The First series of racer/cruisers was launched by Beneteau in 1977 and remains today a standard for combining spirited sailing and racing performance with comfortable cruising accommodations. In the flee,t there are designs that remain classics many years after they have gone out of production, including First 38, the First 42, the First 456, the First 47.7 and the First 40.7. Hundreds of these boats are still out there winning races and providing their crews with fun cruising vacations.
But it has been a while since a new First racer/cruiser has been introduced since Beneteau has been focused on a small sport boat line and their Oceanis Series of cruisers. So, it is with some anticipation that we learned that a new First 53 was in the works and was scheduled to be introduced to the world at the Cannes, France, boat show in September 2019.
Two years in the planning and design phase, the new 53 was created by the noted Italian design firm Biscontini Yacht Design. The look of the design, with it’s plumb bow and stern, short fixed bowsprit, flat sheer and low profile coach roof is nothing short of leading-edge-modern.
The boat has a monster sloop rig, a deep T-bulb fin keel and twin high aspect spade rudders, so it is set up for superior sailing performance around the race course or on passage offshore. The cockpit is broad and laid out with all sailing functions aft next to the twin helms and the lounging area forward where crew can be protected by a dodger. Under the cockpit there is a garage for a dinghy.
Down below the three-cabin layout, designed by Lorenzo Argento, has a Euro-modern look with white lacquered bulkheads and panels, molded wood trim and a handsome teak floor. The saloon is spacious and airy with the dinette tucked in forward of the galley and the lounging area across along the starboard side.
The forward cabin is huge with a walk around center-line double berth, a desk and ample storage. With large hull windows on both sides of the cabin, you can lie in bed and watch the seascape around you go by.
Check out the introduction of the new boat on Beneteau’s website and we will report back with a full review once we have taker the new First 53 on a sea trial. Click here for more information.