Marine Insight

When Were Boats Invented?

Boats have been used by mankind for thousands of years and are older than any other form of transportation. They have been used throughout history for transporting goods, and people, for conducting warfare, explorations, discoveries and conquests.

The current ships and sailing vessels are advanced versions of the ancient boats. They are just more comfortable and have modern amenities however the basic design and mechanism have remained unchanged. The last 150 years have been extremely crucial in the history of boats and shipping. Directed by the needs of colonization, capitalism and imperialism, boats have become bigger, better and more efficient.

It is interesting to know that the mastery over shipping and possession of a strong naval fleet was key to the dominance of the world in ancient and medieval times. It allowed Britain to carve out the biggest colonial empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Similarly, it allowed the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish and French to conquer the New World or Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Table of Contents

History of boats- when were the earliest boats invented?

The history of boats is older than the history and the earliest evidence of writing in any civilization. The earliest boats were not built by modern humans but by their predecessors, the Homo Erectus about 800,000 years ago and this is how they probably spread from Africa to the other parts of the world.

Archaeological data states that the oldest boat in the world dates back to 8200-7600 BC. It is called the Pesse canoe and was discovered in the Netherlands. It was a three-feet long dugout, meaning it was made from a hollowed bark of the Pinus Sylvestris tree.

However, experts believe that boats were very much in use before that as well. This can be gauged from the earliest depiction of a ship on a rock carving in Azerbaijan dating back to 10,000 BCE! It showed a reed rowing ship carrying about 20 men.

Ancient boat in museum

Another ancient boat is the Uru or the fast boat that promoted ancient seafaring activities. It was designed, constructed and used off the Indian coast. Evidence of its use has been found in Beypore, a village in southern Kerala. These kinds of boats were used by ancient Arabs and Greeks for conducting sea trade and they carried about 400 tonnes of goods in these boats in the early centuries.

Throughout history, the evolution of boats has been slow and continuous and they have been modified according to the needs and changing times. For instance, ancient boats were minimalistic and had a very basic design.

They were called rafts and were made from tree bark, reeds, and logs of wood. In ancient Egypt, these rafts were made using the reeds of Papyrus and were quite sturdy. Cave paintings and relief carvings show that these earliest rafts were used in other regions of the world as well such as Kuwait, Peru, Bolivia, Easter Island and Scandinavia.

Then in medieval and early modern times, there was the invention of warfare ships, steam liners and more recently passenger cruises for recreation and sailing ships for leisure and professional sports.

Tracing the development and evolution of boats

Many civilizations flourished and were then destroyed by the ravages of time. However, archaeological remains have survived and these inform us of the practices, culture and also modes of transportation. Let us look at how boats evolved.

Earliest sailing boats

The evidence of the earliest sailing boats is found in ancient Egypt and they operated in the Nile. The ancient Egyptians were dependent on the Nile for travel that was conducted from present-day Aswan. Relief carvings show that these boats were mainly used for transporting obelisks ( pillars erected at entrances of temples) on the river Nile from Upper Egypt.

Old sailing boat

These boats had masts, sails and oars. They were about 100 meters and were quite durable. Since they were used in the Nile, rowing was required when winds were not dependable. These boats had a single square sail and a row of oarsmen. Later the Romans used the two and three-level bireme and trireme and these boats were huge so they employed more than a dozen oarsmen.

Use of Planks

Metal Age is dated to 3000 BCE when metal was beginning to be used in different ways. In shipping, it led to the development of planks that allowed the construction of larger ships for warfare and conducting trade. The earliest civilizations that made and used these ships were the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Egyptians.

Significant developments occurred in shipbuilding practices and about 2500 BCE, Egyptians started to venture out into the oceans, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. They started making large wooden boats suitable for sea travel.

Galleys in Syria and Lebanon

From about 1550 to 300 BC, the Phoenicians from the Canaan civilization started manufacturing boats known as galleys. It was a vessel that was powered by men and used for trade and warfare. It had rows and many sails for gaining speed. They were very much in use till the 19th century. Galleys used for warfare were highly popular in the 16th century as this marked the age of exploration and discoveries. These galleys were also used as pirate ships and had ammunition and guns as well. The 1571 Lepanto war used hundreds of rowing ships and about 400 galleys and is the largest naval war recorded in history.

Long Boats built by Vikings

From 1000 AD, control over the seas and oceans for gaining political and economic paramountcy was realized by most kingdoms and civilizations. One such was a seafaring group from Scandinavia, called Vikings who raided, traded and settled in Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries.

They constructed ‘longboats’ that were huge ships with sails. They were rowed by 60 to 70 men and were quicker, larger, but also narrow. This made them suitable for rivers and also long-distance open sea travel. They had long overlapping planks and a single huge mainsail. They were used for travel to and from Scandinavia and France, Britain and Spain.

Chinese Boats- Junks

From 1100 AD onwards, the Chinese started to build boats known as junks. These boats utilized rudders for steering and had watertight compartments. It also had battens on the sails that were used for transporting goods and also used as warships. These were much more advanced than the European ships that came in later and had similar features. The largest junk ship measured 150 m and had 9 masts.

Dutch Yachts

The Yachts were invented in the 14th century by the Dutch and were mostly used by rich Danish merchants. They were also part of the Dutch naval fleet at one time.

Galleon ships

The earlier galleys used oars but the Galleon ships of the Spanish had huge sails tied with numerous sturdy ropes. The sails were so broad that many people were required to put them in place. These were used in the 17 th century for transporting goods from the New World. These were also reformed into pirate ships.

Steam Ships

Britain remained a strong naval power but it lost its paramountcy to the United States after the latter achieved independence in 1776. From then Americans started building excellent ships at a much less cost than the British. The advent of the Industrial revolution during the same time led to the development of steam-powered ships, made for long-distance travel.

The earliest steamships were constructed in 1819 and transported cargo and passengers across the Atlantic. These ships worked on steam power. Their engines burned coal to heat water for producing steam in huge boilers. This steam drove the propellers or paddlewheels.

Clipper Vessels

The American ship makers had become one of the finest in the field by the early 1800s and they created Clipper ships. These ships were expansive, and had tall masts and long hulls that were directed for gaining speed quickly.

They had three masts, protruding bows and broad sails. The first clipper vessel was the Rainbow and it was constructed in New York in 1845. Another huge Clipper boat was the Royal Clipper which had a five-masted barque.

Clipper ship

Many other clippers were also constructed in East Boston and were then used in the China-England tea trade after the British East India Company’s monopoly over the Chinese tea trade ended. After that, an American clipper ship called the Witch of the Wave reached England from Canton in only 90 days. In 1854, another clipper called the Lighting covered 436 miles in 24 hours creating new speed records. Thus, the use of clippers was a turning point in the history of shipping and trade.


