Beneteau First 235
Beneteau First 235 Review
Small Boat Journal 1988
By Mike O’Brien – photos John Bildahl
Thoughtful Engineering.Everything from the angle of the sidedecks to the mounting of the winches has been well thought out on the First 235. Beefy stoppers, a hefty grabrail, and a substantial toerail add to safety.
The Beneteau First 235 presents a distinctively angular and wedge-shaped appearance — an honest look that agrees with this little boat’s function and wildly asymmetrical (fine forward and full aft) hull form. Beneteau’s styling makes a statement, and you’ll like it or you won’t — there’s not much room here for neutrality.
A decade ago, the French revolutionized the design of sailboat interiors. They opened up the accommodations from the forepeak to the transom, and took full advantage of the possibilities inherent in fiberglass boat production. The 235’s layout represents this school’s latest thinking, and it works wonderfully well.
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Simply put, this is one of the finest boats in this size range and exciting to sail. I actually don’t know many other boats that pack so much into such a small package, mixing performance and usability in a very compelling fashion.
How many 23 foot boats do you see with a galley, ice box, sink, and 2 burner stove, directly across from a fully enclosable marine head which doubles as a working nav station with slide out table? How about a 23 ft boat with an aft sleeping area? How about an interior that doesn’t demand you bend double at the waist? Or somewhere a 6’3 person can stretch out without jamming feet into a corner? How about the very same toe rail, chocks, cleats, and other fittings as found on the Beneteau/Jeanneau 50? And how many boats can combine all this with performance that embarrasses many with longer water lines? The boat impressed me so much, I made this dedicated website and forum.
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