Beneteau First 210
First 210

Tech Notes

Beneteau First 210 Tech Notes

Title: Spinnaker Rigging For A First 210/211
Author: Terry F. Ellis 

An owner of a First 21.0 asked me how to rig it for a spinnaker. I had previously rigged my own First 21.0 Classic and a friend's First 21.0 for spinnaker. Here is my answer to anyone wishing to rig their First 210 or 211 for spinnaker.

This is the question the owner of a First 21.0 asked me: "Terry, I'm a bit confused between whisker and spinny pole. Did you say the whisker should be 7'10"? Also, when I put some cash aside I'd like to fit spinnaker. Are there any articles or diagrams about where all the fittings go?"

This is my answer:

Spinnaker pole should be 7' 10" (same as J dimension of 7.86') to be PHRF sized. Whisker pole should be a Forespar 2" dia HD Latch/Latch end, Adj 8-12'(you will likely not ever adj the whisker pole out from its "8 ft" position). The boat is already set up for a spinnaker rig. You have a spin hlyd sheave just above the forestay tang and a spin hlyd exit box near the goose neck on the side of the mast. You have another sheave just below the mast spreaders (with an exit box at the gooseneck too) which is for the spinnaker topping lift line. You should also have two unused swivel turning blocks on the mast step (one on each side) plus two available sheaves (one on each side) in your triple deck organizer cheek turning blocks. You will use one side to feed the spin halyard back through one of your two SpinLoc clutches and feed the pole topping lift to a SpinLoc clutch on the other side.

You will need to purchase and install three Wichard hinged to flush deck pad eyes: one to be placed at the Factory marked position on the foredeck (for the spinnaker downhaul) and one on Port and Stb at the Factory marked positions just fwd of the stern pulpit(for spinnaker sheet/guy turning blocks). You will need to purchase and install one stand up swivel turning block on the foredeck pad eye to accept the spinnaker pole downhaul. You will need to purchase and install one each ratchet turning blocks to accept the spinnaker sheets port and stb on the aft pad eyes. Note: all of these turning blocks should have springs around the swivel base.

Your boat already has a mast mounted pole eye in the proper position to accept a PHRF sized spinnaker. You will need to purchase and install a bullseye fairlead at the Factory marked position to lead the spinnaker downhaul line back to the cockpit, just below the winch, at which point you need to purchase and install at the factory marked position a harken cam cleat and fairlead 
strap to cleat the spinnaker downhaul line.

Beyond that, all you need is to purchase a spinnaker pole with bridles and latch end control lines plus spinnaker halyard, downhaul, topping lift and sheet 4 pull pin swivel snap shackles. Per the Factory Manual, 
these are the types/size/length of spi lines you'll need:

1. Spi Hlyd = Samson LS Red color Soft Eye and snap shackle with swivel NF 12000s Whipping and loop 5/16" dia @ 80 feet in length

2. Spi Pole Topping Lift: Samson XLS Extra Red Color Soft Eye Snap shackle with Swivel NF12000S Whipping and Loop 1/4" dia @ 53 feet in length

3. Spi Sheets Samson Ultra Lite Red Color Qty 2 Soft Eye Snap shackle with Swivel NF12000S Whipping 1/4" dia @ 70 feet in length

4. Spi Foreguy (downhaul): Samson XLS 900 Red Color Sof Eye Snapshackle with swivel NF12000S Whipping 1/4" dia @ 31 feet in length

5. Then, you need to purchase a spinnaker: Luff = 28.18',midgirth = 1.8 X J = 14.1'. I have a 3/4 oz nylon radial head spinnaker which is wonderful for sailing deep DDW up to broad reach. My buddy has a 3/4 oz star cut spinny which is excellent for reaching on up to 40 degrees apparent wind plus very good sailing deep. My next spinny will be a star cut because the boat really flies on a beam reach and needs the extra sail power in
lighter air all the way up to near close's faster than the jib in the light wind...almost like a light wt 180% genoa! You point maybe 8 degrees lower but
make so much extra speed in light winds, you get there a lot faster!

There are excellent diagrams of this and all rigging for the boat in the Factory Manual which should be with your boat. If not, ask the previous owner to send you his manual (in a 3 ring binder) from the Factory. If you cannot get a manual a) call Beneteau Customer service and ask them to send you one or b) give me your address and I'll make/send a copy of my manual to you.

When I helped my buddy rig his boat for spinnaker, the cost was around $700 for standing rigging and about $800 for the spinnaker sail, totalling approximately $1,500. It is the best investment you can make in your First 210. With a spinnaker, the boat will easily average 5-7 knots in a 10-12 knot breeze and can hit on up to near 10 knots in 15 to 20 knot winds. The boat is very well balanced and stable with spinnaker. The short pole and tall mast make it easy to handle the large spinnaker. With a spinnaker, your First 210 "comes alive" off the wind. It's like a "whole new boat"!

You can get all the gear (except the Spinnaker and Z-Spar mast base swivel blocks) from West Marine or similar aftermarket retailer. You can get the Z-Spar mast turning blocks from Beneteau Customer service.

I suggest that, in addition to the above, you purchase and install a spinnaker bag which would hang in the cabin hatchway. You would then launch and retrieve the spinnaker from this bag, from the side of the boat vs. a turtle on the bow pulpit. It is convenient and the bag slides out of the way on "clothes line wires" attached to the cabin ceiling. It costs around $100.

Hope this helps,

Terry Ellis

Title: Spinnaker Rigging For A First 210/211 
Model(s): First 21 Classic; First 210; First 211 Spirit 
System(s): Rigging & tuning 
Author: Terry F. Ellis 

updated May 12, 2004