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Couldn't open your link with ad blockers, so I went to Bene's site directly. I'll bet it's a fast bugger.

Not my cup of tea, from a contemporary standpoint. All OEM boats are shown without a dodger or bimini, so I assume owners would add.
 

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Looks sharp.

Full teak deck? I wonder if that's an option.


I also wonder how sharp it'll look once it's cluttered up with a dodger & bimini and a bunch of crap on the rails.
 

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It's pretty. Nice v-birth and swim platform. Not sure how it's a "first" though, not enough winches to effectively manage a racing sail inventory, no traveller, no nav station. The full fridge(?) would be nice at anchor.
 

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I think that the boat will have all the bells and whistles when it is commissioned. It should be quick.

Interesting that Catalina just announced a new 545 as well. Must be the new top of the sweet spot for sailboats
 

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Beautiful boat, but as mentioned, it is clearly designed for short-hand or single-hand easy cruising, not so much for racing.

Looks comfy though.
 

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Beautiful boat, but as mentioned, it is clearly designed for short-hand or single-hand easy cruising, not so much for racing.

Looks comfy though.
No. It's a racing boat.

The cruising series is called Oceanis. This racing series is called First.

This boat is almost double the price of the equivalent length cruising beneteau.


Mark
 

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Boatpoker and Minnewaska have it right. A boat in this price range will not come one way. Build some of it to suit. Plenty of room for a nav station, and it is probably already there. Where else are you going to have all the electronics and wiring? That single block for the main will most likely be a traveler similar to other First's. Never saw an ad for a Bene, Jen, or Catalina with a dodger and bimini. Never saw a production boat without one!
 

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Looks sterile, absolutely impractical below underway and if that 'garage' is anything like those on other boats I've sailed, impossible to get a good night's sleep on in a little chop at anchor. Not a boat I'd be interested in owning, though she might be fun to put through her paces on a brisk day in the Bay.
 

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Lets just get this right... its a racing boat. Not a cruising boat. The equivalent Beneteau cruising boat, 51 feet is E288,000 USD$315,000 or the 55 foot USD$400,000 sails included.


The First 53 is FROM €478 000 *(VAT EXCLUDED - VAT is 20%) USD$527,000 +tax NO sails included, Electronics pack extra


Its designed by Americas Cup racing designers who recently designed a beneteau FOILING monohull 32 footer, its like a skiff, base cost US$200,000 + tax, without nothing on board. They also are the architects of the two last boats to win the Vendée Globe.
https://www.beneteau.com/en/figaro-beneteau-3

We are not talking about a cruising boat....
Draft 2.5 or 3 meters... thats a 10 foot draft - not a cruising boat.
Mast option Carbon Fibre adding 1 m to the mast height - not a cruising boat
Twin rudders - not a cruising boat
NO sails included - Not a cruising boat
8' 2" tender garage - Not a cruising boat
"minimalist décor" - Not a cruising boat

This boat is designed for long off shore races like the Newport to Bermuda race/ Sydney to Hobart / Fastnet etc. "A" Certification for 10 crew. Its competition will be the Swan 54 but at a fraction of the Swan price of US$1,212,000 + tax etc

So it would be delightful for folks to realise only a fool would spend an extra US$200k+ on a racing boat if they are going cruising :)

Now that we can compare apples with apples its much easier to not slag off a boat thats (as @boatpoker alludes) not in any way, shape or form, designed for you :)

CARBON CLASSICAL MAST (+ 1m / 3’3’’)
• L.O.A 17,16m 56’4’’
• Hull length 15,98m 52’5’’
• L.W.L. 15,40m 50’6’’
• Beam 5,00m 16’5’’
• Standard draft (T-keel) 2,50m 8’2’’
• Standard ballast weight (Cast iron) 4 500kg 9,918 lbs
• Performance draft (T-keel) 3,00m 9’10’’
• Ballast weight performance (Cast iron/
Lead) 4 510kg 9,940 lbs
• Air draft (excluding antennae) 25,80m 85’
• Performance air draught (excluding
antennae) 26,80m 88’
• Light displacement 15 500kg 34,162 lbs
• Fuel capacity (standard) 400L 106 US Gal
• Fresh water capacity (standard) 720L 190 US Gal
• Engine power:
- Sail drive (standard) 80 HP 80 HP
- Propeller shaft (Option) 110 HP 110 HP
• Mainsail 87,00m² 936 sq/ft
• Furling genoa (105 %) 78,90m² 849 sq/ft
• Code 0 179,00m² 1,926 sq/ft
• Asymmetric spinnaker 254,00m² 2,730 sq/ft
• I 21,95m 72’
• J 6,40m 21’
• P 22,00m 72’2’’
• E 6,80m 22’4’’
• Performance version mainsail 91,00m² 979 sq/ft
• Furling genoa (105 %) 82,00m² 882 sq/ft
• Code 0 185,00m² 1,990 sq/ft
• Asymmetric spinnaker 265,00m² 2,850 sq/ft
• I 22,90m 75’2’’
• J 6,40m 21’
• P 23,00m 75’6’’
• E 6,80m 22’4’’
 

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I note one single post that referred to this boat as a cruiser. Kinda nailed that hard.

It's dominantly a racer, but several of it's features are not uncommon with many cruisers. One would not expect much concern for a dinghy garage on a pure racer. Twin rudders are not exclusive to racers either, they are often used to reduce rudder draft, such as on the Southerlies.

Of course, there is the new politically correct category..... the cruiser-racer or is it racer-cruiser?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting comments... A long distance racer seems to make the most sense... kinda. Interesting to see where these boats will end up being used. Design definitely is for a niche market.
 

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Most of the racers I'm familiar with don't have built in furniture, galleys of any consequence or fancy wood trim, let alone teak decks. They are equipped with pipe berths and stripped to their bare minimum weight for a race. I don't see any dedicated liferaft stowage or safety equipment spaces or even attachment points for tethers, jack lines etc. anywhere.
On the other hand, many "racer/cruisers' are equipped as this boat appears to be. Like a motorsailer, most racer/cruisers do neither particularly well IMO. Simply put, too much draft for cruising and too heavy for racing. And way overpriced to boot, as Mark pointed out. Another toy for a rich man to show off, that will sit in the slip much more than it goes out.
 
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It's definitely a racer, not to the extreme that a Maxi is a racer, perhaps, but plenty of racing boats have built in furniture and other creature comforts. I covet a particular J/120, and it looks like a cruiser down below; full galley, built in furniture, the works. There are plenty of types of racing boats, from multi-hulls on foils, to Maxis with spartan interiors. They're not designed to compete against each other, but they're definitely racers.
 
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