Racer-cruiser royalty

Beneteau has released the new FIRST 44, a racer-cruiser designed in collaboration between Roberto Biscontini and Lorenzo Argento.

26 April 2022


The FIRST 44 embodies a natural link between the FIRST 36 and the FIRST 53, refining performance, elegance and comfort of the sailboat.

Her remarkable structure, with naval architecture by Roberto Biscontini and Lorenzo Argento behind design, offers build quality and onboard experience that is second to none.

We have worked very hard together with the whole team behind the new First 44 to further improve the Performance Cruiser concept,” says Biscontini.

“It was not an easy task as there are many conflicting requirements and we have tried to find the right balance between cruising comfort, sailing performance and safety. In the end we are very pleased with the final result.

“The new First 44 shares the same overall style and elegance of the First 53 and has similar cruising spaces, but also some new details which make for a truly performance-oriented boat.”


A dual design

The FIRST 44 is presented in two main setups, FIRST 44 and FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE, with a different deck plans and options for keels and masts.

The FIRST 44 version distinguishes itself with a comfortable cockpit, where wide side decks converge toward a 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 sailplan, defined by a dynamic mainsail and generously-sized foresails.

Twin 80-gallon ballast tanks, activated electronically from the helm stations, allow the boat to reach its full potential even with a reduced crew.

On the FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE, deck ergonomics were developed with fully-crewed regattas in mind.

Equipment and systems are geared toward racing, such as 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 include a 1.5-metre bowsprit, a hydraulic backstay, a powerful in-hauler system and a performance keel/mast combo that will satisfy the most demanding captains and crews.

The streamlined interior layout on both versions is modern and luminous, with a blend of white lacquered surfaces, moulded woods and tasteful upholsteries.

In the saloon, a six-seater transversal table lays opposite the couch and nav station. Its positioning in relation to the mast eases the movement between the galley and master stateroom, accentuating the feeling of space.

The FIRST 44 features a three-cabin, two-head layout and is infused with Argento’s style, a distinctive blend of elegance and modernity.

“I sincerely want to compliment Roberto to shape such a smooth and nice hull, appendages and rig matrix that makes this boat particularly pleasant to sail,” says Argento.

“Our work was to adapt to those feelings and implement the same smoothness and flow in the deck and interior layouts, making the best of the available spaces and constraints.

“For example, the mast position has heavily influenced the interior distribution, and we came up with a practical and logic solution for the dining table, galley and sofa package.”

Expertly crafted

Crafted and finished in a dedicated workshop that delivers Beneteau expertise, the new FIRST 44 is an elegant and comfortable yacht that provides unequalled pleasure under sail.

In keeping with the scientific approach honed with his work on America Cup racers, Roberto Biscontini went through several revisions and improvements to finally deliver a powerful and well-balanced hull, which is coupled with an ample sail plan to deliver speed and vivacity in any conditions.

Subjected by their owners to the rigours of offshore racing, FIRST’s 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.

The result is a full infusion yacht on which the distribution of weight is a key factor. The FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE is 1100 pounds lighter than the FIRST 44.

Its deck layout is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration involving Roberto Biscontini, Lorenzo Argento, Hughes Destremau, Michel Sacaze, William Thomas and the BENETEAU project team.

The FIRST 44 will be actively tested the summer before her world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, from 6 to 11 September 2022.




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