Modern Hull and Largest Living Space: the New Beneteau First 36 Revealed

Three years ago, Beneteau and Seascape joined forces to co-develop the new generation of First. After launching the sport-cruiser part of the range: First 14, First 24, and First 27, they unveil today the first photos of this first racer-cruiser – the brand new First 36. The Beneteau First 36 has a mission to bridge the gap between high-tech development in the world of racing and mainstream racer-cruisers. To be specific, even the standard version of First 36 fully planes in a moderate breeze. 

Beneteau First 36
Credits Vid Slapničar

The desing team

The design team of the new Beneteau First 36 is coordinated by the experienced hand of Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape, who works closely with the team at French yard Beneteau to bring race-grade construction technologies into the segment of production racer-cruisers. 

Naval architect: Samuel Manuard 

He is currently the hottest name in offshore racing, where his designs are winning Mini, Class 40, and IMOCA 60 classes. He is also the designer of the new First and First SE from 14ft to 27ft. 

Structural engineering: Pure Design & Engineering 

The team from New Zealand was in charge of engineering at some of the most extreme projects in the world of extreme sailing: TP52s, AC75, AC72, IMOCA 60s, and Club Swan, as well as high-end production yachts. 

Design: Lorenzo Argento 

Beneteau First 36 follows the same design language of her larger sister – First Yacht 53 – building on the timeless aesthetic of Lorenzo’s work, most notably seen on the Wally and Brenta yachts. 

Innovation and research: Gigodesign 

This industrial design studio’s design research and innovation insights with multiple Red Dot awards were essential in locking in and developing innovation opportunities. 

Beneteau First 36
Credits Ana Šutej

The design team is coordinated by the experienced hand of Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape, who works closely with the team at Beneteau to bring modern construction technologies into the segment of accessible production racer-cruisers. 

Beneteau First 36 follows the design language of the 7th generation of First set by Lorenzo Argento as a subtle and super-efficient boat. Thanks to its wide modern hull, the largest living space in its class will offer comfort comparable to the successful Beneteau First 40.7, with plenty of smart solutions to make living onboard a great experience. 

Beneteau First 36
Racing and cruising version – Credits Ana Šutej

Sailing functionality

Positioning six winches, steering wheels, and other deck gear was thoroughly tested on several mock-ups and a full-scale testbed sailboat to enable the sailing experience promised on the previous page. Details like an offshore hatch on the foredeck or removable cockpit benches show the priority of sailing functionality over style used throughout the design process. 

Standard aluminum rig and cast iron keel of the new Beneteau First 36 were chosen to keep the boat accessible. Yet, Sam Manuard brought his experience and focused on perfecting the shape and design of these two key ingredients for a great sailing experience. The draft of 2,25 m was chosen as a compromise between performance and ease of use. 

Beneteau First 36
Credits Ana Šutej

Racing Layout

In the racing layout, the wide and modern cockpit allows for different helm and trim positions, either for short-handed or fully-crewed sailing. In this setup, the table and bench extensions are removed, opening the working area in the cockpit. 

A higher-than-average steering wheel position leaves enough room for the helmsman to move forward towards the mainsail winch when sailing shorthanded. The cockpit winches’ positioning allows one or two crew members to sail with legs in and work the mainsail or primary winches in full crew mode. It also allows cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side. Harken, Ronstan, Spinlock and Antal deck gear were combined for performance. 

Beneteau First 36
Credits Ana Šutej

Cruising layout

When you remove your racing gear and take your family cruising or daysailing, the cockpit benches with cushions increase the seating area and add storage space and rope organization. The cockpit table is big enough to seat a crew of six. Additionally, the design team developed an ultralight bathing platform to give sailors easy access to the water without affecting the boat’s performance. 

The interiors

Simple, comfortable and multi-purpose, the First 36 interior was developed around three-cabin cruising functionality. Its most notable feature is the large central fridge (with a removable cutting board), making this sailboat’s galley the largest of her class. A corridor created together with the foldable and removable table helps sailors move around the saloon safely and offers stacking possibilities. 

Going against the trend, the Beneteau First 36 features a full-sized navigation table. While vital to navigation, it is also a suitable home office. Two portlights in every room allow airflow and natural light, while sectional indirect lighting with a red racing option illuminates the boat at night. Three cabins with easily accessible full-sized double berths and innovative heads round up the features of this bright and spacious interior. 

Beneteau First 36 Specs 

Hull Length 11,00 m / 36’ 1”
Beam3,80 m / 12’ 6”
Weight4800 kg / 10580 lbs 
Draft, Standard Keel2,25 m / 7’ 4,6”
Ballast1550 kg / 3420 lbs
Upwind Sail Area80 m2 / 860 sq. ft
Downwind Sail Area180 m2 / 1930 sq. ft 
PriceEUR 198000 ex VAT
Naval ArchitectSam Manuard
DesignLorenzo Argento
Structural EngineeringPure Design & Engineering
Interior DesignGigo Design
Concept, R&DBeneteau & Seascape

Beneteau First 36 Review


An interesting cruiser-racer with a wide modern hull and large living spaces

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