First 235

The technical specification for the design of the First 235 was very complete, a small sailboat: fast, sea worthy, spacious and trailerable. For performances the sail area is important and hull forms are modern, inspired by the Mini 6.50: the bow almost vertical improves the waterline length, the aft part, flat, allows planning also benefits to the interior volume. An optional lifting keel with 1.75m draft ensures good performances upwind.

Inside it took some ingenuity to get a cabin, a galley, a mess convertible to a double berth, a chart table and a toilet. The layout chosen is original with an isolated toilet area convertible into navigation area and aft cabin under the cockpit.

Efficient, including in regattas, and comfortable the First 235 was one the Bénéteau best seller, somewhat limited by the crisis of small sailboats. She was available with a lifting keel, a fin keel (1,15m – 3.8ft) or winged keel (0.9m – 2.9ft).

See the First 235's specifications on

Main Features

ModelFirst 235
Sailboat typeCruising-racing monohull
Trailerable monohull
DesignerJean Marie Finot
Pascal Conq
Building years (first/last)1986 / 1994
Number built680
PredecessorBénéteau First 24
SuccessorFirst 210
Regulation3eme cat.
ConstructionFiberglass/polyester, monolithic hull, balsa sandwich deck
Appendage typeKeel retractable
Ballast typeCast iron
Rudder bladeSingle under hull rudder
RudderSingle tiller
Main dimensions
Length over all23.4 ft
Hull length21.6 ft
Waterline length20.9 ft
Beam over all8.2 ft
Waterline beam6.8 ft
Fore freeboard3.1 ft
Middle freeboard2.7 ft
Draft (max./min.)5.7 / 2.2 ft
Mast height34.6 ft
Light displacement3064 lbs
Full load displacement4034 lbs
Ballast794 lbs
French customs tonnage4.20 Tx

Rig and sails

Rig typeFractional Sloop (7/8)
MastDeck stepped mast
Rig materialMast and boom in Aluminum
Standing rigging material1x19 strand wire
Number of rows of spreader1
Spreader anglePushing
Spinnaker typeSymmetrical spinnaker
Upwind sailarea346 ft²
Downwind sailarea549 ft²
Mainsail area158 ft²
Genoa area188 ft²
Jib area82 ft²
Spinnaker area391 ft²

PMainsail hoist measurement (from tack to head)

26.6 ft

EMainsail foot measurement (from tack to clew)

10.3 ft

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

27.8 ft

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

7.9 ft

LLGenoa hoist measurement (from tack to head)

28.1 ft

LPGenoa perpendicular measurement from clew to luff.

12.4 ft

SPLSpinnaker pole lenght

9.5 ft

SLSymmetrical spinnaker hoist measurement (from tack to head)

27.5 ft

SMWSymmetrical spinnaker width

14.9 ft


Wetted surface128 ft²
Transverse section maximum surface6 ft²
Righting moment @ 1°37 lbs/ft
Ballast ratio25.9 %
Upwind sailarea / displacement249.2 ft²/Ton
Downwind sailarea / displacement394.8 ft²/Ton
HN (French rating)12.0

Auxiliary engine

Power max (optional)1 x 10 hp
Fuel typeGas
Transmission typeOutboard as option


Number of cabin1
Number of berth (max./min.)4 / 2
Number of shower room1
Fresh water capacity13.2 gal
Headroom max5.5 ft
Headroom kitchen5.4 ft
Headroom5.2 ft
Chart table dimensions2.2 x 2.1 ft
Table dimensions3.2 x 2.0 x 1.3 ft
Length of berth6.2 ft
Width of berth*5.2 / 1.6 ft
Aft cabin
Length of berth6.2 ft
Width of berth*4.1 / 2.8 ft
Catwalk width1.0 ft
*Maximal width : at head

Based on specification1993

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