Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 24

SAIL REVIEW | BENETEAU FIRST 53

A Gentleman's

Racing Yacht

Story | Zuzana Prochazka

With 24,000 boats produced in nearly 40 years, French
builder Groupe Beneteau is reinventing their First range,
which was introduced in 1977. Although the four other
models in the current First lineup are under 30 feet,
Beneteau dispensed with two-footitis and jumped right up
to a yacht that's 56'3" LOA. With the introduction of the
Beneteau First 53, they've dispensed with the concept of
barebones racing hulls and launched what they refer to as
"luxury performance" sailing.
deSign & conStruction
The idea of the First 53 was mulled over for a long time. In
fact, Beneteau launched a design competition in 2016 before
finally choosing Roberto Biscontini as naval architect and
Lorenzo Argento for exterior and interior design. Biscontini's
30 years of America's Cup experience created a balanced hull
with a carefully positioned center of buoyancy. Meanwhile,
Argento's background with Wally Yachts created a modern and
24

Can adian Ya cht i ng

minimalist hull and deck with a plumb bow, nearly vertical
transom, low coarchroof, open stern, a beam that is carried
all the way aft and a clean cockpit. Argento didn't miss a detail
in his distinctive styling.
The hull is cored with balsa, which isn't surprising, but that
it's cored all the way to the keel is somewhat unusual. Of
course that makes the 53 stiff and contributes to the 20,000pound weight savings over the slightly larger Beneteau
Oceanis 62. Other reasons she's lighter include an infused
construction, smaller tankage, a light furniture build and even
Dyneema lifelines.
The construction combines fiberglass stringers and interior
fittings that are fixed to an aluminum substructure or subsole. This helps lower the overall center of gravity and optimizes performance. The choice of keel includes three options:
shoal at 6' 3", standard at 8' 2" and a deep version at 9'10",
which is what our test boat, hull #3 and the first one on this
side of the Atlantic, had fitted.
FEBRUARY 2020



Canadian Yachting February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting February 2020

Special Feature: Seven Newbies from the 2019 US Sailboat Show in Annapolis
Special Feature: METS Trade Show – Latest New Products from Around The World
Travel Destination: Belize – Sailing Solitude
At the Helm: Looking ahead to a great summer in 2020!
Power Review: Neptunus 750 Flybridge
Sail Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53
Power Review: Gran Turismo 36
Sail Review: Excess 12 and Excess 15
Power Review: NC 895 Sport
Power Review: Boston Whaler 230 Vantage
The Port Hole: February 2020
Book Review: Ready to Come About
Crossing The Line: Last Crossing to Havana
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Intro
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 3
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - At the Helm: Looking ahead to a great summer in 2020!
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 5
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 6
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 7
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Special Feature: Seven Newbies from the 2019 US Sailboat Show in Annapolis
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 9
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 10
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 11
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 12
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 13
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 14
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 15
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 16
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 17
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Power Review: Neptunus 750 Flybridge
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 19
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 20
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 21
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 22
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 23
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Sail Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 25
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 26
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 27
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 28
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 29
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Power Review: Gran Turismo 36
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 31
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 32
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 33
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 34
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 35
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Sail Review: Excess 12 and Excess 15
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 37
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 38
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 39
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 40
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 41
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Power Review: NC 895 Sport
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 43
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 44
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 45
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 46
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 47
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Power Review: Boston Whaler 230 Vantage
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 49
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 50
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 51
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Special Feature: METS Trade Show – Latest New Products from Around The World
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 53
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 54
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 55
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 56
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 57
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 58
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 59
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 60
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - The Port Hole: February 2020
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 62
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 63
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 64
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 65
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 66
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 67
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 68
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 69
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 70
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 71
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 72
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 73
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Travel Destination: Belize – Sailing Solitude
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 75
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 76
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 77
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 78
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 79
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 80
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Book Review: Ready to Come About
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 82
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 83
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 84
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 85
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 86
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 87
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 88
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 89
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 90
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 91
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 92
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 93
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 94
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 95
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 96
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 97
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Crossing The Line: Last Crossing to Havana
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting February 2020 - Cover4
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