Sailing the Bavaria 46 Cruiser: elegant, fast and great handling

A fantastic all-rounder, the Bavaria 46 Cruiser is a sleek, fast, manoeuvrable, well-finished, and well-equipped sailing boat. Read our review to find out why it has become the most popular rental boat for a summer vacation.

One of our most frequently chartered boats, the Bavaria 46 Cruiser sailing boat accommodates up to 9 crew members, and is frequently praised for its spaciousness and comfort, as well as its handling characteristics — something the manufacturer also promotes. But one thing is for sure, it is almost unrivalled when it comes to comfort, luxury and space.

Racing or cruising yacht?

Not only is this yacht in the cruiser category (think holiday boat), but it’s currently part of one of the largest one-design fleets in Croatia. This is why every year it is used at the infamous races — Easter Regatta and Palagruža Cup. Each year around 50 Bavaria 46 Cruisers meet at the start of the Easter Regatta and race along the Croatian coast from Murter to Dubrovnik and back. An additional gennaker can be rented from the charter company which means the boat can sail very fast despite not being primarily designed for racing.

View of the Bavaria 46 boats at the regatta.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Are you thinking of renting a gennaker on your next sailing adventure. Check out our article to find out why you should definitely give it a go — 5 reasons to rent a gennaker.

Who are the designers behind the yacht?

The Bavaria 46 Cruiser, in production at Bavaria Yachts since 2014, is designed by the world-famous Farr Yacht Design (founded by Bruce Farr and Russell Bowler). Farr Yacht Design has been behind the design of nearly a hundred mass-produced vessels, among the most famous being, beside Bavaria, the Beneteau First 35, 36.7, 40.7, the racing boats Farr 30, 280, 400 as well as the Bavaria B/One.

What came before and after?

The predecessor to this Bavaria 46 Cruiser was a boat of the same name, designed by J&J Design and is easily recognisable thanks to the blue stripe on the hull and across the classic oval windows that were typical of this generation of boats. Apparently, the Bavaria 46 Cruiser has been upgraded for 2022, so we look forward to trying this out as well.

Bavaria 46 older version.

How well-equipped is the sailboat?

As we previously mentioned, this is one of the most popular holiday boats in Croatia and rightfully won the European Boat of the Year in 2015 in the Family Cruiser category. What we appreciate the most is its incredibly comfortable and immense swim platform, which is easily big enough to dance on. And also worth a mention is the spacious, practically designed galley, where you can whip up proper meals just like you would at home. The seating under the spacious bimini and sprayhood is pleasant, providing shelter from the wind in the cockpit and the lamp on the cockpit table makes it wonderfully romantic in the evening.

Cockpit of Bavaria 46 with folding table and lamp.

How does the boat handle?

As this is a holiday cruiser, don't expect racing speeds and as it is a fairly heavy boat (over 12 tonnes), casting off and sailing in light winds can be a bit of a struggle. In powerful winds, however, the Bavaria 46 Cruiser heels quite well, doesn't spin out easily and the gennaker makes for a lot of fun. Just be aware that even though the sailboat does have a gennaker, it isn’t really designed to accommodate one due to the sharp anchor protruding from the bow. This means the gennaker could catch and tear on the anchor while tacking or as a result of a gust of wind. Better would be to move the anchor (not really recommended for safety reasons) or wrap it with cardboard, plastic or foam.

What sails is it equipped with?

Having a furling mainsail allows for easy raising, lowering and reefing of the sails, but makes advanced sail trim impossible. For upwind, the sail area is 107 m2 whilst for downwind with the gennaker, it’s 206 m2


In Croatia you will find the charter Bavarias are equipped exclusively with an in-mast furling mainsail.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Hand on heart, do you really know all the types of foresail or the difference between a jib, a genoa and a 130? What does a spinnaker look like and what range of extra sails can you order with a charter sailboat? Check out our article to find out everything you need to know about basic and additional sails.

How many cabins are there?

Available in three- or four-cabin versions, both include three full bathrooms with a toilet and a very spacious saloon where 2 more people can sleep. The galley is located along the port side of the boat.

View of the cabin and layout of the four-cabin Bavaria 46.

Bavaria 46 Cruiser specifications

The specifications reflect the fact that the boat is classified as an offshore cruiser, where comfort, space and ease of operation are the main considerations. 



The displacement of the boat is 12.6 t, 28 % of which is on the keel. The overall length of the boat is 14.27 m, with a waterline length of 12.74 m and its width is 4.35 m with standard draught of 2.1 m. 



Powered by a 55-hp Volvo Penta saildrive engine, the boat is equipped with 2 steering wheels, 2 rudder blades and an L-shaped keel.  The diesel tank holds an impressive 210 litres and the water tank 360 litres.

Who do we recommend this boat for?

If you’re expecting great sporting performance, perfect upwind handling or speeds above the 12 kn mark, then look at other options. However, if you're looking for the ideal boat for a summer holiday and are more concerned about comfort, spaciousness and ease of handling, this sailboat is definitely worth considering and would make a good choice. Thanks to its sturdiness, space and weight, it will provide a feeling of security even under the worst conditions and with an electric swim platform over 2.2 m long and almost 1 m wide, this yacht offers luxurious levels of comfort when swimming and sunbathing. A sprayhood and large bimini covering the entire cockpit come as standard on every charter Bavaria 46 Cruiser and the spacious cockpit with its generously-sized table, provides the perfect conditions for dining during the summer months.

Badenplato on Bavaria 46.

We have extensive personal experience with the Bavaria 46, so if you have a question, don't hesitate to ask.

FAQ about the Bavaria 46