There’s a Beneteau 235 for sale here that caught my attention and got me thinking about what a great little cruising boat it would make.
Now as far as French production boats go, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Beneteau boats preferring the Jeanneau designs back in the pre-conglomerate days. I expect that’s mainly because of the designs of Philippe Harlé like the Sangria, Fantasia, and Tonic.
As far as the Beneteau 235 is concerned it fills the same design niche as the Tonic.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the idea of a Tonic or a Bendy 235 as a cruising boat makes a whole lot of sense and inspires dreams of unfettered freedom.
Sure, they’re small but small equals a low price, minimal cruising expenses, and small problems.
That said a small boat is not for everyone.
Back when I was considering buying a Tonic for serious cruising my life was pared down to just the essentials and that’s a given where cruising in a small boat is concerned.
These days, where anything smaller than a forty-foot boat is considered small, what is considered essential is a very different thing and people do love having a lot of stuff.
For me. the real beauty of a small design like the 235 is that there is simply no room for anything that is surplus to requirements. The idea of not having to contend with dragging stuff you don’t need or use actually qualifies as something akin to a luxury.
Which is not to say it would be an easy transition for most. I’m in the middle of a never-ending struggle to cull all the various stuff that seems to accumulate and just takes up room but never gets used. So I’m well aware how difficult it can be.
The attraction of a little boat like the 235 or Tonic, for me at least, has everything to do with jettisoning all the stuff I don’t need and getting back to a simpler and more focused life. Which, when you think about t is why most of us decided to sail away in the first place.
I often do a mental exercise where I work out how I’d cruise a given boat where I use an Atlantic circle as an example. While doing an Atlantic circle on a 235 is not on everyone’s with list it would be an excellent way to sort out just what you’d actually need after you’ve done your Wordle for the day.
Now, If only I can bring myself to throw away that bent stanchion I can’t find a use for…