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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » B - Boats starting with 'B' » Beneteau
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Beneteau 235
Reviews Views Date of last review
13 9966 Thu March 6, 2008
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 9.0












Description: Beneteau 235
Keywords: Beneteau 235
 


Author
gcorbino
Junior Member

Registered: September 2002
Review Date: Tue October 1, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


The design of this boat is exceptional. I enjoy its speed and stability. It is beautifully appointed. I don't care for the baby stay however. I am very satisfied.


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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Thu October 31, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

boat is very roomy for its size. good performance for a cruiser/racer but my phrf certificate requires me to keep within 15 sec/mi of a j24, this can sometimes be difficult
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joursler
Junior Member

Registered: July 2000
Review Date: Tue June 10, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This boat has a large group of devoted fans. Exceptionally well built... like a Mercedes.Great for weekends. Well supported by the email chat group for Beneteaus at sailnet.. and spare parts are well supported by Beneteau.






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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri June 13, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I love the boat. I have had it for three years. Lots of room. Original main bunches up a bit in heavy air. Very fast. I would like to get new sails. Maybe 150 and full battened main. Any suggestions?
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Sat September 20, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The FIRST 235 is a well built quality boat. It is fast but does not have as wide a "groove" as some boats. PHRF ratings for the boat are a little low, in my opinion. It races best on olympic or triangle courses as it performs great and makes up all her time off the wind.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Tue May 5, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Well constructed , well thoughtout, well finished. Sails very well in light air especially with a spinnaker and does well in heavy air and seas with proper sail control . Have cruised the boat inthe Baja and have every confidence in theboat.
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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed November 25, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have owned this boat for ten years and have made numerous modiications. Having a trailer has given me unlimited cruising grounds i.e. the Florida Gulf coast and Keys and the Ga. coast. Current home port is Savannah, Ga. This has been a wonderful pocket cruiser for two. Drawbacks:iron keel,babystay,too much weight to starboard.
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Review Date: Sat April 10, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Quick, but not overly tender, does very well in light air and is very seaworthy in heavy air if sail trim is appropriate. Original hardware is high quality, as is workmanship.
As a pocket cruiser, it's an unbeatable package with the best cabin layout and appointments in it's size range.
But at 19.5 LWL, hull speed is about 4.5. I have an 8hp kicker with alternator, and use a solar panel to keep the battery up.
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billkirk
Junior Member

Registered: February 2000
Posts: 22
Review Date: Fri December 8, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Owned this boat for three years and realy enjoyed it. It was one of the few 235s built with a deep keel. The plumb bow, long waterline and wide transom lead to some exciting sailing, both up and down wind.
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halyardz
Senior Member

Registered: September 2000
Location: western Penna.
Posts: 248
Review Date: Sun March 18, 2001 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Purchased new, wing keel version.
For the size, it is a lot of boat. In the plus column...head/mini-nav station, fairly good layout & storage, quick, and adaptable weekender for two adults plus a kid. Weakpoints. Couldn't leave the helm while under sail, not even a tiller-tamer helped. Boom
much too low on mast, kept hitting
head while moving in cockpit, and
wing keel of questionable value
(except for shallower draft). The
outboard tended to be a pain in terms of boat balance.

Liked the boat but it was too small for real cruising but better than others in its class. If you can afford it, I'd move directly up to a 285 or higher. Sold it in
90s and now seeking a larger boat.


------------------------------
Jim & Rose on "Radiant" Tartan 33
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waltersofbayport
Junior Member

Registered: December 2000
Posts: 4
Review Date: Wed October 23, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have sailed this boat for two seasons now and find myself more and more pleased with it. I was pretty much the basic boat when I got it so I am in the process of making it my own. Mods so far are: New mainsail, Magma grill, running lights, AC power, headsail downhaul, all lines led to cockpit, gas tank locker/cockpit table.

I am stripping, grinding, sealing and painting the keel next spring with plans for roller furling and two battery 12volt system.

I have had the boat out in winds gusting to 30 knots with the 100% jib and one reef in the main, and had a great time. I love the many ways there are to tweek the sails and find that the value/fun factor is very high.

