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

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 37.1

Displacement/Length Ratio: 186

Comfort Ratio: 17.2

Capsize Screening Formula: 2.2

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.

More about the Beneteau First 28

Accommodation

The Beneteau First 28 sailboat has a spacious and comfortable interior that can sleep up to six people. There is a double berth in the forepeak, a saloon with two settees that can convert into single berths, a galley with a sink, stove and icebox, a chart table with a seat, and an aft cabin with another double berth. There is also a head with a marine toilet and a washbasin. The headroom is about 1.8 m .

Sail Plan & Rigging

The Beneteau First 28 sailboat has a sloop rig with a masthead configuration. The reported sail area is 31.4 m², which includes a mainsail with an area of 12.9 m² and a foresail (usually a genoa) with an area of 18.6 m².

Keel & Rudder

The Beneteau First 28 sailboat has a fin keel with a spade rudder. The keel is made of cast iron and has a ballast of 1,000 kg, which gives the boat a ballast/displacement ratio of 37%. The draft of the keel is 1.7 m, which allows the boat to sail well upwind but also limits the access to shallow waters. There is also a shallow draft version of the boat that has a draft of only 1.3 m, but this may compromise the performance and stability of the boat.

Sailing Performance

The Beneteau First 28 sailboat is a fast and fun boat to sail, especially in light to moderate winds. It has a good hull speed of 8 knots, a high sail area/displacement ratio of 16.5, and a low displacement/length ratio of 186, which indicate that the boat is light and powerful. The boat is also easy to handle, with lines led aft to the cockpit and a self-tacking jib option available. The boat can sail well on all points of sail, but it may need to be reefed early in stronger winds to avoid excessive heeling and weather helm. The boat is also suitable for coastal cruising, but not for ocean passage-making, as it has a low comfort ratio of 17.1 and a high capsize screening formula of 2.2, which suggest that the boat has a lively motion and an increased risk of capsize in heavy seas.

Cost

The Beneteau First 28 sailboat was built between 1980 and 1982, so it is only available on the secondhand market. The average cost of a secondhand Beneteau First 28 sailboat depends on the condition, equipment, location and age of the boat, but it may range from around £10,000 to £20,000.


Cruisers' Questions about this Sailboat...

How many people can the Beneteau First 28 accommodate?

The Beneteau First 28 can sleep up to six people in two double berths and two single berths.

What is the engine power and fuel capacity of the Beneteau First 28?

The Beneteau First 28 has an engine power of 10 hp (or 18 hp for the optional upgrade) and a fuel capacity of 30 L.

What is the water capacity and holding tank capacity of the Beneteau First 28?

The Beneteau First 28 has a water capacity of 100 L and a holding tank capacity of 40 L.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the fin keel and the shallow draft keel of the Beneteau First 28?

The fin keel offers better performance and stability, but limits the access to shallow waters. The shallow draft keel allows more flexibility in anchoring and mooring, but reduces the sailing efficiency and safety.

How fast can the Beneteau First 28 go?

The Beneteau First 28 can reach a maximum hull speed of 8 knots, but it can also exceed that speed when sailing downwind with a spinnaker.

How easy is it to handle the Beneteau First 28?

The Beneteau First 28 is easy to handle, with lines led aft to the cockpit and a self-tacking jib option available. It can be sailed single-handedly or with a small crew.

How suitable is the Beneteau First 28 for cruising?

The Beneteau First 28 is suitable for coastal cruising, as it has a spacious and comfortable interior, a galley, a head, and ample storage space. However, it is not suitable for ocean passage-making, as it has a low comfort ratio and a high capsize screening formula, which suggest that the boat has a lively motion and an increased risk of capsize in heavy seas.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Beneteau First product range include:


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