Skip to main content

Best Boats 2016: Bavaria Open 40

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. bavariayachts.com

Related

Alexforbes Archangel1-1 (14)

Cape2Rio Draws to a Close

With just four boats still on their way, it has been a long road to Rio for the fleet competing in this year’s Cape2Rio. Larry Folsom’s American-flagged Balance 526 Nohri took line honors and a win in the MORCA fleet, finishing with a corrected time of 18 days, 20 hours, and 42 ...read more

_01-Steve-and-Irene-1

Close Encounters: A Star to Steer By

I first met Steve and Irene Macek in the proper way—in an anchorage full of bluewater cruising boats. This was in St. Georges, Bermuda, in the spring of 2019. Theirs, without doubt, was the most distinctive boat there—an immaculate, three-masted, double-ended Marco Polo schooner ...read more

14_01_230123_TOR_JOF_0414-2048x

The Ocean Race Leg 2 Kicks Off

After a trial by fire start to the race and only a brief stop for limited fixes, the five IMOCA 60 crews in The Ocean Race set off for Cape Town, South Africa, early on January 25. Despite arriving somewhat battered in Cabo Verde, an African island nation west of Senegal, the ...read more

Lead

Cruising: Smitten with a Wooden Boat

I was sailing down the inner channel of Marina del Rey under a beautiful red sunset when Nills, one of the crew members on my boat, pointed out an unusual and unique-looking 40-foot gaff-rigged wooden cutter tied to the end of a dock. Its classic appearance was a stark contrast ...read more

Screen-Shot-2023-01-23-at-12.03.19-PM

Racing Recap: Leg One of The Ocean Race

New to spectating The Ocean Race? Managing Editor Lydia Mullan breaks down everything you need to know to get started. ...read more

image00001

From the Editor: Keeping the Hands in Hands-On

SAIL Editor-in-Chief Wendy Mitman Clarke enjoys a sunny autumn cruise in her Peterson 34 on the Chesapeake Bay. It was late afternoon just after the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis when I climbed aboard the last boat on the schedule. I and others who review and sail boats for ...read more

P1580711

B&G Announces New Zeus S Chartplotter

B&G has long been putting out top-of-the-line electronics, but the new Zeus S Chartplotter is a new take on the best way to give sailors the exact information they need, when they need it. “So many more people sail shorthanded these days, whether as a couple or when they’re ...read more

00-LEAD-DSCF1601

Charter: Mission to Mars

In the wake of the pandemic, many sailors are seeking adventure and grabbing onto a vision of their best lives. For some, that may mean sailing across the Atlantic with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) while for others, it could be a yacht charter in the Caribbean. The ...read more