Beneteau First 235
From BENETEAU SERVICE
- Sept. 1990
The First 235 has shown herself to
be a successful club racer, and we have received many phone calls
from owners inquiring about how to squeeze that extra bit of speed
out of their boat.
We have listed a few tips that we have found to help the performance.
MAST TUNING - Z190 7/8
1) Set the boat up at a dock.
2) Loosen all rigging and set boom on deck.
3) Lengthen forestay to achieve maximum rake. You can even lengthen
it another one and one-half inches from maximum by way of a shackle
or longer plate. You can disconnect baby stay during tuning.
4) Set up mast straight in boat (athwartships). To do this, use
your main halyard and measure to each side of boat on toerails in
area of chainplates. Preferably measure from the bow back to ensure
identical position on each side.
5) Set up uppers so that they are extremely tight. By this, prebend
should be forced into mast (approximately 4" looking up track).
Lowers should be completely slack during this period of tuning.
6) Take up the slack in lowers but do not make them bar tight. Pull
up on the backstay hard and see that lowers start taking up load
and limits the forward bend of the mast.
7) Release backstay and then decide whether you want to keep babystay
rigged. If you remember to keep prebend in mast at all times, the
babystay can be omitted. However, remember that failing this you
could loose you mast especially in heavy weather under spinnaker.
Why have we suggested this tuning?
In light airs, especially, we have
found the boat lacks weather helm, and in the case of the fin keel,
actually has slight lee helm. We have found owners to set the leech
of the main too hard in order to create weather helm and this tends
to stop the boat in her tracks.
GENOA LEAD POSITION
The long spreaders on the First 235 make sheeting positions
extremely critical as a light genoa with a normal leech shape gets
hooked up on the uppers very easily. We believe that a hollowed
leech helps sail shape substantially. We also do not recommend going
for a genoa larger than 150%.
In stronger winds do not hesitate to move your genoa lead further
aft and sheet the genoa tight, as well as, tighten halyard tension
so that the foot does not have too much fullness.
This has two effects:
1) It opens the crucial slot and reduces the backwinding on the
2) Flattens the genoa and moves the
draft forward allowing for better pointing ability.
This is extremely important especially on the wing keel version.
In light airs keep the boat floating on her lines and do not drag
the transom. Therefore, you will normally have the helmsman in the
cockpit, one crew member in the companionway, and the 3rd member
to leeward on the sidedecks.
As the wind increases, slowly move your weight to weather and aft.
In strong winds, keep everyone well aft and hiking to windward.
You have to keep the rudder working.
The backstay is extremely important and generally follow this:
Light airs = No backstay tension
Medium airs = Medium backstay tension
Heavy airs = Hard backstay tension
Remember that in most conditions you
should release the backstay when you go off wind, except in strong
wind so that bend is kept in the mast. It is a good idea to mark
your backstay so that you can revert back to similar settings easily.
The reasons for altering backstay tension
has the following effects:
1) Light air: no backstay
tension gives you fuller, more powerful sails.
2) Heavy air: Hard backstay tension tightens your forestay
and moves the draft forward on the genoa. The mainsail is flattened
out by the mast bending and opens the leech allowing the wind to
spill out of the main easily.
Finally, and most importantly, if you
want to race, strip your boat of all excess gear. Weight is extremely
critical. However, it is up to you how serious you want to become.
Keep the fun in it, but let's face it, the further up the results
sheet you go, the more fun it is!
Try these suggestions. We're sure you
will like the results.
Best of luck!