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Old 07-02-2018, 21:56   #1
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Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

I'm just about to sell my house after a marital split and, after several years of consideration of the pluses and minuses of taking up a liveaboard life, am now in the position of being able to proceed with the plan. At best, I'd describe myself as a boating novice - although I do have a Cruising Skipper certificate (equivalent to Boatmaster). But no certificate will replace hands on experience!

Ever since becoming interested in yachts (as opposed to cruisers/launches) back in the 90's, I've always liked the lines of the Beneteau/Jeanneau/Bavaria yachts.

I've just looked at a Bavaria 37 (2005 - 3 cabin model) and really like it as it seems very well put together and has been well maintained since new. The current owner has given me a copy of the survey report he obtained when he bought it 18 months ago and this describes it as a very well maintained boat. The only slightly negative comment in the report is regarding some 'minor cracking at the hull/keel joint but this is countered by there being very positive comments on the condition of the keel bolts and the fact that the bilge is bone dry. The only proviso in the report is about regular checks on this and carrying out maintenance as required.

I inspected the boat 2 days ago and, although the boat was on its mooring, the bilge was again bone dry. I spoke to the surveyor (who coincidently I was also recommended to use by someone completely independent as he is very highly regarded in NZ) and he commented that this is a common issue with many production boats and, so long as the joint is regularly checked and maintained, should present no problem.

So, this boat ticks almost every box on my wish list and is in the price range I was considering. The question is - and I know there are many 'Bavaria haters' out there - would this be a boat which I could look to having for many years of relatively simple cruising? I'll be living aboard full time but intend to cruise around the Marlborough Sounds and Nelson/Golden Bay area for several years to build my experience before venturing further afield around the various cruising areas of New Zealand. I really don't see me ever having the desire to go further afield so a full-on offshore cruiser would really be overkill I think.

Having said all that (!), I've also seen a 1982 Roberts 42 ketch which has also caught my eye. It's been very well maintained, has a recent new engine and all sorts of upgrades. It also has a shallower full keel which would let me venture into slightly shallower areas - this would also be handy for accessing my marina of choice which has a sandbar not far from the entrance so this has to be taken into account for any trips. Others, more knowledgeable than myself, have said that this would be a good offshore cruiser so it should be more than capable of any coastal cruising I'm likely to do.

That's a brief summary of where I'm at and what I've got to think about right now. So, what would be the best option for me??
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Old 07-02-2018, 22:41   #2
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Hi Deryck, sorry to hear that the marriage didn’t last.
On choice of boats, I don’t think anyone can give you a definite answer, only you can. On the other hand CF members can share with you their personal views. And those combined responses might make your decision ….harder. But at least you have then more information/opinions.
Now my bit. You didn’t say what the material the Roberts 42 is. If it is steel, than I think there most pointers go in the direction of Bavaria. As it is newer, less maintenance, better re-sale value.
If the Roberts is GRP, than the choice is harder…. Although I think Bavaria still wins, as the Roberts is likely to be homebuilt boat. I think the Roberts only wins if the asking price is a lot less than that of the Bavaria.

I have never sailed a Roberts design that was a good sailer, hmm, a broad reach might be OK, but on a close reach….don’t sail well, many of these Roberts (of that era) have long keels. And you said the Roberts you are interested in has a shallow(er) draft, yes, helpful for entering shallow areas, but not providing much sailing ability.
Room on these boats should be fairly similar, despite the difference in length, maybe a Roberts wins here. The Roberts should also win on tankage.

But.... the Roberts is a 35 year old boat, the Bavaria 13 years...... On both boats check the big ticket items, how much it costs for each to bring up the similar standards: sails, rigging, winches, engine, propulsion, steering, hull (check those cracks between keel/hull!, if the cracks are only in the gelcoat or bog there might be OK, but be carfeful)

Disclaimer: I do not know a Roberts 42 ft design unless it is a ‘Spray’; have sailed many other ones: 36, 38, 43, 44, 45 ft and bigger, both in steel and GRP. I have never seen a Bavaria 37, I have been on a Bavaria 38 though, that was sailing around the world successfully with a family of 5…… I have sailed, hmm rather motor-sailed, Robert’s Spray in 34 and 40 ft, comfy but lacking spiritedly sailing performance.
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Old 07-02-2018, 23:19   #3
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Thanks for the speedy response.

The Roberts is GRP but the specs say it was built by Aquacraft Boat Corp (but I don't know anything about their reputation as a builder).

Your comments about the sailing ability of the Roberts do echo other comments I've read about this type of vessel with a full keel. The main reason I was drawn to that was, as I said, the extra flexibility of accessing the marina and other shallower areas.

The Bavaria certainly ticks all the boxes on my wish list so, as a liveaboard option, it scored highly in that respect - plus being newer, as you say, should mean lower maintenance costs right now.

