Sketch of the ridge 27
When the YACHT made its way to the Adriatic again at the end of last year, there was already snow on the peaks of the Alps. In front of Izolaber, the late summer sun shone warmly from the sky. For two days we had the opportunity to be the first specialist magazine to test the First 27: A Bor brought 18 to 25 knots of wind right at the beginning and a real test; On the following day, light winds of 5 to 10 knots made the conditions even more demanding.
Because the new boat is a tamed variant of the former Seascape 27, designed more for fast cruising, which remains in the Beneteau range as First 27 SE. What distinguishes the touring version:
- Aluminum instead of carbon rig
- Classic mainsail and backstay instead of square head main
- Fixed keel instead of hydraulic swivel keel
- Built-in diesel instead of a shaft motor
- Duchten in the cockpit instead of an unobstructed cockpit
Clear identification - the First 27 has a conventional large pinhead, the cabin structure has long side windows
All of this puts pressure on the weight (1.6 instead of 1.45 tons displacement) and on the potential (sails load rating 5.2 instead of 6.0). But there is still more than enough temperament to leave the vast majority of series boats of comparable size aft.
In the strong wind test, we logged more than 15 knots at the tip under the gennaker and a good 12 knots over longer distances. The First 27 also impressed with good values upwind; In half wind she only runs under main and genus at 9 to 10 knots.
In comparison - in light winds, the First 27 SE with a large square head overtakes the basic version
And she also copes with light winds more than passably. Here, however, the lack of sail area, especially in the large, can be felt. In a direct match race, the First 27 SE was even able to pass leeward and then noticeably pull away with a clear wind.
This increase in performance has to be bought at a high price. While the First 27 with built-in diesel and a set of Dacron sails costs just under 95,000 euros, the SE (for "Seascape Edition") with an outboard motor in the shaft is almost 14,000 euros more expensive.
What else differentiates the two and why the new one is likely to be the more successful model in the future, you can read in the detailed test, published in YACHT 3/2021, order directly here! Or you can download the test directly from the link below
Photo gallery: First 27