Bluewater Sailboat – Beneteau First 40.7


After more than two years of planning and design by the Farr Yacht Design team in Annapolis, Beneteau’s First 40.7 was released in 1999. On the racetrack, the 40.7 soon earned respect and is now a popular new boat. At competitive costs, used models are starting to appear on the market.

The traditional design Interiors of the Beneteau First 40.7 bluewater sailboat provide the option of two or three cabins. There is only one tiny bathroom, the same in both variants. The kitchen, which is on the port side, has a stove, many huge shelves, and a refrigerator, while the chart table is on the starboard side and is roomy.

The Beneteau First 40.7’s exteriors are made to be as comfortable as possible without sacrificing maneuverability or sail trimming during racing. There are two well-protected lateral seats in the broad cockpit. The bench, which is positioned behind the wheel, enables travelers to enjoy navigation in complete comfort.

Beneteau First 40.7
Beneteau First 40.7
  • LOA:39ft 11in (12.17m)
  • LWL:34ft 10in (10.62m)
  • Beam (max):12ft 5in (3.78m)
  • Draught:7ft 10in (2.4m)
  • Disp (lightship):15,336lb (6,970kg)
  • Ballast:6,094lb (2,764kg)
  • Sail area (100%foretriangle):876ft² (81.42m²)
  • Berths:6
  • Engine:Yanmar saildrive
  • Power:40hp, 30kW
  • Water capacity:60gal (272lt)
  • Fuel capacity:30gal (138lt)
  • Sail area – disp:22.7
  • Disp – LWL:162
  • Designed by:Farr Yacht Design
  • Built by:Chantiers Beneteau SA


When Beneteau founded a shop in Croix-de-Vie in 1884 with the intention of making trawlers, Beneteau started building boats in France. Eighty years later, Beneteau constructed its first fibreglass yacht under the supervision of his granddaughter Annette Roux. It produces twice as many sailboats as its closest rival, making it the largest production bluewater sailboat manufacturer in the world. Additionally, Lagoon catamarans and boats by Jeanneau and Wauquiez are produced by Beneteau.

The First and Oceanis are two different lines built by Beneteau. The Oceanis line, first offered in 1986, is more geared toward all-out cruisers, or as the business brochure puts it, those “enjoying the pleasure of the sea,” as opposed to the Originally line, which was first introduced in 1976 and is oriented to performance cruisers.

After Catalina and Hunter, the company has the third-highest sales in the US.

One of the goals of the company is to sell enough boats to rival American manufacturers like Catalina and Hunter. It achieves this by utilizing a number of parameters, including: The following factors help a company succeed: a) consistent ownership and cash flow; b) a work management system that enables designers and production workers to collaborate for greater efficiency on the shop floor; c) a monolith’s economies of scale and purchasing power; d) automation that lowers the cost of labor; and e) in-house capabilities like the ability to mill its own logs rather than purchasing planks from a lumber yard.

In addition to housing a customer support centre, the factory in Marion, South Carolina, which was established in 1984, has already built more than 1,000 sailboats. Beneteau states that its products have completed more than 1,000 ocean voyages totaling more than five million miles.


One of the best designers of quick racing boats in the entire globe is Bruce Farr. Both the America’s Cup and Admiral’s Cup have featured his designs. He created the Fast 42s7 and a Beneteau 50-footer before the 40.7. According to Mike Thoney of Beneteau, the First line is distinguished from the Oceanis by having more modern styling, a higher emphasis on performance (without sacrificing cruising comforts), fractional rigs, an optional deep keel, and high aspect ratio rudders.

The 40. 7 took three years to develop from the design board to the assembly line, according to Russ Bowler of the Farr office. Beneteau was tasked with creating a cruiser that could compete in club racing and would sell in the hundreds each year.

French craftsmen built the 40.7. The need to minimise weight-per-foot while maintaining strength was one of the issues the designer and Eric Ingouf, the Beneteau employee who works on advanced production techniques, faced. In order to do this, the crew used strategies initially used with the Beneteau 25 to get rid of extra weight in the laminations, keel, and cabinets.

