Bavaria Yachtbau has been building quality cruisers since Winifried Herrman and Josef Meltl launched the company back in 1978. In January of 2012, Bavaria showed us what it has learned over the last 30-plus years of building cruisers and taking customer feedback with the release of the Vision 46. The Vision line is meant to represent the wish lists of cruisers the world over, and help bring mega-yacht features to the masses who don’t have millions to spend on (or shelter in) a boat. As it turns out, this approach worked quite well for Bavaria: Cruising World named the Vision 46 “Boat of the Year” in its 2013 full-size cruiser category, so the factory must be doing something right.

Continue reading for my review of the Bavaria 46

  • 2015 Bavaria VISION 46
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:

Hull and Exterior

2015 Bavaria VISION 46
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Overall appearances seem to be a blend of practical design dressed in a progressive, modern form with a dose of sexiness for good measure. The long, graceful hull from Farr Yacht Design starts out with a nearly plumb cutwater that helps punch through chop and minimize hobby-horsing when you hit really sloppy seas. The topsides follow a pleasing arc around the 13-foot, 8-inch beam, with three port lights on each side to help keep the belowdecks from feeling too “cavey.”

Lines at the turn of the bilge are rather soft, leaving the chine nice and round where the topsides make their turn toward the garboard. You can choose between two keels, depending upon your needs. A deep keel gives the boat an overall 6-foot, 9-inch draft, while the shoal keel keeps it shallow with its 5-foot, 4-inch draft. Both keels form effective foils that prevent excessive leeway, while providing ample righting moment to keep her stable and stiff on the wind.

The coachroof gently rises up out of the foredeck into the merest suggestion of a cabin, leaving a low profile, with minimal drag-inducing windage to slow you down. As the rearmost curve of the cabin arc wanes back into the weather deck, it opens up into an asymmetrical cockpit with dual helm pedestals. With it offset to starboard, the companionway leaves room in the cockpit for your guests. You can set up a dining table for a dinner service on deck, or strike it down into a day bed for sunbathing, and the cockpit gives way to a swim platform complete with shower. This flexibility means the cockpit can serve as a secondary focal point for social activity on board.

Interior Design

2015 Bavaria VISION 46
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The main saloon is much bigger inside than the subtle coachroof would suggest, and is almost TARDIS-like (any Dr. Who fans out there?) with a full 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom below. Much like the cockpit, you can strike the dining table in the main saloon into a daybed for lounging indoors. The galley is tucked away into the after port corner of the saloon with an open design that includes it in the primary social focal point.

Galley design itself looks fairly functional with a small work triangle, and top-loading, under-counter refrigerator and freezer. The 46 comes stock with a two-burner, propane range and oven, but you can upgrade to a three-burner stove with oven, plus a microwave for those times when nothing but “Chef Mike” will do the trick.

Options abound belowdecks, and the factory, with a little help from Design Unlimited, offers four different layouts with varying amounts of entertainment potential and private cruisability. You can choose a three-cabin, two-head layout if taking your friends gunkholing is your thing, or hog the whole boat for private weekends if you are more introverted in your recreational tastes. Bottom line is: no matter what you are into, you can find a floor plan to suit your purpose. A number of options are available À la carte that allow you to indulge most of your fondest wishes. Don’t like the Sipo interior? Upgrade to oak or teak. The upholstery and furniture ain’t to your preference? Have the factory install its Comfort, Leatherette or real leather upgrade. The list of options and packages does go on ad infinitum, and I can’t do it justice here. Suffice to say that you can make your very own “mini-mega” yacht, or at least one heck of a Gin Palace.

Rigging and Propulsion

2015 Bavaria VISION 46
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So far, we have some nice features that are really just vanity items at the end of the day – nothing that will get you home, as it were. All this changes once we start looking at some of the more functional features that make sailhandling a breeze and close-quarters maneuvers easy and safe to pull off.

The riggers placed Lewmar genoa winches along the cockpit coaming within easy reach of the helm, and the double-mainsheet feature allows you to adjust the main from either side. However, if I were you, I would look into the optional electric winches that trim and pay out the headsail sheets, and the mainsheet, with the push of a button. Sure, it costs more, but what’s another $20 grand at this point?

Bavaria went with the 53 horsepower, Volvo-Penta, D2-55, four-cylinder diesel engine with the Saildrive running gear for auxiliary power, but leave buyers with the option of upgrading to the 75-horsepower, D2-75 engine, also with the low-drag, Saildrive technology. The propeller blades fold down when not in use, and assume a hydrodynamic teardrop shape that won’t rob you of precious headway.

I would also avail myself of the thruster package. Throw some of those funny, sideways propellers on there, fore and aft. The thruster joystick also ties in to the main drive and it puts control over motion fore and aft, sideslip and yaw right at the helmsman’s fingertips. In short, the thruster system will make her handle like an extension of your will.

Price

Final sticker price is as variable as the options list, but we have to start somewhere. You can get a standard 46 delivered to Mystic, Connecticut, or Annapolis, Maryland, for $320,558. If you are on the West Coast, delivery to San Diego will set you back $332,558. Of course, that’s before the options!

Specifications

Length Overall: 13 Feet, 1 Inch
Length Hull: 44 Feet, 11 Inches
Length Waterline: 42 Feet, 1 Inch
Beam Overall: 62 Feet, 4 Inches
Draught Standard: 7 Feet
Draught Option: 5 Feet, 7 Inches
Light Weight Displacement: 2.3 Tons
Engine: Volve Penta D2-55
Fuel Tank: 55.5 Gallons
Water Tank: 21.1 Gallons
Cabins: 2 or 3
Berths: 4 or 6
Height in Lounge: 6 Feet, 6 Inches
Sail Area "Sport": 1,108.7 Square Feet
Sail Area "Comfort: 1,076.4 Square Feet
Height of Mast above Waterline: 65 Feet, 11 Inches
Passengers: 10 or 16
C/E Category: A/B
What do you think?
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