Sailing World

Beneteau First 36.7 – 2002 BOTY Best Value

A fast racer/cruiser from Farr Yacht Design
by Lynn Bowser
© Walter Cooper
If you’re shopping for a racer cruiser in the mid
thirty-foot range and you want to get a lot of bang for your buck, then the
36.7 is hands down your best bet. With a starting price of $107,400 including
basic electronics but less sails and spinnaker gear, this will be a hard value
to beat, racing or cruising.
Following on the heels of their success with her big
sister the 40.7, Beneteau continued the pedigree by selecting Farr Yacht Design
to draw the lines for the new 36.7.

Sailing World

Cruising a Classy 36-Foot Racer

“Fast and fun to sail” make this boat a good racer and cruiser
by John Burnham
© Rachel Balaban
Exiting the Niagara River was a
wake-up call for all five of us. As we cleared the point, riding two knots of
current under main only, Seaweed
leaned over in the 16-knot easterly and began charging into the short
steep waves. I quickly realized that Sophie, my 11-year-old, probably
shouldn’t be sitting in the bow pulpit for this part of the trip, and
soon had her and the others settled in the cockpit. Driving the
powerful Beneteau First 36.7 with its big wheel
wasn’t hard, nor was
easing the traveler, but sailing through the bumps was like riding a
powerful horse; you had to hold the reins with authority and keep
looking ahead.

Sailing Anarchy

You’re a guy with means and a fair amount of
disposable cash in your pocket. You’re cruising the scene, looking for a
hottie. Okay, maybe you’re not as young as you once were, but you still like to
play, even if it’s not as often. Remember, you’ve got a little dough now. Damn,
there are indeed some fine babes here – young, great bodies. Christ, what fun
you’d have with them! Then the reality strikes you – sure they’d be smokin’ fun
in the sack, but they are pretty high maintenance, and pretty demanding, too.
Maybe you better lower your aim a bit.
So you keep looking, and – wait a minute – this one
catches your eye. Nice looking, seemingly well put together, modern, very
clean. Clearly not built like those younger f-bunnies, but could be fun for
some slow but sure gettin’. And look at that booty! Who-eee, now that’s a
caboose. Indeed, this Baby Got Back.
Oh, yeah, the Beneteau 36.7 has got a big ol’ butt. Hell, it’s a big ol’
boat. An awful lot is crammed into its 36 feet of length. We’d say a bit too
much, for our tastes. But this one isn’t meant for our tastes, it’s meant for
that guy above.


latest model in Beneteau’s First cruiser/racer range looks set to follow the
successful path carved out by its larger, Farr-designed sisterships. Vanessa
Dudley reports
When you’re on a good thing, stick to it. That sums up the
approach taken by major French boatbuilder Beneteau with its recent First
And who can blame the company, given the runaway success of the
First 40.7 model it introduced in 1998. Bearing the highly-regarded Farr Yacht
Design stamp and offering a sophisticated approach to the challenge of
combining racing performance with interior comfort, the Farr 40.7 sold like
hotcakes and notched up many major regatta victories in the hands of serious
campaigners like Sydney’s Neill and Simon Whiston, both within Australia and

First 36.7 Review

25th Apr 2011
Issue: June 2002
History will show Beneteau’s First 40.7 to be
a pivotal yacht. It was introduced at a time when ocean racing was in yet
another state of transformation, as rating problems combine with rampant
technology to create grand prix boats of a complexity that not many people
could understand, let alone afford.
But Beneteau understood the trend and introduced its cruiser/racer line,
designed by Bruce Farr, to rate well under IRC, but built of low-tech materials
so mere mortals could afford to buy and run them.
The grand prix guys sneered, because the 40.7 had a lot of freeboard and
accommodation – an HRT Commodore lined up against Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari.
But when Sydney’s Whiston brothers bought a pair of 40.7s, then fitted them out
with good gear and crew, they had huge success – the grand prix guys stopped

Beneteau First 36.7: Son of a Beachball

Beneteau’s First 36.7 from the design boards of Bruce Farr
Australians called the Beneteau 40.7 “Beachballs” when they showed up to race
in IMS and IRC regattas. The derision ended quickly though, as the 40.7 won
race after race. The combination of favorable ratings in IMS and IRC and a
superb design by Bruce Farr turned a lot of heads and kept a lot of riggers,
hull and appendage specialists busy optimizing the boats. Savvy sailors were
picking up used 40.7s and tuning them up for a fraction of the cost of a
one-off IMS boat. And winning.
40.7 has other advantages over many racing one-designs and most of the IMS
fleets: you can cook a meal, take a shower, and comfortably spend the night
aboard — even go cruising in it. A lot of owners discovered that if one
emphasizes the racer in racer/cruiser you can these days get a truly great
multi-purpose boat.
Read more:

Tuning Guides

  • Beneteau First Series
    of Yachts
    are the industry standard for racer/cruiser sailboats. They are
    designed to meet the performance needs of demanding racing sailors yet are
    completely equipped for comfortable cruising. Equipped with tall fractional
    rigs, high performance keels and premium deck hardware, the First series can be
    found at the head of the fleet.
  • North Sails Tuning Guide
  • Quantum Tuning Guide
  • Doyle Tuning Guide
  • VPP Shoal Keel (polars)


Beneteau First 36.7: Barry Tranter test drives the new Beneteau First 36.7, and
discovers that Australia’s amateur racers will get the most value out of this
boat. (Boat Test).…-a085283522

Sailing Magazine

First 36.7
Boats and Gear/Perry
on DesignAuthor:Robert H. Perry
Racer-cruiserr If we
count boats over 32.66-feet LOA, Beneteau has at least 13 different models to
choose from. The company works with a variety of designers and breaks its
boats down into “racer-cruiser,” “performance cruisers” and “center cockpit”
categories. I’m not positive, but I would imagine Beneteau builds more
sailing yachts than any other builder. To quote my favorite line from “Close
Encounters”: “This is important.” The newest Beneteau is this Farr-designed
36.7. Interesting to me is the fact that the brochure’s specs list “Farr”
under the heading “hull design.” I think it’s safe to assume that a company
like Beneteau employs a gaggle of in-house designers to take care of
interiors, decks and structural details. Rigs, keels, rudders and hulls are
best left to the “out house” designer of record. This model was inspired by
the highly successful, Farr-designed First 40.7. The 40.7 has earned an
enviable race record in some of the world’s toughest fleets. The hull of the
36.7 shows what we might call the current generic racing shape, i.e., no
overhangs, moderately light displacement, broad stern and fine entry. It’s
not an especially distinctive looking design in any way. It really looks like
the rest of the racing fleet. I miss the divergent racing fleets of the ‘70s
with those all-out pigs that were so much fun to whip. (Are you racing?!) The
performance range of most fleets is dramatically narrowed today.


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