At the turn of the century, sails and masts began to disappear and also metal was extensively used for building ships. The first ocean liners were built in the late 18th century, around 1845 and extensively used iron. They had propellers and hulls made of steel.

Earlier Atlantic going ships had wooden hulls, and the new lever operated steam engines exerted enormous pressure on the rather fragile bottom in which they were fitted. This made repairs frequent and tiresome. The solution was found and it was iron hulls. This is what gave rise to the earliest ocean liners.


These ships were enormous and one such example is the Great Eastern which measured 692 feet, displaced 32,170 tonnes, and had a propeller, two paddle wheels and an auxiliary sail.

Stern Wheelers and Paddle Steamers

Paddle Steamers

Apart from large ocean-going steamships, there were smaller vessels called paddle steamboats or sternwheelers that operated on rivers. There were paddle wheelers that had paddle wheels on both sides. These riverine boats were used for inland river transportation and travel in Britain and other regions of Europe in the 1880s. They were built for conducting coastal trade with neighbouring areas. As the name suggests, they used paddles and steam.

Diesel Ships

The earliest commercial diesel ships were made in the early 1900s. In 1904, a French diesel ship called Petit Pierre was constructed. It measured 125 feet and had a 25-hp engine with a pitch propeller to reverse it. It was a barge kind of ship and was used in inland waters of the Marne-Rhine canal.

From then onwards, diesel ships became commonplace and had a powerful motor engines.

The invention of the earliest Hovercrafts

Hovercrafts are a type of boat whose bottom is made of air-filled cushions. A hovercraft has three parts- a platform or its bottom, a motor fan and a skirt. The air enters the platform through the fan and the skirt prevents it from escaping outside.


These are sturdy and currently used for various kinds of watersports, and also in military, rescue and search operations and by the Coast Guard. These are lightweight and easy to handle.

The earliest hovercraft was invented and tested by Christopher Cockerell in 1955. The first design was rudimentary and used cushions filled with air.

Container Ships

Over the 19th and the 20th centuries shipbuilding saw many technological advances resulting in the construction of large container ships that were used for international trade. These ships are designed to provide maximum storage space for containerized cargo on the decks.

Container Ship

The hull of a container ship is a large warehouse that is divided into numerous compartments by vertical railings. These cells or compartments are made to keep packed containerised cargo. They are mostly made of steel but other substances such as aluminium, fibreglass and plywood are also used. Container ships carry different materials ranging from packaged food to metals and hazardous substances. Modern container ships can store more than a thousand containers.

Cruise Liners and passenger ships

Passenger ship

In the late 1990s, ships made for recreational purposes like passenger cruises came into vogue. They were exquisite, adorned with all comfort as they were designed for the rich. These could be used for recreational sailing, fishing or just exploring the waters. Since then, passenger cruises have become quite popular and many people love to spend their holidays on an exotic sea voyages.

Boats have been in use since times immemorial. They have evolved; the earliest ones were made of reeds and then wood and finally, iron and steel were used in their construction. They are indispensable and are used for the transportation of people, and goods, and are responsible for the diffusion of cultures, religions and practices across different regions.

You might also like to read:

  • A Guide to Different Types of Boats
  • Types of Sailboats: A Comprehensive Classification
  • Types of Lifeboats Used On Ship

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History of Yachting

History of the Yacht

By: American Sailing Sailing History

When does a boat become a yacht? One answer has always been, you can tell a yacht when you see one. But, It really has nothing to do with size of the boat, weight of the boat, its style, sleeping quarters, heads, tillers, or a wheel. A yacht is a boat that was designed for the express pleasure of its owner.

The yacht is an invention of the 14th century Dutch. The Dutch used small, fast boats for chasing smugglers, pirates and criminals. Rich ship owners and merchants began using these small “ jaghts ” to sail out to celebrate their returning merchant ships. It quickly became chic to use these “ jaghts ” to take friends out just for pleasure.

Mary / King Charles II

“ Mary ” was presented to King Charles II by the Dutch in 1660.

Charles II of England spent 10 years in exile in Holland before he was returned to the English throne in 1660. His return to the throne was celebrated by the city of Amsterdam, presenting him with a luxurious 60’ yacht including a crew of 20. Her name was Mary. He took great pleasure in sailing her up and down the Thames. He studied navigation and even naval architecture and he built approximately 20 yachts during his lifetime. It can be said that he was the world’s first yachtsman. His enthusiasm for yachting was contagious and his brother James, Duke of York, joined him and also became an avid yachtsman as well.

As always when there are two sailboats on the water a race ensues. Soon the first organized regatta was planned as a 40-mile race on the Thames. It took place in 1661 between Katherine , Charles’s newly constructed yacht and Anne , the Duke of York’s new yacht with Charles himself at the helm Katherine won and a new sport was born.

Yachting stayed the Sport of Kings for over a century, but by the 1800s yachting had grown to included participants of more than just the crown heads of Europe. The worlds wealthiest had joined in. Yacht Clubs were forming. The first yacht club in the world, called the Cork Water Club , was established in Ireland in 1720, followed the Lough Ree Yacht Club in 1770 (again in Ireland), and the Starcross Yacht Club in 1772 in England.

Cowes Castle. 1801.

Cowes Castle became the headquarters of the Royal Yacht Squadron around 1858.

Probably the most famous of all the English yacht clubs the The Royal Yacht Squadron was founded on June 1, 1815 in the Thatched House Tavern in St James’s, London as The Yacht Club by 42 gentlemen interested in yachting.

Across the pond the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was started on July 30, 1844 when John Cox Stevens invited eight friends to his yacht Gimcrack , anchored in New York Harbor. They formed a syndicate to build a yacht with the intention of taking her to England and making some money competing in yachting regattas and match races. They choose to build a Pilot style Schooner to represent the club; at the time there was no faster design!

Pilot Schooners would lie at anchor in the inner harbor of New York City and wait for the behmoth square rigged Clippers carrying goods between America and Europe. The Pilot Boats purpose was to guide the huge square riggers that would appear at the entrance to New York Harbor’s Verazno Straights, to a berth in the City. The Schooners had to be fast to make a living. First one to the cargo ship got the job second got nothing.

The syndicate contracted with master schooner designer George Steers for a 101 ft (30.78 m) schooner which was christened America and launched on the 3 of May 1851. America crossed the Atlantic on her own bottom that year and challenged all of England’s fastest yachts to a match race. No yachts were willing to race her. Finally, America joined a free-for-all on Friday, August 22, around the Isle of Wight, racing against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in the club’s annual 53-nautical-mile (98 km) race around the Isle of Wight. Finishing 8 minutes ahead of its closest rival. America had won the Royal Yacht Squadron’s “ Hundred Guinea Cup “, later called the America’s Cup in honor of the yacht that won it.

