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Bavaria Cruiser 50

2013 March 8

Performance cruiser

If you are looking for the maximum amount of accommodations packed into an LOA of 51 feet, then this new Bavaria might be the boat for you. That design brief could spell a performance disaster, but this new Bavaria was designed by Bruce Farr's office so I think we can easily assume that performance will be at least on a par if not better than the similar competition.

We know this hull form by now. It's industry standard for volume-oriented cruising boats. You have generous freeboard coupled with very short overhangs and a lot of beam carried all the way to the stern. It's not always a pretty look, but it is effective. The L/B for this 50-footer is 3.34 and that's not overly beamy. The D/L is 149.8 and that's what I would expect for a modern cruising boat. By today's standards I think it's OK to call that moderate displacement. Draft with the shoal keel is 6 feet 1 inch and the standard keel is 7 feet 4 inches.

This design is about accommodations and Bavaria gives you three layout choices. You can have three double cabins with three heads and showers, three double cabins plus one Pullman cabin with three heads and showers or four double cabins with four heads and showers. I think the four double-cabin arrangement must be aimed at the charter market, although any of these layouts would make a good charter boat. I'll focus on the three double-cabin layout for this review.

Starting aft there are mirror-image double quarter cabins each with their own head. The starboard head has a shower stall, but the port head does not. Going forward on the port side is a nav station and the galley. The galley is not an offshore-type snug affair, but a drawn-out galley that has a lot of counter space. I don't like sinks that don't have counter space each side, but space is so limited on sailboats that you have to compromise all the time.

The dinette to starboard is big. I suppose it's big enough for six people to sit and dine. It would be nice to have a little more room to stretch out after dinner.

Forward of this is the owner's cabin and it is very spacious. It even has what I would call an "office" over on the port side. In one layout this office space is converted to a Pullman cabin. It looks to me like there is more space forward than the designers knew what to do with.

"OK, dinner's over. Square dancing in the owner's cabin!" In the four-cabin version this large space is converted to two double cabins.

The profile of the new Bavaria 50 is pretty blocky, but nicely sculpted. It takes a lot of cabintrunk bulk to provide headroom over an expansive layout like this. But the big cabintrunk is nicely shaped. Jib tracks are on the top of the cabintrunk and lead aft to winches on the coaming. The cockpit is big with a door through the transom leading to the swim step. Deck hatches all appear to be the flush type, and with ports in the cabintrunk and deadlights in the hull, the interior will have plenty of light.

The rig is normal by today's standard and the sail area is generous enough to give the boat decent light-air performance. Note how forward the mainsheet is on the boom.
I know that a lot of boats are sold from the inside out. This Bavaria is a good example of that. You do sacrifice stowage for long-range cruising but you gain sleeping cabins. I can see this model being a big hit in the charter trade.