I normally think of the First series as being Beneteau''s racer-cruiser series but looking at the numbers between the First 33.7, First 32s5 and (Oceanis)311 the answer here is not all that obvious. All three boats are within 5" in length and within 7 inches on the waterline. The First 32s5 and 33.7 have substantially larger sail plans. Of the three the 311 at 7716 is the lightest, followed by the 32s5 at 9260lbs and the 33.7 is the heaviest at 10582lbs. I suspect that some of that weight is in ballast but since Beneteau does not publish its ballast weights that is not clear. The 32s5 has a wildly faster PHRF rating at 144 to the 311''s rating of 177. I could not find a rating for the 33.7 which says they are not being raced. I have heard of 32s5''s doing OK at the club level. I have not heard of 33.7''s or 311''s doing well but that may be because they are newer designs. I really don''t think that a 311 with in mast furling can be competitive under PHRF.
A friend recently bought a Beneteau 33.7 and I have raced with,and against him several times. The LI Sound rating is 119, and to date, including about 10 races in a variety of conditions, the boat has little to no chance of sailing to that number. We have done no better than 5th in any given race.He is an excellent sailor, and I consider myself reasonably good.This past weekend in 12 kts true we did a little tune up. He was 8-10 boats behind our Ranger 33 after 2 miles of windward sailing, and many times that distance after reaching back to our start. His boat has new 3dl sails, and the latest gear. Our boat is a 1973, reasonably good Kevlar 153, dacron main, and rates 159.He has lost to the Catalina 32, C&C 29, Beneteau 35s5 etc. etc. The boat can not stand up in 15 true and rounds up continously in the gusts.I suspect my buddy is very disappointed, and for what its worth, I would NEVER consider this boat for racing! Jim
Jeff, where did you obtain the phrf for the 311 at 177. My club has rated my 311 at 143, and I am getting killed even on the days that we sail our best. I want to fight his rating but am searching for evidence. Thanks
Jeff, where did you find the PHRF rating of 177 for the 311 ? My club has assigned me a 143 for my 311 and I get killed even when we are at our best. I would like to contend this rating, so knowing where your reference would be a big help. Thanks
.. and sometimes that Bene 337 beats a pesky little J/27
actually - is a very nice boat. A well sailed J27 with only minor errors and Steve's Bene 337 finished 17 seconds apart on a 37 mile race. Of course there was a lot of spinnaker work in that race compared to upwind - but still...