The Yacht America

The Yacht America

Watching the race was Queen Victoria, who supposedly inquired, “ Which is first? ” Told it was America , she asked, “ Which is second? ” “ Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second, ” was the reply. Or so the story goes. The NYYC defended that trophy from 1870-1983. This has been described by journalists as “ the longest winning streak in sports “.

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Yachting World

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Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years?

  • Toby Hodges
  • March 14, 2023

Is the Beneteau First back to its iconic best with the new lightweight, sporty cruiser-racer for all levels of sailors, the Beneteau First 36?

Product Overview

Price as reviewed:.

You might not appreciate it at first glance, but this could well be the best performance production yacht we’ll see for some time. This realisation creeps up on you slowly, and is further confirmed the more time you spend aboard the new Beneteau First 36.

I’m far from alone in thinking this and the Beneteau First 36 won the highly competitive performance category in this year’s European Yacht of the Year competition – and with unanimous votes from the 12-strong jury.

The Beneteau First 36 is neither brash nor sexy. Rather, it’s modest, simple even, but, as you soon discover, ergonomically brilliant. It’s not perfect of course – a comparatively small and fiddly heads compartment ensures that – but it is a superb marriage of design, engineering and industrial nous. All of which begs the question, is this finally a return to the dual purpose cruiser-racer roots of the First?

First and foremost

What’s in a name? A lot. More than 25,000 yachts in over 70 different model formats have launched bearing the First branding over the last 45 years. These boats gained a reputation for offering cruising comfort combined with race-winning potential, all at an acceptable price point. That hasn’t really been the focus for many years – until now perhaps.

This Beneteau First 36 was conceived initially in 2018 by Seascape, the sportsboat specialists which Groupe Beneteau bought and rebranded the year before. It became a major collaboration between the brands, their designers and engineers. This is the Slovenian yard’s first new Beneteau, tasked with reviving that dual purpose ethos of First and designed to bridge the gap between its sportsboats and the larger, more luxurious French-built Beneteau First 44 and Beneteau First 53 .

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The First 36 is arguably the only mainstream production cruising yacht that can plane in moderate winds. Twin rudders allow you to push but remain in control. Photo: Beneteau First/Ana Šutej

Seascape founders and mini Transat sailors, Andraz Mihelin and Kristian Hajnšek, have collaborated with Sam Manuard on all their designs to date. The racing scene has since caught up and Manuard is now the in-demand Class 40 and IMOCA 60 designer.

Mihelin defines their creation concisely: “It’s designed with one purpose: to motivate people to sail more.” That’s quite the task! Yet since I first sailed with Mihelin on their debut Seascape 18 in 2009, we have seen and frequently discussed how sailing has changed. The desire for space and comfort has driven a burgeoning multihull market, while the planing monohull market has been left largely to a few skilled niche yards such as Pogo and JPK.

Get people sailing

Typically, when you crave the conditions to really send a yacht, you get no such luck. I had two trials out of La Rochelle, where we spent the majority of the time in single figure windspeeds. That said, there was plenty of opportunity to see just how easily driven – and easy to drive – this design is, and to learn more about how it achieves that from the designers and builders who joined us on board.

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Simple but really neat control lines led to hand. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

The light breezes dictated that our preferred option was to reach whenever possible with a big (140m2) blue gennaker, where we could induce some heel and make average speeds of 8-8.5 knots. The Beneteau First 36 is designed to hit double figures in around 14 knots wind and we noted how it starts planing in the high 8-knot boatspeeds in around 12 knots wind.

It also has the stability and control to keep plenty of sail up when speed reaching. A couple of my fellow European Yacht of the Year jury members did get to sail it in 20 knots and recorded figures of 10-13.5 knots under Code 0 at 90° and up to 14.5 knots under kite at 120°. That’s rapid for an 11m monohull.

The Beneteau First 36 is also quick upwind, even in the light stuff, where we typically made around 7 knots in these conditions, although it’s not one for pointing too high – start to pinch (less than 45° true) and you quickly sacrifice half a knot.

The sporty feel on the helm and how it moves on the water is the real take away. It’s a light boat with plenty of rocker and is responsive to longitudinal weight distribution, so crew weight distribution will be important when racing. Nevertheless, on the second day in slightly lighter breezes and with eight people aboard, we maintained a consistent 7.5 knots, occasionally touching 8 knots with the gennaker (with little attention to crew weight positioning!).

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Manuard’s powerful hull shape uses reverse sheer for a low look. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

It’s the ease of that speed that stood out. For a 36ft boat to be averaging high rather than mid single figures, is the difference between sporty and displacement sailing. That translates to a significant increase in fun factor too. The First has a very high sail area to displacement ratio and although it’s technically a planing/high performance boat, it doesn’t look like one whether on or below decks.

How do they do that?

The mastery lies in the engineering and build. The Seascape team has produced an impressively light standard boat, a fully cored, vacuum infused hull and deck with sandwich bulkheads. Everything is structural with no needless weight. It’s closer to specialist race boat building than the more industrial methods its parent company specialises in, yet without the expensive exotic materials. The wide but short foam cored swim platform weighs just 8kg for example, and the overall light displacement is under 4.8 tonnes.

Article continues below…

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Seascape 24 – a pocket family sports cruiser that fits in an exciting and popular sailing niche

Seascape is a Slovenian company that produces speedy sportsboats inspired by Open class racing yachts – mini performance cruisers that…

first yacht

Beneteau First 44 review

There’s a glassy calm, without a ripple on the water, yet we’re slipping along on the new Beneteau First 44…

“There’s no silver bullet here, it’s lots of small things,” Mihelin comments. All scantlings were optimised by Kiwi specialists Pure Design and Engineering and adapted by Manuard and Hajnšek to within labour cost targets.

The ease with which you can maintain good speeds on the water is one thing, but then there’s the ease of sailing the boat. As the boat’s interior designer Lorenzo Argento proved, you can spend long periods reaching with no hands on the wheel as it tracks along effortlessly. He is so impressed he has bought a Beneteau First 36 for his 60th Birthday.

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The First 36 is a great deal of fun to sail. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

In fact, there was very little pressure increase in helm on all angles, whether sailing upwind under jib at 7 knots, or beam reaching with the code 0 at 8.5 knots. “Sam’s brief was that we don’t want a boat that’s hard to sail,” says Mihelin.

The Jefa steering links to high aspect rudders on stainless steel stocks. Were twin rudders really needed on this, as it’s not an overly beamy shape? A well mannered boat is part of the core brief, Manuard replies, adding that with this type of hull shape even pros would struggle to control it with a single rudder when pressed.

