Reviews: the Bavaria 46 Cruiser

What makes it the most popular boat for a summer holiday?

The Bavaria 46 Cruiser is one of our most frequently chartered boats. Accommodating up to 9 crew members, clients mainly praise it for its spaciousness and comfort, but surprisingly also for its handling characteristics. In fact, the manufacturer also promotes the fact that it is very easy to handle and almost unrivalled when it comes to comfort, luxury and space.

Racer or cruiser?

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 Yachting.com races: the 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.

Designers

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.

Predecessors and successors

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.

Equipment

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.

Handling characteristics

As this is a holiday cruiser, don't expect racing speeds and it being a fairly heavy boat (over 12 tonnes), casting off and sailing in light winds is 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.

Sails

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.

Cabins

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.

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. 

 

Dimensions

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. 

 

Propulsion

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.

FAQ What to know about Bavaria 46

We have extensive personal experience with Bavaria 46, so don't hesitate to ask anything.