Guys, I would like to call your attention to a boat that all of you know
No, I am no going senile it is just that what makes a boat interesting is not only its merits but also its price.
The Beneteau First 40 is interesting by its own qualities but now it is been offered in a new version (CR) at a price that is hard to resist. To give you an idea, the price would not be faraway from the one from a Bavaria 40 fully equipped and at least 40 000 euros less than the other European cruiser racers (Dufour, Elan, Salona) and about the same than a 380 Elan. And, off course, this boat is quick.
As everybody know, on its really big first regatta he won, not less than its class at the Sydney Hobart and after that the boat as won many important races. Not that I am much interested in racing, but I certainly want a fast and enjoyable boat to sail
That's true that the First 40 as the less appealing interior (if we don't consider the Pogo) but it is not that bad to justify that difference in price. Fact is that it is a rather plain interior but with all you really need to cruise comfortably.
The First has even some advantages. From all those boats it is the one with the better Ballast/Displacement and by a large margin (42% versus 32 or 33%). the boat is incredibly stiff. To give you an idea it is 25% more stiff than the previous 40.7...and the 40.7 is a stiff boat
We can compare it in that aspect to the J 122, but that one would cost more 80 000 euros, and that's almost twice the Beneteau price
This means that the boat can carry a large amount of sail, it will reef later and has the right stuff to be a very good and fast blue water boat.
The boat had small tankage (200L of water and 130L of fuel) but now you have an option for a 90 L extra water tank and regarding fuel, this is one of the boats that can sail in very weak winds (5K) so you really don't need a big diesel tank. It has a deep draft of 2.40, but also an option for a cruising keel with 1.95 m.
The boat has a good list of options with everything that is needed for cruising (most of them are included in the price of the CR version) and it seems to me as one of the best offers in what regards price/performance/quality/fast cruising or racing.
I am going to test sail this one soon, but in the meantime I leave you with the words of others that have already done that:
"Objectively detached with an aura of professional gravitas" best describes the four judges in Cruising World's 2010 Boat of the Year contest, if I do say so myself. At the dock, we interviewed each entrant's representatives and systematically inspected the boats. On the water, we uniformly anchored, motored, reefed, and test-sailed them, all the while furiously scratching numbers and notes on our various forms.
Aboard the Beneteau First 40, however, the moment the vessel powered up under sail, those notepads hit the deck like raindrops. As each of us jockeyed for position at the wheel, our professional demeanors gave way to big smiles and even the occasional "Yahoo!" Where once stood stone-faced number crunchers, big kids now gleefully put the pedal to the metalAnd that's exactly what Beneteau planners had in mind when they conceived the First 40. But they wanted to include the family, too, so they approached the team at Farr Yacht Design with a broad brief: Keep or even improve the performance of the highly successful First 40.7, but include all the requisite elements of a family-friendly cruiser, including lounging spaces in the cockpit, a well-appointed interior, and viable systems for extended coastal voyages.
"Few compromises face the cruisers below. The attractive Alpi interior is open, bright, functional, and well ventilated due to numerous deck hatches and portholes. The two double cabins aft and the forepeak double, all with standing headroom, will accommodate the entire family. A large leafed table attached to the centerline sole opens up to straight seating both port and starboard. "
Beneteau First 40: Copious Cruising Comforts and Speed to Burn - Cruising World
"Designed by Bruce Farr, the First 40 does an admirable job of blending a truly fast hull with a very stylish interior. And although another magazine named the Beneteau First 40 the crossover boat of the year, thatís not quite right. Itís not likely you will buy the First 40 because of its interior, although the oak-finished cabin is certainly handsome and surprisingly comfortable. Letís be candid, the reason for buying a Beneteau First 40 is because you want to sail fast all the time, and thereís nothing wrong with that.
......Back on the bay, Garth Hitchens from Annapolis Yacht Sales, the local Beneteau dealer, had assembled a crack crew to put the First 40 to the test. As soon as we cleared Back Creek and canned the engine, we popped the spinnaker, a broad shouldered S1 chute that immediately powered up the First 40. The conditions were ideal: 10 to 14 knots with a modest chop. Driving toward the Bay Bridge, we sped up over 7 knots on a deep reach. Heating things up a bit to stay in deep water we accelerated over 8 and then flirted with 9 knots."
Sailing Magazine | Beneteau First 40
"COMPARISONS WITH THE 40.7?
The new First 40 is stiffer, 25% more righting with a taller, high aspect rig, and non-overlapping headsails. The hull is about a foot longer and is stiffer due to the newer build technologies. It is quicker on all points of sail. Typically the 40.7 rates around 1.060 to 1.073, while the new First 40 is reckoned to come in around 1.088.....
Personally I think the ĎFarrí transom ages the boat unnecessarily, but that is a purely subjective call.
In every respect the 40 is a good looking boat which does, as we said with the 45, have as broad an appeal as possible in terms of the appearance.
Certainly Beneteau could have gone for something much more contemporary, but this boat is about creating something which will stand the test of time."
Beneteau's newest First series of cruiser/racers are designed for speed and performance, without compromising their French designer flair and creature comforts below decks. The First 40 undoubtedly delivers plenty of comfort in the saloon and accommodation below. But that is not at all why you'd buy a Beneteau First.
You buy it because it is fast- upwind, downwind, reaching, running--whether around the cans on weekend point-score racing, contesting regattas, or out at sea on long offshore races, this is a very swift 40-footer against all comers!
First aboard: sailing the new Beneteau First 40 | Offshore Yachting | Find Articles at BNET
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