Skip to main content

Bavaria by Farr

Germany’s Bavaria Yachts, not long ago the 800-pound gorilla of European boatbuilding, took a pummeling during the recession. For years its philosophy of strict engineering practices and budget control had seen its value-priced cruising boats flying off the factory floor. By 2007 the factory was cranking out nearly 3,500 boats a year to feed a seemingly insatiable, mainly

Germany’s Bavaria Yachts, not long ago the 800-pound gorilla of European boatbuilding, took a pummeling during the recession. For years its philosophy of strict engineering practices and budget control had seen its value-priced cruising boats flying off the factory floor. By 2007 the factory was cranking out nearly 3,500 boats a year to feed a seemingly insatiable, mainly European market.

That same year, private equity firm Bain Capital bought Bavaria for a reported 1.3 billion Euros—close to $2 billion—just before the luxury goods market went belly-up. You can guess the rest, and it wasn’t pretty. It ended with Bain unloading Bavaria last year for a reported 300 million Euros. Ouch. If you could ever bring yourself to feel sorry for a venture capitalist, that would have been the time.

FARR@

Anyway, Bavaria was down, but far from out, and its R&D department was working overtime. Bavaria’s boats were looking dated next to the crisply styled new lines from Beneteau, Jeanneau and other Euro-yards, and something had to be done. Enter Bruce Farr, or at least his design team, who have collaborated with Bavaria and interior stylists Designworks USA on a new range of fast cruising boats. Their brief was to merge the Farr performance edge with Bavaria’s manufacturing efficiency and come up with a line of good-looking, well-sailing boats.

So far, there are five boats in the new Cruiser line—a 32, 36, 40, 45 and 55-footer. The 45 is a good example of where Farr’s thinking is at. Twin rudders, one of which will always be fully immersed, means the stern can be made broader and more powerful without the risk of losing control at large heel angles. A long waterline maximizes speed potential, and the fractional rig has a large mainsail and small jib that will be easy for a husband-and-wife crew to cope with. A beefy anchor roller-cum-sprit is an ideal place to set an A-sail on a furler or in a snuffer.

The charter market has influenced the layout belowdecks, where there is a choice of an owner’s version with a single large stateroom and ensuite heads forward of the saloon, or a four-cabin configuration.

There’s no doubt these new Cruisers look sharp, and the factory’s pricing looks as keen as ever: the Cruiser 36 sells in Europe for just 82,000 Euros ($103,000) before tax. The boats are getting good reviews on the other side of the pond and we hope it won’t be long before we see them in the U.S.A.

Resources

Bavaria Yachts, bavariayachts.com

Related

promo-2048x

Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As ...read more

05-DSC_0638

Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the ...read more

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more