Neil Pryde and Beneteau First 25 and First 20
Our work with Beneteau Yachts on their new and very successful ASA 22 training/club boat started several years ago and led us to series of design changes and system improvements that helped to make this boat simple and easy to sail, but refined in performance. These ideas were then transferred to First 20 and First 25 and in working together with the engineers at Beneteau France, Z-Spar Int. and Facnor Furling Systems we have helped to make these three models terrific sailing boats that perform with incredible ease of sail handling (read more below video).
The first visually obvious design feature is the lack of a backstay which in turn allows us to build the very efficient square top or 'spitfire' mainsail. This profile improves performance of the mainsail and the overall efficiency of the sailplan. We utilize Challenge sailcloth for the body and the radially cut spitfire head and have added full battens to the mainsail which makes sail handling easier when dropping or reefing and has the added benefit of reducing the wear and tear on the sail.
The spitfire head is precisely engineered so that the sail is able to drop and be stowed easily without any specialty hardware or removal of battens...unique to Neil Pryde.
The second big design changes is that all three boats can be had with the optional CodeZero (screacher) sail package. These sails are designed to give the owner oodles of performance but without the added hassle of setting up and flying an asymmetric spinnaker. It short; it is a powerful free flying light air upwind sail, that doubles as a superb reacher which can also be sailed at quite low angles with the wind behind you..easily getting down to 145 degrees apparent.
The beauty of the system is the nifty Facnor FX 900 furler, coupled with our low stretch free flying luff system which allows the sail to be easily furled and importantly it has U.V. protection… so unlike a spinnaker it can be furled for the afternoon as you lunch and swim and it's ready to go at a moments notice. For many, this ease of handling will make the need or desire to have a spinnaker unnecessary. Ease and fun in sailing can be liberating!
Check out the boats at: http://www.beneteau.com/Sailing-Yachts/First/First-25 and http://www.beneteau.com/Sailing-Yachts/First/First-20
And these great youtube videos:
F25 video:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iP0irSu7ktA
F20 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5pXc8lMiNJY