Manuard has found fame with his scow bow shapes so I was also curious if he’d considered that approach here. “We thought it out of the scope of the boat – it’s not an extreme racer,” he explains. “The scow comes with negatives, the slamming is really difficult to bear… the biggest point of this boat is that it suits a lot of people.”

first yacht

Warmth of wood. The compact galley has adequate stowage, particularly in the raised lockers and bin outboard of the sink. Photo: Branko Ceak

The designer used reverse sheer as a styling and space trick, to keep the bow and stern comparatively low (the latter to avoid a bulky appearance), yet maintain reasonable coachroof height for access. The deck design is also deliberately simple. “It’s one of the reasons we threw out a tiller system,” says Mihelin, explaining that the Beneteau Group has a lot of customer and user data, and knew that 90% of 37.7s were sold with wheels.Nevertheless, a tiller is an option many racing and short-handed sailors would love to have on this boat.

Keep it simple

The clean, working cockpit transforms from cruising to racing mode by removing the aft sets of cockpit benches and table, leaving just the short forward benches. This not only jettisons some weight but frees up key space to work the sheets, particularly the primary winches, where there is then space enough to stand and grind.

first yacht

The navstation is comfortable and a good size, although you lose seated headroom outboard, and the saloon is generous and comfy. Photo: Branko Ceak

A prime benefit of creating a lightweight shell is that you can take weight out of the appendages too. Here a 1.5 tonne cast iron keel and unfussy Z-Spars aluminium rig comes as standard, while a square top main was rejected because it adds weight to the mast and the additional complication of runners.

All running rigging is left exposed, led aft to a bank of six clutches each side of the companionway. The jib sheets are led through low friction rings, controlled via in- and outhaul purchase systems each side, to give full cockpit control of jib sheet leads and angles with minimal weight. Tail bags help keep the cockpit and companionway area tidy and the six-winch layout is designed to allow cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side.

There’s a slot in front of the wheels to work the mainsheet winches, and without the aft benches, more space to sit and trim the main or jib. The traveller controls and backstay purchase are led neatly to camcleats here too, within reach of trimmer or helm.

The stanchions are through-bolted with supports for hiking crew, while an offshore hatch on the foredeck provides bracing if changing headsails. On deck stowage is in a quarter locker and one large main aft locker, from where the steering gear is accessed.

first yacht

simple, no frills forward cabin has 6ft headroom up to the berth, a single locker and raised shelving. Photo: Branko Ceak

Lightweight performance yachts are typically stripped or have a very minimalist feel, an impression you certainly don’t get here. The Beneteau/Seascape team has been clever in maintaining a feeling of warmth and a certain level of cruising comfort needed for a dual-purpose boat.

The surprising part is perhaps how this is achieved, in that many of the kilos that have been saved, by using sandwich bulkheads rather than any structural plywood for example, are added back in the form of proper doors, tables, wooden floors and trim. It makes a difference between cruising and camping aboard.

Key criteria were to include a proper navstation for racing with a chart table large enough to be used as an office desk, and a three cabin only layout. The thinking is that a two cabin yacht of this size would typically have a stowage area in place of the third cabin, whereas here the identical aft cabins are adaptable and can both be used either as doubles or a single with large work cabin/stowage space.

Overall, the interior is kept symmetrical and simple with easy flowing access. The central island, with its integral two-level fridge, is an excellent feature. Conceived by Argento, it provides bracing where you need it most, yet a clear passage each side, which will be valuable for moving or stacking sails. A large wooden chopping board extends work surface space by joining the island to the sink or chart table.

first yacht

Aft cabins are clever as they can be used as doubles or work cabin/stowage space. Photo: Branko Ceak

The saloon has long, sleepable berths with particularly comfortable cushions, however, with tanks below the berths, practical accessible stowage is found wanting. An angled V-shaped entrance to the forward cabin and heads helps extend the saloon and there is decent space at both ends of the table to sit or walk around.

The small heads compartment and decision to go with a door that opens inwards will be an area of contention, and the lack of separate shower a potential deal breaker. The solution is more reminiscent of an airline- or train-style toilet. While it is possible to shut the door after you, it takes a bit of practice and larger crew will need contortionist skills. The folding sink is neatly done, with a drop down mirror above it, but it leaves you questioning the long term practicality and durability of such a fitting.

Build quality is impressive. The Beneteau First 36 has a vacuum infused Vinylester hull and deck and a Corecell foam core. “Using foam helped us take 200kg out of the hull”, says Seascape’s CTO Hajnšek, adding that Pure Design helped them to get rid of balsa as a core. The lightweight sandwich technique results in all the liners weighing just 60kg for (an estimated 200kg saving).

Seascape will know better than any that it can shed another 300-500kg by removing timber and using a different keel. It leads one to think there’ll be a turbo edition of this model in the future, with tiller, water ballast and foam cored furniture.

If you enjoyed this….

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The First 36 strips away sailing complexities in an effort to ensure it can be fun for crewed racing and short-hand sailing. This is the planing boat amateur sailors can enjoy. It’s no glitzy head turner, we’ve yet to see how it will rate and perform on the race course, and it’s fairly basic with small tanks for cruising. However, it still firmly ticks the cruiser-racer box. It’s built with production ‘standard’ (non-exotic) materials, and thanks to good design and engineering, it delivers on the water. Is this a new First icon then? The First marque used to dominate the value-for-money cruiser-racer sector, and this model arguably takes us back to those roots. And yet the 36 introduces another factor above these – high performance that is approachable enough to encourage fun for all levels of sailors. The heads is arguably a mistake and will be inconvenient for larger crewmembers. I also wonder if they can be built quickly enough to this standard, while hoping that the more sustainable materials Beneteau is already employing on its First 44 can be used for this model soon too. But how refreshing! A stiff, planing boat that puts the focus back on sailing is surely the way to go. Easy speed equates to more sailing time. The 36 is indeed class. First class.

first yacht

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  • St Barth’s Bucket
  • BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival
  • Les Voiles de Saint Barth
  • Antigua Sailing Week
  • ORC Mediterranean Championships
  • Les Voiles de St Tropez
  • Rolex Swan Cup
  • Club Swan Events
  • Tre Golfi Sailing Week
  • Copa del Rey Regatta
  • Palermo – Montecarlo
  • Rolex Maxi Cup
  • Loro Piana Giraglia
  • Rolex Middle Sea Race
  • Women's Open Keelboat Championship
  • Royal Southern Summer Series
  • Round the Island Race
  • Taittinger Regatta
  • Dartmouth Regatta
  • Little Britain Challenge Cup
  • Rolex Fastnet Race
  • Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland
  • SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race
  • RORC Baltic Sea Race
  • Gotland Runt – ÅF Offshore Race
  • Newport Bermuda Race
  • NYYC Annual Regatta
  • Hamilton Island Race Week
  • Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
  • Cape 2 Rio Race
  • Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
  • RORC TransAtlantic Race
  • Regatta Concierge
  • Crew Spaces
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  • Charter my Yacht

First 53 – Yagiza

The vision for the First 53 was for high-performance cruising for an owner keen on regattas.  This luxury performance sailing yacht has a well-balanced helm, easy-flow deck plan and a modern marine interior with white lacquered bulkheads and moulded wood. 

