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boat_reviews-sail-bavaria_43-largeWhat a wonderful boat! To see where it came from was one thing; to sail one of the first in North America was another. The latest addition to the Bavaria cruising line is spectacular above and below decks and nowhere does it disappoint. From the large welcoming cockpit, its twin steering wheels and luxurious below deck offerings, it brings a ton of value to the potential buyer. All in, this boat will sell for just under $300,000 Canadian and would rival any cottage investment anywhere. The live aboard attributes are stellar.

First impressions sailing: we loved the steering, visibility and to be honest the good-looking, well-cut Elvstrom mainsail that furled into its Selden spar with ease. For those who have read my articles you are well aware of a bias I have on moving to a lazy jack systems but this configuration has finally convinced me that it can be done without compromise of performance.

Under sail, this boat is a dream to steer with its solid light helm that was so well balanced we effortlessly sailed wing on wing.

Upwind, we ran at just over 5 knots in 7.9 knots apparent as a result of the wonderful hull shape and 6-foot draft keel configuration. I liked, too, the placement of the Genoa tracks tight to the cabin top allowing easy forward movement. Nice lower profile handrails are placed on top of the cabin sole are well done and also well placed. The double lifelines and their stanchions are well supported through a neat integration with the toe rail with dock access gates on both sides.

Control lines are lead aft as one would expect but clearly they have done a good job in the Lewmar winch (48 for primary, 46 for secondary) placement allowing for easy handling underway.

The double spreader Selden mast with its placement forward set-up supports the huge mainsail. The Furlex jib furling system worked extremely well under load. Aft, the split backstay control is lead to the port transom with a functional winch adjustment.

The innovations for this boat are many and varied, it's like they rethought everything to the finest detail as evidenced throughout the boat. On deck the enlarged cockpit is welcoming. The aft entry and removable seat are well done and the twin wheel set up is perfect with engine controls to starboard. The cockpit table (with an ice box) and seating are perfectly placed and what I like to call ergonomically located; out of the way when you need them to be and perfectly functional at the dock entertaining. Eight people would be a breeze. The large teak swim platform extends the boat nicely and there is a perfect stowage box to starboard for life raft or a generator.

Below decks the design and features continue to impress. The main cabin is wonderfully laid out with its port side galley. The integrated gimballed stove, sink and spacious counter are complemented by wonderful storage, well built cabinets a bulkhead mounted microwave, full size front opening fridge and an optional freezer drawer easily accessed under the starboard settee seat.

The dining area, if you will, is to starboard and is graced by wonderful shatterproof glass fronted cabinets mounted on the front bulkhead. The U-shaped seating is spacious and comfortable and can easily sit six. The layout below allows for a wonderful open large and bright space provided by 2 non-opening deck skylights, 8 opening hatches with roller blinds and 10 opening ports with curtains. I really like the tongue and groove white hull liners as well.

The navigation station off to starboard opposite the aft head is nicely done too with its excellent space and layout, and is easily accessed from the companionway. There's tons of cabinet space and well-placed handholds where needed.

The three-cabin layout features two heads (forward and aft). The aft one features a stand alone shower stall with a non-skid teak grate. If needed, both heads are easily accessible from the main cabin. Both heads feature mahogany cabinets and great storage features. The forward cabin is made a private suite by closing the bulkhead door allowing for a wonderful space with deep drawer storage and perfect storage hanging lockers to port opposite the forward head's doorway.

The aft cabins are identical and comfortable with twin bunks and hanging lockers for each. They are bright and naturally lit through windows in the cockpit area.

Bavaria hit this one out of the park; it's a great boat and a testament to just how far the Bavaria production boat methodologies have come along balancing quality, function, performance and price.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!