Detailed sailboat specifications and datasheets since 2015
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First 285 Fin keel

Sailboat specifications

The First 285 is a 27’2” (8.3m) cruiser-racer sailboat designed by Finot Conq Architectes (France). She was built between 1987 and 1992 by Bénéteau (France) with 451 hulls completed. The Fin keel version adopts a classical fin configuration, the easiest option to provide a low center of gravity.

The First 285 is as well listed, on, in Keel and centerboard and Wing keel version (see all the versions compared).

First 285's main features

First 285
Fin keel
Hull type
Cruiser-racer sailboat
Sailboat builder
Sailboat designer
Sailboat range
GRP (glass reinforced polyester):
Single skin fiberglass polyester
Number of hulls built
First built hull
Last built hull
Keel : fin with bulb
Single tiller
Single spade rudder
Former French navigation category
Standard public price ex. VAT (indicative only)

First 285's main dimensions

Overall length
28’ 10”8.77 m
Hull length
27’ 2”8.3 m
Waterline length
24’ 4”7.4 m
Beam (width)
9’ 10”2.99 m
5’ 4”1.62 m
Mast height from DWL
39’ 11”12.16 m
Light displacement (MLC)
5401 lb2450 kg
Ballast weight
1764 lb800 kg
Ballast type
Cast iron

First 285's rig and sails

Upwind sail area
455 ft²42.28 m²
Downwind sail area
845 ft²78.5 m²
Mainsail area
199 ft²18.5 m²
Genoa area
256 ft²23.78 m²
Jib area
144 ft²13.4 m²
Symmetric spinnaker area
646 ft²60 m²
 iFore triangle height (from mast foot to fore stay top attachment)
32’ 6”9.91 m
 iFore triangle base (from mast foot to bottom of forestay)
10’ 4”3.14 m
 iMainsail hoist measurement (from tack to head)
31’ 2”9.52 m
 iMainsail foot measurement (from tack to clew)
11’ 1”3.38 m
Rigging type
Sloop Marconi 9/10
Mast configuration
Deck stepped mast
Rotating spars
Number of levels of spreaders
Spreaders angle
5 °
Spars construction
Aluminum spars
Standing rigging
1x19 strand wire continuous

First 285'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.
250 ft²/T23.26 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.
465 ft²/T43.19 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.
33 %
Wetted area
177 ft²16.43 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.
294 lb.ft41 kg.m
Maximum transverse section
8 ft²0.77 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.
6.60 knots

First 285's auxiliary engine

1 inboard engine
Engine(s) power (min./max.)
9 HP / 18 HP
Fuel type
Fuel tank capacity
7.1 gal27 liters

First 285's accommodations and layout

Closed aft cockpit
Freshwater tank capacity
26.4 gal100 liters
Boiler capacity
15.9 gal60 liters
Maximum headroom
6’ 4”1.91 m
Galley headroom
6’ 1”1.85 m
Head headroom
5’ 8”1.75 m

First 285's saloon

Maximum headroom
6’ 1”1.85 m
Saloon table length
2’ 8”0.82 m
Saloon table width (min./max.)
2’ 10”0.85 m / 3’0.9 m
Berth length
5’ 2”1.59 m
Berth width
1’ 7”0.5 m

First 285's fore cabin

Maximum headroom
5’ 5”1.66 m
Berth length
6’ 11”2.1 m
Berth width
5’ 5”1.65 m

First 285's aft cabin

Maximum headroom
5’ 10”1.78 m
Berth length
6’ 2”1.9 m
Berth width (head/feet)
4’ 7”1.4 m / 3’ 1”0.94 m
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