With a flush teak deck, low coachroof and a sleek modern look, she has all the virtues of a thoroughbred. The First Yacht 53 marks a new era for First Yachts with a top quality mast, high-end deck gear and a powerful sail plan that is easily controlled by a shorthanded crew.

  • Specifications


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Please contact us if you are interested in this event.

How much should I tip the boat captain/crew?

The crew will work hard to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable time on board. If you have enjoyed your charter we would suggest a 10% is customary.

How do I confirm a yacht charter?

To confirm a charter we will send you a charter agreement for signature and invoice for a deposit. The owner will counter-sign the charter agreement and then your charter will be confirmed

What else will I need to pay for?

In addition to the charter fee you will pay an Advanced Charter Allowance (ACA) from which the cost for all food and drink for the duration of the charter, fuel, marina and any other additional expenses will be deducted.

What happens once I have booked?

Once you have booked a cruising charter we will be in touch to gather your charter preferences including dietary preferences, meal times and itinerary. We will liaise with the chef to arrange a proposed menu for the charter and put you in touch with the crew via Whatsapp chat.

What are high and low season dates for Caribbean cruising charters

High Season includes the Christmas and New Year period (approx 28th December – 7th January) and 2 weeks around Easter

Can I charter a yacht for a corporate event?

Yes, we offer corporate yacht charters that are perfect for team-building exercises and other corporate functions.

What insurance will I need?

The yacht is fully insured but you will need your own personal insurance that covers yacht racing

Do I need an owners rep/boat captain and what role will they have?

Most of our yachts have to come with a boat captain / owner’s representative; this person isn’t there to be the skipper and they can fit into your team wherever you need. There knowledge of the boat can help you get the best performance from the boat and minimise avoidable damage.

Eating out as a crew?

If you decide to venture out as a group and wish to include the permanent crew, please remember that what is your holiday is their job. If you would like to show your appreciation for all their hard work in making your holiday a success by asking them to join you for a night out, then please be kind enough to pay for their expenses.

What is racing yacht charter?

Racing yacht charter is a unique opportunity that allows you to charter a race prepared yacht with your team and participate in regattas around the world. We can cater for race charter opportunites from a group of friends wanting a fun regatta in the sun to a professional team looking for silverwear.

Do I need sailing experience to participate in a racing yacht charter?

Sailing experience requirements varies according to yacht and regatta of choice. Some yachts like a Volvo 65 require more sailing experience than joining the team on a 40′ racer cruiser. When arranging your charter with you we discuss any pre-requisite experience with you.

What is the duration of a racing yacht charter?

For most racing charters your schedule will include 2 training days prior to the event start date, for offshore races a third day for boat preparation will also be included.

What additional costs should I expect?

In addition to the charter fee you may pay a security deposit and an Advanced Charter Allowance (ACA) to cover charter related costs including race entry, berthing and other charter related costs.

Can you arrange accommodation?

Yes, we offer a regatta concierge service which means that in addition to arranging your race entry and berthing we can also recommend and book accommodation ashore, flights, transfers and restaurant bookings as well as much more.* * 10% service charge applies for regatta concierge services

Once you have booked a charter we will be in touch to gather crew information in order to handle the race entry on your behalf. As the regatta date approaches we will connect you with the Boat Captain via Whatsapp chat and provide useful information on both the event and on the location. We are available at any time via phone or email to answer any other questions or queries you may have.

What is the security deposit for?

The security deposit is to cover damage to the yacht, that is more than just general wear and tear that would be expected when racing. In the worst case scenario it will cover the excess should there be the need for a claim on the yacht’s insurance. However, it is also there to cover less serious damage that does not warrant an insurance claim like damages to sails. If there is no damage then we will refund the security deposit in the week following the charter. If there are any damages the value of these damages will be assessed and the balance of the security deposit refunded after these costs have been deducted.

Get In Touch

Call: +44 (0) 20 3920 6261 Email: [email protected]

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Owner's advice: Top tips for buying your first yacht

Buying your first yacht isn’t something anyone should enter into lightly. Without knowledge or experience, it is easy to find yourself led astray by the  inspiring yacht concepts  of boundary-pushing designers or talked into building a  super-fast yacht  with technical capabilities you’ll never use.

With this in mind, BOAT spoke to a number of experienced serial yacht owners who know a thing or two about the buying and building process. Here are their top tips on what to look out for, what to avoid and how to make sure you get the yacht you really want.

Consider all of your options

When Steve Sidwell , owner of 34 metre Ascente , began looking for his perfect yacht he had his dream vessel in mind - but couldn't find her anywhere. “I went to the Monaco Yacht Show and I came to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show maybe three years in a row. I looked at all the different boats and none of them fit,” he says. “It’s a million-dollar-a-year operating budget. I don’t want to spend that. It means one or two engineers on board as well and I don’t want that. A big crew, I don’t want that. I want my kids and me to be able to operate the boat."

Having done the rounds of all the turnkey yachts on the market it was time to consider a different route to life on the waves. “I wasn’t intent on doing a refit , but I never really found anything that was a good fit for me in my price range, and then I found this boat and within 20 minutes I thought, ‘That’s it.’” A lot of, admittedly, hard work and determination later, Sidwell now has the family-friendly yacht he'd always wanted and the memories of round-the-world adventures to go with it.

Aesthetics aren't everything

When a fire on their yacht Camarina Royale put Jack and Mary McClurg in the market for a new superyacht there were some big aesthetic obstacles Mary had to get past when Jack suggested Marcato (now Friendly Confines) . “We’d been running around looking at boats all day and our broker said we could get on Marcato that afternoon, but Mary refused to go,” Jack explains. And, while he immediately fell in love, Mary couldn't stand her but, as she explains, “I knew he loved it. If the price was right, then so be it. I couldn’t be the reason he didn’t have it.”

Don't be afraid of impulse buys

When Elizabeth and Rory Brooks came to make their first yacht purchase, it was an impulse buy that led them to classic Feadship Heavenly Daze . “We were in the South of France chartering a motor yacht, and it broke down,” says Elizabeth. “And so we were stuck in the marina at Port Cogolin. There was this boat moored next to us, which was a very pretty classic yacht, and my husband persuaded the captain to talk to their captain and we had a look around.” That yacht, of course, was Heavenly Daze and, as Elizabeth explains, "The first thing you fall in love with is very often the right thing.”

