Bavaria Yachts pride themselves in their German traditions of craftsmanship, efficiency, and excellence in quality, engineering and performance. Like many German manufacturers they strive to continuously improve. Efficiency and precision are enhanced at Bavaria through the use robotic automation in the manufacturing process. The company was a pioneer in using assembly line techniques in yacht production. In conjunction with Farr Yacht Design, the Bavaria design team create laminate and reinforcement plans for each design based on individual yacht load profiles. The result is a structural bulkhead which gets fitted into the hull to very precise tolerances. You can see pieces of this structure in storage compartments.
As a semi-recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from New England’s historic waters, I was thrilled to learn that the boating season here in Seattle is much longer than it is back East, provided, of course, that your boat is up to the task. While our summer months here at 48 degrees north are characterized by massive high-pressure systems that park-up over the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, delivering bluebird days that are void of any real breeze, our fall, winter and spring months offer plenty of pressure, usually combined with some lively seas, especially when the wind angle disagrees with the tide. This combination of distinctive seasonal weather, paired with the Pacific Northwest’s (in)famous rain and grey, rewards cruising boats that offer some on-deck protection from the elements, as well as a comfortable saloon and galley for après sailing, once the sails have been furled and the cabin heater has been switched on.
It is early September, a gray day with the impending threat of rain. It’s a great day. The wind is blowing 12 knots offshore with some gusts and shifts. The near shore chop is only a couple of feet. I also have the good fortune to be test sailing a brand new Marlow-Hunter 37. This boat has just been commissioned and put in the water. What a beautiful boat it is.
A spacious inviting cockpit with teak seats and sole welcome you on onboard. The 4 foot folding transom / swim platform, and two stern pulpit teak seats enlarge the area even more. The transom up provides helm seating. An integrated telescopic boarding ladder can be deployed with the platform up or down.
The new Jeanneau 64, flagship of the Jeanneau yacht line takes things to yet another level. This is truly a yacht with a size and sail plan that would seem intimidating at first but the design innovation here is the electric furling main with self-tailing jib and an electric winch for the main. Sailing this impressive big yacht is much more manageable than it’s size would suggest and the electric winch, located below decks means you don’t get piles of sheet in the cockpit either.
Plus, the cockpit here is simply expansive and is separate from the helm area for elegant entertaining.
Talking about design changes, we think that the day of the catamaran has really arrived. For its size and cost a catamaran design can provide remarkable accommodations and a stunning example of this is the new Lagoon 450.
Lagoon is part of the Beneteau Group, probably the world’s biggest builder of cruising catamarans. Designed by VPLP (Van Petegham Lauriot, Prevost Signature) naval architects. Catamaran designs can offer an expanse of flat decking and living areas both on deck and below, that monohull boats cannot match in the same length.
Another new design trend is expressed in the Jeanneau Sun fast 3600 designed by Daniel Andrieu. The Sun Fast 3600 benefits from the latest advances in vacuum-bagged resin infusion to ensure exceptional strength and rigidity while drastically reducing weight.
The lightweight, powerful hull with its hard chine, twin rudders and lead keel contributes to this new Sun Fast’s speed, balance and stability on all tacks. Perfectly adapted to solo, doublehanded, and crewed regattas, the Sun Fast 3600 is designed to compete in both inshore and offshore races.??Available with twin, composite tillers or wheel steering and choices in mainsheet management, the deck layout ensures easy handling through well thought-out ergonomics and optimized sailing functions.
Another interesting aspect of today's changing lifestyles is the desire to be able to have what you want, not necessarily what a designer thinks you ought to have. To best tailor their latest design to the individual buyer, Beneteau has just introduced their Oceanis 35 model which is available in three different configurations; Day Sailor, Weekender or Cruiser.
Buyers can choose the layout that best suits them. Almost everything is an option and they can modify the number of cabins, their partition or openness, the galley space and even details like the inclusion of a separate shower or helm seat.
After a week of overcast skies and no wind, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to see the clouds lift, the sun come out, and the breeze come up for a beautiful sail off the shores of northern Lake Ontario on the functional, solid, and very reliable Delphia 31, showcased at North Lakes Yachting, Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario. Owner and president, Slavek Kroliklewicz joined me, along with photographer, Penny McLaren for stunning sail in lovely 8-10 knot breeze. Slavek is passionate about these boats because of their exquisite workmanship and attention to every detail, down to the stainless steel rather than plastic holding tanks, and use of finished marine plywood in their craftsmanship.
Two brothers, Piotr and Wojciech Kot launched their idea of building a boat in their garage.
I felt like I’d gone back in time to the War of 1812 when I arrived in the lovely village of Sacket’s Harbor, NY to review the new Jeanneau 349 with Navy Point Yacht Sales President, Steve McPherson. Unlike that fateful time when the British “sneak attack” on the Americans was bamboozled by the lack of wind, we had a beautiful sunny day with a nice southwest breeze.
Winning the 2014 Customer Choice award for the Best Monohull over 30’ at the Miami Boat Show (determined by the attendees) has certainly helped to set the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 up for success! With over 70 boats already sold and two in production every day, Jeanneau certainly thinks so too. This modern, high performance hull with its large, light interior, easy handling, and attractive price makes it a winner in my books too for this entry-level family cruiser.