racing with a full crew.

To facilitate all of this, the cockpit has two distinct modes: one for racing/shorthanded sailing and one for cruising.

In racing mode, the open T-cockpit has space enough to move effortlessly between ergonomic work positions.

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

 In cruising mode, the cockpit is supplied with removable boxes to lengthen the benches—and a cockpit table. This transforms the cockpit to a more lounge-like, relaxing environment.

Deck gear is upgraded from industry standard, both in size and quality. 

more than just 36 feet

The living quarters below deck are a reinvented layout of the legendary First 40,7. Their huge volume comes as a natural consequence of the modern, performance-optimized lines of the hull.

Even though most of the interior is structural elements in vacuum-infused GRP, warm wood has been used for floorboards, doors, table and trim. A smooth inner liner and ambient light settings create an atmosphere where you will feel at home and relaxed before and after sailing. 

beneteau first 36 sailboat data

A freestanding kitchen island contains a huge fridge, connected to the pantry with a removable cutting board. The bathroom footprint is significantly reduced, due to a foldable sink. The two multi-purpose aft cabins can sleep two people comfortably. They can also be transformed into huge storage rooms when needed—big enough for a surfboard.

more information about the First 36

Published on 01.04.2022

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IMAGES

  1. SailboatData.com

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

  2. Beneteau First 36 & First 36 at Sunbird yacht sales

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

  3. SailboatData.com

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

  4. Beneteau reveals First 36 sailing yacht

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

  5. Beneteau and Seascape unveil First 36

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

  6. First 36.7 deep draft (Bénéteau) sailboat specifications and details on

    beneteau first 36 sailboat data

VIDEO

  1. Beneteau first 32 sailing boat, keelboat year

  2. Brand New Beneteau Oceanis 37.1 Debut at the Annapolis Boat Show

  3. 2005 Beneteau First 36.7 at RCR Yachts in Buffalo, NY

  4. Sailing the new Beneteau First 36 ‘Shot Duck’ on Sydney Harbour

  5. The making of Windhoek II model (Beneteau First 36.7)

  6. Beneteau first 33.7.mov

COMMENTS

  1. FIRST 36 (BENETEAU)

    A boat with a BN of 1.6 or greater is a boat that will be reefed often in offshore cruising. Derek Harvey, "Multihulls for Cruising and Racing", International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1991, states that a BN of 1 is generally accepted as the dividing line between so-called slow and fast multihulls.

  2. First 36

    The BENETEAU First 36 was designed to bridge the gap between high-tech development in the world of racing and mainstream racer-cruisers. Even the standard version of First 36 will fully plane in a moderate breeze. However, this by itself was not the main challenge for the design and production teams. For 40 years, the Firsts were successfully hitting the elusive sweet spot between comfort ...

  3. First 36

    First 36 is the first mainstream racer/cruiser where onboard comfort doesn't affect the experience of high performance sailing. EXCLUSIVE: In April and May, reserve your sea trial aboard the First 36, wherever you are in Europe. Learn more. NAVAL ARCHITECT : Samuel Manuard. Design : Lorenzo Argento.

  4. Beneteau First 36: The Top 10 Best Boats Review

    The new Beneteau First 36 that debuted at Annapolis last fall checks all these boxes, and more. Enough that we here at SAIL happily anointed it one of our 2023 Top 10 Best Boats winners. This is a remarkably versatile craft. For a mass-production boat, it is quite light but also very strong, with a purely race-boat-quality build regimen.

  5. Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years?

    The Beneteau First 36 is designed to hit double figures in around 14 knots wind and we noted how it starts planing in the high 8-knot boatspeeds in around 12 knots wind. It also has the stability ...

  6. Beneteau First 36, Sailing World 2023 Boat of the Year

    The Total Package. Beneteau First 36 2023 Boat of the Year. Stated purpose: Shorthanded racing, club racing, coastal cruising. Crew: Solo to six. Praise for: Build quality, deck layout ...

  7. Sailboat Review: Beneteau First 36

    Beneteau's First 36 is designed from the bottom up for one purpose: to go sailing. When France's Groupe Beneteau purchased the Slovenian shipyard Seascape in 2018, it acquired designs, tooling and production facilities, along with a team of sailors who know how to build no-frills boats that are slippery and fast. And, yes, very fun to sail.

  8. First look: Beneteau First 36

    The new Beneteau First 36 is a new sub-40ft sporty racer/ cruiser from the French yard, which really embraces the 'First' legacy. Product Overview. Product: ... It should be said this feels like a 'First' boat of old in that it doesn't take much looking around to realise that this is designed as a true cruiser/racer.

  9. Beneteau First 36: Modern Hull and Largest Living Space

    Beneteau First 36 follows the design language of the 7th generation of First set by Lorenzo Argento as a subtle and super-efficient boat. Thanks to its wide modern hull, the largest living space in its class will offer comfort comparable to the successful Beneteau First 40.7, with plenty of smart solutions to make living onboard a great experience.

