The new Bavarian
Bavaria Sports Boats continues to leap from strength to strength.
WORDS + PHOTOS: ANDREW RICHARDSON
Bavaria Boats has been established in the Australian market long enough for Modern Boating to recall about a dozen Bavaria powerboat reviews. With an output of 3500 vessels per year, a sophisticated streamlined production process and an established reputation for quality and price, the Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH business is no doubt an attractive investment. Bain Capital, a private equity group with other marine interests, recently took over Bavaria Boats.
Though still only 'early days' at the time of writing, we can expect Bavaria to have an even bigger presence on our waters.
Bain Capital plans to increase its focus on foreign markets. Given that Bain Capital's other investments include Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which purchased and revamped the Johnson and Evinrude outboard brands when OMC went under some years back, the important question is - when will we be seeing outboard powered Bavarian boats?
No outboards yet
The answer, if the Bavaria 33 Sport HT is any indication, is 'never'. With its newest series of cruisers, Bavaria is further strengthening its brand by delivering more boat for the same money as prior models. So, the 33 Sport HT supersedes the BMB 32 HT that Modern Boating tested earlier this year.
For the same cash you get a vessel that is longer, wider and has more room down below. Indeed, as Bavaria Sports Boat's Andy Howden explained, "the 33HT is like a 35 footer with a 32 footer price tag". Andy also explained that the 33HT came off the ship in Sydney with only an hour to spare for the Sydney International Boat Show. Before delivery she'll be anti-fouled and the vessel will have a locally built teak swim platform extension fitted. Lucky the boat made it in time - Andy took quite a few orders at the show, confirming that the 33HT will be a good seller.
On the water
We tested the vessel shortly thereafter. It was a blowy winter's Friday so the hard top delivered the required protection from the kind of weather you would more likely expect in Europe. Twin 4.3lt petrol Volvo 225hp DuoProp Sterndrives powered the 33HT onto the plane confidently, delivering a 50lt per hour cruise speed at around 18 knots and a faster 70lt per hour 22 knot cruise speed at 3500rpm. Wide open, the craft nudged 32 knots with engine noise in the enclosed cabin quite high.
The boat required very little attention to trim and was reasonably dry even in the tight turns. Her most popular ranges are the fast cruise speeds and then the non-planing speeds, where engine noise is low.
The layout below comprised a separate forward berth, large saloon with galley and then an aft berth that has two single beds with a filler that creates a double berth if required. This set-up would be perfect for the two-child family, but if another kid pops upr The timber detail continues to the stowage compartments, bulkheads, doors, furniture and the cabin sole. Even the deck hatches have timber surrounds.
At the helm
The helm offers good visibility and is serviced by a full array of instruments including an EVC computer that offers details including fuel consumption and range. Perhaps having one of those EVC computers onboard isn't so good during sea trials, because you do see how much juice sports cruisers chew during normal cruising conditions. The vessel's 560lt tanks give her a range of around 170 nautical miles.
Equipment such as trim tabs, bow thruster, a CD stereo system, windlass and electric engine hatch lifters all come standard. As with other Bavaria powerboats, the walkways around the main cabin are wide and the bowrail extends well aft making outside access around the vessel easy.
Features to be enjoyed by all in the cockpit include the wet bar, the large aft stowage zones, the big and easily converted aft sun pad and the swim platform serviced by a deck shower. As I mentioned earlier, the boat is to have an extended teak swim platform fitted and having seen one on other Bavaria's, it is a worthy $7000 option.
Compared to the superseded 32HT, this vessel offers additional deck hatches and a larger hardtop sunroof - a blessing during summer. The back end of the hardtop features an integrated stowage compartment for the bimini covers, enabling the cockpit to quickly convert from "open and airy" to mainly enclosed. The other advantage of the new 33HT is that it separates the forward berth from the main saloon with a bulkhead as opposed to curtains. In fact, now that I think about it, you might be a little peeved if you just forked out for the BMB 32HT now that the new 33 are here. But don't worry too much, the 32HT's layout is more 'open plan' and I also reckon the 32HT also offers slightly better performance.
Irrespective of those differences, Bavaria have once again delivered a vessel that's going to keep everyone happy - kind to the hip pocket and a pleasure to be onboard.