Being a newbie when it comes to yachts I have to be led by comments from more knowledgeable folks, hence the reason I signed up to this forum.

So, please keep the comments coming to help me make a decision.....

Right now, I'd say that the Bavaria is in the lead - but I'm open to other arguments....
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Old 08-02-2018, 00:47   #4
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Two comments. Three cabins is a charter configuration. You get smaller head/shower and rather mediocre deck storage in exchange for that extra cabin. Personally I would prefer a two cabin layout for a liveaboard use. Sure you can use two cabins as storage, but it only works for some items.

Second thing are those cracks you mentioned. Slight cracks along keel joint happen sometimes, but if there are any cracks inside bilge, near keel bolts, be very very careful and inspect closely.

Other than that, it is a roomy boat inside and I think you will like it (though I might be slightly biased)
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:22   #5
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Thanks for the comments.

I actually prefer the 3 cabin arrangement as it allows me the extra internal cabin should more people be staying over or cruising with me but I want it primarily for secure dry storage of various items that I'll need/want to have readily available on a day to day basis. That's important to me and why I discounted the 2 cabin layout. The smaller head is less important.

The cracking is a concern and I'll be looking to the surveyor to advise carefully on this. He did say when I spoke to him earlier today that many production boats do have this issue but it needs careful and regular monitoring.

On the up side, the keel bolts and bilge show no signs of water ingress so hopefully it's not a big issue. The survey will show whether they've got worse since the last survey was done about 18 months ago and I'll be guided by that and advice from the surveyor.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:02   #6
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

You don't say (and perhaps it's a sore topic) whether you would be single-handing or not, or whether you would be doing more than coastal passages, not that those can't be exciting indeed from what I understand about NZ weather.

A Roberts design in GRP is a special case in my view because, unlike the hundreds of home built Roberts designs, it is more likely to meet its designed scantlings. I have a steel boat that people mistake for a Roberts or for a Dutch design; it's neither, but its careful construction means it's neither as heavy as it looks nor is it a pig to windward, so I'm suggesting only a sea trial should disqualify the Roberts on that basis.

Of more interest to me is the ketch configuration, particularly if it is a cutter-rigged ketch. If one is not in a hurry, this rig can be sailed solo, but conservatively to ease the wear on the rig and to keep going steady in a blow (see "jib and jigger"). It's certainly something to consider, as is the greater stowage and tankage likelihoods if you are looking to liveaboard at a mooring or on the hook. While I won't knock the Bavaria, which are in the top half of Euro cruisers, I would say, I like them less for liveaboard purposes than a boat with greater internal volume. They are undoubtedly the better layout for guests and charter purposes, but in practice, we simply don't have a lot of overnighters or guests needing a private cabin. Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:09   #7
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

A kiwi!!!!!!

We lived in Opua and then Takapuna for 7 years. Miss the sailing for sure.

As to cabin layout we now have a tri cabin hunter 40.5 legend. That third cabin in my opinion is priceless!

The two cabin model does have a palatial aft cabin however I prefer a cozy smaller cabin anyway that is comfortable for three things: reading, sleeping and one other I canít recall ;-)

On a 40í boat all the little things you want but are tough to store get tossed in the extra cabin and yes, when an extra guest or three arrive they get tossed in there as well!

Good luck and sorry about the breakup. All the best!
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:16   #8
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

In my view: if you are going local or relatively, then the deciding factor should be cost of operation and maintenance. A light, newer sloop appears to be the cost effective option.

With a consideration to cross oceans I would hold the build to be the priority. A harty built, heavy displacement with sail arrangement options are a good choice.

I recently took to the life in a shallow draft lightweight sloop. I will bounce around the carib for a while and cut my teeth. If I am so inclined to cross an ocean, which seems probable, I will trade up.

I don't pay much mind to the hater view, both sides can be argued on each design. I think everything has a purpose and if you use the boat to its purpose it won't disappoint. Get on the boat feel around and trust your gut.

I have been living on mine for the past year around the east coast. My costs don't come close to what I have read here on the forum. She has treated me well and I am in love. I expect you will find the same with your choice. It will break my heart when I have to trade up.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:38   #9
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
You don't say (and perhaps it's a sore topic) whether you would be single-handing or not, or whether you would be doing more than coastal passages, not that those can't be exciting indeed from what I understand about NZ weather.

A Roberts design in GRP is a special case in my view because, unlike the hundreds of home built Roberts designs, it is more likely to meet its designed scantlings. I have a steel boat that people mistake for a Roberts or for a Dutch design; it's neither, but its careful construction means it's neither as heavy as it looks nor is it a pig to windward, so I'm suggesting only a sea trial should disqualify the Roberts on that basis.