Buy the right yacht for the trip you plan to take

When Tara Getty bought the classic yacht Blue Bird it was with one thing in mind: an epic round-the-world adventure including a search for buried treasure on the remote Cocos Islands. And how better to get there than in a boat built by Sir Malcolm Campbell specifically for the journey - albeit 67 years earlier? "We did it – we finished the journey Campbell started,” Getty says. “The vision for the trip was my children. My eldest son finished school in South Africa in December 2014 and was starting in England the following September. So we had that December to September period. It was the most amazing opportunity to do something with the children.” Of course, Getty and his family did enjoy a few modern upgrades on board Blue Bird - including zero speed stabilisers for that often rocky Pacific crossing. “I wanted two of everything," Getty explains. "Watermakers, washing machines, dryers, so if something breaks we can continue. At one point our hydraulic pack broke but we had enough redundancies to carry on.”

Think about the purpose of your yacht before design begins

Serial sailing yacht owner Mike Slade faced the issue of creating regatta-ready charter yachts with every one of his new builds. His advice – know what you want before the design process has even begun. "The question is, how do you mix the chartering and the racing?,” he told Boat International of the build of Leopard 3 . “You are going to be heavy, so it's up to the designer to offset that heaviness and reduce the disadvantage - so upwind we'll pull out [distance on the opposition]."

Even if you have a distinct dream or vision for your yacht, chances are the designers and builders you employ may not quite understand it – as Patti Seery discovered when she set about building her traditional Indonesian phinisi Silolona . "I wanted to do a phinisi because I knew they could be better and safer if purpose-built for chartering; plus I love the element of history and the sheer joy of sailing on a wooden ship,” Seery explains. The only problem was finding a Western designer who could work the traditional Indonesian craftsmen – an issue which would take a lot of patience on Seery’s part.

"I went through four naval architects trying to find someone who understood my vision before meeting Michael Kasten . I [had also] befriended a group of traditional Konjo boat builders from the tiny village of Ara who build the majority of large wooden cargo boats in Indonesia. There was one small problem. They had never built a boat to plans before Silolona .” The answer, she says, was a hands-on approach, “I knew the only way I'd be successful was if I put the full-on Western approach aside. So I went out to the boat graveyard and saw the problems for myself."

Know your limits

When sailing yacht and charter business owner Barry Houghton ordered Salperton II – the biggest yacht ever built by Alloy Yachts at the time – for racing, he thought she was his dream vessel. The truth, however, was that she was just too much for him. “I sold her as she was too big for me,” he explains. “The flybridge was too far from the water and you don’t get the real feeling of sailing. I sold her well and decided to go for something in the 40 to 45 metre range.” The result was the 44 metre Dubois -designed Salperton III (now Mes Amis ), which was built at Fitzroy Yachts in New Zealand but she too proved to be a costly learning curve for Houghton. “Immediately before I took delivery, I ordered another as I could see things that I could improve,” he says. “Unfortunately I lost money but it was the right decision.”

Determination and passion are everything

When Sir Charles Dunstone chose to undertake the huge restoration project that was classic yacht Shemara , many of his fellow owners thought he was crazy. Shemara was in a state after languishing in a derelict dockyard for years but Dunstone's passion for the project kept him going.

“I see Shemara and I think how amazing it could be,” he explains. “My mind has a very bad habit of just disregarding everything that’s going to be awful and thinking, ‘Come on, we can do this, we’ll find a way, it’ll be OK.’ In a funny way, the bigger the project is, the more enthusiastic I am.”

“We rented the shed ourselves, we hired the naval architects and then tendered each job,” he says of his unique approach to the restoration. “You don’t know what you’re going to find with a project like Shemara - there’s no way anyone could give a quote for this boat. And once your boat is in pieces in their yard, you’re just going to be completely held to ransom.”

Charter first to find out what you like

When fashion designer Giorgio Armani set about building his first boat he was helped a great deal by previous yachting experiences. “Sometimes they’d belong to people I knew, sometimes they were just chartered. Invariably they were not my style – too white, too much lighting, too much marble, crystal and mahogany,” he explains.

Armani’s yacht, the 65 metre Codecasa Main , was far from your average gleaming white hull. “Painting Maìn green was a choice made to camouflage her at sea, so it doesn’t appear too flashy,” he says. “I designed Main entirely, taking inspiration from particular military vessels that looked very practical, and from the optimisation of space that is a characteristic of old ships. Notably, I set out to rid the decks of all superstructures that might break up the purity of line.”

Find a designer who understands your vision

Aside from the builder there is perhaps no other party that has quite such a large impact on your yacht than the designer. Whether you're building from scratch for the first time or the fifth, it's important you find a designer who understands your vision, lifestyle and what your hopes are for your new superyacht. Pier Luigi Loro Piana , a serial sailing yacht owner, explains this eloquently in his relationship with famed yacht designer Mario Pedol , “He is a boat designer who has an engineering company. He works with more specialist architects, like Bruce Farr, like Vrolijk. He is the number one in Italy in my opinion."

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Man gets realistic picture of his boat painted on a fence intended to hide it

A California man who was ordered to keep his boat out of sight has had the last laugh by commissioning an artist to paint a realistic image of it on the fence that obscures it.

Local government officials told Etienne Constable, of Seaside, California, in July that he had to build a 6-foot fence to hide the boat from view of his neighbors.

In a light-hearted jibe at officialdom, Constable decided to follow the directive, which said nothing about how the fence should be decorated, and asked local artist Hanif Panni to create a mural that makes it look as if the fence isn't there.

"I’m not a rule-breaker, but I like to make a political statement as necessary, as well as a humorous statement and a creative statement," he told NBC affiliate KSBW of Monterey Bay .

Man paints boat on fence erected to conceal boat

He is yet to have had any contact from the city about the mural — but he said he considers it to be covered by the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the First Amendment.

"The reaction is extremely more than we ever expected, and we’re both just tickled about it," Constable said, referring to the stir the image has made on social media, where it has been shared many times.

Panni, who paints images across the Central Coast area, told KSBW: "I’m a big proponent of public art in spaces. It engages people in ways that reaching out and having conversations doesn’t sometimes."

And Panni added that since the Seaside boat mural has gone viral, other boat owners have approached him to see whether he can do the same for them.

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Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

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This New 164-Foot Superyacht Will Use Methanol Fuel Cells to Produce Emissions-Free Power

The setup can generate up to 100kw, with the engines and diesel generators turned off., rachel cormack.

Digital Editor

Rachel Cormack's Most Recent Stories

This new 131-foot superyacht concept brings high architecture to the high seas, isa unveils a trio of sleek new superyachts, wider yachts is debuting a 92-foot hybrid catamaran at the venice boat show—here’s a first look.

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Sanlorenzo 50Steel Superyacht

Sanlorenzo made marine history over the weekend.

