The following opinions are solely those of BoatTest.com and its test captain.
Capt. Jim Marshall here with BoatTest.com. Today we’re on Beneteau’s First 35 Carbon Edition. Let’s take a look at her design and layout. Efficiency on the race course is dependent to a large degree on her interior construction and functionality as well as her on-deck go-fast equipment.
Lighter ends contribute to greater performance as do outboard bunks, keeping the weight on the high side when off watch on an overnight race. A removable salon table provides plenty of room for crew to repack spinnakers.
All of these details contribute to an edge and racing performance. But a racer cruiser was also be comfortable – let’s take a look at how Beneteau has accomplished that.
Stepping below we see a large main salon with lightweight yet strong Alpi blonde teak bulkheads and cabinetry. The cabin sole is a durable white ceruse oak laminate. Light-colored comfortable PVC aredo cushions are used in the salon for all seating and backrest. Six main cabin, opening port lights in the trunk cabin and an overhead hatch make the main salon bright and airy.
The long bench seats in the main cabin can double as bunks for an overnight racing crew. A large water tank can be found under the port settee, keeping the weight centered for better performance.
Forward in the main cabin 53 inch tall, 17 inch wide double doors open into the forward cabin featuring a large bunk that stretches the full width of the boat. With the double doors closed, the forward cabin offers privacy and plenty of space.
With the doors opened or even removed for racing, the crew has an easy passage forward for lowering the spinnaker the lured mark through the large forward hatch. Space below the forward bunk for stowing provisions and gear.
Aft from the main cabin on the starboard side, the First 35 Carbon Edition has a good size head with two opening hatches, an integral shower and locker storage. Inboard in the head is the starboard access panel to the engine compartment. Just forward of the head is the navigation area with chart table.
A clever fold-in top allows a laptop to be securely used when the boat is heeling a bit. The electrical panel is just outboard with key circuit breakers within easy reach. We like the fold-away nav stool that pivots outboard and out of the way when not in use.
Back the head and accessible from a cockpit locker is another large storage area. On the port side aft is a queen size bunk that stretches from the porthole and across the center line of the boat. Two opening hatches and an in-hole window contribute to the airflow and light in the cabin. The inboard side of the bunk is under the cockpit footwell but with adequate overhead clearance.
A hanging locker and shelves complete the amenities in the cabin. Under the aft cabin bunk, Beneteau has neatly organized the important systems for the boat, keeping most of the weight on the center line. The fuel tank, engine exhaust, battery boxes and some electrical components are clearly laid out and organized for ease of service. From this cabin an inboard access panel also opens to the port side of the engine.
Just forward of the aft cabin is the galley with a gimbaled 2-burner propane stove and oven below, a top access refrigerator and large stainless steel sink. Storage space is logically arranged for ease of use while underway. A gently sloped and user-friendly companionway ladder hinges open to give access to the front of the engine for fluid checks and minor maintenance.
In summary, the First 35 Carbon Edition is definitely a performance-oriented boat but one that treats the dual purpose of cruising with the well-thought-out design and some clever functionality that makes this a true racer-cruiser.
So that’s our look at the layout and accommodations of Beneteau’s First 35 Carbon Edition. For BoatTest.com, I’m Capt. Jim.