Bavaria C45By Zuzana Prochazka

Built for comfort and speed

With their new midsized model, Bavaria has zeroed in on a versatile design that ticks all the boxes: family friendly, flexible, fast and fun. Alliteration aside, you can hardly ask much more of one boat than that it satisfies on so many levels. The new Bavaria C45 is an all-around boat that can hold her own in club races but will be a family favorite in the anchorage on the weekends.

Safety Savvy
The bow is plumb and the hull is beamy. Twin wheels command a single rudder and the keel was flattened to reduce wetted surface. With this new series, Bavaria introduced VacuTech, their version of a vacuum infused sandwich construction to optimize weight savings. The C45 can pick up and go in a blow, but there’s a serious nod to safety in many of her onboard aspects.

The C45’s nearly vertical transom opens into a swim platform that’s almost eight feet across and it’s a great way to board from a dinghy or dock. The platform is also large enough to safely accommodate kids getting ready to snorkel, a less agile grandma keeping watch and the family dog ready to launch into the water.

Enclosed CockpitA deep and fully enclosed cockpit keeps kids, pets and grandma safe when under way.

The cockpit above is divided into work and leisure spaces so sailors can sail and loungers can lounge. Twin metal five-spoke wheels (upgradable to carbon) are suspended on large binnacles. B&G instruments and multifunction displays are on both sides so the driver doesn’t have to dash back and forth to get necessary data. For easy and safe docking, an optional bow thruster by Sidepower is available and the control is at the starboard helm.

The drop-leaf cockpit table opens down the middle rather than from one side to the other. This provides secure passage between the leaves from the companionway aft to the helms and out to the water. An optional outdoor galley may be added below the transom seats where gently angled steps on the port side make the transition between platform and cockpit easy for everyone, even for those less mobile.

The CabinStowage space above and below means you won’t have to leave much behind when heading out on extended cruises.

The C45’s slippery hull means she’ll be a contender in club competitions but when the racing is done and it’s time for the sun worshippers to come out, the lounging cockpit turns into twin sunbeds. There are two additional double sunpad locations – one on the bow and one under the boom so guests can spread out. On a summer cruise, kids can play on the bow while adults hold a happy hour in the cockpit and everyone has a place to escape to.

Handholds on the Bulkhead(Below) Note the handholds on the bulkhead and the above - Bavaria does an excellent job of anticipating what it will be like moving about under way.

Bavaria clearly gave a lot of thought to safety as even the side decks have a small but critical molded-in bulwark, which provides good footing when heeling. Along the deck, there are also six oversized pop-up cleats. You can avoid stubbing your toe when the cleats are folded but their beefy size means they’re more than large enough to secure the hull in a turbulent slip.

Rigging & Sailing
Bavaria aimed at flexibility with this model so the C45 is offered with three levels of equipment and layout options called Holiday, Style and Ambition. That last one offers an open transom, taller rig, deeper keel, a bowsprit for a Code 0 and upgraded sails for those determined to win races.

A tall (70’ 9”) keel-stepped Selden mast with double aft-swept spreaders supports a generous sail plan of over 1,300 square feet. (A taller performance mast is an option as is an ICW-friendly shorter version.) Our test boat had a self-tacking jib on a below-deck furler along with an in-mast furling main. For the racing set however, an overlapping genoa and a traditional hoist mainsail are available to eek out the best performance. The split backstay on our boat was of Dyneema and the sails were by Elvstrom.

Port Side DinetteSix can squeeze together for a formal dinner at the port side dinette.

There’s a single, deep and balanced rudder and also three choices of keel. The standard draft is 7’ 2” but skinny water sailors will like the 5’8” option. For top-notch performance, a carbon mast and a deeper L-shaped keel (8’ 2”) with a bulb are available.

On test day, we had a brisk day of sailing with 15-16 knots of true wind on the flat water of Biscayne Bay. At 60 degrees apparent wind angle, the C45 glided along at 7.8 knots. When we hardened up to 40 degrees, we still kept up 7.2 knots. Falling off to 150 degrees, the speed fell to 6.8 knots, which is respectable for any sailboat at that angle. The design is stable and stays on her feet – another nod to keeping everyone sure-footed, safe and comfortable.

