Beneteau First 36: cruising is now done by gliding
With cruising, we envision not only convenience, but also ease of use. The First 36 reaps the fruits of years and years of offshore racing boat experience, precisely with Sam Manuard, but resting its foundation, structurally speaking, on the work of the team at PURE Design & Engineering, whose collaborations include structural calculations for America’s Cup boats, IMOCA and TP-52. With this foundation, it took Lorenzo Argento and Gigodesign, together with Beneteau and Seascape, to shape and equip a boat capable of meeting the demands of cruising and racing. The main point is the weight, which is very low. How? With a fiberglass composite structure made by vacuum infusion, including bulkheads and most of the interior that actually contribute to the structural strength of the boat. So, no “extra” furniture or anything else.
Looking at it from the dock, the nearly four-meter width is not fully perceived. Sure, you notice that the beam is significant, but you don’t get a concrete sense of how much space there actually is on board, at least until you get on it. Merit for this aesthetic “lightness” of the transom can be found in a contrivance on the two seats with a gap cut out below that lightens the line. What you can tell immediately by looking at the deck is the simplicity and cleanliness. In front of the two rudder wheels is a winch that allows those at the helm to manage the mainsail and direction while standing
sitting. At the same time, just below this position is, on both sides, the mainsail carriage choke and backstay. There is a central locker between the two rudders to stow all fenders. The cockpit, as you may have gathered, is very wide indeed, and for those coming from an older generation boat the feeling may not be immediate. In race mode, the cockpit is almost entirely clear. For cruising instead, we can get a large dining area with a central folding table (with two additional seats). The drizzler will have no trouble locating what he needs on the fly: everything is on sight and extremely neat.
The layout is the classic three-cabin layout. In order to maximize the space of the living room, particularly of the chart table that returns to prominence (also accomplice to the increasingly popular “smart working”), the space used by the bathroom was minimized. How? With a fold-down sink that allows more functions to be concentrated in a smaller area. Descending the stairs, one immediately notices a large insulated refrigerator in front. This is to make it more spacious and deep, but also to give more room for movement on board. When preparing food, a removable cutting board (under the oven) allows the refrigerator island to be connected to the kitchen, creating an XL countertop. As above, minimalism is prevalent, but there is more. White is often complemented by wood lining the edges of all furniture, including doors and the refrigerator. It is not only an aesthetic choice, but also a practical one as they often serve as handrails. The three cabins turn out to be spacious, but they are also designed, particularly in the stern, as areas not only for sleeping, but also for stowing, for example, sails while racing. The bunks can be closed by one half by sliding the slats of one half under the other half.
Overall length: 11.98 meters
Hull length: 11 meters
Hull and max. beam: 3.8 meters
Displacement: 4,800 kg
Fuel capacity: 70 liters
Fresh water capacity: 200 liters
Engine power: 29 hp