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Sanlorenzo 50Steel Superyacht

Developed in partnership with Siemens Energy, the modular reformer fuel cell system first transforms biomethanol, a.k.a. green methanol , into hydrogen and then into clean electrical energy, meaning no hydrogen needs to be stored on board. The setup can generate up to 100kW, with the engines and diesel generators turned off. Sanlorenzo estimates the system will cover about 90 percent of the typical usage time of a superyacht with zero emissions. In terms of grunt, the 50Steel will be powered by MAN engines that enable a max speed of 16 knots, a cruising speed of 12.5 knots, and a range of 4,000 nautical miles at 11 knots.

In addition, the new 50Steel will feature an industry-first Hidden Engine Room (HER) that increases the amount of living space while keeping the yacht under 500 GT. The engine room, which typically covers two levels, has been cleverly integrated into the under lower deck with the propulsion systems spread out horizontally. The HER has created more square footage on the lower deck in which Sanlorenzo has added an Ocean Lounge.

The exterior decks are nothing to sneeze at, either. At the aft, the sprawling beach club is equipped with a striking pool and three fold-out terraces that open to create more than 1,600 square feet of space at anchor. A second pool can be found on the sundeck.

The first 50Steel will be delivered this July.

From Hydrogen to Methanol: Meet the Fuels That Are Helping Yachts Cruise More Sustainably

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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Watch CBS News

Authorities ID boat operator who fatally struck 15-year-old Ella Adler

By CBS Miami Team

Updated on: May 15, 2024 / 6:46 PM EDT / CBS/CNN

MIAMI - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission identified the boat operator in connection to the death of 15-year-old Ella Adler, who was struck while water skiing in Biscayne Bay on Saturday.

Authorities say Carlos Guillermo Alonso, 78, of Coral Gables, was the boat's operator.

They say he was the only occupant of the vessel on that day, according to the one-page incident report.  

FWC24ON0038760_updated-2 by sergio.candido on Scribd

The boat was discovered behind a home in the Hammocks Oaks neighborhood in Coral Gables. Neighbors described the man who lives in the home as a family man and an experienced boater. They said he was devastated by what happened.

Rodney Barreto, the Chairman of the FWC,  said this about Ella's death, "It's touched our community in a way." 

"When you're 15 years old you don't expect to go out on a boat and not come home." 

The new preliminary FWC report says she had been on a boat with 12 other people and was being towed while on a wakeboard. 

Records show Alonso owns the house where the vessel was seized.

"The gentleman who was driving the boat who is cooperating with us is Mr. Alonso," said Barreto.

"We have some physical evidence that we have recovered that we have sent to our state lab for testing." 

Barreto says officers used witness descriptions to find the boat.

"It was good old-fashioned police work by our officers. 
We asked them to go up and down the canals from Coconut Grove to South Miami. They went up and down the canals with the physical description they had and recognized the boat." 

Batteto said there was no evidence pointing to reckless or drunk driving.

It's not known if the driver will be cited or charged.

"Our job is to gather information and present it to the State Attorney, so they can do their job." 

The loss of Ella Adler prompts this warning from Barreto: "Make sure you pay attention to the water and always look around because things can happen on the water and they can happen very quickly."

"We encourage people to use a lot of caution and go to boating safety schools." 

"Florida has the most registered boats in the country and Miami-Dade has the most registered boats than any county in Florida."


Ella, the granddaughter of US Ambassador to Belgium Michael M. Adler, was water skiing with friends Saturday near the Nixon Beach sandbar when she fell in the water while being towed and was struck by another boat. The operator of that boat never stopped.

An all out search was then launched to find the boat and driver.

On Wednesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife believed they had found it. 

"I am pleased to report that we have a vessel in custody that matches the description given by witnesses," said FWC's George Reynaud. "The boat is in our custody and the owner is cooperating with us."

On Monday morning, hundreds of people attended services for Adler at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach.

On Tuesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stopped by in person to offer her condolences and be with the family.

"We are honored that the First Lady paid a shiva call to our family during this time of immense pain. We are touched by their support and love and we are proud to call the President and First Lady our friends for over 40 years," according to a statement from the family.

Adler was a freshman at Ransom Everglades High School and a ballerina with the Miami City Ballet.

"We are heartbroken," Ransom Everglades posted on Facebook. "Ella Adler '27 shined in our classrooms and on our stages, and she embodied the mission of Ransom Everglades School. We wish peace and comfort to her family."

"We at Miami City Ballet and the Miami City Ballet School are utterly devastated by the heartbreaking news of this tragic accident," said the organization which described Adler as a beloved student and a magnificent dancer who graced their stage. "Our hearts go out to Ella's family, friends, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing and adoring her. As we come together, we will profoundly grieve the loss of Ella, and hold dear the precious memories we were fortunate enough to create with her."

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Adler family at this difficult time," the US Embassy to Belgium said in a statement. "Out of respect for their privacy, we have nothing further."

Anyone who saw the accident or anyone who might have video footage or information about it is urged to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).


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Erin Foster welcomes first baby at home ‘like a beast’ with husband Simon Tikhman

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Erin Foster and Simon Tikhman

David Foster just gained another grandchild!

The composer’s daughter Erin Foster gave birth to her and husband Simon Tikhman’s first baby, sharing the news via Instagram Sunday.

“Truly the most insane experience of my life, with the best ending,” she captioned black-and-white photos of herself delivering daughter Noa at home.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Erin Foster (@erinfoster)

Erin Foster and Simon Tikhman

“Noa Mimi Tikhman being nothing like her mother who is always late, arrived two weeks early at 4:41am on May 17th,” the new mom continued. “Being totally unbiased I would say she’s perfect and super advanced already, and might be the first person I’ve met who prefers me to Simon.

“Gave birth to her au naturale in our bed like a beast, but also would have taken heroine in the moment if someone offered. Simon would like everyone to know he’s a warrior too ❤️.”

The “Barely Famous” co-creator, 41, debuted her baby bump in a November 2023 Instagram post.

“It feels like we need something positive right now, so I’d like to offer something,” she captioned the reveal . “I’m pregnant!”

Erin Foster

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Her celeb pals shared congratulatory comments at the time, with “The Office” alum B.J. Novak joking that she would give birth to David’s “favorite grandchild.”

Bumble’s Amy Griffin chimed in to say that Sara Foster and Jordan Foster owed Erin “a lot of babysitting time” as she had been “the best aunt” to their little ones.

Jordan, 38, is the mother of Otto and Junie with husband Tomas Woodger, while Sara, 43, shares daughters Valentina and Josephina with partner Tommy Haas.

David also has an additional five grandchildren between his two eldest daughters Allison, 54, and Amy, 50.

Erin Foster and Simon Tikhman

In addition to his five adult children , David has a baby of his own.

