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!

Destinations

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Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
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Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

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Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

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DIY & How to

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Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

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