“FIRST was born forty-five years ago with the launch of the legendary FIRST 30, and we doubly celebrate the occasion this year with the announcement of the FIRST 36 in January and the arrival of the FIRST 44 today, finalizing the renewal of a standard-bearing range now entirely redrawn and complete”, says Yann Masselot, BENETEAU General Manager. “The boat pencils itself in among such great 40’ to 45’ BENETEAU yachts as the FIRST 40.7, the 45f5 or more recently the FIRST 40 and 45”.
Today, the FIRST 44 embodies a natural link between the FIRST 36 and FIRST 53, equally refining and redefining performance, elegance and comfort – a new Biscontini/Argento creation that truly denies itself nothing. She’s a lovely sailing yacht with a remarkable design, offering through her architecture and build quality an experience underway that is simply second to none.
The main points to remember
- 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 draws to the noblest expression of the term “racer/cruiser”: an elegant and comfortable yacht that provides unequaled pleasure under sail.
In keeping with the scientific approach honed with his work on America Cup racers, Roberto Biscontini went through several revisions and improvements to finally deliver a powerful and well-balanced hull, which is coupled with an ample sailplan to deliver spend and vivacity in any conditions.
A DUAL DESIGN
The FIRST 44 was imagined with two deck layouts to satisfy a greater variety of wishes and needs.
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 80-gallon ballast tanks, activated electronically 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 4 ½’ bowsprit, a hydraulic backstay, a powerful in-hauler system and a performance keel/mast combo that will satisfy the most demanding captains and crews.
A SUPERIOR STANDARD OF ACCOMMODATIONS
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.
This arrangement is enhanced by superb craftsmanship, a refined combination of white lacquered surfaces, moulded woods, touches of indirect lighting and a large selection of luxurious upholsteries.
LOA (FIRST 44): 14,15 m / 46’5’’
LOA (FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE): 14,65 m / 48’1’’
Hull length: 13,15 m / 43’2’’
Beam: 4,25 m / 13’11’’
Standard draft (T-keel): 2,15 m / 7’1’’
Standard ballast weight (cast iron): 3 300 kg / 7,275 lbs
Performance draft (T-keel): 2,60 m / 8’6’’
Performance ballast weight (cast iron / lead): 3 000 kg / 6,613 lbs
Standard air draft: 19,5 m / 63’8’’
Light displacement (FIRST 44): 10 300 kg / 22,708 lbs
Light displacement (FIRST 44 PERFORMANCE): 9 800 kg / 21,605 lbs
Fuel capacity (standard): 220 L / 58 US Gal
Fresh water capacity (standard): 330 L / 87 US Gal
Engine power (standard): 57 CV / 57 HP