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


First look: Beneteau First 36

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

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