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New boat: Beneteau First 30

2011 June 6

The Beneteau First 30 made its way to U.S. race courses last year, but the boat continues to define a new kind of production racing boat. Designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, one of the premiere racing sailboat designs of the time, along with Beneteau, the First 30 brings performance along with comfort in a manageable-sized package.

The 30 takes a lot of cues from Juan K's Volvo 70 and Open 60 designs, with the mast set back farther than on many other new designs. This means the boat can sail with larger genoas that are still overlapping, has a little bit more flexibility in interior layout and, with swept spreaders, doesn't need a permanent backstay.

Racing sailors will love the feel of the cockpit, which appears to be set up for efficiency. The mainsheet is run from the end of the boom to a traveler mounted on a beam that bridges the transom. Tiller steering controls twin rudders that are mounted on the transom. The bulb keel draws 6 feet, 3 inches and has a straight vertical leading edge with a trailing edge that angles forward.

All of this probably sounds pretty racy, and it looks it, too. But down below is where this racer-cruiser gets the latter part of its qualification. Berths include the private V-berth and aft cabin plus the settees that flank the salon table, which is forward of the mast. The head is to starboard of the companionway and a generously size nav station is forward of it. On the port side, the galley features a two-burner stove and reach-in refrigerator.

By teaming with Juan K., Beneteau has perhaps set the state for a whole new kind of production racer-cruiser.

SAILING Magazine interviewed Juan Kouyoumdjian about teaming up with Beneteau. You can view the video podcast at http://tinyurl.com/sailingmagazinepodcast.

LOA 32'2"; LWL 27'6"; Beam 10'6"; Draft (standard) 6'3", (shallow) 4'11"; Displ. 8,267 lbs.; Sail area 580 sq. ft.; Auxiliary Yanmar 20-hp; Fuel 8 gal.; Water 42 gal.

Beneteau USA
1313 W. Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571
(843) 629-5300

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