In this day and age, new performance designs are not introduced anywhere near as often as they used to be. This is even more the case with a design intended to be dual purpose; meaning not only for competitive racing, but also with nice accommodations for cruising or simply spending time aboard. Flat-out racers have a short life span when it comes to their racing careers, they either soon become out-designed or the class they were intended for goes away. The resale value tends to be abysmal.
Those designs that have more potential uses tend to last longer as desirable models, hence the value of being dual-purpose. Keep in mind that not everyone who buys a performance boat races it seriously or at all, for example not everyone who buys a Porsche 911S takes it to the track. Thus, a design like the all-new Beneteau First 36, designed with a comfortable cockpit and nicely-finished spacious interior, meets more needs than it would be if it was only a flat-out race machine.
However, performance was always a key goal of the design. It is built with great attention to keeping weight down, with specialists working on the various parts of the overall design. Most modern race boats involve a team of architects and engineers, some working on the hull shape, others on the appendages, still others on the rig and sailplan, and of course the interior. They collaborate to bring their individual areas of expertise together.
Such is the case with the First 36, each area has been optimized within the design brief. Our hull #16 is now in Buffalo and it looks really fast sitting in the stands. We have one of only a few that have been brought to North America so far; they wanted to keep the first 10 or so hulls in Europe to sort them out before shipping any over here. The yachting press has already jumped all over this boat with numerous awards and glowing reviews. We will have much more to say as time moves on and we get the boat into the water.