The Slovenia Times

Seascape's latest sailing yacht piling up awards


The latest boat from Seascape, a Slovenian sailboat development and production company, has become the most awarded sailboat in the nautical industry. Most recently, the Beneteau First 36 has won the title of European Sailing Yacht of the Year 2023 in the best performance cruiser category.

A collaboration between Seascape and the French boat make Beneteau, the Beneteau First 36 has also been declared the American, French and English sailing yacht of the year. However, it is the latest title that has opened the most doors for Seascape; the number of orders with paid deposits has reached 95.

The sailboat and the process that led to its production was presented to reporters at the company's headquarters in Podpeč near Ljubljana on 13 February by the Seascape team, led by director Andraž Mihelin.

He explained that the Beneteau First 36 is the type of sailboat that used to be the most widespread at sea 30 years ago. "These boats could be compared to a Swiss army knife, because they can do almost anything. They are suitable for a regatta, a cruise or just a short relaxation after work," he said.

Over the years, this segment dwindled, having been replaced by specialised sailing boats. Seascape therefore set about creating a boat both modern in its design and multifunctional. "This boat is exactly that. We believe and can now prove that it sails as well as a sports boat, while offering enough interior design and comfort to be suitable for cruising," Mihelin said.

Seascape entered partnership with Beneteau in 2018. The partnership has since been modified so that Beneteau now has a minority stake in the Slovenian company. After joining forces with the French company, the previously independent Seascape "took on the responsibility of reviving Beneteau's iconic 40-year-old First line of sailing boats".

Matic Lenaršič, another member of the Seascape team, explained that the boat is also the product of extensive market research. The company conducted detailed interviews on three continents, as the wishes and needs of sailors on each continent are different. "It was only through a detailed insight into the user experience that we were able to achieve true design success," he said.

Toby Hodges, one of the 12 jury members who test sailed the shortlisted yachts before deciding on the European Sailing Yacht of the Year 2023 winners, has described the Beneteau First 36 as a "yacht that puts the focus firmly back into sailing ... It's uncomplicated, unfussy and the result is a pleasure for all to sail. It's more about what you can't see, the design and engineering, which should ensure longterm demand."


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