I would have to agree that the iron keel can be a problem, but once I've epoxy sealed it (3 coats) my worries should be greatly reduced. My only other issues are the lack of standing headroom (5'4") and the rather small cockpit (I can really only seat 5 adults comfortably). I guess this means I'll be moving up to a 285 someday :>)
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abstrait

beneteau235.com

Registered: March 2006
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sat March 18, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great Design - Fast - Big Boat in small Package - Great for single-handing - good cockpit ergonomics - Can remain comparatively Dry in ocean conditions - Fun to sail - Passes larger boats
Cons: Rudder can be finicky - has a relatively narrow groove - needs careful attention to sail trim - It can be shut down with too much leech tension - A bit too much weight on the starboard

Simply put, this is one of the finest boats in this size range and exciting to sail. I actually donít know too 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? How about a 23 ft boat with an aft sleeping area? How about an interior that doesnít demand you bend double at the waste? Or somewhere a 6'3 person can stretch out without jamming feet into a corner? The boat impressed me so much, I made a dedicated website and forum at www.beneteau235.com .

IF that's not enough, the boat is blast to sail and fast to boot, rewarding attention to detail and proper sail trim and rig tuning. Some of the reviews in various mags mention the comparison to a big dinghy and that does hold true. It can accelerate with ease and with a clean bottom and proper trim, does ok in light air (the less weight aboard, the better). The boat LOOKS fast with the plumb bow and wide stern, mirroring the Mini-Transats which define its heritage as it was designed by Finot from one of his earlier Mini-transat efforts in '84. This boat looks quite modern and distinctive and in some ways, itís ahead of its time (235 designed in 86). You are not talking classic lines here but she really stands out on the water due to the bow.

In the US, it came with two iron keels, the wing at 2í9 and the fin at 3í8 (EU has the swing on worm gear & Fin - There was no wing option). The fin does point higher than the wing but either sails very well and I wouldn't pass on a good deal with the fin or wing. The fin might be the first choice if racing the traditional cigar course. The wing is actually a take-off of the Hydrokeel and is the heaviest ballast at @100lbs over the fin. Several First 235 have had different custom lead fin keels done, one by Leif Beiley of Bravura Yachts, this on Pegasus, sailing off California. Beiley designed a second 4'7 905lb lead fin with more weight down low in the bulb and higher aspect ratio and cord length. This keel is on tap to be made by MARS in Canada but needs a minimum of five orders (info is on www.beneteau235.com). The project is on hold indefinitely, however. Ironically, the earliest custom fin keel done for a US F235 was made by Mars and can also be seen on the website (it was made to convert the boat from stock iron wing to lead fin).

The First 235, while technically a trailer-sailer, pushes the limits of what you want to handle; in other words, I think trailering every outing is not a likely undertaking with the F235. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to take this boat somewhere interesting. The wing is easier to launch from the trailer since it's almost a foot shorter. Having a trailer with your F235 is only a positive and trailer boats do tend to sell easier and at a premium.

The boat is not loaded with ballast nor particularly stiff, but with proper attention to sail trim, sail selection, tuning (back stay tension), and weight placement, you can handle much of anything. She will round up if overpowered. She feels stable... but if you've been on something like the Ranger 23, she does not track on rails with the rail down, tending more to round up in a gust if too much main and past 30 degrees. Does well upwind in some swell and one can stay quite dry compared to others of this ilk. Has a pretty good stock reefing system that can be customized for even greater ease.

I sail off Wrightsville Beach, NC which means 95% ocean sailing and think the boat does well in these conditions, which are usually in the teens to the 20s (Again, once in the high teens to 20s, you have to be on your toes). Depending on your tastes, higher winds mean moving to a smaller headsail and reef thrown in (some will want to move to reducing area sooner than others - I do believe that a reef with mid-size head sail might be a good compromise). All the lines are very accessible with the halyards lead aft. You can run the outhaul, vang, and reefing lines back as well with minor mods. Ditto with the Spinnaker controls (a few owners actually have added a bowsprit and run Asymmetricals). Sailing from the rail is a delight and recommended as the coaming is VERY comfortable and with some lifeline cushions and a proper tiller extension (the stock unit is worthless as itís too short), itís an excellent vantage point and a great place to helm. I single-hand the boat most of the time, so a tiller tamer of some sort is recommended when doing duties away from the helm. Still, itís one of the easiest boats I have ever single-handed. One of my main criticisms is the rudder system which can become problematic in following seas with swell and wind. There are a few mods that can help here.