Thoney gave a basic overview of the lamination timetable even if Beneteau won’t reveal the specifics. Hulls are manually constructed from pre-cut glass pieces that have been saturated with polyester and vinylester resins.

According to Thoney, “pre-cutting ensures optimum sizes and avoids waste.” “Vinylester resins are used as blister prevention.” Thoney noted that the latter is a recent improvement over older versions, which made use of the Beneteau WaterShield procedure in an effort to achieve the same goal more cheaply. Despite the fact that the manufacturer had a fair share of scorching issues with previous models, the polls of sail boat owners and surveyors reveal that there aren’t many incidences in more recent models.

To ensure that the hull shape is preserved, a fibreglass pan is bonded into the solid fibreglass hull while it is still in the mould. Thoney calculates that the hull is 5/8″ thick. Six athwartships floors and solid fibreglass longitudinal stringers extending from bow to stern are features of the pan.

Utilizing a polyester adhesive, the pan is joined to the hull. The pan serves as the foundation for bulkheads and cabinetry, which are fiberglassed to the hull and glued to the deck with a strong adhesive. Solid fibreglass supports for fuel tanks, the engine, chainplate tie downs, the keel frame, and mast step are all moulded into the pan.

PVC and flex tubes are used to protect wiring and plumbing runs. The teak toerail is placed over the hull-deck junction and fastened with stainless steel screws. The hull-deck joint is made up of an internal hull flange that is joined to an external deck flange with polyurethane glue and stainless steel bolts and nuts. Through-bolting is no longer as necessary thanks to the extraordinarily strong adhesives used nowadays for hull-deck connectors.

The deck is made of fibreglass with a balsa core, however the parts where the deck hardware is mounted are made entirely of fibreglass. Backing plates and stainless steel fasteners are used to secure the hardware.

The sailboat has a 7′ 9′′ deep lead keel as standard equipment; an iron 6′ 2′′ keel is an alternative. To avoid peeling issues that happened with earlier versions, a new coating method compatible with International Paints that was developed in France is now being used. According to the manager of customer service, none of the first 250 boats had experienced peeling. Nevertheless, lead is superior to iron.

The rudders are now made by Tides Marine with carbon fibre rudder stocks as opposed to stainless steel in the past. Carbon was found to have a four times stronger breaking strength than stainless steel in laboratory tests. It also has a higher degree of elasticity, preventing breakage brought on by side loading while under load. Additionally, it is considerably lighter. The ability to connect it to the rudder, which prevents the frequent issue with steel stocks of water flowing into the rudder, is the most essential feature. The bearings on the upper and lower rudders are self-aligning.

Above Deck

The 40. 7 has one of the most intriguing cockpit innovations seen: detachable cockpit lockers placed below permanent slatted teak cockpit seats. Finding something unique on a sailboat is usually a pleasant surprise. The lockers offer seating while they are fixed in place and are big enough to hold the usual assortment of dock equipment, cleaning supplies, and extra headsails. The lockers can be taken out during competition in order to enable standing, direct access to the main winches and sidedeck.

It is simple to access from either rail because to the destroyer-style steering wheel’s 60 leather covering and bottom that is sunken below the sole. Both crew and visitor seats have contours and are cozy. The port corner of the cockpit has a well that vents overboard for the propane tank. To starboard is a storage big enough for an inflatable dinghy.

In France, having a designated cockpit area for a life raft canister is required. It is located below the helmsman’s position on the Beneteau 40.7. According to Joe Darby, owner of Chicago-based Darfin Yachts, which donated the test boat, the space is ideal for a trash can or a cooler of ice-cold beverages. By unlocking the twin lifelines linking the stern pulpits and stepping over the transom, one may access a teak-slatted swim platform with a stainless steel ladder; a swinging door would be more convenient.

