John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
LOA  40'6" LWL 35' 4"
Beam  13'
Draft  5' 5"
Sail Area 883 sq ft. Air Draft 61' 3"
Fuel 56 gal   Water 96 gal
Price as Tested $257,824

You don't have to take a second look to see that something is very different with the new Bavaria Yachts. The German sailboat builder landed with a big splash in the Chesapeake this summer when they opened their US headquarters in Annapolis. You couldn't help but notice about half a dozen brand new sailboats all tied up by the Chart House Restaurant. Naturally, I was looking forward to checking them out and I didn't have to wait too long.

The new line of cruising sailboats has been designed by Farr Yachts and the BMW Design Works USA. They blend form and function to offer owners and/or charterers a comfortable and spacious cruising boat at a reasonable price. They have also teamed up with Horizon Yacht Charters to offer boats for sale directly into a charter program for folks who would like to have the boat managed and generate some income to help lower the cost of ownership. While I had a chance to view several boats, I was invited to take the Bavaria 40 out for a sail.

The hull and topside styling is modern with a plumb bow forward. She carries her beam all the way back, which makes for a very large cockpit. I actually thought we were on a 45-footer at first. The cockpit also features a drop-leaf table and dual helms. Probably the most unique and identifiable feature of the new Bavaria line is the hinged transom that drops down to form an enormous swim platform just one step below the cockpit sole. With split backstays it is remarkably easy to walk straight from the companionway, pass between the two helms and step directly onto the swim platform without dodging or weaving or climbing over something. That accessibility makes this is a great boat for anchoring out. The transom raises and lowers manually and is elegantly low tech. I hope it stays that way.Down below the 40 has a three-stateroom layout with two heads. Styling is definitely modern with lots of choices of fabric and wood veneer and stain. A reasonably sized, forward-facing chart table sits on the starboard side. The galley is amidships on the port side. A U-shaped dining area is to starboard. Engine access is good with switch panels in both quarter staterooms and beneath the companionway ladder.

Under power, the Bavaria is nimble and fast. The standard bow thruster makes maneuvering in close quarters a breeze. We had only about 5-7 knots of breeze when we took her sailing, but the Bavaria moved along easily. Like most modern sailboats, all lines are lead aft so singlehanding her is quite easy.

In sum, I feel the Bavaria 40 is a reasonably priced and stylish cruiser that offers cruisers a lot of boat for her length overall. The innovative drop-transom swim platform makes an already large cockpit even roomier and cruiser friendly --especially for swimming or boarding the dinghy.