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Jan 9, 2020

Beneteau First 53As you consider visiting the boat shows, it’s a good time to take out the just published Canadian Yachting February issue and look at some dreamboats. Here’s some excerpts from a great review.

With 24,000 boats produced in nearly 40 years, French builder Groupe Beneteau is reinventing their First range, which was introduced in 1977.

With the introduction of the Beneteau First 53, they’ve dispensed with the concept of barebones racing hulls and launched what they refer to as “luxury performance” sailing. Her profile is imposing as if she was drawn specifically to intimidate on the racecourse.

Not surprisingly, the interior is open concept creating a feeling of space and light. A departure from most layouts in this class, the designer separated the dinette from the salon lounge. The dining booth is forward of the galley to port.

Beneteau First 53 DinghyThere are two steps that interrupt an otherwise flat cabin sole. One step down is into the galley and the other is 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 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. She has a specific set of skills, which expert sailors will appreciate, and a refined style that makes her a true gentleman’s racer.

To read the entire review and see more of the great photos, be sure to check your copy of Canadian Yachting, February edition.