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Old 09-04-2001
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joelcop is on a distinguished road
Beneteau First 35 s5

I have been looking into purchasing a 35 foot Beneteau First shoal draft that is about ten years old. I was wondering if anyone might have some comments on the first series, and specifically how they perform with the shoal draft. I will be spending most of my sailing time cruising, and day sailing rather than racing.
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Old 09-05-2001
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Beneteau First 35 s5

I have a fair amount of experience with a shoal draft version of the bigger 38s5. I generally like these boats. Nicely detailed and reasonably well built for coastal stuff. My biggest gripes is that so much of the boat is hidden behind liners that it is hard to reach obscured components and work on them. I also think that the sprayed on varnish finishes are hard for an individual to maintain over the life of the vessel. Still these gripes are true of most new boats these days.

As far as sailing ability goes, these are nice sailing boats but you definitely give a fair amount away with the shoal draft keels. There is two parts to this. First of all the deeper draft (as least on the 38s5)Beneteau''s keels are lead vs cast iron on the shallower keels. This means that the shallow keel have a lot more wetted surface and so a lot more drag. When you combine this with decreased lift it means a significant loss in speed as well as true angle off of the wind. (i.e. the boat seems to point almost as high but makes more leeway)

That said, I am not sure that the loss of speed and VMG would make much of a difference if you are not racing. PHRF says there''s a 12 sec a mile difference between the Wing Keel and the deep keel. That is a fair large amount to give up but for the kind of sailing that you are proposing its not all that terrible. With my own preferences being what they are, if I had my heart set on a First 35s5 I would probably try to find a deep keel version. If I needed shoal draft the shoal draft vension would have to do.

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Old 09-05-2001
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Beneteau First 35 s5

Jeff are you sure about the lead vs cast keel - is it not the other way around? - certainly on current boats like my 331 the shoal draft is lead while the deep draft is cast - this keeps the shoal draft keels much trimmer.
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Old 09-18-2001
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Beneteau First 35 s5

I''m not a fan of wing keels and not a fan of the smaller Bene''s, say under 30ft. My starter boat was a 235...and for its length it beat the Catalina in the same class. Close friends own 32s and 35s boats. The chap with the 35s was much happier than the guy with the 32s.

JeffH gives good advice. The 35s is an able coastal cruiser but they tend to be a little pricey. Would I take one across the pond?
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