Skip to main content

Best Boats 2015: Seascape 27

The Mini Class has long served as a feeder into the wild world of singlehanded offshore racing, offering huge adventure in a 21-foot package that emphasizes performance over all else. However, while this works well for the hard-core, 20- and 30-something crowd, Minis are cramped, highly strung raceboats that oftentimes stretch the definition of the term “enjoyable sailing.”
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Mini Class has long served as a feeder into the wild world of singlehanded offshore racing, offering huge adventure in a 21-foot package that emphasizes performance over all else. However, while this works well for the hard-core, 20- and 30-something crowd, Minis are cramped, highly strung raceboats that oftentimes stretch the definition of the term “enjoyable sailing.” Enter the second of our two performance monohull winners, the Seascape 27 (more recently renamed the Beneteau First 27), the brainchild of former Mini sailors who wanted a high-performance, offshore-capable steed that’s both safe and comfortable enough for (limited) cruising.

At first glance, the boat’s slab-sided, hard-chined design, twin rudders, large, retractable sprit pole and open cockpit appear to be all business. However, upon stepping aboard you quickly discover the boat’s softer, cruising-focused side, including an enclosed head (with innovative, iPad cover-esque closure “doors”), cushioned berths, a centerline nav station, a centerboard and generous sail lockers. Couple these amenities with one of the most innovative retractable “integrated outboard” auxiliary power systems that we’ve ever seen, a stiff, powerful hull form and GRP vacuum-infusion construction—as well as positive buoyancy built into the bow and stern sections—and the thought of spending time cruising the boat doesn’t seem at all far-fetched.

While the boat can easily be cruised, her primary design brief is to serve as a shorthanded offshore racer that’s capable of winning trophies— a Seascape 27 claimed top honors in the double-handed division of the 2014 Chicago-Mackinac Race. This cool little boat sports a fat, square-headed mainsail, a stern-mounted flush traveller, carbon-fiber spars and sprit pole, a massive gennaker and fully adjustable headsail leads. Best yet, the boat can be easily trailered to regattas or distant boat ramps, or—for overseas events or to avoid a lengthy beat to windward—packed into a 40-foot shipping container.

beneteau.com

Related

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more

01-LEAD-SPICA-Forest_3

Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained ...read more

01-LEAD-Bill-Sailing2

At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter ...read more