The tall 9/10ths fractional rig kept us on our toes since there’s a lot of sail area but with the self-tacking jib and the well-placed winches, it wasn’t hard for one person to be in control. The C45 comes with four options of sails from basic Dacron all the way up to Elvstrom Epex Extreme Vacuum laminated sails for the seriously ambitious.

The tacks were swift and snappy and required little real effort on our part. That said, it’s difficult to open up a good slot with a self-tacking jib that curves in on itself when sheeted in tight and acts as a brake. For serious racers, an overlapping jib will offer more versatility in the sail plan.

When the Wind Dies
Not every day is made for sailing so the C45 comes with a 57-hp Yanmar diesel with Saildrive. However, if you really want to make tracks, upgrade to the 80-hp engine and even bashing to weather won’t be so bad. Our test boat had the larger engine and we powered back to the slip at 2500 rpm, reaching 7.1 knots on the flat water of the Bay. Wide-open throttle brought us to 3200 rpm and 8.1 knots with a 3-blade fixed propeller.

The GalleyThe large and easily accessible pantry will be the delight of the chef.

Lovely Living

Despite the aggressive exterior aesthetic, the Bavaria C45 is plush and well thought out below. In fact, the interior offers nearly 600 square feet of luxurious accommodation with a choice of 3-5 cabins and 1-2 heads. For maximum sleeping capacity, the aft head can be spec’d as an over/under cabin but that will leave eight people to share the forward head, and outside of a packed charter, most families won’t put up with that. The nav desk is sacrificed if a shower stall is added to the aft head and again, that works on charter but for a cruising family, a dedicated space for ship’s business is usually appreciated.

In the owner’s version, an island bed makes up most of the nearly full-beam master forward with twin hatches overhead for good light and ventilation. There’s a split head with a shower stall to port and a toilet and sink to starboard. For larger families or for charter, two narrow cabins can be spec’d here and the head configuration remains the same. There are always two cabins aft. Amidships, other than the option of additional cabins, the layout remains unchanged with a U-shaped settee to port and a straight lounge to starboard.

The L-galley to starboard has Isotherm refrigeration drawers, dual sinks, a two-burner stove and solid surface countertops with fiddles molded in. The large and easily accessible pantry will be the delight of the chef.

With another first for Bavaria, the C45 comes with digital switching where most systems aboard are managed via a screen interface (rather than a breaker panel) and the information can be repeated on a tablet or smartphone so control of nearly everything on the ship is portable. You can turn on interior lights and change the temperature of the AC without leaving the cockpit.

Interior wood finishes include dark walnut, red mahogany or light oak. Solid wood edges and furniture corners were added for durability and easy repairs in case of the inevitable dings. USB charging ports are built into each of the many reading lights so personal devices are always at hand. With this new design, you’ll lack for nothing whether on an overnight race or enjoying a week of gunkholing.

The C45 debuted at the same time as the new Bavaria flagship, the C57 in the introduction of the “C Series”. Both are designs of Mauricio Cossutti of ORC racing fame so the boats had a performance pedigree right from the get go. For the C Series, the German builder moved away from their standard Farr designs and opted for elongated profiles and multiple outfitting choices, which makes these versatile models perfect for a variety of sailors.

Moving in this new direction, Bavaria clearly targeted developing an all around design that can serve multiple uses. For those who think that all things are built for either comfort or speed – it’s time to think again.

LOA: 45' 10"
LWL: 42' 3"
Beam: 14' 7"
Draft: 5’8” – 7’ 3”
Air Draft: 70’ 9”’
Displacement: 26,312 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,330 sq. ft.
Fuel/Water: 66/172 gallons
Engine: Yanmar 57-hp (80-hp option)
Designer: Maurizio Cossutti
Builder: Bavaria Yachts
Price as tested: $520,000
Category: A