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Old 23-06-2007, 23:26   #1
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Opinions on Bavaria Yachts

What is the opinion of this board on Bavaria yachts? Are they similiar in quality to Hunter, Catalina and Beneteau? I haven't seen one in person and I'm curious what their reputation is like. I read a while back about one or more boats loosing their keel but never heard anything beyond that.
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Old 24-06-2007, 02:32   #2
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I dunno about Catalina and Hunter (presumably American Hunter), but Beneteau to me is the same same as Bavaria. Price, design, performance and build quality.

Can't say I would ever buy one, given my own circumstances and plans.

But if I was ever after a boat to keep somewhere warm as a floating holiday home that could also be sailed enjoyably then I would be very tempted. Especially if I had family / kids and needed the room they provide........can't say I would go around Cape Horn in one. But then again I can't say I would go around Cape Horn in anything! But I am sure folk have..........

Certainly when looking at new prices both Beneteau and Bavaria are very attractive - an article in one of the recent boat mags did some numbers, I think that a 40 footer (Beneteau or a Bavaria or something same same) from 10 years ago was sold new at the same price as they still are (if not a fraction more expensive back then!) - prices kept down by massive increase in factory efficiencies, design and probably China..........
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Old 24-06-2007, 03:31   #3
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Without wishing to raise any hackles on Bavaria owners backs, I think most people who've been on both makes would accept the build quality / fittings / style are not perhaps to same standards as Beneteau.

I've only been on a couple of US Hunters and whilst the styling is significantly different (ie Bav look like they can sail, Hunters look like they work best parked up), I'd suggest build quality is possibly similar.

But they are good value of money and helped 000's of people afford a new yacht and get out sailing and for that - we should all applaud Bavaria.

IMHO also, over the years since they started, thier low price policy has been a major influence on other production manufacturers who have not wished to loose market share.

I'd suggest if you choose a Bav buy second hand and you can score a bargain (certainly in Europe) as lots of first time buyers do become first time sellers too.

Good luck

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Old 24-06-2007, 07:16   #4
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the Bavaria saga

I am one of those Bavaria owners, bought new in 2001 and agree with just about everything that John (swagman) wrote. One thing to look at are the changes in the Bavarias over the years.

Most feel that BAV quality over the years is on the decline as prices dictate ever more what rolls out the front door. For same reason cheaper materials are being used; that goes for winches and deck-hardware, also the "older" models have solid wood interiors, some of the newer models some cheesy looking plastic that is supposed to imitate wood and in some places carbon... tacky and brittle.

The comparison to Beneteaus seems fair and I would definitely prefer an older BAV over an older Beneteau any day; if I was considering a new model, it would be a toss-up.

As much as I hate to admit this from an owner's perspective: I think Catalinas are the better made boat (both over Beneteau and BAV), Hunters just are a different concept (again agree with John), which may be on the same quality level as BAV and Beneteau.
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Old 24-06-2007, 16:54   #5
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The fake wood in the new Bavarias is a real joke. It is like patterned wallpaper with the pattern reoccurring every drop. On the bulkheads you can see identical fake wood knots and patterns within a metre of each other. On the larger Bavarias it looks terrible. On the smaller ones not so bad as they are not beamy enough to repeat the pattern.

The quality of the Benetaus has certainly fallen in the last few years. Now the soles are ply with painted black and brown stripes. At least on the old ones they tried to immitate the teak and holly! Screw plugs used to be wooden. Now they are just brown plastic.
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Old 24-06-2007, 16:56   #6
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I read a while back about one or more boats loosing their keel but never heard anything beyond that
Wasn,t it a Hanse losing it's rudder in the UK?
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Old 24-06-2007, 18:06   #7
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Originally Posted by seafox
Wasn,t it a Hanse losing it's rudder in the UK?
It might have been Hanse loosing their rudder, but I think a Bavaria lost a keel.
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Old 25-06-2007, 21:55   #8
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A few Bavarias of a certain model had major keel issues due to inadequate engineering structure at the hull/keel joint a couple of years ago. Bavaria recalled the boats involved and came up with an engineering fix.
They got a lot of bad publiciy over this one engineering fault on one model...perhaps more than they deserve. Nevertheless, I agree that the Bavarias in at least recent years are quite lightly built and this goes beyond fake wood. Fine for coastal stuff but I would not be comfortable with one offshore in a storm...and in the price range I'd go for a Catalina.
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Old 25-06-2007, 22:45   #9
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If the visual is all fake and cheap you can imagine what the bits you can't see are like.
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Old 26-06-2007, 06:19   #10
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It is interesting how visceral of a response Bavaria seems to trigger. Facts are oftentimes set aside or not considered. "Camaraderie" is pretty much on the money: the boat that lost her keel was the (then) rather new "Match 42", part of a new performance-series, which was supposed to compete with the likes of Grand Soleil, X or here in America J-boats. They pushed it too far and the result was one dead, a boat sunk. "They" means certainly Bavaria but the designers as well, which is usually forgotten.

