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Old 29-07-2012, 13:16   #1
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What's Happened To Bavaria?

Let me make this clear before I start - this isn't a Bavaria bashing thread! I have been an outspoken critic of production yachts in the past, and I maintain that the average yacht of a few decades ago was more seaworthy than the average yacht of today. However, I don't believe that all production yachts are 'bad'. Bavarias in particular make good cruising yachts - in my opinion as good as premium 'performance' cruisers such as HR, although not as seakindly or easy to handle in heavy weather as 'proper' cruisers such as Contessa, Rustler and so on. As proponents of production yachts point out, the deck gear and rig is exactly the same brands as you would get on a much pricier yacht such as an HR (Selden, Harken etc.). Construction methods are good, only foam-coring above the waterline, using a structural floor grid, and the much maligned keel attachment is in reality a strong arrangement of many large-diameter bolts through-bolted to the floor grid. Reinforcing the impact area of the bow with kevlar seems a particularly good idea. In fact, arguably superior to HR in many ways. Anyway - on to my point.

I really liked the old lineup of Bavarias, and have done plenty of sailing in them. In spite of being built in to the 'marina box', I thought they had good looks and nice lines. They had large chart tables (a must for a traditionalist like me) and good cruising interiors with plenty of handholds, deep fiddles and so on. The interior joinery was nothing short of exemplary - the practise of machining all the mahogany in house had really paid off, the veneers on the larger panels were good quality and it was all put together really well. In short, I liked the yachts - a lot. And coming from a lover of older style bluewater cruisers that means a lot.

But last year... it all went wrong! The more I see of their new lineup, the more I dislike them. They are all appallingly ugly, festooned with horrible square blacked-out windows. The smaller models have gained a weird lumpen look. The layout options aren't nearly as good, with laughable numbers of heads if you select the options with more cabins, which is a waste of space in a cruising yacht. My beloved chart tables are gone, replaced with either a pathetic pull-out perch, or a table with utterly inadequate fiddles, no convenient cupboards, and no easy view of the electronics. The switch panel has been replaced with an electronic one, presumably controlling a bank of solenoids. Electrics are the number one culprit for breakages, and this system is more complex and vulnerable. The deep fiddles in the galley are replaced with rails - which plates can slip under. The lovely rich mahogany interiors are gone - replaced with cold Ikea style white pine or washed out looking mahogany, and lots of nice painful sharp edges, which makes it all look like a cheap hotel. In short, a yacht less suited to cruising, and less pleasant to live on.

My question is... what do Bavaria think they're doing?

Thread rule - no discussion of 'production' vs 'premium' yachts - this has been done to death!
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Old 29-07-2012, 13:56   #2
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

They are probably trying to keep from going under. We in Germany are paying for the Greeks' failed experiment, in addition to subsidising the EU bloatocracy, the gamblers, er, I mean the banks, and probably Spain, Portugal and Ireland as well, soon....without even mentioning the demands in the country. The demographic bomb is ticking too....
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Old 29-07-2012, 14:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micah719
They are probably trying to keep from going under. We in Germany are paying for the Greeks' failed experiment, in addition to subsidising the EU bloatocracy, the gamblers, er, I mean the banks, and probably Spain, Portugal and Ireland as well, soon....without even mentioning the demands in the country. The demographic bomb is ticking too....
Of course with the attitude of some Germans no wonder the EU is finished. You can't join a club then bail out ! When it gets a bit tough. Ps all those bailouts are loans by the way. Germany isn't paying for anything. All it's doing is protecting its own bond holders

I don't agree with the OPs assessment of bavaria. They are mass market producers of yachts. They research interior design trends. The older Dark interior colors are completely out of fashion in Europe not to mention the fact that many such timbers are illegal to import.

The chart table issue is one shared with many other makers. Most people rely on electronics. The saloon table is then used to open out the occasional paper chart for planning purposes.

The square edges stuff reflects the current interior furniture trend. Angles are in vogue at the moment.


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Old 29-07-2012, 14:39   #4
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

Quote:
Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
As proponents of production yachts point out, the deck gear and rig is exactly the same brands as you would get on a much pricier yacht such as an HR (Selden, Harken etc.). [/B]
I basically agree. I noticed as well that this particular brand is changing a lot - not everything to the better from a cruiser perspective.

But there is one thing I can let stand like this: The components are not basically the same between different manufactures. I currently "supervising" some maintenance work on a two year old Bavaria from a fello cruiser. And due some warranty problems we researched in to component issue: The Selden rig in question was under spec, which caused problems. We learned there have even been some fights in court due similar issues between some company's in question. So, in this case, we have a high quality rig with issues after two years, on a otherwise OK boat. And nor the boat is badly build nor the rig, its about the right fit...

An this leads me to the following point: a component brand name alone means almost nothing: I'm tried of always hearing its all Harken, Lewmar, Selden or you name it. Can we a agree that a Selden rig with a 8mm standing rig is not the same as a Selden rig with 12mm wires? Or that the Harken 35 Winch slighty differs from the 46??

Again, I'm not saying this or the other boats are better. I'm just saying if you make general comparisons, please compare apples with apples.
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Old 29-07-2012, 14:55   #5
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The chart table issue is one shared with many other makers. Most people rely on electronics. The saloon table is then used to open out the occasional paper chart for planning purposes.
That's the odd thing, there are no electronics inside, no chartplotter, not even radios. They're boats intended to be navigated completely from the deck. That's OK for day sailors, but it's no good for a cruising boat - and Bavaria pitch their yachts as 'cruisers'. You're a delivery skipper I believe, do you really want the only navigation and communication tools on an unfamiliar boat to be stuck up in the wind and rain on deck?

