The BENETEAU First 36 was designed to bridge the gap between high-tech development in the world of racing and mainstream racer-cruisers. Even the standard version of First 36 will fully plane in a moderate breeze. However, this by itself was not the main challenge for the design and production teams. For 40 years, the Firsts were successfully hitting the elusive sweet spot between comfort, performance, utility, elegance, high-tech construction, and reasonable price. The First 36 is no different.

NAVAL ARCHITECT : Samuel Manuard
Design : Lorenzo Argento
Structural engineering : Pure Design & Engineering
Innovation and research : Sito


First 36 - Voilier de l'année 2023
Cruising World's 2023 Boat of the Year Awards first 36
British Award 2022 Winner
Boat of the year 2023 - Sailing World - First36
Best Boats winners - Top 10
European Yacht of the Year 2023 - Winner


The design team was coordinated by the experienced hand of Kristian Hajnšek, CTO of Seascape, who works closely with the team at BENETEAU to bring race-grade construction technologies into the segment of production racer-cruisers. On top of this exceptionally experienced team, we added an elite international group of designers; all of them are passionate sailors in their own right.


Due to the easily achievable performance potential of the new BENETEAU First 36, we expect her to be a serious weapon for club handicap racing. As such, her design team strove to strike the balance between an easily planing hull and upwind performance.


The First 36 is optimized for short-handed sailing, making her perfect for ever-popular short-handed adventure distance races. Her high sail area, great displacement ratio and balanced nautical design make her a top performer as a club-racer, a safe and fun family cruiser, or a simply thrilling daysailer.


The positioning of the six winches, steering wheels, and other deck gear was thoroughly tested on several mock-ups and a full-scale testbed sailboat to ensure the remarkable sailing experience promised. Details like an offshore hatch on the foredeck or removable cockpit benches show the priority paid to sailing functionality over style used throughout the design process.


In the racing layout, the wide and modern cockpit allows for different helm and trim positions, either for short-handed or fully-crewed sailing. In this setup, the table and bench extensions are removed, opening the working area in the cockpit.

A higher than average steering wheel position leaves enough room for the helmsman to move forward towards the mainsail winch when sailing shorthanded. In full crew mode, the cockpit winches' positioning allows one or two crew members to sail with legs in and work the mainsail or primary winches. It also allows cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side. Harken, Ronstan, Spinlock and Antal deck gear were combined for optimal performance.


When you remove your racing gear and take your family cruising or daysailing, cockpit benches with cushions increase the seating area, adding storage space and line organization. The cockpit table is big enough to accommodate a crew of six. Additionally, the design team developed an ultralight swim platform to give sailors easy access to the water without affecting the boat's performance.


Going against the trend, the 36 features a full-sized navigation table. While vital to navigation, it is also a suitable home office. Two portlights in every cabin allow air flow and natural light, while sectional indirect lighting, with a red racing option, illuminates the boat at night. Three cabins with easily accessible full-sized double berths and innovative heads round up the features of this bright and spacious interior.

The wide hull of the BENETEAU First 36 offers a spacious interior comparable to her much larger predecessors. The new First 36 has about the same living volume as the legendary First 40.7.

Simple, comfortable and versatile, the First 36 interior was developed around three-cabin cruising functionality. Its most notable feature is the large central fridge with a removable cutting board, making this sailboat's galley the largest of her class. A corridor created by the foldable and removable table helps sailors move around the saloon safely.


The information below is intended for general informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contractual agreement. Any descriptions, representations, or statements made in this document are not to be considered binding unless explicitly stated otherwise in a formal contractual agreement.

Length Overall


10.97 m

Beam overall


3.8 m

Light displacement

10,580 lbs

4 800 kg

Draft Min


2.25 m

Cabin Number



Press Reviews

Yachting World

Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years? - Read the article



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Buying a BENETEAU doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We have teams of experts to guide you through the entire process – everything from sea trials, financing, and customization to after-sale commissioning, service, and maintenance. We are proud to have one of the largest, most highly-regarded dealer networks in the world. We’re ready to provide you with the assistance and expertise needed to launch you and your BENETEAU on a lifetime of happy, rewarding, and memorable voyages.