The French yacht building titan Beneteau seems to produce new builds at a blinding pace. Last year was a big one for the company as they renewed their First brand of sport sailboats, including the diminutive and popular First 20. The First family now makes a sharp tack into the bigger yacht world with the First Yacht 53, slated for a September debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival.
The backstory of the design is worth noting, as the direction of the First brand was very much in the air when Beneteau hosted a design competition in late 2016. Of the four competitive projects, the one that would become the First Yacht 53 was chosen, and is a product of design duo Roberto Biscontini and Lorezno Argento. Biscontini may be a familiar name for those America’s Cup fans out there, as he has been involved with the America’s Cup for 30 years. The resulting design is one that seems to meld the sporty, hotshot legacy of the First family with bigger yacht flair.
While the industry is very much in the sneak peek phase until the debut, there are some features that point to a performance-oriented yacht. The deck is aerodynamically flat, with a low coachroof, and wide, with a broad, open stern like a racer, free of padded sunlounges and the like. Dual racing helms and carbon fiber rigging add to the regatta-winner feel. There is a proper interior and a tender garage, so while the 53 may be a speedster first, there’s some balance with the cruising world at play.
Time will tell how Beneteau’s First Yacht 53 makes its mark, but some buzz is warranted. It’ll be interesting to see where the First sailboat line goes from here. If interested, you can get more info from local dealer Signature Yacht Sales.