The boat is very fun to race and can do some damage, keeping up with larger craft. She has a long waterline for her size due to the plumb bow and stern design. Some good sails with proper tune & trim and she really moves. The only problem here is you're not going to get any favors from the rather unkind PHRF, actually putting you with some stiff competition (not too far off the J/24). It's a challenging boat to get the best from but will reward skill and time spent on the water getting to know the boat and how she does in your conditions. It's not the most forgiving boat and the rather narrow groove will add to the need for more attention than some.

Beneteau First 235 Photo Montage
http://www.beneteau235.com/forum_ima...ntage_1000.jpg


The First 235 motors with ease and has great access to the motor, perhaps the best in class. There is no need for any mounting gear as the F235 has a cutout with mount rail in the transom with direct access. Out on a lake, and a 4hp will do OK. Put yourself in some current and more wind, and you're looking at a minimum of 5hp up to a 9.9 or so if you want to go some distance. Going somewhere, a Four-Stroke would be needed for sanity, but you donít want to go too heavy as the motor is mounted on the starboard side, the same side as the battery, head, holding tank, and nav station area. While the galley does balance the weight somewhat, all F235 tend to exhibit an ever so slight list to the starboard. This is very minor, however. I reach hull speed with my 5HP Tohatsu 2 stroke but with current and chop, it can be a bit challenging at times, best with a motor with a bit more thrust. The 9.8 Tohatsu/Nissan 4 Stroke would be a good alternative due to its low weight compared to other 4s. Best to get as long a shaft as possible. Below 20 need not apply and 25 is even better if in bigger chop/waves.

To sum up, the little First 235 is a great boat and fun to race or cruise. I have stayed as long as 10 days with my wife but after three and you would like to have some access to facilities. While it has a nifty ice box and water storage and holding tank, a longer stay will begin to test the storage. Creative packing is helpful.

You want to know more? I have a pretty comprehensive site at www.beneteau235.com with an active forum membership of about 800 people with over 39,000 posts. Drop by and see a large number of pictures from every vantage point, on the water and off. See mods, specs, info, articles, and reviews, some even translated from German and French. The forum gets daily activity and owners are responsive to questions and welcome interested parties.

------------------------------
Kelly Holsten ~ abstrait
Beneteau First 235 | Hull#327
www.beneteau235.com
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Review Date: Thu March 6, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Great boat...But, Iron keel will ruin a weekend buffing out rust blisters and re-expoxing them.

Moved battery from under nav station to a compartment fore of the mast to stabilize weight distribution. Snatch blocks on the toe rail assist in light or heavy winds in flattening genoa.

The new keel designer Bailery has not turned over the specs to Mars Metal in Ontario, so a replacement, to my knowledge is not available. Considering the design of the keel and the relative phrf to a J24, a keel such as the J would be a lightning bolt. Engineers input welcome

Sail under the max. Beyond 24 degrees heel I loose speed. So, I often run hard on a genoa and reef the main for pointing. Above 15 knots wind (generally gusty here in TX) that seems to be the best recipe. Anything above a 135 genoa has proven useless. Here in TX, a 115-125 genoa would be ideal. Used sails are fine. The Catalina 22-25 seems to have a similar fore triangle, but if shopping, look for luff, leech, foot measures to configure (do not be afraid of buying used sails). The toe rail, genoa track, and the addition of a cunningham on the tack of the genoa can adjust most sails to work. The downhaul for the spinnaker boom can also be rigged to adjust the tack. Also, pulling the traveler to windward and releasing the mainsheet opens the leech on the main and decreases heel. Do observe curvature of the leech of main and genoa for slot tuning.

The baby stay is consistantly a problem with anything beyond a working jib, but allowing the genoa to backwind seems to help, then gain speed on the main and "cheat me up" to windward to bring it to close haul and cinch it in then fall off.

When sailing solo, running the jib sheet around the lee side and back to the windward winch facilitates adjustment. A Davis tiller tamer (not advertising here) is a great asset.
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