This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.(May 2009)
Shipwright Benjamin Bénéteau founded his company in 1884, at Croix-de-Vie, France to build sailing trawlers. In the mid sixties Benjamin's grandchildren Annette Bénéteau Roux and her brother André Bénéteau introduced a line of fiberglass boats. Madame Roux is still active in leadership.
The company is a large and recognized boat builder, commanding a substantial worldwide market share for sailing yachts, predominately in the United States, France and the United Kingdom. It has five factories in the Vendée department of France and one US plant in Marion, South Carolina. The Beneteau USA plant opened in 1986; since then the factory has nearly doubled in size to about 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2), with roughly $25 million of total capital invested in the US. This is considered to be an advanced marine factory; it is newer than most of its competitor's factories.
Note in the models below that the First Series is much faster than the Beneteau Series (lower PHRF means a faster boat), the latter series have similar performance ratings to similarly-sized Catalina models. Bénéteau vessels have won numerous prizes, among other European Yacht of the Year 2002, 2007 and 2009.
NOTE: PHRF shown is for Northern California Base Rate full keel standard mast unless otherwise described
These are racer/cruiser sailboats, with a higher emphasis on the racing aspects, yet are substantially equipped for comfortable cruising. Equipped with tall fractional rigs, high performance keels and upgraded deck hardware.
Current US models:
Beneteau First 20
Beneteau First 25 S
Beneteau First 10R PHRF 78(LMPHRF) (32.75 ft)
Beneteau First 36.7 PHRF 81 (Southern California rating)