Originally Posted by carstenb
First a disclaimer, I owned and sailed a BAvaria 33 Cruiser (2006) for 4 years. We sold it because we decided we wanted to go permanent crusiing and do an RTW. Therefore we wanted a bigger boat. During the 4 years we owned the boat (bought after 1 season from a german charter
company), we had -0- problems with the boat, only regular maintenance. We sailed in fairly heavy weather and never felt nervous about the boat surviving.
In answer to the question : Why Bavaria bashing? a number of years ago (20?), Bavaria had some boats lose their keels (the Match series I believe). Bavaria stepped up to the plate - admitted they keel
attachments were undersized, recalled the boats and fixed them.
OK - they screw up - but they did admit it and fix the problem.
This issue has affected their brand image ever since. Lots of boaters, when told you own a Bavaria say "Bavaria - arent' those are the boats the keels fall off?"
Other issues that seem to dominate are they are not "bluewater" boats. They are too flimsy, oil-can, etc etc when faced with heavy weather.
To me this illustrates a problem with the person making the comment not the boat. Bavaria (and ohter baot manufacturers) are generally very cognizant of the markets they want to serve.
Bavaria is not trying to serve the Bluewater
or passagemaking High Latitude market. They are serving the weekend coastal cruising market. This market demands comfort and reasonable sailing characteristics. As someone once said "These boats are only out in 25 knot
winds by accident"
Which is true.
So much of the bashing is due to :
1- The comment maker not understanding what the boat is designed for (much as bashing a Ferrari for being a poor car to cross the sahara in or a land rover for not being the fastest car off the line). Here the criticism is simply unwarrranted, due to the criticiser not knowing what he is talking about
2- In an effort to keep costs low, Bavaria and Hunter are pushing the envelope of design and boat building. Naturally this results in a number of "baby sicknesses" that other more conservative boat builders don't experience. An example here is the furling genua - I'm old enough to remember the great controversy over this. The sailing world was split in two, those that like the furlers and those that claimed they were tatamount to committing suicide.
Most boats today have furling genuas.
So back to my Bavaria 33. Would I sail that RTW? My answer is no. The hardware
(remember this was built for charter) was simply not heavy duty enough for my taste.
Good post Carsten,
God do I remember the furler/hanks era. The dedicated bluewater sailors were so against furlers it was unreal, maybe if we had had the internet
who knows where it would have gone, LOL. The first boat I took offshore
I decided that I was going to put a furler
as my primary sail on it and I got some less than complimentary comments about my choice, best decision I made as it was wonderful. It was a Harken
and it had a habit of wanting to loose the retaining screws on the bottom and if lost
that would really ruin your day. I found mine half way out one day on a passage
and fortunately was able to tighten them up and then wrapped it in rigging
tape. That was a bad design and later many sailors were talking about it. Harken
changed the design but never got a bad rep over it, today with the internet maybe not so lucky.
We own a Moody and way back in the 70's they screwed up by building an under sized skeg that failed during an offshore passage
and that info still floats around although generally the brand still has a good reputation. And as another poster has said we all are kept busy making repairs
on our boats. We are rebedding our fixed side ports
for the second time in 2 years and it is a hell of a job because you have to completely disassemble the windows which are a 2 piece affair both inside and outside and then remove the Lexan
, clean all the aluminum
extrusions and then start all over again. We figure that a conservative estimate of the time we have spent is 50 hours plus and we had professionals do the bedding of the Lexan
only. This is one part of the boat that is poorly designed because I'm not the only one that has had to do this although it is not normal to have to redo them every couple of years.They are strong as hell but completely over kill for trade wind
passage making and surface mounted Lexan would have been so easy to rebed.
I don't know why sailors are so opinionated on their personal choices and I don't know why they feel the need to bad mouth other peoples choices but for some reason we all do from time to time. There seems to be so much passion involved it is almost like a religion and there is a feeling some people are going to the wrong church.
I also think that as a group we don't take criticism very well.
From what I am reading it takes very little for a manufacturer of sailboats to get a less than stellar rep and when you add in the internet forums
there is no limit on where this can go.
Carsten also brought up the point that in his mind he felt if he was going to do lots of offshore sailing he wanted a boat that was a bit beefier. Recognizing that any boat can be sailed offshore why can't sailors simply accept that the manufacturers are building boats for a market and that market and that size of boat is exactly the use Carsten was enjoying and he bought the perfect boat because from his experience it cost him very little on ownership
costs(If we were so lucky)
I also liked the thought that both Hunter and Bavaria have been leaders in trying new and innovative ideas to make their products more affordable and have from time to time tripped on themselves. There seems to be truth here as well because many of their ideas are showing up on more upscale boats.
I'm not sure that there is another industry or sport or passion that eats its own like sail boaters and their opinions. Even when a builder
steps up and takes credit for the screw up and makes restitution we still can't seem to forgive them. I also think that we need a builder
to kick around and once that choice has been made it never wants to leave. I guess the lesson learned is, make your own personal choices on a boat that works for you and learn to live with all the opinions of others because that will never stop.
The really good news is that once you get away from the keyboard and get out cruising this will never be an issue as we all like each others boats.