The Beneteau First 44 has been officially launched at the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival and shares plenty of features with 2019's First 53

A little over three years ago, Beneteau launched their First 53 to much acclaim as the French brand moved their ‘First’ marque into the competitive sector of luxury performance. With plenty of orders for the 53 is was only a matter of time until another new ‘First’ came along, and that has finally been unveiled at the Cannes Boat Show 2022 as the Beneteau First 44.

Of course the First range from Beneteau was, for many years, the dominant force when it comes to production cruiser/racers. And both the 53 and 44 certainly sit in the performance end of the spectrum. Beneteau does refer to both models as ‘cruiser/racers’ but whether you were planning on racing or just looking for quick passage making is likely to determine which model you pick. There is a standard model and a Beneteau First 44 Performance model, which has a deck layout that should work best when fully crewed.

Like its larger stablemate, the Beneteau First 44 comes from the pen of designers Roberto Biscontini, responsible for naval architecture, and Lorenzo Argento who did the deck and interiors.

Both above and below deck there are plenty of similarities to the First 53. Both boats have hull shapes with features that should allow for decent light wind performance – and as such Beneteau are presumably targeting Med sailing. Principally, the hull has a lot of flare above the waterline at the transom, but the chine is relatively soft and is not carried right forward, which should contribute to reducing wetted surface area when in light winds, but provide the power needed once the boat is heeled somewhat.

As mentioned the Beneteau First 44 is aimed squarley towards the more luxury end of the market and layout below reflects this, the boat is optimised around the needs of four or six people who will often eat ashore when in port, or on deck.

Beneteau First 44 specifications

LOA: 14.15-14.65m 46ft 5in-48ft 1in
Beam: 4.24m 13ft 11in
Draught: 2.15m 7ft 1in
Displacement: 10,300kg 22,700lb
Price: TBA

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