BAVARIA 41 | Coal Harbour Media

30 Апр 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Cruisers Yachts 380 boat

BAVARIA 41

A Carribean workout!

My hosts, Jerry and Jula Salaman in the BVI

When asked to do a sea trial on a Bavaria 41 I was insistent that I should do it in the Caribbean. It’s the only place to be after all.

There are an increasing amount of Bavarias in the charter fleets of the world and I wanted to see why. It would be a slug no doubt and impossible to sail properly because the sails would be too small.


CONSTRUCTION

A serious hollow fibreglass matrix makes the basis of the strength in this and (I believe) all Bavarias. This is reinforced with stainless steel at the stringers where shrouds or other load bearing items might be attached. The hull is them bonded to this to make an extremely strong structure that has no wood involved. Below the waterline the hull is solid fibreglass and is reinforced with Kevlar at ‘impact areas’. Above the water line the hull and deck has a balsa core for insulation from the weather and sound. As all Bavarias are constructed in the same way, this might be repetitive as I have tested these boats before (in a different size) so I will not burden you with much more here. Suffice it to say, it is a very strong vessel and this might explain why charter companies are going for them.

DOWN BELOW

As we go below the head with shower that is used by the two aft cabins and the visitors in the main salon is to port and forward of that is the galley that takes up the rest of the port side space. To starboard is a large ‘U’ shaped dinette with enough space to sit a rugby 7-a-side team and their manager! Aft of this is the navigation station and the entrance into one of the two aft cabins. In both of these is a good sized double bed with good storage and hanging cupboards, and plenty of opening ports for ventilation.

Up forward is the master stateroom with its own bathroom and shower. There is lots of light and opening hatches abound so ventilation is good even in the hottest climates. I would get something made up to stop the rain coming in during the night though. Otherwise you have to shut everything down and then you steam!

The mahogany woodwork is well done and the layout is just perfect. This is looking forward towards the master stateroom

There is plenty of room to put a fancy flat panel TV on the forward bulkhead, but if you are sailing in the Caribbean. that would be about the last thing you would do. Looking at the gorgeous sunset with a drink in your hand and your best girl by your side is far more important to most people down there.

ON DECK

Forward is a Lewmar electric windlass that is hidden in the chain locker, so it’s neat and no stubbing of feet up on the foredeck. There is a solid boom vang and the mast boasts spreaders that are not so swept back as to make downwind sailing a problem. There is an adjustable back stay on this 7/8 fractional rig too, so tuning the rig for optimum performance is very possible here. And believe me, it has performance!

In the teak decked cockpit forward of the big destroyer wheel we had just the two primary self tailing winches and two more smaller ones for the halyards situated on the cabin top. This was just fine as we were not running a spinnaker, but there are spots for the secondaries if you do want to fit them at a later date. There is a good sized table that folds away for sailing or is set up for those great meals when you are bobbing at anchor in another amazing bay.

Sister ship picture showing great stern access and hot and cold shower on the swim grid. Note also the split backstay with tensioning tackle to port.

The whole cockpit is protected from the sun by a huge bimini which is an essential piece of kit where there is a lot of sun. The steering binnacle has compass and an electronic display for everything you need to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ plus an array of wind instruments. If there was one complaint it would be the teak decked curved bench seats on either side of the cockpit. It meant that reclining on them was not as comfortable as they might have been had you had a straight bulkhead to lean against.

MECHANICALS

The 55 HP Volvo-Penta D2-55 engine with sail drive is easily serviced by removing the box under the companionway. Everything is to hand and there is further access from the aft cabins. This is enough power to propel the boat through anything and will certainly keep up with anything in its class. The sail drive has proven reliable now and is one of the best methods of propulsion when trying to keep drag to a minimum.

Bavaria 33 Hard Top

Below the floorboards are bilge pumps, fuel and water tanks to keep the centre of gravity low, and in the aft bathroom are all the controls for the tankage and pump-outs. It’s great having everything in one place.

There are tanks for 300 litres of fresh water and 150 litres of fuel, and it is surprising how far this will take you.

THE SEA TRIAL

Not being happy with a couple of hours on the water, I spent 2 weeks on “Dawn Raider” and found her to be a remarkable boat indeed. The speed achieved under sail in not too much wind was amazing, and we saw 9 and 10 knots on many occasions in the trade winds that we find there.

The steering was light and responsive and downwind sailing was fabulous. Into wind the angle of heel is not uncommon, but might be a concern to a novice. Everything else, for the novice or the full out professional is good about sailing this boat. She handled well under power and sail, goes really well when pushed, yet has a comfortable motion and feels great in a seaway. Even though I have a propensity to race anything in sight, this boat was hard to beat and we found little difficulty in passing 47 footers and larger that are the flavour of the month at the moment out there. This is a great cruiser/racer in my opinion, yet a boat that can be handled by all skill levels. She was inclined to take a little spray over the foredeck when punching hard into wind in a Caribbean chop (and what boat doesn’t?). otherwise she was a very dry boat with very little making it aft of the mast.

Our boat had roller furling up forward and slab reefing with preset reef points, all controlled from the cockpit, for the full battened main which dropped into a boom bag for stowage, so there is little chance of a drama and shortening sail is simple and easily done. We spent quite a lot of time with one slab reef in the main and our #2 genoa pulling like mad in these trade wind waters. Great fun I can tell you.

Feeding the gulls that sit on your dinghy as you swing around your anchor in a peaceful bay is just a small part of sailing in the Caribbean. Note the shaped helm seat, the teak, and the split back stay.

CONCLUSION

If you want a fast boat that has a great interior and can accommodate 7 or 8 people, this is for you. The value for money is as good as it gets and as I have said above, if the charter people use them, there can be little wrong with the product, given the beating they can take at the hands of some charterers.

This boat is now 5 years old and is in almost as good shape as it was when new because the owner is fastidious in making sure everything is done that needs to be done and has the foresight to keep on top of   the charter company. Sails are renewed and all services done on time, and nothing has been left to chance. These boats are a good buy at any time, but if you can find a well kept one, go for it.

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