Ultimate racer-cruiser

The FIRST 44 is presented in two main setups, FIRST 44 and FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE, with a different deck plan and options for keels and masts.

She offers a streamlined interior layout that is modern and luminous, with a blend of white lacquered surfaces, moulded woods and tasteful upholsteries. She is crafted and finished in a dedicated workshop that delivers the full scope of BENETEAU expertise.

With the new FIRST 44, BENETEAU takes the term “racer/cruiser” and transforms it into an elegant and comfortable yacht that provides unequalled pleasure under sail.

In keeping with his work on America’s Cup racers, Roberto Biscontini went through several revisions and improvements to finally a powerful and well-balanced hull, coupled with an ample sailplan to deliver spend and vivacity in any conditions.

The FIRST 44 version distinguishes itself with a convivial and comfortable cockpit, wherein wide side-decks converge towards a lovely cockpit table. Four winches, a fixed centerline block for the mainsheet and a mast that is set further aft all maximize the potential of her modern sailplan, defined by a slender mainsail and generously sized foresails.With the intention of making serious performance even more accessible, BENETEAU used the experience acquired with the Figaro 2 and ballast systems to deliver this technology to FIRST 44 owners; twin 300 l (80 US Gal) ballast tanks, activated electrically from the helm stations, offer the possibility of reaching the boat’s full potential with reduced crew.

On the FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE, deck ergonomics were studied and developed with fully crewed regattas in mind. Equipment and systems are totally geared towards racing, among which should be mentioned the foam non- skid surfaces that replace the teak on the cockpit sole, six well-placed winches and a conventional mainsail traveller. The rigging and sail setup include a 1.5 m (4’11”) bowsprit, a hydraulic backstay, a powerful in-hauler system and a performance keel/mast combo that will satisfy the most demanding captains and crews.

The FIRST 44 is infused with Lorenzo Argento’s style, a distinctive blend of elegance and modernity. Her three- cabin, two-head layout is an assemblage of quality materials interwoven into a masterful finish. In the salon the six- seater transversal table lays opposite of the couch and nav station; its positioning in relation to the mast eases the movement between galley and master stateroom, thereby accentuating the feeling of space.

Assembled in a specially dedicated workshop, the FIRST 44 takes full benefit of BENETEAU’s expertise and the knowledge of the industry’s sharpest minds. Subjected by their owners to the rigors of the offshore racing, FIRSTs are always the result of a rigorous development and perfection process. Engineering for the FIRST 44 was entrusted to the Mer Forte firm, well known for its work on high-end blue-water race boats, including the celebrated Figaro BENETEAU 3.

The result is a “full infusion” yacht on which the distribution of weight is a key factor. The FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE is 1100 pounds lighter than the FIRST 44 and its deck layout is the result of a multidisciplinary collaboration involving Roberto Biscontini, Lorenzo Argento, Hughes Destremau (North Sails), Michel Sacaze (Harken), William Thomas (Sparcraft) and the BENETEAU project team.

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