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bmulvihi 02-13-2007 10:05 PM

Bavaria Sailboats
I am looking to buy a newer used sailboat in the range of 38 feet. I have read this post and many boats are discussed especially Catalina, Hunter and Beneteau. I wonder if someone out there with some knowledge could give me some insight on the Bavaria boats and perhaps rate them against these other mass produced boats in terms of the trade-offs they present in terms of comfort versus sailablility. Thanks. Bill

camaraderie 02-13-2007 10:16 PM

They are generally not well thought of. Do a search and you'll find some threads. Welcome aboard!

sailingby 05-02-2007 04:40 PM

I have had my Bavaria 40 for 5 years now. It is well built and shows little sign of wear & tear. It sails very well and is as quick, if not quicker on some points of sail, as comparable boats. It is well balanced and inspires confidence in big seas and is easily managed by a crew of two. The interior is better fitting than the French boats. I believe it offers a fine balance of price and quality and ability.

SailorMitch 05-02-2007 05:14 PM

As Cam says, most people trash them. But I have a good friend with a fairly new Bavaria 36 and he loves it. Bavaria is a mass producer with one of the slickest factories anywhere -- very automated and efficient. YMMV.

brak 05-02-2007 07:01 PM

We chartered Bavaria 33 and 36 in Norway, in some very demanding waters (this was also the worst weather I ever sailed in). They behave very well under tough conditions. We had Beneteau of the same size chartered for another part of the group and, when compared side by side, Bavaria certainly made better impression overall.

That said, it is a production boat with all that stems from that.

sailingfool 05-02-2007 10:40 PM

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Bavaria got a lot of bad press, mostly in Europe, based on design defects in a couple of their new Match series racers - there are threads here or sailinganarchy(dot)com on this - reading the details left me agast that a major builder could do such an obviously bad job...and they tried to cover their tracks with marketing mumbo-jumbo and finger pointing, as if running aground once would excuse a keel falling off...

That being said, not necessarily a reason not to consider some of their well-established production boats, unless the way they handling screwing a bunch of other customers (not to mention killing one) makes you uncomfortable about having anything to do with the build.

sailingdog 05-02-2007 11:00 PM


The Bavaria boats have had some keel problems which resulted in a few deaths a while back... The keel actually fell of the boat because the keel attachment was not strong enough. Not all of the boats that were on the used market have had the necessary keel reinforcement, so if you should double check that your boat has had the necessary changes made.

However, your boat may be old enough to be from the series before the newer designs that had the keel problem.

hellosailor 05-03-2007 01:06 AM

SD, what's wrong with having a quick-detach keel for handy trailer stowage on a boat?<G>

OTOH, this could be like the clobbering Audi took in the US some years ago. Maybe the fuss over keels will drive Bavaria prices down enough to make it worth buying one and doing the keel work.

PalmettoSailor 05-03-2007 07:14 AM

We went aboard a couple of new Bavaria's at the Annapolis boat show. I wasn't in the market for a new boat so didn't get into the nuts and bolts of how they are built, but they clearly chose to save some money in the interior. The area around the nav station on both of the Bavaria's we went on could only be described as "cheesy". Lots and lots of cheap fake wood looking plastic like a low end car.

They just didn't compare very favorably on that score with any of the other production boats. They may be similar in quality otherwise, but I know I'd have a hard time convincing the admiral of that, f I were looking for a new boat.

tomaz_423 05-03-2007 08:04 AM

I chartered several Bavarias (34 to 40 feet -they are very popular here in Adriatic sea because the are cheap).
To my standards all hardware is undersized on Bavarias. They are however quite OK for protected waters, but I know of one guy who wanted to sail it across Atlantic and had a severe hull-deck separation (without a major storm) - I think she was a 32 feet boat - not really designed for oceans.
I also read all about keels problems on their "match" series and the arrogant response of Bavaria and the dealer almost made me sick ("If you race a BMW and drive it into a wall you also get some damage..").
I think they no longer sell match series at all. Most had keel attachments reinforced after the incident.
You must understand the design point of those boats:
Majority is sailing in Adriatic sea in summer months. Typical wind force is 3 and dies at sunset. The waves are small (mostly less than a feet), lots of small islands - all very close (like this ). There is also good weather forecast.
Most boats are out on a day sail and safely moored to the dock in some protected harbour or marina during the night. Usually with shore power (default battery of Bavaria is very small).
So, the boats are suitable for that purpose.
The woodwork inside is - well low cost. You get what you pay for. Their "Vision" series may be better - I do not know them, but the "cruiser" series (most popular here) is vary basic.
But you get a 38 footer for a price of a 30 footer. So - if you need her for protected water - why not.

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