Canadian Yachting February 2020 - 28

An eight-foot inflated dinghy will
fit into the garage.

can point as she continued to carry 5.5
knots of boat speed all the way up to 35
degrees AWA. As the true breeze
dropped below six knots and we fell off
to a beam reach, we kept up a momentum of three knots. This is a boat that
likes to go upwind and her beam of
nearly 16.5 feet keeps her on her feet.
It' s just too bad we couldn't have sailed
her in conditions that would have shown
off her true potential.

The master is bright and has copious
amounts of storage space.

ing and takes up most of the starboard
side. This combination of furniture has
the effect and comfort of a house rather
than a vessel.
The galley is U-shaped and offers
good bracing for those who will end up
cooking under way. A two-burner stove,
large single sink, a top-loading freezer
and a full stand up refrigerator provide
the chef with all the tools to put out
great meals on a weekend cruise or during an offshore race. Fiddles do double
duty to keep dishes from flying when
heeling and also to act as handholds
when moving forward or aft.
As on deck, the approach is minimalist with hidden functionality. Digital
switching is by Scheiber and Beneteau
adds their Ship Control system that
allows control of certain systems via a
tablet or smartphone. Combined, the two
reduce the number of visible switches
and controls throughout the interior.
There are two steps that interrupt an
otherwise flat cabin sole. One step
down is into the galley and the other is
28

Can adian Ya cht i ng

into the master stateroom, which is in the
bow. Here you'll find a large island berth,
a split head and shower, an impressive
amount of stowage space and plenty of
light from the hull windows.
The standard layout includes three
cabins and two heads. You can opt for
a crew cabin with a bed, a head and a
sink in the bow but North American
owners will likely eschew the idea of a
professional captain. That would take
all the fun out of owning a boat like this
so that forward space will likely be used
for storage.
Beneteau is positioning the First 53
as a semi-custom build, which means
you can opt to tinker with the interior
and for example, add a navigation station, which in the standard version is
notably missing. Other options include
a Dometic bottle chiller, a dishwasher
and a generator. The finish on our boat
made ample use of white surfaces
accented with teak. Courtesy lighting
under furniture added a soft glow and
every cubby seemed to be put to good
use. A nice detail includes the use of
magnetic doors which remove the
latches on which you can catch clothing
or cut your hand and that's just one
more testament to the attention to detail
throughout the interior.
under Sail
The First 53 is one of those boats you
really want to take out and put to the
test. Sadly, we were met with a light
breeze on test day with occasional gusts
to 10 knots. At 55 degrees apparent
wind angle (AWA) in 8.7 knots of true
wind, we glided along at 6.5 knots,
which is remarkable. For certain, the 53

under Power
Two options of propulsion are offered.
The standard is a Yanmar 80 with Saildrive but our boat was fitted with the upgraded 110-hp turbo diesel with a
straight shaft. With a Flexofold folding
propeller, we motored at 9.6 knots and
3400 rpm at wide-open throttle. A more
economical cruise can be found at 8.7
knots and 2200 rpm where the she
burns about 1.5 gallons per hour. Our
entire test was conducted on flat water
so we had no confirmation of her performance in swells and chop and it's
hard to say whether she'd pound to
weather or fishtail when surfing.
Despite her impressive dimensions,
the Beneteau 53 is nimble in tight
quarters thanks in part to the Sidepower
bow thruster. A stern thruster is optional
and both are retractable so nothing mars
her performance under sail.
overall thoughtS
The 53 is a big and showy effort to
revive the First name. At $1.1 million as
tested (or $1.25 million with everything
including a carbon rig) she's not for everyone but she does breathe new life
into what has become known as a line
of small racing boats. With this new
model, Beneteau has definitely gotten
everyone to take notice and regardless
of what you call it - "high performance
cruising" or "luxury racing", the Beneteau 53 is purpose built for demanding
owners. She has a specific set of skills,
which expert sailors will appreciate, and
a refined style that makes her a true
gentleman's racer. *

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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