Best Boats 2012 Winner: The Bavaria Cruiser 45


We sailed the new Cruiser 45 by Bruce Farr in strong tradewind conditions down in Grenada this past spring and were happy to step aboard again during the Annapolis show in the fall. There’s an awful lot for a modern cruising sailor to like in this boat, starting with the enormous interior (particularly the fabulous master stateroom forward) and the updated styling. We also liked the noticeable improvement in Bavaria’s build and finish quality since last they sold boats in the United States, and we were impressed by several details aboard, from the stainless steel fiddle rail around the spacious countertop in the galley (it looks cool, makes a great handhold, and does a good job of keeping stuff on the counter) to the motorized fold-down swim transom (a worthy contender, we think, in the ongoing transom wars that have consumed boatbuilders of late).

There's an awful lot for a cruising sailor to like about this boat, starting with the enormous interior and the updated styling.Most of all, we like the way this boat sails. Thanks to the twin rudders, which are canted well outboard, and the efficient Farr-designed hull, this is one broad-beamed mass-production cruising monohull that will power up and heel over without griping when pressed hard to windward. The cockpit easily accommodates both relaxing guests and working crew, with plenty of room for substantive winch upgrades (both with respect to size and number). The rig, whether you choose in-mast furling or a conventional slab-reef mainsail, drives the boat well. We enjoyed good speed during our test sail, both upwind and down, with no help from a spinnaker or a big overlapping genoa. We’re looking for this boat to do well in charter-bareboat racing classes down in the islands, and we expect any cruiser who enjoys both exciting sailing and vast accommodations will be pleased with it.


LOA46ft 10in
LWL41ft 9in
Beam14ft 3in
Draft6ft 11in?
Displacement27,780 lb
Ballast7,694 lb
Sail Area1,151 ft2


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