The Grammy winner and his wife, Katharine McPhee, welcomed son Rennie , now 3, in February 2021.

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While the couple have chosen to hide the toddler’s face on social media, they often show off his drumming skills .

As for baby No. 2, the “American Idol” alum, 40, told “Jennifer Hudson Show” viewers in January 2023 that she “would love” to expand her family .

Erin Foster and Simon Tikhman

She and David, 74, have been married since June 2019 , tying the knot in London six months before Erin and Tikhman’s nuptials .

The couple had a New Year’s Eve wedding on the heels of Tikhman’s romantic Napa proposal .

They have been together since 2018.

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Erin Foster and Simon Tikhman


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first yacht

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Capitalizing on over  40 years of expertise , the First 53 is the latest member of the First range launched by BENETEAU in 1977. With sights set on high-performance cruising and more, this “ Luxury Performance ” sailing yacht was designed for sailors who demand speed in absolute comfort. With a well-balanced hull and sensationally responsive helm, free-flowing deck plan, and a truly avant-garde interior, the  First 53  embodies the renaissance of the legendary First name.

NAVAL ARCHITECT : Biscontini Yacht Design

INTERIOR & DECK DESIGN : Lorenzo Argento

Exterior design

The First 53 is a deft execution of style and power, an ocean-racing thoroughbred aptly camouflaged behind a sleek, stylish figure. The gentle reverse sheer and low-slung coachroof make her look fast even when she is moored. Yet, there is simply no compromise to comfort or safety in her cockpit and deck layout, both of which are free-flowing, cleverly arranged, and exceedingly elegant. Her performance mast, high-end deck gear, and finely tuned hull deliver unparalleled thrills in any conditions, whether enjoying a doublehanded sunset run or a fully crewed offshore race.

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Interior Design

The modern, almost minimalist interior represents a true departure from the norm, offering a completely reimagined living space with a focus on practicality, comfort, and style. To starboard, a dedicated home-style couch is the ideal place for lounging and relaxation, and to port, the extendable dinner table offers up to six seats without permanently taking up room in the salon. Polished, molded woods pleasantly contrast the lacquered white bulkheads, creating a bright feeling that is also undeniably warm. There is plenty of storage space throughout the boat, which is offered in both a three-cabin two-head or three-cabin three-head configuration, and the highly customizable L-shape galley is user-friendly, both at sea and at anchor. Well-placed hatches and windows ensure excellent ventilation and infuse the interior with an abundance of natural light.

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A First in every detail, the First 53 took two years to develop and represents the gold standard for performance luxury cruising. The attention to detail and the focus on innovation are evident in all areas of the boat.

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The First 53 matches benchmark sailing performance with a completely new interior. It houses a large sofa with a coffee table, plus a convertible dinner table, creating two distinct living areas that are articulated around the moments of the day.

The designer, Lorenzo Argento, focused on free-flowing movement between the helm stations, easy access to the foredeck, and judicious sheet and winch positioning. Behind the lifting transom, which converts to a swim platform, you can easily stow away an 8 foot tender in the tender garage.


To achieve maximum exhilaration at the helm, we focused on creating a perfectly balanced hull. The center of buoyancy is aligned on the center of effort. With a maximum beam carried further aft, three keel configurations and twin rudders, as well as her powerful sail plan, she is as responsive as a dinghy and accelerates in an instant.

Spend less time maintaining your boat and more time on the water with the SEANAPPS app, the innovative application that gives you constant connectivity with your yacht.

Equipped With SEANAPPS

The easiest way to keep your boat safe and ready to cruise anytime.

The new Seanapps  app is the ultimate solution to help you indulge your passion for boating. With the touch of your finger, you can easily connect, monitor and order services for your boat – from routine maintenance, to requesting a wash or fuel or having us complete a repair.


Virtual tour

The information below is intended for general informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contractual agreement. Any descriptions, representations, or statements made in this document are not to be considered binding unless explicitly stated otherwise in a formal contractual agreement.

Length Overall

Beam overall

Light displacement

Air Draft Max

Fuel Capacity

Water Capacity

Max. engine power

Cabin Number

CE Certification

A10 / B12 / C14

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  • CE Certification A10/B12/C14 (14 passengers on board)
  • Cockpit divided into two sections: twin helm stations with easy access to the side decks and a relaxing salon area
  • Central aisle in the double cockpit salon, seats convert into two large sun loungers, solid wood tables, large lockable storage lockers.
  • Spacious swim platform offering access to beneath the cockpit where an inflatable tender can be stowed (7'10")
  • Wide-beam: Much more interior space for use as a live aboard
  • Straight slender bow

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3 cabins - 2 heads

  • C-shaped fitted galley: fridge, sink, 3-ring hob, oven, storage and large worktop
  • Large salon with two spaces: relaxation space with a sofa and a dining space with extending table
  • Extra spacious master cabin: 5'3" wide island bed, two hanging lockers, plenty of storage and large portholes on either side.
  • Two aft cabins with double berths
  • Two shower rooms with separate shower compartment and sea view
  • Several hull portholes and deck hatches make the space naturally bright

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3 cabins - 3 heads

  • Large salon with two spaces: relaxation space with a sofa and a meal space with a dining table
  • Private shower rooms for each cabin with separate shower and sea view

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North Sails

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Press Reviews

Sailing today.

Bling me sunshine,  Read more

SAIL Magazine

Boat Review - Luxury performance-cruising isn’t entirely new. You can go fast and still be comfortable. Read More

Cruising World

Boat Review - The BENETEAU First Yacht 53 is designed and built to get you there in a hurry—and you’ll be stylin’ all the way. Read More

Yachting World

BENETEAU First 53 review: This French cruiser backs up its bold first impressions. Read More

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First Yacht 53 : a fast, practical, good-looking ocean-going cruiser

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First Yacht 53: quick to clock up the miles

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First Yacht 53 : 17 meters of sheer sensation

Benefiting from the “First” legacy of 40 years at sea, the eagerly awaited First Yacht 53 will make her preliminary series of tacks early this autumn.

Customer Care

Buying a BENETEAU doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We have teams of experts to guide you through the entire process – everything from sea trials, financing, and customization to after-sale commissioning, service, and maintenance. We are proud to have one of the largest, most highly-regarded dealer networks in the world. We’re ready to provide you with the assistance and expertise needed to launch you and your BENETEAU on a lifetime of happy, rewarding, and memorable voyages.

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Other models in the range

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4.3 m / 14’1’’

1.7 m / 5’7’’

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7.29 m / 23’ 11’’

2.5 m / 8’ 2’’

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7.99 m / 26’ 3’’

2.54 m / 8’ 4’’

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10.97 m / 36'0"

3.8 m / 12'6''

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14.65 m / 48’1’’

4.25 m / 13'11''

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