Boats

Bavarian Summer

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It seems like only yesterday that Bavaria introduced a completely revamped range of cruising boats, but in fact, the first boats in the Farr-designed Cruiser line, spanning 32 to 55 feet, made their debut nearly three years ago. This year we’re seeing a makeover of some of those boats, and the introduction of the second offering in the Vision line.

The Vision 42 debuted at the Dusseldorf show in January and was an instant hit, offering nearly as much volume and as many cool features as its 46-foot sister—and at a substantially more enticing price point. It has the same offset companionway and cockpit seating that converts to a double bed. Sail controls are all led aft, and the boat should be easy to sail solo.

The layout belowdecks is tailored for a couple with occasional guests and offers an interesting take on the heads/cabin equation. If you like to sleep well away from the head and its associated activities—as many sailors do—you will love the standard one-head layout with its spacious master cabin and generous stowage forward and won’t object to walking aft to answer the call of nature. If not, you can have your own ensuite heads at the expense of a lot of that storage. 

The proliferation of new cruising catamaran designs continues apace, with boats like the Balance 421 providing yet another intriguing alternative for those looking toward life on two hulls. A collaboration between lifelong cat evangelist, broker and author Phil Berman and Kiwi designer Roger Hill, the 421 is the first in a range of boats that, says Berman, will “strike the ideal balance between comfort at anchor and performance underway.”

This is tough talk, considering that no two boat owners will agree on the most desirable speed/comfort formula, but Hill and Berman have come up with a package that just about anyone would find palatable. They laid out the 421 around the needs of a liveaboard cruising couple; hence the sailplan has a self-tacking jib and the mainsail can be set and reefed from the helm station. A large furling screecher can also be set on a sprit. The boat can be ordered with conventional low-aspect keels or in shoal-draft mode with a single daggerboard in the port hull and mini-keels so that the boat can still be beached. 

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