Built for Comfort and for Speed: Introducing the First 36

More Sailing.” A simple message from the designers and builders at the Seascape yard in Slovenia. Now building the boats of Beneteau’s First brand, the Seascape team has been manufacturing quality boats since 2008 with the intent to achieve this simple objective. The new First 36 is the largest to come from the yard, and with three dozen already sold, the early signs are pointing towards continued success. As we celebrate the launch of the F36, let’s take a look back on Ronstan’s longstanding partnership as Seascape’s primary hardware provider.

After years of competitively racing Mini Transat 650’s, Seascape founders Andraž Mihelin and Kristian Hajnšek had plenty of firsthand experience using Ronstan hardware and were quite familiar with the brand. As a result, when they launched the original Seascape 18 in 2008, the hardware specification was an easy decision.

“We have worked with Ronstan hardware since our Mini Transat days and have never been disappointed. For 20 years of our cooperation, the quality of their products and their service has been excellent, making it one of the key ingredients for our successful growth.” – Andraž Mihelin, Seascape CEO

The Seascape 18 burst onto the scene upon its debut, quickly gaining popularity due to its fun, sporty characteristics and ease of handling. The proven early success of the Seascape 18 indicated clear market demand for Seascape’s vision and from there the expansion of the range was a logical and natural progression. At times defying a simple category, Seascape’s yachts are easy and comfortable to sail, offering convenient deck plans, impressive performance, and responsive handling. Not to be confined by the harbour, larger models are safe and capable coastal cruisers. Today, the Seascape yard produces eight different models ranging from 14 to 36 feet, each outfitted by Ronstan. Beyond their commercial success, Seascape-built yachts have a critically acclaimed history, winning back-to-back Sailing World Boat of the Year awards in 2016 and 2017, European Yacht of the Year in 2017, and SAIL Best Boat Winner in 2017 and 2019.

For the First 36 to live up to its impressive pedigree, extreme attention to detail and careful consideration went into every aspect of the design. Ronstan worked closely alongside Seascape throughout the development and initial build process to ensure the First 36 would hit the elusive sweet spot between comfort, performance, and value. Although many components onboard the F36 are standard Ronstan products, some have been custom-designed to accommodate specific requirements.

One such example is the mainsheet traveller car, which runs along a Ronstan Series 30 ball bearing track. The car required a stirrup that could articulate forward to keep the loads properly aligned regardless of sail trim, while being restrained from pivoting aft. Finally, a 5:1 purchase was requested for easy adjustment of the traveller.

With no standard car that could accommodate every requirement, Ronstan designers worked directly with Seascape through extensive sea trials and arrived at the custom T030-1979 car. The final design features a rubber buffer to cushion the stirrup’s articulation, allowing maximum forward rotation and restricting aft rotation. The 5:1 control line system is dead-ended at the center of the stirrup on the car and runs through two 50mm control sheaves on each side. The track ends feature standard RC13086 end controls, accommodating a maximum 10mm control line. Finally, the mainsheet runs through two 60mm roller ball bearing aluminium alloy sheaves, creating a 2:1 purchase and minimising the system friction.

The specification of premium hardware combined with modern manufacturing techniques creates a lightweight and responsive yacht described by Beneteau as “the first mainstream racer/cruiser where onboard comfort doesn’t affect the experience of high performance sailing”.

The First 36 represents the culmination of Ronstan’s working history with Seascape thus far: beginning with a single 18’ model to the now comprehensive eight boat range. Ronstan is proud of the work accomplished and is looking forward to continuing the journey alongside Seascape, creating exciting new boats that will appeal to all types of sailors.