Home . Articles . Boats . Perry on Design . Bavaria Open 40

Bavaria Open 40

2015 July 1

A powerful rig and plenty of headroom make this cat fast and comfortable


In Bavaria’s Open 40, Marc Lombard created an interesting design that blurs the line between cockpit and interior. The freeboard is high to allow for headroom in the hulls, and the hull ends are chopped off to maximize the DWL. I see square-cornered fixed ports in the hull sides. This seems to be a very popular styling feature of the new European models today. I think the look works well in this design.

The hulls have full-length longitudinal chines, inboard and outboard, above the DWL. The draft is 4 feet 5 inches, with low-aspect-ratio fins. The reverse rake you see on the stem has to be there for aesthetics. A plumb stem might have gained an extra 10 inches on the deck forward, but I can’t imagine that serving any purpose. The sectional shape at the transom is softer than a lot of big cats. It’s an arc instead of a hard-turn. The D/L is 116. The beam is 22 feet 8 inches. That’s 58% of LOA and you can compare that to the G4 at 56%.

There are two interior layouts. One layout has three staterooms and the other layout has four mirror-image staterooms. If you go with the three-stateroom model the entire port hull is devoted to the owner’s cabin. The spacious head and shower are forward and there is a small sitting space just aft of the head. I’m not sure what you would do here. Probably sit and think about your shower, I guess. 

The starboard hull has double berths forward and aft. These two staterooms share a head and shower amidships. Single berths are shown in both fo’c’sles. The galley is forward in the main cabin. It looks to be a well-designed galley with plenty of counter space. Adjacent to the galley is a small dinette that would seat four. For more dining space, go aft into what is both the cockpit and the saloon. It’s fully covered but open on the aft end. Twin wheels are all the way outboard aft of this area. This is a bit unusual but works well in sunny regions. It would work in the rainy Pacific Northwest too, but it’s a cool rain here, so you may not want to sit in an unenclosed area. I suspect this cat was not designed for the rainy and cool Pacific Northwest. This is more of a BVI, Caribbean type of ride.

This is a big rig for a cruising cat. The SA/D is 25. The square-top main will be very efficient and the cat geometry for staying easily does away with the need for runners. Note the seagull striker on the forward crossbeam. The striker is tied to the short sprit and the outboard ends of the forward beam. The working jib is self-tacking. A stack-pack type system on the mainsail will mean you will not have to climb up on the housetop when you drop the main. The mainsheet traveler spans the aft end of the house overhang. I think this cat will sail well off the wind. Upwind, it will pay a price for those low-aspect-ratio keels.


There really is not much of a deck layout on this design. Lines lead under the deck to the twin wheels aft. The side decks going forward are generous. There are a lot of flush hatches for ventilation. There is a ladder going up the side of the cabintrunk to access the lounging pad on the housetop. There is a lot of space up there, enough to change your mind and decide that some sun would be a good thing. I like the way the black-out big windows wrap around the house sides. This is a good-looking boat.

If you are in the cruising cat frame of mind and you sail where it is warm, the Bavaria Open 40 deserves a close look.

LOA 39’4”; LWL 39’2”; Beam 22’7”; Draft 4’5”; Displ. 17,200 lbs.; Sail area 980 sq. ft.; Auxiliary twin 20-hp diesel saildrive; Fuel 120 gal.; Water 120 gal.

Bavaria Yachts USA

303 Second Street, Suite B

Annapolis, MD 21403



Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $440,000