I don't believe their 'market research' is working for them, I've hardly seen any on the water - at least in the UK.

I'm sure we'll reach some common ground on yachts some day Dave, but we seem to disagree on production yachts even when I'm not being too nasty about them for a change!
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:02   #6
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

There is a vast differenence between a Bavaria and a HR, as expected for the price differential.
Value for money boats like Bavaria are popular, as they should be, there is a lot of boat for a very reasonable price.
I don't see the sense comparing them with HR. HR should be compared with oyster, amel,etc. Bavaria sould be compared with Benateau, Hunter etc

We live in fortunate times, there are lots of very well priced boats, together wih some premium brands that offer a better product for more money.
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:08   #7
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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Originally Posted by swisscraft View Post
I am currently "supervising" some maintenance work on a two year old Bavaria... the Selden rig in question was under spec, which caused problems.
I'd be interested to know what aspect of the rig you're talking about.

My view on rig strengths of modern yachts is that most, production or otherwise, have rigs which when properly maintained would be strong enough for anything other than hitting the water hard, and once that happens dismasting is almost an inevitability whoever built it.

If you can demonstrate that there is a difference between 'production' and 'premium' yards then that would be pretty significant. Nerdy as it sounds, some data on rig diameters and mast weights for different boats from different yards would be pretty interesting if anyone has it.
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Old 29-07-2012, 15:22   #8
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
There is a vast differenence between a Bavaria and a HR, as expected for the price differential.
HRs have a windscreen... what else can you think of? I reckon they're pretty similar to the previous lineup of Bavarias. I agree they're better than the new Bavarias, due mainly to questionable aesthetic and ergonomic decisions made by Bavaria. But now we're in to the production vs. premium debate again!
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:00   #9
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

If I remember correctly, Bavaria changed design office around 2010. Again, IIRC, the new office is tied to BMW (?). Coming 2011 the new lineup started to appear and it is indeed a topic of many strongly opinionated discussions.

Aesthetics aside, to me all those straight angles, pointy edges, and almost no handholds are an accident waiting to happen in any kind of seas. On the other hand, the layout may be pretty functional when docked...
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:10   #10
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Of course with the attitude of some Germans no wonder the EU is finished. You can't join a club then bail out ! When it gets a bit tough. Ps all those bailouts are loans by the way. Germany isn't paying for anything. All it's doing is protecting its own bond holders
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:11   #11
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
There is a vast differenence between a Bavaria and a HR, as expected for the price differential.
Value for money boats like Bavaria are popular, as they should be, there is a lot of boat for a very reasonable price.
I don't see the sense comparing them with HR. HR should be compared with oyster, amel,etc. Bavaria sould be compared with Benateau, Hunter etc

We live in fortunate times, there are lots of very well priced boats, together wih some premium brands that offer a better product for more money.
+1 ...Thank you
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Old 29-07-2012, 16:18   #12
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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If I remember correctly, Bavaria changed design office around 2010. Again, IIRC, the new office is tied to BMW (?). Coming 2011 the new lineup started to appear and it is indeed a topic of many strongly opinionated discussions.
You're right, they moved from J&J to a collaboration of Farr for the hull and BMW Designworks for the interior. Looks about as inspiring as the average BMW...
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Old 29-07-2012, 17:25   #13
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

GBN, if it weren't for the fact that Celestial quoted your post, I wouldn't be able to see it. Down at grassroots level ordinary Germans are hurting and can do nothing about what the ptb have gotten them into, yet again...but beer and footy and keeping up with the Von Jones' keeps them distracted from the divide & conquer, the rape & pillage, and from asking serious questions. The Eu is not finished, unfortunately, and the current crisis is not an accident but an opportunity made to order.

Ok, thread derail and polsci rant over, though it is connected...back to Bavaria. Business conditions, and target market, are likely to be the driver behind the change. If I were on speaking terms with my brother, I'd ask him about it...he works tight with Bayerische Mist Wagen and fits perfectly into the scene that sails and drives and lives that flavour of thing.

Quote:
Aesthetics aside, to me all those straight angles, pointy edges, and almost no handholds are an accident waiting to happen in any kind of seas. On the other hand, the layout may be pretty functional when docked...
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Old 29-07-2012, 17:41   #14
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or something like that.

Now if you want to know what happened to Bavaria you must look at their sales. If the sales look OK then apparently nothing happened.

Will they stay afloat? Are they addressing well the tastes of the majority of potential buyers?

Etc..

I have seen a brand new Bava last week and did not see much difference from their earlier productions. Same old caravan with yet another facelift. Neither prettier nor uglier than the older models. In my eye.

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Old 29-07-2012, 18:53   #15
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Re: What's happened to Bavaria?

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(a must for a traditionalist like me)

My question is... what do Bavaria think they're doing?
Maybe Bavaria are trying to build boats that will sell! To do that they have to appeal to the "now generation", not the traditionalists who are much slower to part with their cash. I have just launched a boat from a traditional boat builder. They are fine boats and good value but the generation that will spend money wants something that looks a bit racier and certainly not "traditional". In my country (Australia) I'd say there is only demand for 2 or 3 traditional boats per year and there is little business future in that.
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