Many of you will certainly remember the Farr’s First 36.7 which, together with the 40.7 and 31.7, was one of Beneteau’s most successful models: launched in 2000, more than 800 units were built. The declared aim of the brand-new First 36 is to – at least – replicate that success.
A first glance at the boat (which we assume to be about 11 metres long, as the 36.7 was 11.33 metres long) reveals the masterful differences from the 36.7, summing up twenty years of design evolution.
The large central rudder is now replaced by two wheel that give more space to the cockpit, with the aft section open.
In place of the large central rudder (or tiller) come the two wheels to gain space in the cockpit, which will have an open stern, the fore and aft strakes have become vertical, the deckhouse is less pronounced, the shape of the hull is V-shaped, with the maximum beam set back at the stern, At the bow there is space for the now essential bowsprit to house the anchor fitting and prevent the anchor from hitting the hull during hauling and, above all, to trim the asymmetrical sails as far forward as possible to improve performance.
Because if there is one thing that has not changed in First’s DNA, it is the quest for performance: cruising boats that are also comfortable for the family, but which compete and win in races.
In order to achieve the best combination of comfort and performance, elegance and seaworthiness, high-tech construction and affordable price, the Beneteau team was supported by an international elite of designers, with many Italians (let’s not forget that Beneteau’s deputy CEO is Gianguido Girotti): Pure Design & Engineering (TP52, AC75 Ineos, IMOCA), led by Gianni Belgrano, for the structures.
Together with Lorenzo Argento – former designer of the First 53, as well as Wally and Brenta Yachts – who took care of the design, Sam Manuard, guru of IMOCAs, Minis and Class40s, took care of the planning. The Slovenians at Gigodesign handled the first phase of research and development.
This “dream team” is Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape (Seascape built the 14- to 27-footers that were later acquired by Beneteau and became First), who works closely with the Beneteau team to bring modern construction technology to the production racer-cruiser segment
In conclusion, with a team like this, the new First 36, of which there is only a rendering at the moment, without data or measurements, promises to be very interesting. We’ll see it at the Dusseldorf Show in January 2022. All we know is that thanks to the modern shape of the hull and the distribution of space, the new boat will offer spaces, as Beneteau says, comparable to those of the legendary First 40.7.
The boatyard also promises planing in medium winds with a small or full crew, while remaining an all-round boat – a perfect club racer and a comfortable family-cruiser.
“It will be much more ‘lively’ and lighter than most boats on the market. It bridges the gap between sport boats and family cruisers,” reveals Belgrano.
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