It was a long awaited event! It shocked the yachting industry a few weeks ago when the market leader is the French shipyard Beneteau has announced the purchase of the Slovenian shipyard Seascape. Integration of the former yacht Seascape in the model range of the French Builder had a great meaning: old First 20 and 25 was a beautiful, classic boats, but the concept is obsolete. The revival of the line First and attempt to justify its former glory could be effected better than by the inclusion of a young Adriatic startup in a big company.
Can’t wait when we will go to sea in it!
It will take some time to get used to, now that these boats are called First, but we’ll manage. I had a chance to talk with the guys from Seascape during the Cannes yachting festival, and they assured me that they see a bright future as its approach to yachting – it is already visible in the Seascape yacht – and boat that will follow in the future. Right now in development is a new 30-vucovic. With this in mind, I was able to arrange a test drive of the biggest model First/Seascape today – First 27.
The maximum length of 7.99 m; Seascape/First 27 the biggest in the lineup of 4 models
It was one of those superb days: a bright clear sky, sun and steady wind of 10 to 14 knots. I met Tim, a young sailor who is part of the dynasty of the manufacturer of Doyle sails from the Baltic coast, and which breathes sailing every pore of his body. She was there – “our” boat for the whole day, and I was very excited at the opportunity, finally, to experience what it’s like to sail on one of these magical Slovenian boats…
Inside Beneteau First 27 (aka Seascape 27)
Stepping on Board, I went down into the cabin while Tim removed the case from the boom and prepared the boat. Taking advantage of the free time I had to consider some interesting details in the interior design Seascape/First 27. I liked the main electrical panel which is located below the entrance to the salon, directly under the rung of the ladder. Although, to be honest, electrical switches not so much, after all Seascape/First 27 really the boat is a “no frills”!
The main switch panel looks nice and neat
Where to put any Chartplotter? Instead, cut a hole in the roof of the cabin, on the Seascape/First 27 has a rotary arm with a Chartplotter. The skipper can expand it to look at the cards; to enter the cabin, the bracket simply folds inward. I love these things – simple and effective!
Turning the Chartplotter is a good idea!
From Seascape/First hydraulic folding keel with manual control. Maximum draft of the boat is 2,00 meters. “The boat need that kind of sediment,” says Tim and pointing to the rigging. But more on that later. Keel lowered “pumping” through the lever that actuates the hydraulic cylinder. Sounds like some work, and I was happy that it was not possible to try it.
Hydraulic drive of the keel manually …
Here everywhere you can imagine, there are hidden compartments for storage. A small compartment under the top step of the ladder to the room, the bigger box under the bottom step. Directly this office can be thermo box can be equipped with a compressor and then it will have ordinary refrigerator. I liked the idea, as in this case, a 27-foot boat can be used for cruising and long journeys. The refrigerator here – not the worst idea.
Compartment can be equipped as a refrigerator
So, overall, interesting small details say that the guys in Slovenia are really pushed the boundaries and put a lot of effort to create a very good ship. I also liked bags for sensible things you can remove and take home – no need to painstakingly put all my things on arrival to the boat. The yacht is full of such pleasant and simple tools.
Brilliant and spacious
I have to admit that I like the yacht of a larger size. But nonetheless, it was interesting to see how interior space is used on Seascape/First 27. Despite the fact that everything on this 1200-pound boat is aimed at reducing the weight and it resembles the Pogo, inside is quite spacious!
V-shaped bed in the nose. Note the bowsprit
In the cabin can easily stretch out and sleep for the night two adults. They can even stick their feet further in small niches under the cockpit. In the forward cabin V-shaped berth for two people, although it’s a little tight in the legroom where the bulkhead is the chain locker.
Does its job…
Seascape/Firts 27 may be equipped with a toilet: prokocim toilet with grey water tank (with a drain Kingston) or a bio-toilet. I think the first option is better. What I found really interesting, this magnetic “door” that can close the toilet, close the forward cabin, or just be removed. Very clever detail!
