First 36 Reviews
First Impressions of Beneteau’s First 36 – “One of the most exciting premiers”
By Jochen Rieker of Yacht.De – Link
“The boat remains far from the veneer worlds of more conventional yachts in the segment; you can see the First 36’s efforts to reduce weight. For example, many bolts and nuts on deck fittings deliberately remain visible. But if you come from a First 27, for example, where the fuselage laminate is only lightly sanded and minimally filled, you will experience a completely different level of quality.”
“And how does she sail now? “Amazing” is probably the best!
When we look for wind on the first day and actually find a kind of private squall of 4 to 6 knots in front of Piran, which is hardly noticeable on the water, there is suddenly a soft gurgling and gurgling at the stern. The log jumps to 3, then almost 4, finally to 4.8 knots. It all happens almost automatically, and it feels almost spherical to pull off practically nowhere with this big, wide boat, only under mains and Code Zero. You can leave the incredibly responsive oars to themselves. The First 36 makes its own bubble trail through the Adriatic Sea.
And not much different, only much faster, is the progress on the second test day. A light Bora sends 8 to 12 knots of wind across the Gulf of Trieste. Again, not a serious test for an 11-foot yacht, but an opportunity to try out the entire wardrobe, all the courses. Upwind, the First 36 logs an average of 6.3 knots at tack angles of less than 90 degrees, peaking at up to 7 knots to windward.
Outward sheets under gennaker she starts to hum slightly at 8 knots, a sign that she is already overcoming her hull speed. From around 8.5 knots, the wake turbulence breaks away at the stern and the boat begins to glide. 9.5 knots is the end. It is as true to track as the day before and extremely stiff. Their stability reserves are sufficient to carry up to 5 Beaufort full gear.
Our French jury colleague from Europe’s yacht of the year, Loïc Madeline from Voiles & Voiliers, had perfect test conditions ten days after us, with winds of 20 knots and gusts of up to 25 knots and a wave of over a meter. He was impressed by the ease with which the First 36 surfed the seas. With a single reefed main and small fractional gennaker, he permanently sailed beyond the 12 knot mark, at the top he reached more than 15 knots through the water several times.
Read the detailed test of the First 36 with all data and measured values exclusively in YACHT 9/2022, from April 20 at the kiosk, from April 15 at the subscribers. A detailed video, then from the Baltic Sea, will be broadcast by YACHT tv at the end of April. For this we ordered 5 to 6 Beaufort; we don’t go to sea below that. And in May, Beneteau’s performance cruiser has to face all the competition in a big YACHT comparison. So: stay tuned!”
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