We began writing about this all-new model last week, and we will continue in segments going forward because there is much to talk about. She is built in Slovenia, in a plant known for quality builds, as they have been turning out the Seascape line for years—a very popular product in Europe. Beneteau became involved with Seascape because they did not have the existing production capacity to renew the First Series line, since all their plants were at capacity already. The First Series had been very popular and successful and a companion line to the Oceanis cruising line.
Famous First models include the 10R, 36.7, 40.7, 44.7 and others. Once these products aged out there was a gap in production while Beneteau sought a way to start up production again, and partnering with Seascape was that opportunity. Our first exposure to the new Firsts was with the 24 and 27, and based on those boats we expected a lot with the First 36. They did not disappoint. The quality and finish are evident.
There is no reason, and no market, for a new boat that only offers what can already be found in other products. Beneteau has always been a leader and an innovator, so they knew their new First models needed to break ground, like the First 53 and First 44. The niche that has always been successful for Beneteau—it’s a boat with solid build, current design and engineering, good performance, and a nice interior, certainly no one trick pony. The so-called dual purpose designs have become scarce in today’s market; the vast majority of performance boats made today are race boats first and foremost, with excellent performance but little else. (The exception would be Jboats, and we are proud to represent them also).
Since race boats are not suitable for family sailing and cruising, and generally are more challenging to sail, they tend to have poor resale value. So, the goal with the all-new First 36 was to utilize new production methods to control weight and therefor allow for performance with comfort.
Design has been a collaboration of several architects with the latest race boat experience, each specializing in the different areas that must work together but be optimized as much as possible. Looking at the hull, sitting on the hard, you can tell the design is different and slippery. The hull, deck, keel and rudders, rig, sailplan, interior were each carefully studied so as to combine in the best possible end result.
Apparently, they were successful, as the yachting press who have sailed the boat have written glowing reports. Our boat, hull #16, is in Buffalo and we will be installing the keel shortly. Then the rig goes up and when the Quantum sail inventory arrives, we will be able to show what it can do. Until then, she is impressive as she sits, all who have been aboard have been truly surprised by how nice the interior, deck and cockpit are.