Ready for Racing
The First 35 Carbon Edition is clearly focused as a racing machine. Starting aft in the cockpit at the helm the Beneteau First 35 Carbon Edition features one of the most innovative and practical wheel solutions we have ever seen in a yacht in this class. Instead of installing an enormous diameter destroyer wheel, recessed into the cockpit sole and extending far athwartships so as to be in reach from either rail when sailing and effectively blocking the helm position from the rest of the cockpit, Beneteau has developed a multi-position tilting wheel pedestal.
The pedestal is mounted on a hinge
allowing the wheel pedestal to articulate port and starboard. By stepping on a pedal at the base of the pedestal, the helmsperson can easily adjust the position of the pedestal into one of three locked positions; centerline, port or starboard. When sailing, this allows the helmsperson to be on the weather rail with the wheel in reach. When tacking, simply shift the wheel to the opposite side. The wheel itself is smaller in diameter and more manageable, and a very attractive carbon one at that!
Another useful feature about the articulating wheel is that it can be moved out of the way to one side when boarding from the stern or hauling gear around the cockpit (ie: sailbags, dufflebags, coolers, etc). On a boat of this size, a single helm makes much more sense in terms of space utilization, steering system complexity, and even weight savings. The pivoting wheel solution offers the benefits of a large diameter single wheel or dual wheel configuration without the aforementioned drawbacks. We think this is a clever idea and it won’t be long before it is seen on more boats. A 5’3” (1.60 m) destroyer wheel is an option in the event that a traditional steering system is desired.
Moving forward of the helm is the deck mounted mainsheet traveler and end-boom mainsheet. The mainsheet runs forward along both sides of the boom and turns down to the deck and back to dedicated port and starboard sheet winches so it can be trimmed from either side. There is ample space for the main trimmer and even convenient foot bracing points on deck. Continuing forward are Harken headsail sheet winches and a traditional “pit” for halyards and various control lines led aft to coach roof winches.
The Beneteau First 35 Carbon Edition features a keel-stepped, double spreader, fractionally rigged carbon fiber mast from Hall Spars with a glossy clear coat finish. The clear finish saves weight in fairing compound and paint and the look is sleek, complementing the design style of the boat. The boom is a matching black aluminum spar. Forward, another Carbon Edition feature is the black carbon retractable bow sprit for setting an asymmetrical spinnaker. In keeping with the carbon look, it also shaves off critical weight at the bow.
The fractional carbon rig promotes stellar upwind performance from a 446 sq. ft. (41 sq. m) mainsail along with a smaller 334 sq. ft. (31 sq. m), 108% headsail which in turn allows the boat to easily race with a smaller crew. Off the wind easy handling is afforded by the asymmetric spinnaker tacked to the carbon sprit pole and controlled from the cockpit. A traditional symmetrical spinnaker and pole is an available option for downwind purists who prefer to race with additional foredeck crew.All stays are rod except the PBO kevlar backstay which has non-stretch properties and is light.
Below deck, Italian firm Nauta Design has added modern European styled flair to a fairly traditional accommodation plan by using increasingly popular blond Alpi teak for the woodwork and cabinetry throughout. Alpi is a very durable, eco-friendly, manufactured wood alternative that we like and are seeing in more and more boats these days. Not only does it look good, but it’s practical from a maintenance standpoint on a race boat.
Starting forward is a double V berth, two hanging lockers and several storage compartments in the forward stateroom accessed via double doors in the main salon bulkhead. Long, thin, fixed port lights in the hull on each side let in plenty of light and an overhead deck hatch adds fresh air.
Moving aft into the salon are symmetrical port and starboard settees with cupboard storage above. A focal point in the salon is the glossy carbon mast stepped on the keel just forward of the dining table. The clear coating on the spar allows one to appreciate the intricate weave of the carbon spar and is an elegant reminder that they are aboard a special Carbon Edition yacht. The salon table drops down to minimize its height when not in use and to facilitate moving sails or other gear throughout the interior. A large centerline hatch above the table introduces abundant light and air to the salon in addition to six opening port lights in the coach roof.
Aft of the settees to starboard is a generous sized navigation station for a boat in this class. Here the Raymarine “a series” Wi-Fi enabled MFD is flush mounted in a panel outboard to starboard along with the ship's main electrical panel. The desk features a lid that lifts up to 90-degrees and then drops down into the desk for storage, revealing an area perfect for a laptop and a connection to the navigation instrumentation is provided.This desk also features a top opening bottle locker and a small recessed cubby for stowing numerous small items that sailors always seem to need close at hand. We really like the fold away stool at the navigation desk which is convenient because it allows for a proper seat to work at the desk and then neatly stows out of the way to make for easy access to the large wet head just aft of the navigation area.A large sail locker is aft of the head but is accessible only from the top opening hatch in the starboard cockpit bench.
Opposite the navigation area and aft of the port settee is a functional galley featuring all the amenities needed from a top loading refrigerator/icebox, single stainless sink, a two-burner range/oven and even a concealed trash bin beneath the sink. Aft of the galley is another double bunk in the port stateroom beneath the cockpit complete with hanging locker and storage.
between the navigation station and galley features nicely inclined stairs with wide non-slip treads with the outboard edges angled upwards for standing on while heeled and robust grab rails. Behind the stairs and with good servicing access is the 29-hp Yanmar Auxiliary with Sail drive and a 2-blade folding propeller.
Beneteau has equipped the First 35 Carbon Edition with Raymarine wireless electronics essential to racing performance. In the cockpit are two multi-function units to display data such as speed, depth and wind information.
Forward, at the base of the mast are two more remotely controlled maxi displays capable of displaying any user selected data on the network. Below at the navigation station is a Raymarine “a series” Wi-Fi enabled multifunction touch screen chartplotter and a connection for a laptop. The First 35 Carbon Edition lacks a convenient location for a cockpit mounted multifunction chart display, but with the Wi-Fi feature on the Raymarine “a series” enabled, the crew will be able to utilize ubiquitous mobile devices including phones and tablets to connect wirelessly to chart and sailing data via Raymarine connected apps. And for the sailor who demands additional electronics or varying options, the Raymarine “a series” and wireless instrument system is infinitely customizable. Finally, we noted that a VHF radio is listed as optional equipment for this boat; we think it should be standard.
The Beneteau First 35 Carbon Edition is a serious contender worthy of consideration in the mid 30’ (9.14 m) racing yacht class. With her standard level of construction, fit-and-finish accented by the performance and understated elegance of the Carbon Edition options, she is ready to sail away for the race course.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Beneteau First 35 Carbon Edition (2015-) is 8.6 Knots.
- Tested power is 1 x 29-hp Yanmar diesel.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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