Beneteau First 40 Page 2
The interior finish is very nice and the production techniques for the wood joinery present a uniformly high quality appearance throughout the boat. The layout belowdecks is similar to the 40.7, with the head forward, creating an ensuite cabin arrangement in the bow. The V-berth is 6ft 8in long and about 2ft at its narrowest.
The light oak veneer creates an airy, contemporary ambience. The nav station has lots of flat surface area and easy access for mounting instruments. The twin aft cabins are spacious, with 6ft of headroom, hanging lockers and decent sized berths measuring 6ft 6in long with a good 5ft at their maximum width. The saloon is accommodating and pleasant; the atmosphere is ideal for evening meals while cruising or relaxing after a race.
On the down side, because the table is on centerline, the saloon is not great for laying out sails or working in general when racing. There could also be more hand-holds. I felt a little vulnerable moving around this space when the boat was well heeled.
Its early sales success suggests that the good-looking First 40 is set to match the popularity of the 40.7. In many respects, the boat looks a little more conservative than its predecessor, but that’s not a bad thing. This is a well-thought-out performance racer-cruiser that will no doubt go from strength to strength.