Wide, virtually level decks with diamond nonskid were developed by Farr to make moving ahead while underway simple. Additional safety is provided by the coachroof’s stainless steel railings and double lifelines on 26″ stanchions. The stanchion bases’ partial recessing and low likelihood of being toe stubbers are features they favor. The mast, standing rigging, and deck hardware are all of the highest calibre, but one owner believes that serious racers will choose to forego the conventional equipment in favour of halyards with a wider diameter and no stretch. But according to Foss, the rope on vessels after number 156 has been updated.

Sparcraft also makes the boom; the mast is a Sparcraft 9/10 fractional rig with triple spreaders. Rod standing rigging and a Sparcraft vang are included as standard equipment.

Although it is not necessary for most cruisers, a Navtec hydraulic backstay adjuster will enhance sail trim and performance on the race course. Without adjusting the backstay, the test boat operated satisfactorily. For the mainsail, genoa, and spinnaker halyards, one reef line, and outhaul and topping lifts, running rigging is led aft via Spin­lock XT rope clutches. Comparing the installation of two turning blocks with space for six lines to the standard configuration of four, three-part blocks, there are advantages.

The mainsheet tackle is an intriguing change from standard arrangements. A double-ended sheet travels through turning blocks on both sides of the deck and under the boom to the mast before running aft to a stopper. This position enables crew members to trim the mainsail while seated on the rail or from either side of the boat. Lewmar 50 self-tailers are the primary winches. On the coachroof, Lewmar 44 self-tailers are attached. Lewmar 44 spinnaker winches are an alternative. The ball-bearing cars on the mainsheet traveler are from Lewmar. Under load, the genoa sheet cars can be adjusted.

Below Deck

The interior, which was created by Beneteau’s in-house designers, has a more traditional, nautical vibe than the Philippe Starck Interiors’ Park Avenue aesthetic. Three strong fibreglass steps wrapped in a teak veneer make up the companionway ladder. The steps are curved to prevent falls while the sailboat is heeled. The handrails made of brushed aluminum that ran from the cabin sole to the top step were one of the favourite features.

Access to the engine is made possible by removing the stairs. The bottom step-mounted batteries are simple to service. The French Bureau Veritas’ requirement that a fire extinguisher be fitted into a 1 inch diameter hole on the engine cover so that it can be used in the event of an engine compartment fire adds an unusual feature to the staircase. Lighting and airflow Four Lewmar hatches on the bow and coachroof, three opening ports on either side of the saloon, and two fixed ports built into the hull below deck level offer access belowdecks.

Located amidships, the saloon’s focal point is a 44′′ long, double-leafed table with seating aft on 3′′-thick cushions. Although racers complain that it takes up area that could be utilized for sausage bags, there is ample space to move forward when the leaves are down. Two compartments, each 10 inches deep and 30 inches long, are used for storage beneath each sofa; the French touch is highlighted by a separate wine locker. Under the settees, which store polyurethane water tanks, there is incredibly little storage space.

The galley has a fairly standard L-shape with 6′ 5′′ of headroom. It is equipped with a 12-volt refrigerator, gimbaled Force 10 two-burner cooktop, and a double stainless steel sink with pressurized hot and cold water. While there is enough space for utensils and pots and pans, the working surface is so limited that galley mates will struggle to prepare large meals unless covers are supplied for the stove and sinks. However, such solution has a clear set of issues of its own. On the other hand, the size of the navigation station is impressive, especially when compared to other sailboats where they seem to be an afterthought. The chart table’s top, which is hinged, is 32″ x 20″ and measures 41″ x 24″.

The cabinetry has space for the required electronic gear, as well as a hinged instrument panel. The wires are all color-coded. Additionally, a self-diagnostic feature warns you of electrical problems. For instance, a light will show on the panel if a cabin light burns out. Binoculars, charts, and other equipment can be stored in a cabinet on the bulkhead behind the seat. A second 22′′ X 22′′ locker is located underneath the seat. The interior design reflects the French preference for several double-berth staterooms, with a third bedroom in the bow and two mirror-image cabins in the stern. Aft headroom is 6′ 3″.

