The CNB 76 offers elegance, style and size for a very competitive price. Toby Hodges tests this new flagship from Groupe Beneteau, a boat made possible by her innovative build method
Devil in the detail
The engine room is one of the modules built separately. The benefits are clear, particularly the space surrounding the machinery for servicing purposes. A decksaloon format creates volume below the sole, in which CNB have centered the majority of the weight and machinery to keep stability low. CNB excel in insulation and it was difficult to hear if and when the genset was running.
“For 25 years noise has been in the head of every engineer in the design office,” said Thomas Gailly. When they built the 100ft Chrisco in 2009, penalties were set for going over the decibel limits.
Leo has 7,000kW of inverters running 900ah of service batteries – so the generator only need be started for the watermaker or air conditioning. Elsewhere I appreciated the remote fire extinguishers and how engine vents close automatically – both designed to limit fire damage. Skipper Marc Renwick calculates the 180hp Volvo provides a motoring range of around 1800nm at 8 knots delivery speed, thanks to fuel tanks with 2,500lt capacity.
High speed secret build
CNB are rightly guarded about their groundbreaking new modular build process. From what we were able to glean, the hull is built in infusion with a PVC foam core, reinforced with carbon. It is then placed into a metal cradle to keep it rigid, preventing it from moving a millimetre. The interior is assembled in four modules, including the engine room, to be lowered into the hull. There is less than 10mm tolerance between the modules and the hull.
“You normally build a boat from the front aft, so you can only do one section at a time,” Gailly explained. “This is all built at the same time in plenty of space.” The hull was apparently still empty just one and a half months before launch. “This is the reason why we can build a 76ft yacht in six months – it would normally take a year.”
LWL 21.98m/72ft 1in
Beam (Max) 6.10m/20ft 0in
Draught 3.00m/9ft 10in
Disp (lightship) 45,000kg/99,207lb
Sail Area (100% foretriangle) 311.0m2/3,348ft2
Engine 180hp Volvo Penta shaft-drive
Sail Area:Disp 25.0
Price (ex VAT) €2,070,000
Design: Philippe Briand
With this new 76 and a Jeanneau 64, Groupe Beneteau continue to do what they do best and stay ahead of the curve. Money is a rather crucial factor here. Once you get to seven figures sums can be difficult to relate to. But boats such as a Hallberg-Rassy 64, X-65, Oyster 625 and Amel 64 all carry an approximately similar starting price to the CNB of €2 million.
Amel and Rassy may argue their 64s can be sailed by a couple, but the general rule of thumb is that 60ft+ yachts require a crew to run them. So for those who prefer and can afford to sail with a crew, this 76 is offering at least another 10-15ft of boat for the same money.
“The fact that we can propose a 76ft boat for €2.5 million attracts a lot of newcomers to the market,” says Gailly. “If this was a custom boat we would charge €5 million.” Two of the first five owners are first-time buyers.
The 76 does not simply represent lots of boat for the money. She is a very impressive yacht through and through, from design to performance at sea. Having built 55 big custom yachts, CNB approached the project with superyacht mentality. The win-win result is superyacht styling and engineering for that serial production price.
This is an extract from a feature in Yachting World February 2014 issue