Of more interest to me is the ketch configuration, particularly if it is a cutter-rigged ketch. If one is not in a hurry, this rig can be sailed solo, but conservatively to ease the wear on the rig and to keep going steady in a blow (see "jib and jigger"). It's certainly something to consider, as is the greater stowage and tankage likelihoods if you are looking to liveaboard at a mooring or on the hook. While I won't knock the Bavaria, which are in the top half of Euro cruisers, I would say, I like them less for liveaboard purposes than a boat with greater internal volume. They are undoubtedly the better layout for guests and charter purposes, but in practice, we simply don't have a lot of overnighters or guests needing a private cabin. Good luck.
Thanks for this comment.

I think it's more likely that, at least while I'm learning the cruising areas I wouldn't be single-handed - I prefer to have company as well as for safety reasons more than anything. Both these yachts seem well set up for solo sailing with everything coming back to the cockpit anyway.

The internal stowage areas might be slightly more generous on the Roberts but not significantly so for the items I'm wanting to have on board over and above the usual cruising requirements and spares. I'm a semi-pro musician and need/want to have 2 or 3 guitars and other bits and pieces I use for recording, etc on board that are readily to hand, hence the reason for wanting the 3rd cabin. This just wouldn't really be achievable with a 2 cabin layout I think and would end up being a nuisance if I had to find other places for these if someone was going to be overnighting.

The tank sizes are slightly smaller on the Bavaria but I'll be berthed at a marina most of the time rather than on moorings or anchored which would only be when I was cruising so, as I see it, this isn't really an issue. The Bavaria has had an additional 150 litre water tank fitted anyway and has an 80 litre holding tank fitted by the current owners as they keep the boat on a private mooring so they found this to be a benefit.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:47   #10
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

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Originally Posted by akprb View Post
A kiwi!!!!!!

We lived in Opua and then Takapuna for 7 years. Miss the sailing for sure.

As to cabin layout we now have a tri cabin hunter 40.5 legend. That third cabin in my opinion is priceless!

The two cabin model does have a palatial aft cabin however I prefer a cozy smaller cabin anyway that is comfortable for three things: reading, sleeping and one other I canít recall ;-)

On a 40í boat all the little things you want but are tough to store get tossed in the extra cabin and yes, when an extra guest or three arrive they get tossed in there as well!

Good luck and sorry about the breakup. All the best!
I'm actually Scottish but have lived here for 22 years so am almost a kiwi (just without the strange accent!!). I'm looking forward to getting up to the cruising areas up north once I've explored more of the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay/Nelson area.

The cabins in the 2 cabin layouts I've looked at are - at least in more modern boats - not that much bigger than in the 3 cabin layouts. This surprised me and it was one reason I decided on wanting a 3 cabin set up.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:53   #11
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

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Originally Posted by Dayo View Post
In my view: if you are going local or relatively, then the deciding factor should be cost of operation and maintenance. A light, newer sloop appears to be the cost effective option.

With a consideration to cross oceans I would hold the build to be the priority. A harty built, heavy displacement with sail arrangement options are a good choice.

I recently took to the life in a shallow draft lightweight sloop. I will bounce around the carib for a while and cut my teeth. If I am so inclined to cross an ocean, which seems probable, I will trade up.

I don't pay much mind to the hater view, both sides can be argued on each design. I think everything has a purpose and if you use the boat to its purpose it won't disappoint. Get on the boat feel around and trust your gut.

I have been living on mine for the past year around the east coast. My costs don't come close to what I have read here on the forum. She has treated me well and I am in love. I expect you will find the same with your choice. It will break my heart when I have to trade up.
Exactly my thoughts!

I consider myself to be a novice sailor and will likely be spending at least the next few years sailing local waters before venturing further afield around NZ - but still coastal cruising to all intents and purposes. If I suddenly decide that I have to cross an ocean then maybe that will be the time to look at a different boat.

Glad you're enjoying your boat. I hope to be doing the same in the very near future!
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:26   #12
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Roberts 42
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:57   #13
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

I hear the answers in your questions and statements. If you are getting your sailing chops, want to do extended local sailing, but not full on offshore, living aboard full-time, a question not answered is, if this is your first boat, what about resale? Production boats are a known quantity, a lot of the Roberts were factory hulls, finished by others.
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Old 08-02-2018, 13:10   #14
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

Hi Deryck
Iíve just purchased a Beneteau 411 in Picton. So my choice would be definitely the Bavaria. I made my decision after a year research, seen lots of boats and Imho production boats are great for live aboard. You might can find better boats with better performance but if you look the price/age/performance/comfort package Itís hard to beat BeneJeanBav imho.
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Old 08-02-2018, 13:26   #15
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Re: Liveaboard options - Bavaria 37 or Roberts 42 ketch

I have sailed a lot of Bavaria's, including the 37. . Easy to single hand, easy manouvring, I would like the winches somewhat bigger.

Bert
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