In the aftermath Bavaria did extremely poor dealing with this disaster, denying responsibility, accusing the charter-company of inadequate maintenance, the crew of mishandling the boat...

The Match series was first re-engineered, finally taken off production, the cruiser line are totally different boats.

Bavaria is in boats what Ford was in automobiles. The Model T was no Duesenberg either. And BAV as well as Ford surely changed their respective markets if not created them.

One issue that I do disagree with C on are the heavy weather capabilities: I have been in an 8 to 9 and several strong 7s with my BAV 40 and she took it well. I do particularly recall the "Bora of the century" April 12 and 13 2004 which claimed one fatality but we went through it unharmed.
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Old 28-06-2007, 19:53   #11
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Defence of Hunters

Most derogatory comments about Hunters indicate that people have not sailed on current models. Since the advent of the Glen Henderson design range they are a very different boat. There is an old H 336 parked near me which looks like a bath tub in comparison
My H 33 2004 while still having plenty of room down below has good modern lines and with its big roach main can beat similar sized Bavarias, Benetaus and Catalinas around the cans in our club races.
Handling is better than most, with the overhead arch traveller making it easy to control main and headsail from the helm.
I think also that it wins in the quality stakes compared to Bavaria, ie lead not cast iron keel, bonze not plastic prop, real teak, and corian in the galley and head.
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Old 28-06-2007, 23:35   #12
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Some further info might be useful.

As stated, it was only one Bavaria Match series which lost it's keel. No similar issues with any of the Bavaria cruiser range of which multiple 000's have been produced.

And for those who don't know - there have been plenty of other more expensive brands who've had keel issues from time to time. One example was the first produced Grand Soleil 40 Race model, where all had to have them stripped out and re-engineered as keels worked loose. Price is not always an indicator of good engineering or design.

One Hanse 371 lost its rudder and sank due to a failure in the stock caused by a retro-engineered keyway cut. No similar failures on any other 371 or indeed, any other model produced.

To my knowledge, two US Hunters (at least one was scuttled) lost their rudders due to failure in the fibreglass rudder stocks mid Ocean within the past few years.

But again, lots of other composite stocks have also failed, including a couple of well engineered Davidson 50's in Oz........

So with boat choice, its always going to be horses for course and all that. It is good we all love our own choices and defend them as we should, but maybe we should stop knocking other peoples choices for invalid reasons.

Cheers
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Old 29-06-2007, 02:36   #13
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Bain Capital acquires Bavaria Yachtbau

Bain Capital, the US private equity firm, yesterday announced the acquisition of Bavaria Yachtbau, Germany's biggest yachtmaker, in a deal believed to be worth as much as €1.3bn ($1.8bn).

According to the Financial Times, Bain Capital, a private equity company, paid as much as €1.3 billion (US$1.8 billion, £896 million) for the German sailboat and motorboat manufacturer, Bavaria.

This sum is equal to five times Bavaria's revenue of €271 million (US$365million, £182million) for the year ended July 2006, and a multiple in excess of 16 times the most recently filed earnings figure of €79 million on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
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Old 29-06-2007, 06:59   #14
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Quote:
What is the opinion of this board on Bavaria yachts? Are they similar in quality to Hunter, Catalina and Beneteau?
My neighbor has a 2000 Bavaria 37. It's been good but there have been issues. The fridge failed a few years back. He had to re-bed all the stanchions (they started leaking). That process exposed a few of the mass production problems that come with a mass produced boat. I would not say they have any serious advantage over the other major big manufacturers nor major disadvantages, but they have had a price advantage at various times. I'm not sure that is true in the US any more.

It does well in light air and the fractional rig is easy to handle. In high winds it tends to suffer from the problems that a lighter boat has but when reefed it handles fine. This boat is a shoal draft and around here that can be seen as an advantage. I know my neighbor sees the plus and minuses pretty well and at the time he bought it new he thought he got more for the money than he would have from the other manufacturers. price does matter at some level to nearly everyone.

For the type of sailing my neighbor and wife do it's been a great boat. I think you need to judge boats by how they are used not what they don't get used for. I would not take one to the polar ice caps. I can't say I'm headed there in any boat either.
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Old 29-06-2007, 08:55   #15
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Well said Mr. Paul:

I think you summed it up pretty good.
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