sail-beneteau_first_45-largeThe automotive industry coined the term crossover; I guess that should be the word we now refer to for those boats that have high performance and comfort cruising. In this vein, the Beneteau First 45 is just that boat.

At first glance, I could see why Anchor Yacht's affable Colin Andrews was so excited about this boat. The hull shape just breathes 'power to burn'; our test sail proved that point first hand. Its acceleration and tracking are amazing; it's definitely got a home in the performance cruiser market. This new performance cruiser niche has a few manufacturers innovating their own designs to address the growing need for bigger boats influenced by the ever-increasing participation in events like the Lake Ontario 300. It's driving innovations on all fronts; the Beneteau First 45 designer Philippe Briand does not disappoint. Taking a page from his First 50 launched previously, this also has a lot going for it.

Results so far – from the Rolex Middle Sea race off Malta in October to the Australia's Hamilton Island Race Week regatta – have more than proved this boat's racing pedigree. Impressive results early in its career are reinforcing the scuttlebutt about this boat fast.

The sail plan is optimised for IRC, has a large and powerful full-batten main and a non-overlapping jib set on a roller furler system and a triple-spreader, 9/10 tapered aluminum spar with Dyform wire.

The hull configuration of solid glass is laid up with a unidirectional, bi-axial glass fibre with an inner structural liner affixed with adhesive. The hull and deck are joined both "mechanically" with fasteners and a polyurethane adhesive. This liner carries the chain plates, deck mast, engine and keel. The infused fibreglass and balsa sandwich deck – reinforced by solid glass where mounting points are needed – is supported by hull and deck bonded bulkheads.

Right away, this boat means business! Its neat features such as the open transom, teak cockpit sole, dual steering wheels, flush mount hatches and lines under the coach roof deck to its huge aft lockers and fold away anchor all add up to a boat that's made to race and comfortable to cruise. We loved the comfort and feel above decks immediately and the wide forward access and open cockpit is perfect for racing and wonderful for cruising.

The double composite steering wheels and well-positioned primaries and the cockpit sole mounted mainsheet all add up to an ergonomically pleasing and efficient sailing trim system that is both comfortable and safe to operate. Harken 60 primary winches are positioned well in reach of either steering wheel as well as the travellers lines for powering up after a tack – while the mainsheet is led aft ending at a pair of 48s.

Below decks, this boat is a dream with neat features abound – its lighter oak wood trim to its well done upholstery. The three-cabin layout is a natural for this boat. From the forward cabin with its wonderfully spacious head and stateroom to a huge saloon with an outward facing navigation table, it's well thought out. The nav station's unique lap top insert feature is cool, complemented by great space to add numerous electronics.

We liked a few features from the neatly camel-hide, wrapped hand rails to the leather desk pad.

In the salon, the multi-position seats swivel through 360 degrees and actually slide under the dining table to allow unbelievable space below underway. The interior natural light is perfect but the small reading lights positioned throughout are a neat touch. We also noted a unique hot dish grille in the center of the dining suite table protected by fiddles.

The starboard-positioned galley is well laid out with ample storage. The centerline mounted sinks with the L-shaped configuration and complementary bar area (as I call it) lead neatly forward into the saloon. Refrigeration is a well done and more than adequate and the option of adding other appliances is quite doable.

Opposite the aft head (that can double as a wet locker) can accommodate a 6-foot plus 220 pound crew to move about easily.

The aft cabins, similar to the First 50, are functional and provide more than ample room, including tasteful, fabric-lined hanging lockers.

Our test sail provided a great insight to this boat's power. In a light fading fall breeze upwards of seven knots, we were powering though at a solid five plus knots easily. The medium depth keel (7'10") and rudder (6'8'') allowed this boat to track with a single tweak on the rudder and to turn effortlessly as we tacked easily though 100 degrees.

Heading home, the standard Yanmar (54 HP) configured with a 3-blade sail drive performed well, pushing the boat at the obligatory 6 knots, as needed.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...

Valvetech Bridgewater MarinaFor many years now, we have used gasoline in our cars and trucks that contains some amount of ethanol, a form of alcohol, and just as a few drops of water combine almost instantly in your Scotch, moisture from the atmosphere can combine with the ethanol in the gasoline that is in your boat’s fuel tank.

Your motor vehicle has a sealed fuel system to control evaporative losses that are a source of air pollution. Fuel is moved into the engine under pressure and any drips that might escape, drop onto the pavement. The engine is open to the pavement below. In an inboard boat, the hull is below the engine and any drips will collect in the bilge with potentially explosive consequences. 

Read more about gasoline containing ethanol......

 

  

Grand Banks 60 SkyloungeThe Canadian market has always been a tough nut for yacht designers to figure out. Summer days get really hot; other days are downright cold. There is always the chance things could change in the blink of an eye and let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t stepped off the boat wearing shorts, flip flops and a warm jacket? Canadian yachting has always been a world of contradictions, which is why designing cruising yachts for this market has never been easy. It’s not like Florida or the Med, where weather is dependable throughout the year.

 

 

Read more about the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge............

 

ILCA DinghyAustin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.


“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50- year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher.

Read More about the ILCA Dinghy............

Destinations

  • Prev
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...


The DocksBy Katherine Stone

Docks are well-lit and wide to accommodate dock carts.

Steeped in tradition that goes back to one of the oldest towns in Canada west of Quebec City, is Penetanguishene. This bilingual community of 9,000 is located in the middle of Huronia on the southeasterly tip of Georgian Bay in Simcoe Country, Ontario. The name is believed to have been derived from Algonquin (also believed to have come from the Wendat, Abenaki and Ojibwe tribes) meaning “place of the white rolling sands”. 

Read more about the Hindson Marina..........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...