  10. First 36: The genesis of a new creature

    A spot for a new 36. "Beneteau already had a remarkable designer working on the new generation", says Jacob, "but on the other hand, Seascape had so far a very successful adventure with Sam Manuard - so we decided to move forward with him. In a way, this was the first step in merging forces. The idea was to start the range with a big boat ...

  11. Beneteau First 36

    First 36 continues to build on the heritage of Beneteau First - achieving a perfect balance between impossible needs. In order to hit the elusive sweet spot between comfort and performance, elegance, and utility, as well as high-tech construction and reasonable cost, the team was joined by an elite international group of designers: Structural ...

  12. FIRST 36.7 (BENETEAU)

    A boat with a BN of 1.6 or greater is a boat that will be reefed often in offshore cruising. Derek Harvey, "Multihulls for Cruising and Racing", International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1991, states that a BN of 1 is generally accepted as the dividing line between so-called slow and fast multihulls.

  13. Beneteau First 36: Prices, Specs, Reviews and Sales Information

    The Beneteau First 36 is produced by the brand Beneteau Yachts since 2022. Beneteau First 36 is a 11.00 meters sport cruiser with 3 guest cabins and a draft of 2.26 meters. The yacht has a fiberglass / grp hull with a CE certification class (A) and can navigate in the open ocean. The base price of a new Beneteau First 36 is €238.8 thousand.

  14. First 36 s7 Beneteau

    The First 36 s7 Beneteau is a 35.75ft fractional sloop designed by Jean Berret and built in fiberglass by Beneteau since 1996. The First 36 s7 Beneteau is a light sailboat which is a high performer. It is reasonably stable / stiff and has a low righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a racing boat. The fuel capacity is originally ...

  15. Beneteau First 36

    Beneteau First 36 - Speed made easy. Welcome to the latest model in our new breed of high-performance cruiser-racers. With a weight of 4,8 tons and an upwind sail area of 80 square meters, the new First 36 simply presents a different sailing experience. Actually, we believe this is the first time a mainstream-production boat with full-cruising ...

  16. Beneteau First 36.7

    Sailboats 36-40ft; Beneteau First 36.7 This dual-purpose boat, designed by Bruce Farr, is more user-friendly than its high-performance progenitors, but will still sail fast as a one-design or in handicap fleets. ... Beneteau First 36.7 Cabin Layout. The L-shaped galley to port is small but adequate, equipped with a twoburner stove and double ...

  17. New Beneteau First 36

    The YACHT asked six current performance cruisers with hull lengths between 11 and 11.50 meters to the Flensburg Fjord for a group comparison. The following types accepted the invitation: Arcona 385 (Test YACHT 20/2014, as Arcona 380) Dehler 38 SQ (Test YACHT 13/2021) Faurby 370 (Test YACHT 12/2014, as Faurby 363 E) First 36 by Beneteau (Test ...

  18. First 36: The Origin of a Future Classic

    "I clearly remember the first time I sailed the 36 myself", Jacob says. "We had 20-25 knots of wind, three people on board, two of them on the boat for the first time. We put up the sails and instantly did nine knots without even starting to discover the boat. And as soon as we started planing on the waves, we did 12-16 knots, jib and mainsail ...

  19. Beneteau

    Benjamin Beneteau, shipwright, founded the Beneteau boatyard at Croix-de-Vie, France to build sailing trawlers. In 1964 Annette Beneteau Roux and her brother, Andre, granddaughter and grandson to Benjamin, diversified the company with the introduction of fiberglass sailing yachts. With the introduction of the FLETAN and the GUPPY, Beneteau took part in the 1965 Paris Boat Show for the first ...

  20. Speed made easy : BENETEAU FIRST 36

    Welcome to the latest model in our new breed of high-performance cruiser-racers. With a weight of 4,8 tons and an upwind sail area of 80 square meters, the new First 36 simply presents a different sailing experience. Actually, we believe this is the first time a mainstream-production boat with full-cruising facilities, a mid-market price tag and the full support of a worldwide dealer network ...

  21. New Beneteau First 36

    Despite all that I think that the First 36 is ideal for its target market and will sell a few here to people who appreciate what a new boat offers. It looks like a nice normal boat vs a 3300 cabin shape. The bowsprit/anchor roller is a fair length. The twin wheels allow easy walk through access to the stern.

  22. FIRST 38 (BENETEAU)

    AKA (in the US) as the BENETEAU 38. The MOORINGS 38/39 (shoal draft with shorter rig) is similar with some changes to the interior more oriented to the charter trade. Hull length: 11.75m / 38.55 ft. Reported sail area above includes main + genoa. A number of keel and rig options were available. Shoal draft 1: 5.5'/1.68m. Shoal draft 2: 4.9'/1.49.

  23. Beneteau First 36.7

    The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.