img11451Based on the world-renowned First 40.7 - winner of the IMS World Championship, and most recently, overall winner of the Sydney Hobart Race - Beneteau introduces the all new First 44.7. Innovations abound including the new Lewmar "Y-spoke wheel", hi-tech aluminum winches, a bigger and brighter interior, and a unique adjustable settee adjacent to the dinette.

img11450Beneteau turned to the Farr Yacht Design team to draw the lines for the 44.7. Farr Yacht Design have previously drawn the 36.7, 40.7 and 47.7 in Beneteau's First line. The Farr office is world reknowned for their depth of design experience, mostly notably for racing boats of all stripes, but also for the ability to design true racer-cruisers. The new 44.7 was conceived only after extensive interviews with many owners of the 40.7.

The 44.7 is available in three rig configurations: the first, a standard 2 spreader with cable rigging, is suited for handicap racing under the IRC rating rule, which heavily penalizes rigs that are advanced beyond a basic cruising configuration. IRC is the favored rule in Northern Europe and is gaining significant ground elsewhere in the world, most notably Australia and the Pacific rim, with minor inroads into the US.

img11449Southern Europe races under IMS, and whist there are some time penalties for rod rigging, tapered masts and more spreaders, these can be more than offset by the inclusion of a true cruising interior, which the 44.7 has.

With most racing in the US and Canada under PHRF, which carries no penalties per se for an advanced rig, we will probably see most North American based 44.7s with either the twin or triple spreader rig options, the former with dyform rigging, the latter with rod rigging. There is an optional Club Racing Package which is as yet unspecified in company literature.

img11447One of the main points that Beneteau owners raised in their interviews was the importance of plenty of headroom. The 44.7 provides between 6'7" and 6'9" throughout the salon, nav station and galley areas. The interior is beechwood finished and is currently available in just one configuration: owner's cabin forward, with split cabins aft. The owner's cabin includes its own bathroom with head and shower. The aft cabins share a bathrom located aft of the nav station on the port side. Settee and galley are to starboard.

Deck hardware and winches are from Lewmar; sails are at the owner's discretion and are not included in the base price (reportedly $199,000).

Debuting at the Paris Boat Show this past December, the first 44.7s will see American shores this spring.

Specifications

LOA:44'10"13.68m
Hull Length:43'10"13.37m
LWL:37'8"11.50m
Beam:13'3"3.97m
Displacement (light ship):20,126 lbs.9,129 kgs
Draft (std):7'1"2.15m
Draft (opt):8'8"2.65m
Fuel:53 gals
Water:105 gal.

Rig Dimensions
I57.41'17.50 m
J15.78'4.81 m
P56.66'17.27 m
E20.44'6.23 m

For more information:
Beneteau USA
24 North Market St.
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 805-5000
www.beneteauusa.com

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