Detailed sailboat specifications and datasheets since 2015
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First 235 Fin keel

Sailboat specifications

The First 235 is a 21’7” (6.57m) cruiser-racer sailboat designed by Finot Conq Architectes (France). She was built between 1986 and 1994 by Bénéteau (France) with 680 hulls completed. The Fin keel version adopts a classical fin configuration, the easiest option to provide a low center of gravity.

The First 235 is as well listed, on, in Swing keel version (see all the versions compared).

First 235's main features

First 235
Fin keel
Hull type
Cruiser-racer sailboat
Sailboat builder
Sailboat designer
Sailboat range
GRP (glass reinforced polyester):
- Hull: Single skin fiberglass polyester
- Deck: Sandwich balsa fiberglass polyester
Number of hulls built
First built hull
Last built hull
Keel : fin without bulb
Single tiller
Single spade rudder
Former French navigation category
Standard public price ex. VAT (indicative only)

First 235's main dimensions

Overall length
23’ 5”7.14 m
Hull length
21’ 7”6.57 m
Waterline length
20’ 11”6.36 m
Beam (width)
8’ 2”2.5 m
Waterline beam (width)
6’ 10”2.06 m
3’ 10”1.15 m
Mast height from DWL
34’ 7”10.56 m
Fore freeboard
3’ 1”0.94 m
Mid-ship freeboard
2’ 8”0.82 m
Light displacement (MLC)
3064 lb1390 kg
Maximum displacement (MLDC)
4034 lb1830 kg
Ballast weight
794 lb360 kg
Ballast type
Cast iron
French customs tonnage
4.20 Tx

First 235's rig and sails

Upwind sail area
346 ft²32.18 m²
Downwind sail area
549 ft²50.99 m²
Mainsail area
158 ft²14.69 m²
Genoa area
188 ft²17.49 m²
Jib area
82 ft²7.6 m²
Symmetric spinnaker area
391 ft²36.3 m²
 iFore triangle height (from mast foot to fore stay top attachment)
27’ 10”8.46 m
 iFore triangle base (from mast foot to bottom of forestay)
7’ 11”2.4 m
 iMainsail hoist measurement (from tack to head)
26’ 7”8.1 m
 iMainsail foot measurement (from tack to clew)
10’ 4”3.15 m
Rigging type
Sloop Marconi 7/8
Mast configuration
Deck stepped mast
Rotating spars
Number of levels of spreaders
Spreaders angle
Spars construction
Aluminum spars
Standing rigging
1x19 strand wire continuous

First 235's performances

HN (French rating)
 iHN or "Handicap Nationale" is an empirical rating system used in France allowing various monohulls, of different sizes and designs, to race each other fairly. It is particularly suitable for cruiser and cruiser-racer. Therefore, by comparing these values, we can have an indication of the relative speed of 2 boats.
Upwind sail area to displacement
 iThe ratio sail area to displacement is obtained by dividing the sail area by the boat's displaced volume to the power two-thirds.

The ratio sail area to displacement can be used to compare the relative sail plan of different sailboats no matter what their size.

Upwind: under 18 the ratio indicates a cruise oriented sailboat with limited performances especially in light wind, while over 25 it indicates a fast sailboat.
278 ft²/T25.84 m²/T
Downwind sail area to displacement
 iThe ratio sail area to displacement is obtained by dividing the sail area by the boat's displaced volume to the power two-thirds.

The ratio sail area to displacement can be used to compare the relative sail plan of different sailboats no matter what their size.
441 ft²/T40.94 m²/T
Displacement-length ratio (DLR)
 iThe Displacement Length Ratio (DLR) is a figure that points out the boat's weight compared to its waterline length. The DLR is obtained by dividing the boat's displacement in tons by the cube of one one-hundredth of the waterline length (in feet).
The DLR can be used to compare the relative mass of different sailboats no matter what their length:

a DLR less than 180 is indicative of a really light sailboat (race boat made for planning), while a DLR greater than 300 is indicative of a heavy cruising sailboat.
Ballast ratio
 iThe Ballast ratio is an indicator of stability; it is obtained by dividing the boat's displacement by the mass of the ballast. Since the stability depends also of the hull shapes and the position of the center of gravity, only the boats with similar ballast arrangements and hull shapes should be compared.

The higher the ballast ratio is, the greater is the stability.
26 %
Wetted area
128 ft²11.91 m²
Righting moment @ 1°
 iThe righting moment is a moment (torque) that tends to restore a boat to its previous position after heeling. Its value corresponds to the torque needed to heel the boat for this angle.
Higher the righting moment is for an angle, greater is the stability.
180 lb.ft25 kg.m
Maximum transverse section
6 ft²0.56 m²
Critical hull speed
 iAs a ship moves in the water, it creates standing waves that oppose its movement. This effect increases dramatically the resistance when the boat reaches a speed-length ratio (speed-length ratio is the ratio between the speed in knots and the square root of the waterline length in feet) of about 1.2 (corresponding to a Froude Number of 0.35) . This very sharp rise in resistance, between speed-length ratio of 1.2 to 1.5, is insurmountable for heavy sailboats and so becomes an apparent barrier. This leads to the concept of "hull speed".
The hull speed is obtained by multiplying the square root of the waterline length (in feet) by 1.34.
6.12 knots

First 235's auxiliary engine

1 outboard engine
Engine(s) power
10 HP
Fuel type

First 235's accommodations and layout

Closed aft cockpit
Berth(s) (min./max.)
2 / 4
Freshwater tank capacity
13.2 gal50 liters
Maximum headroom
5’ 6”1.69 m
Galley headroom
5’ 5”1.64 m

First 235's saloon

Maximum headroom
5’ 2”1.57 m
Saloon table length
3’ 2”0.97 m
Saloon table width (min./max.)
1’ 4”0.4 m / 2’0.6 m
Berth length
6’ 2”1.9 m
Chart table
2’ 2”0.66 m x 2’ 1”0.65 m
Berth width (head/feet)
5’ 2”1.6 m / 1’ 7”0.5 m

First 235's aft cabin

Berth length
6’ 2”1.9 m
Berth width (head/feet)
4’ 1”1.24 m / 2’ 10”0.84 m
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