Bavaria Yachts builds over 1,000 boats each year, and the company's fine-tuned mass-production techniques contribute to the Bavaria 32's great price. But the 32 offers more than excellent value for money. We chose it because it has a sweet helm, clean lines, comfortable accommodations, and reasonable systems, all of which make it an enticing package.
Good headroom and well-sized berths will comfortably accommodate two couples or a small family, and there's plenty of stowage for coastal cruising. A dedicated wet locker for foul-weather gear next to the companionway steps--exactly where you need it--is a welcome feature. Cabinets and bulkheads are sheathed in attractive varnished mahogany veneers, and the systems are well suited to the boat's intended purpose.
We realized, as we took turns behind the wheel in 10 to 12 knots of wind and flat water, that helm feel and responsiveness are not necessarily proportional to price. The helm was silky smooth, the wake was clean, and the hull (drawn by J&J Design) was easily driven. The 32 lacks the freeboard that would translate into greater volume down below, but the result is aesthetically pleasing and a joy to sail. The sail-handling gear is appropriate for coastal work, the name-brand deck hardware is properly sized, and the cabintop traveler and rigid vang provide sufficient tweak-ability. The cockpit garnered good marks for its high coamings, teak-trimmed seats, and comfortable helm station. The idea that you get what you pay for can be a good thing. With the Bavaria 32 you get a comfortable, attractive, smooth-handling coastal cruiser with a reasonable price tag.
Price: $95,200 (base, FOB Annapolis, MD) includes aluminum double-spreader Selden mast, choice of conventional, in-mast furling or full-batten mainsail, roller-furling jib, Harken winches, and Raymarine Tridata (log, speed, and depth) display.
US agent: Bavaria Yachts USA, Annapolis, MD; tel. 410-990-0007, www.bavariayachts.com
Construction: Hull is built of hand-laid fiberglass with Kevlar reinforcement in the bow. Deck is cored and the hull-to-deck joint is bonded and bolted.
Draft (deep/shoal) 6'/5'
Ballast 2,330 lbs
Displacement 8,250 lbs
Sail area (100% foretriangle) 483 sq ft
Power 19-hp Volvo
Fuel/water/waste 20/35/15 gal
Displ.-length ratio 168
Sail area-displ. ratio 18.9