In exciting news, Beneteau has revealed the all-new Beneteau First 44. This new design embodies a natural link between the First 36 and First 53, equally refining and redefining performance, elegance and comfort. This is a new Biscontini/Argento creation that truly denies itself nothing. She is a lovely sailing yacht with a remarkable design, offering through her architecture and build quality an experience underway that is simply second to none.
“First was born forty-five years ago with the launch of the legendary First 30, and we doubly celebrate the occasion this year with the announcement of the First 36 in January and the arrival of the First 44 today, finalising the renewal of a standard-bearing range now entirely redrawn and complete,” says Yann Masselot, Beneteau General Manager. “The boat pencils itself in among such great 40’ to 45’ Beneteau yachts as the First 40.7, the 45f5 or more recently the First 40 and 45”.
The design has been reimagined with two deck layouts to satisfy a greater variety of wishes and needs. The First 44 distinguishes itself with a convivial and comfortable cockpit, wherein wide side-decks converge towards a lovely cockpit table. Four winches, a fixed centreline block for the mainsheet, and a mast that is set further aft all maximise the potential of her modern sailplane, which is defined by a slender mainsail and generously sized foresails.
With the intention of making serious performance even more accessible, Beneteau used the experience acquired with the Figaro 2 and ballast systems to deliver this technology to the First 44 owners; twin 80-gallon ballast tanks activated electronically from the helm stations, offer the possibility of reaching the boat’s full potential with a reduced crew.
On the First 44 performance and deck, ergonomics were studied and developed with fully crewed regattas in mind. Equipment and systems are totally geared towards racing, among which should be mentioned the foam non-skid surfaces that replace the teak on the cockpit sole, six well-placed winches and a conventional mainsail traveller. The rigging and sail setup includes a 4 ½’ bowsprit, a hydraulic backstay, a powerful in-haulier system and a performance keel/mast combination that will satisfy the most demanding captains and crews.
Beneteau engaged its long-term design partner, Lorenzo Argento, for the First 44’s superior accommodation design, with the result being an interior with a distinctive blend of elegance and modernity. Her three-cabin, two-head layout is an assemblage of quality materials interwoven into a masterful finish. In the salon the six-seater transverse table sits opposite the couch and nav station; its positioning in relation to the mast eases the movement between galley and master stateroom, thereby accentuating the feeling of space.
Assembled in a specially dedicated workshop, the First 44 takes full benefit of Beneteau’s expertise and the knowledge of the industry’s sharpest minds. Subjected by their owners to the rigours of offshore racing, Firsts are always the result of a rigorous development and perfection process. Engineering for the First 44 was entrusted to the Mer Forte firm, well known for its work on high-end bluewater race boats, including the celebrated Figaro Beneteau 3.