Each stateroom includes a foam-backed hull liner that insulates both thermally and acoustically with a 78′′ x 60′′ wide berth surrounded by varnished wood veneers. A port in the cockpit footwell serves as the source of ventilation. There is space in the hanging locker for six complete sets of bad weather attire. The aluminum fuel tank and storage space below the starboard bunk are combined.

A detachable panel behind the port stateroom gives access to through-hulls, electrical and plumbing fixtures, and the steering mechanism. The third stateroom and the head are located forward of the saloon. The stateroom appeared to be suitable for one adult or two little children at first, but the tape measure revealed otherwise. The headroom in the room is 6′ 2″, and the V-berth is 7′ 3″ long and 5′ 9″ wide at the head, making it big enough for an average-sized crew. The head seemed similarly diminutive. It has 6′ 2″ of headroom and is reachable from the forward stateroom or the in-cabin. The size of the head was a selling element for one owner, who identified himself as 6′ 3′′ tall and 230 lbs. Despite his remarks, it is believed that a 40 x 24 inch shower will be uncomfortable. Plumbing pipes and wiring runs are conveniently located.

A central manifold, sometimes known as a sea chest, is located midships. To it, several hoses are connected, and they all drain into the same through-hull.

The interior can be modified to meet the needs of racers while still being appropriate for casual cruisers. However, turning the twin cabins in back into sea berths isn’t the best option for safely and pleasantly resting when at sea. The wood has similarly slick and well-fitting surfaces.


The Beneteau First 40 is equipped with a sail area of approximately 100 square meters, consisting of a main sail and genoa, and a 110 square meter spinnaker. The single-bladed rudder has a varying draft depending on the keel type, with 2.40 meters for the race version and 1.90 meters for the standard option. Some racers have updated their accessories to keep up with changing regulations and modern models may even feature a convenient gennaker.

On a warm day on Lake Michigan, the yacht 40.7 was raced and sailed and she has received high scores for its windward and off-wind performance. It is known for enjoying some wind, as well as high winds, due to its stability. It can reach speeds of 5-7 knots when powered by a 30-hp Volvo diesel, fitted with a low-drag Saildrive and a two-bladed propeller. It operates under a 150% genoa and mainsail in genuine winds of 8-12 knots, and it is reported to be well-balanced.

Upon leaving the harbor, it was able to sail her with “no hands” in an apparent wind of 12 mph, with a slight backstay tension, incorrect vang, and a soft jib halyard. The speedometer recorded speeds of 5.8 to 6.2 knots. With sheeting angles promoted by Beneteau at 10, the sheets were stiffened in the same wind and the boat sailed at 6.75 knots, close to 36 of apparent wind. Footing off at 10 resulted in a slight speed increase of half a knot in the lighter winds of 9 knots.

Before hoisting the spinnaker to evaluate its downwind performance, the winds completely died down. Both owners reported speeds of 8-10 knots in 12-15 knot winds while sailing at high jibe angles.

Quick Notes

The design teams at Farr and Beneteau seem to have created a versatile bluwater sailboat that will please club racers and cruisers who enjoy speed. She is roomy and beautifully finished. One stateroom may need to be converted to storage space for longer-term cruisers. The plumbing manifold and detachable cockpit seat modules are appreciable that the Beneteau 40.7 has included among its many smart and practical design elements.

This Beneteau’s comparison to the X-362 is insightful. It’s difficult to help but wonder what might transpire if they engaged in a race. Finished wondering. The X-Yacht prevailed in their previous encounter on the racecourse. There were four races in the SPI Quest regatta where this took place. Obviously, there are a number of variables at play during racing. This comeback to adaptable racer-cruisers is encouraging and positive for upcoming club-racing events.

You can precisely calculate the expenses and income related to boat ownership with the sailboat calculator. Using this tool, you can investigate many possibilities and come to wise selections depending on your financial objectives and sailing requirements.

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