First 51

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The First 51 was at the time of its launch the flagship of the range Bénéteau. She was designed as yacht and all the refinements were employed. The architect German Frers describes her as a perfect balance between performance and refined cruising sailboat.

The deck layout exudes performance with top range hardware supplied including particularly beautiful Lewmar 70ST custom winches. The rig is also in line with the ambitions with three or four sets of spreaders for performance version, the mast is held by a ROD rigging and adjusted by Navtec hydraulic system.

As soon as we crossed the companion way the atmosphere changes, the accommodations are luxurious with a pervasiveness of solid teak. The spaces are functional and Bénéteau features various layouts with a choice of fore owner's cabin, aft owner's cabin or even without owner's cabin. A crew cabin is fitted forward the accommodation and accessible directly from the deck.

See the First 51's specifications on

Main Features

ModelFirst 51
Sailboat typeCruising-racing monohull
DesignerGerman Frers
Building years1986
SuccessorFirst 53F5
Regulation1ere cat. 10/14 pers
ConstructionFiberglass/polyester, monolithic hull, balsa sandwich deck
Appendage typeTrapezoidal keel
Ballast typeLead
Rudder bladeSingle under hull rudder
RudderDouble helm wheels
Main dimensions
Length over all51.3 ft
Hull length50.0 ft
Waterline length43.1 ft
Beam over all14.9 ft
Waterline beam12.1 ft
Draft9.2 ft
Mast height77.8 ft
Light displacement28660 lbs
Ballast14220 lbs

Rig and sails

Rig typeMasthead Sloop
Rig materialMast and boom in Aluminum
Standing rigging materialDiscontinuous ROD
Number of rows of spreader4
Spreader angleNeutral (0°)
Spinnaker typeSymmetrical spinnaker
Upwind sailarea1652 ft²
Downwind sailarea2933 ft²
Mainsail area630 ft²
Genoa area1023 ft²
Spinnaker area2303 ft²

PMainsail hoist measurement (from tack to head)

60.3 ft

EMainsail foot measurement (from tack to clew)

18.5 ft

IFore triangle height (from mast foot to fore stay attachement)

68.0 ft

JFore triangle base (from mast foot to bottom of forestay)

20.0 ft

LLGenoa hoist measurement (from tack to head)

68.9 ft

LPGenoa perpendicular measurement from clew to luff.

29.5 ft

SPLSpinnaker pole lenght

23.0 ft

SLSymmetrical spinnaker hoist measurement (from tack to head)

67.3 ft

SMWSymmetrical spinnaker width

36.0 ft


Ballast ratio49.6 %
Upwind sailarea / displacement127.1 ft²/Ton
Downwind sailarea / displacement225.6 ft²/Ton
HN (French rating)30.5

Auxiliary engine

Type1 x 4-236
Engine power1 x 80 hp
Fuel capacity184.9 gal
Fuel typeDiesel
Transmission typeShaft-line


Number of cabin (max./min.)4 / 3
Number of berth (max./min.)10 / 8
Fresh water capacity74.0 gal
Headroom max6.4 ft

Based on specification1987

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