Big things in small, trailerable, French yachting packages

Following in the footsteps of the First 211 released in 1998, First 21.7 in 2004 and First 21.7 in 2007 comes the new Beneteau First 20 (illustrated), a plucky trailerable yacht big on performance that the French yard hopes will capitalise on the 3,000 sister ships before it.

The timeless design of this small lift keeler, a benchmark in its category believes Beneteau, will attract both keen young sailors thinking about their first buy and the over-70s enjoying their twilight at sea.

This year, Beneteau gave the First 20 a new rig with square-top mainsail and bigger genoa. The self-supporting mast, obviously free of stays, is said to create a yacht that’s a huge pleasure to sail even in light air.

The more balanced area distribution of the mainsail and genoa favours speed and performance, says Beneteau, adding that you are guaranteed enjoyment and sensations at the helm. Bon voyage!

To adhere to the trend that favours asymmetric sails, the First 20 is equipped with a polyester bowsprit as standard.

Meanwhile, thanks to the new rig, which frees the lower shrouds, access to the foredeck is unobstructed; something fact crew will appreciate on a boat of this size.

Equipped with four “real” berths, many stowage areas, a “real” saloon, a small galley area and a large cockpit, the First 20 retains the size of her predecessors but with a more practical layout, says Beneteau

The First 20 also includes: a set of North sails, special hull decoration, teak cockpit seat, panel opening at the back of the cockpit for additional storage, and outboard bracket.

The new First 25.7 also benefits from the changes to the First 20. Renamed the First 25 S, she is now equipped with a square-top mainsail, a traveller track on the rear beam, and North sails kit. 

Again, the low-shrouds and stays are a thing of the past on small First. And Beneteau says with these new additions or, rather, deletions, the First range matches all the ambitions and all the budgets of keen ocean racers. 

The First 20 will debut at Amsterdam, Southampton, Grand Pavois and Paris boat shows. The First 25S will be on show at Grand Pavois and Paris. We’re betting the lift-keelers will be Down Under before long, too.

(Provisional specifications)

Design: Finot Conq & Associés
Length overall: 6.36m
Hull length: 6.21m
L.W.L: 5.90m
Beam: 2.45m
Drifter draught (min): 0.70m – 1.77m
Drifter ballast: 661 lbs
Light displacement: 299.8kg
Maximum water capacity: 34 litres
Maximum engine power: 10 hp
CE Certification: C6/D6

Design: Finot Conq & Associés
Length overall: 7.77m
Hull length” 7.37m
L.W.L: 7.22m
Beam: 2.70m
Maximum air draft: 12.30m
Shallow draught: 1.42m
Shallow ballast weight: 1355 kg
Drifter draught (min) 0.82m– 1.82m
Drifter ballast: 619kg
Light displacement 2149kg
Maximum water capacity: 41.6 litres
Fuel capacity: 30 litres
Maximum engine power 14 hp
CE Certification: B4/C5

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To comment on this article click here Published : Friday, 6 July 2012

Prices and specifications supplied are for the market in Australia only and were correct at time of first publication. makes no warranty as to the accuracy of specifications or prices. Please check with manufacturer or local dealer for current pricing and specifications.

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