Thoughts on the Beneteau First 305?
I'm about to look at an 80's vintage beneteau first 305 fin keel version this weekend and the internet is kind of sparse on reviews etc. Most of what I've seen are the "I love my boat" type reviews, not very helpful.
For what it's worth, the internet says its new england phrf is 168, which is the same as a j/24. This doesn't make much sense to me unless it's a gift rating or something...
Has anyone sailed/owned this boat, or another of the 80's vintage Benny First line? Thoughts, experiences, opinions? How early do you reef, how does it surf, is the helm light or heavy, how stiff is the boat upwind, etc.?
Is the quality of the FIrst line of beneteau's a step up from the standard? I own a 1981 Hunter 25 and while I like the boat (we all love our boats don't we), the laminate is thin and the quality of bulkhead tabbing plus the huge companionway hatch etc means it's not really an offshore boat, it was never meant to be. My father's '81 C&C 32, on the other hand, inspires confidence. Where is the Benny 305 on this scale, for offshore?
I posted this on SA too but I think I'll get more of a cruising perspective here, since that is what this boat is really for.