The Beneteau First 28 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Beneteau First 28 is a 28' sloop, designed by Jean-Marie Finot and built for coastal sailing by Beneteau in the early 1980s. There is both a swing keel version and a shallow draft version.

A Beneteau First 28 sailboat under sailMany thanks to Arnaud Chevillot for this great pic of his Beneteau First 28 'YoYo'

Published Specification for the Beneteau First 28

Hull Type: Fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material:  GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 28' 3" / 8.6m

Waterline Length: 24' 3" / 7.4m

Beam: 9' 10" / 3.0m

Draft: 5' 8" / 1.72m

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 7,000lb / 3,175kg

Designer: Jean-Marie Finot

Builder: Beneteau (France)

Year First Built: 1980

Year Last Built: 1982

Number Built: 600

Owners Association: Beneteau Owners' Association (UK)

Published Design Ratios for the Beneteau First 28

Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.5

  • Less 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 37.1

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

Displacement/Length Ratio: 186

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

Comfort Ratio: 17.2

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

Capsize Screening Formula: 2.2

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of Published Design Ratios for the Beneteau First 28

A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.5 suggests that the Beneteau First 28 will approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 37.1 means that the Beneteau First 28 will have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

A Displacement/Length Ratio of 186, tells us she's clearly a light displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer dramatically.

Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 17.2 suggests that crew comfort in a seaway is akin to the motion of a lightweight racing boat. Upwind the Beneteau First 28 will be tender and will slam enough to shake your fillings out with a lively motion that most cruising sailors have no desire to get used to.

Her Capsize Screening Formula of 2.2 tells us that the Beneteau First 28 would not be a good choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making, owing to the increased risk of capsize in strong winds and heavy seas when compared to a sailboat with a CSF of less than 2.0.

Other sailboats in the Beneteau product range include:

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