Simple and convenient – shelf sails
And last but not least, again, the original decision – rack sails, which is located in front of the toilet. Pull the rope, leans back shelf (by analogy with lockers for shoes at home). Now the crew can fold down or Vice versa to get on the deck of the sail through the hatch on the casemate roof. The rope, tipping the shelf, you can draw from the deck. I love Seascape/First for these tiny, but very thoughtful detail!
Just the top of the popular equipment for the First 27
When he returned to the deck, Tim was finishing to prepare the boat, and I carefully inspected the equipment of the boat. On our boat were installed winch Andersen, which I really like, although the standard boat pose Harken. However, Seascape/Firsts go with a very good set of standard equipment, which is surprising to me, as I’m used to the “naked” standard versions on big boats, because the optional equipment is usually to earn money.
Just a song
Seascape/First 27 designed for one man operation. Therefore, all the stoppers and lines wound up in the cockpit and on the roof of a small cabin. Running rigging is quite complex, as I will see later when we go to sea under sail. The boat is a serious racer and Seascape/First see their competitors in the J/Boats. Of the more than 240 participants in the race Silverrudder – non-stop race of individuals around the Danish island of Funen – this year over 40 yachts Seascape!
All the ropes wound up on the roof of the wheelhouse
A huge grotto with a square top measuring 28 sq. m. (J-80 it is 21 sq. m.) rises in the halyard 2:1, which is fixed on the top of the mast, down to the extremity of the boom and pulls back. And only after that the halyard back down down and put in the cockpit, from where rises the grotto. This requires twice the length of classic file, but this is only half of the force necessary for lifting the sail.
FAL transmission 2:1
Not standard, but very practical additional equipment in the list of options Seascape/First 27 is rodkicker. So the main halyard and also performs the function of the gik-topenant, mainsail and boom will inevitably fall into the cockpit when you remove the sail. This is not a problem when you go alone or race mode, but can be pretty annoying when on Board friends or guests. I like a simple system rodkicker installed on this boat!
See this simple but effective system rodkicker?
I also liked little details: tiller is made of carbon fibre, very strong yet lightweight. I’m on my boat know how damn heavy wooden tiller. Large epaulet boom-mainsheet from side to side in the cockpit allows you to fine tune the mainsail and more convinces me that this boat is designed for racing.
Excellent carbon tiller and thin, but powerful epaulet boom-mainsheet
In General, I do have the impression that this boat was created for an easy, comfortable sailing, but I felt a hidden power that inspired complex wiring running rigging and racing style instruments and the overall sexy look of it all. I thought that boat was not intended for such moderate cruises. In a sense, it turned out that I was right. But on the other hand, was wrong.
The descent-ascent outboard motor
We finally got together. Seascape/First 27 can be equipped with either a 10-horsepower outboard motor Tohatsu (which we had on Board) or electric outboard engine Torqueedo. What I thought particularly interesting is the “folding” mechanism, by which the engine is installed in operating position. Tim opens two deck hatches. The engine is kept lying on one side, mounted in such a way as not to damage the boat on the move and during storage.
Easy to install the engine
Tim throws the engine so that the propeller reaches the water. It turns out that in the case Seascape/First 27 have a permanent hole which is not closed. There were experiments to improve the mechanism covering the hole, but it was too difficult and not particularly increased the speed, so they just left it open. Of course, the water never gets inside the boat …
The engine noise is still annoying
So with a pretty good wind, we finally gave up the ends and Tim led us in a sense. We went against the wind and I have to say that the volume of the engine was terribly annoying! On a sailing boat is always a moment of relief when the skipper finally switches off the engine, but on Seascape/27 Firts it was really a sigh of relief because we have overcome great distance from the Marina before Tim turned the engine off.
