CNB 76, cruising machine

Lots of room, comfort, easy sailing and good performance are the main pluses of the CNB 76, flagship of the French yard’s fleet, which is designed to stop you wanting to get off again too quickly

by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Nicolas Claris


When you go above a certain size, it seems that you are obliged to take the first of those options, and once you have asked that question, others inevitably follow. For the build is it better to have artisan craftsmanship or the advantages of a product that is controlled down to the last millimetre?

CNB 76

A custom-made boat is more elegant and can be personalised, while a production one has to keep everybody happy. The Bordeaux yard’s new modular construction system has brushed aside this division. CNB has won its bet in managing to production megayachts that are as elegant as you would expect from a custom-made model.

Indeed, the interiors of the CNB 76 are built outside the hull. The four modules that they are composed of are then lowered into it with absolute precision, given that the tolerance is below a millimetre for the 3D project. The advantage is clear. The yard can build the hull and the interiors at the same time and save on time. And reducing the time spent also means reducing costs. A custom-made boat of the same size would probably cost double.

CNB also means being part of the Bénéteau Group, and thus an extensive team of architects and engineers, and also great feedback from concessionary holders and dealers all over theworld. So essentially nothing is left to chance or improvised, that is certainly the plus that a big yard that has expertise in production boats can bring to the game.

Naval architecture is by Philippe Briand, while the interiors have been designed by Jean-Marc Piaton and Rafael Bonet.

At first glance, what strikes you is the extremely clean lines of the deck. Forward of the mast there is the track fixed in the deck for the self-tacking. Upper and lower shrouds pass outside the gangways, and all the rigging is led back to the cockpit. That set-up means you can get around the whole cockpit area very easily.

CNB 76

The cockpit is divided so as to carry out its two functions: as a living area with benches and a central table and then, towards the stern, there are twowheels, two rudders and winches for sheets and halyards. The mainsail one has its own dedicated winch in the middle of the two wheels. The navigation tools are also all too hand, thanks to the pods being located just a few centimetres away from the wheelsat the helm.

There is nothing missing, but nothing is excessive. The most is got out of the area available to ensure that cruising is comfortable and it is easy to handle. Following this approach, there is also the boom-furling mainsail, which is a typical element of the CNB yard.

CNB 76

Below decks, the designers worked to hew out a large garage for the tender.  In just a few moments a 385cm tender can be launched or recovered. That kind of result is not a given. Sometimes there is a tender garage, but it isn’t suited to this kind of size, or it is, but only if you at least partially deflate it. In this case the garage has been designed to meet modern requirements, from people who nowadays love to cruise. There isn’t just room for the tender and it is quick to launch, but there is no lack of room to stow away all the many water toys that are increasingly used on cruises. Snorkelling gear and inflatable toys each have their own area.

The CNB 76 layout of the interiors is, like the deck, flawless. The galley is located right above the engine room, and so the cabins can use the bow area, which is definitely quieter since it is further away from the engine and the generator. The owner cabin is in the bows, while amidships there are the other cabins, the guest cabins, both with double beds and with bunks.

In the stern area there is just a double cabin, which is close to the galley and thus over the engine room. Not leaving anything to chance means creating areas which meet the most common and widely-felt needs of the day. Cabins are not just places where you sleep, especially if we think that we are on board a boat that is nearly 24 metres long.

That is how some details that embellish the decoration can be explained, such as the sliding shelf that is used to hold a laptop computer. Indeed, the cabin isn’t just large and has a lot of storage space available, but is also a comfortable environment to spend time on board, and perhaps not only for holidays.

And finally, let’s not forget that we are on a sailing boat! There is a standard version, and a more high-performance one with a carbon fibre mast and with nearly ten per cent extra sail area. The approach is always that of easy sailing and cruising, but if we look at the polar plot, performance when downwind, both running close reach, and also sailing close hauled, is certainly to be respected.

So essentially the CNB 76 isn’t just an elegant, comfortable, boat that has been designed so that you don’t want to get off again in a hurry, but it is also a yacht that has been designed tomake you want to raise your sails very often. 

CNB 76
Philippe Briand (naval architecture) • Jean-Marc Piaton and Rafael Bonet (interiors)
HULL: LOA 23.17m Waterline length 21.98m  – Maximum beam 6.10m Draft 3.00m Shallow draught 2.50m Deep draught 3.50m Draft with lifting keel 2.10/4.00m Ballast weight 15,000 kg Displacement 45,000 kg Fuel tank volume 2,550 l Water tank volume 1,550 l Main sail 160 m2 Jib 144 m2 Asymmetrical spinnaker 440 m2 Staysail 79 m2
MAIN PROPULSION: Volvo D4-180 Outlet mechanical power 132kW (180 hp) 4 cylinders Bore&Stroke 103mm x110mm Swept volume 3,7 l Maximal rotational speed 2800/min  •Dry weight 482 kg

162 quai de Brazza, CS 81217
F-33072 Bordeaux CEDEX, France
+33 05 57808550
[email protected]

(CNB 76, the cruising machine – – June 2019)