Best Boats 2016: Bavaria Open 40

Publish date:
Social count:

Cruising Multihull 31-40ft


Bavaria Open 40

Known for its monohulls, Bavaria recently acquired French catamaran builder Nautitech and enters the multihull market with the new Open 40, a boat that has been making some serious waves at the many boat shows where it appeared this year.

Naval architect Marc Lombard has created a high-freeboard design with narrow hulls and fixed keels. The reverse bows hint at good performance, and the hard chines running from bow to stern both help part the water to keep the decks dry and provide a bit of extra interior volume while permitting waterline beam to be kept narrow. At 17,000lb, the boat is fairly light, with solid glass below the waterline and a cored, infused laminate above.

With those narrow hulls, the Open 40 sails like a witch, more than holding her own upwind—not a favorite angle of sail for most cats. Bavaria has also changed up a few options recently and added engine controls at the helms on both sides, which makes docking on either port or starboard a breeze. The interior finish is somewhat dark, which contrasts well with the boat’s white paneling, and a small shelf was added between the galley and the settee to provide a dish and cup rack.

The real story behind this boat is suggested by her name: the “Open 40.” On most cats, the saloon and galley are spread over about two thirds of the available main deck space, leaving the cockpit with the remaining third. However, aboard the Bavaria Open, this ratio has been reversed, with the idea that the cockpit is the area where cruising crews spend most of their time, making this Bavaria indeed much more “open.” The flow is excellent from the interior, past the starboard-side dinette and all the way to the transoms. Protection from the sun and rain is provided by a hardtop that extends all the way aft and also serves as the anchor for the mainsheet traveler.

Visibility forward from the helms is excellent overall, and even reasonable to the opposing forward corner through the ports. Best of all, this boat is as fun to sail off the wind as it is on a beat, providing a good turn of speed even at lower wind speeds, and will not disappoint in either private ownership or on charter.


Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far more


SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comTeak deck paradise  I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. more


Gear: ATN Multi Awning

THROW SOME SHADEAmong the many virtues of cruising cats is the large expanse of netting between their bows, which is the ideal place to hang out with a cold one after a hard day’s sailing and let the breeze blow your worries away. Only trouble is it can get a bit hot up there more


How to Sail the Med

“After spending so many years sailing the Caribbean, I was frankly astounded at how much more I enjoy the Mediterranean,” says Scott Farquharson of charter brokers Proteus Yacht Charters. “The culture, the history, the food, the weather, friendly people, crystal-clear water—there more


Know-How: Rigging Emergency Rudders

We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the more


Experience: Hard Aground

This is a story of how mistakes are made and judgment is dulled to the point of catastrophe. It is also about how prudent planning, good equipment and a bit of luck can bring you back from the brink.We departed Norfolk, Virginia, on December 15 bound for Jacksonville, Florida, more


Vestas Discusses Fatal Collision, Recovery

Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-captains Mark Towill and Charlie Enright discuss the collision near the end of Leg 4 as well as the efforts the team has made to get back into racing trimJust over a month after 11th Hour Racing’s fatal collision with a commercial fishing vessel shortly more