Every gust is instant acceleration
Of course, it didn’t happen earlier than we did, keeping his nose to the wind, raised the mainsail. I oblilsya and the boat instantly pulled! The boat accelerated even without a headsail, which I found very interesting. On the other hand Tim told me that this is one of the main aspects of the Seascape/First 27 – with a displacement of just 1400 kg everything you need to start is an easy fit.
About 50 sq. m. sails for acute courses. And just 1,400 kg displacement…
But how great to feel fully opened up the ability of the boat when raised the staysail! We got to the point where the boat acquired the necessary stability, the windward rudder is out of water, and Seascape/First 27 came to life. She was very, very responsive to the helm – thanks to a direct and distinct feedback felt in the tiller. One small pen that at the moment it was immersed in water, immediately changed our course of movement of the finger tip. Very cool!
She pulled, without losing a second
Yes, almost no waves and I suggest that short, intermittent waves can cause the boat will begin to behave like a restive stallion as it happens with all small boats, but such conditions were ideal as you could wish for. The boat, even when we caught a gust, didn’t react a great roll, but instantly increased the speed. Only later came the roll. Brilliant behaviour!
You may not like the carbon!
What else I noticed, even when I asked Tim to turn to the waves to see how the boat will behave, even in this case there was no noise. No noise at all! No knocks, squeaks, nothing. This may indicate a very strong rigging and a pretty hard shell. It reminded me of my hike on the aluminum boat, which is also not produce any sounds as much as we were splashing through the waves.
Runing, safe position at any time
I was delighted with the fully carbon mast and boom, which played the sun’s rays and was seen a beautiful drawing of the fibers. Returning to Cannes for the boat show, one of the guys from Seascape explained to me how carefully it was made a mast and what efforts have been aimed at creating such a powerful breed. And again I wondered why some serial cruisers make so much noise on the move…
Speed characteristics of the Seascape/First 27
So now I’m a little more familiar with the boat and we had quite a long walk from different angles, because I was interested in ride quality Seascape/First 27. Against the wind, on a course of 40 degrees, in 10-13 knots of true wind the boat, depending on the waves, gave 5 to 6 knots. Until we noticed that he forgot to raise the engine. Tim said that, if you raise the engine, this will give us about half of the site. And we did it.
3D wiring system of the Scots is so interesting how effective
The headsail on a yacht can be accurately set using 3D wiring system of the Scots, which I found very interesting. And although many yachtsmen cruise ships may find it too confusing option, I think that such a racing boat like this, this wiring looks pretty appropriate. I tinkered with this setting, and immediately saw that the reaction of the boat has changed (in my case not in the direction of better performance…)
The angle of heel is not as big
We then wvlilis even more and tried, the behavior of the boat on the right and on the left tack. Again with the wind in 10-13 knots on Kure from 80 to 100 degrees Seascape/First 27 was easily accelerate to 7-7,4 knots. Remember, we still have been omitted, and the motor rotates the screw, singing in high tones. By the way, a good audible indicator.
Tiller in one hand, the other of the main sheet, allowing to feel the power of the sails
We then wvlilis further, at 120-140 degrees. Seascape/First 27 give is 7.6 – 7.9 knots over ground and that was really fun. Tim assured me that this is nothing compared to the real potential that was in it: the ideal conditions for a gennaker! Surprisingly, when we finally went to the wind when I rolled up the staysail, the boat slowed down. Speed was 7.1 knots under mainsail only. Wow.
Back in the Marina. She goes soooo cool!
Back at the harbour, we moored the boat, and now she no longer looked so small. Seascape/First 27 – this is an interesting boat, it can be a beast with proper management and a solid competitor in regattas, both on inland waters and in coastal waters. It can also be used for cruises and can offer some convenience to a young couple focused on sailing adventures. Good job, Seascape! And also, good job, Beneteau – the new breed of yachts First could not be a better precursor than these cool boats!
Thanks to producers of sails Doyle and Tim in particular!
Author: Lars Reisberg