Beneteau First 35s5
Just when Bénéteau’s range was beginning to look like everybody else’s, the company launched this bombshell at the 1988 Paris Boat Show. In a comparatively short production run, 430 were sold. Finally acknowledging that style was almost as important as space and speed, the company teamed
Philippe Starck with Jean Berret to produce a futuristic yet practical and fast cruiser-racer. She had striking mahogany and alloy décor with stark white upholstery and black rubber piping to the deckhead, white-veined marble worktops and a carbon fibre tiller; critics were either stunned or appalled. Within a year a whole range, from 32ft to 41ft had emerged. Thirteen years on, some elements of the concept looks dated but the layout is sufficiently practical and the hull fast enough for the package not to have become completely passé. Indeed, the 500-odd built can be quite sought-after. She has six or eight berths in three or four cabins, depending on option. The hull has been drawn for speed and she can give a good account of herself round the cans. Bénéteau followed the ‘5s5’ series with the even more style-led ‘Point Seven’ range (31.7, 33.7, 35.7, and so on).
LOA 10.6m (34ft 9in), LWL 9.35m (30ft 8in), beam 3.6m (11ft 9in), draught 1.45m or 1.9m (4ft 9in or 6ft 2in), displacement 5,200kg (11,440lb).