TEST Bavaria Cruiser 46, what a hull for Bruce Farr!

Say Bavaria and you think of quiet cruising and days at anchor with the transom down enjoying sea and diving with the family. Okay, all this remains without question, but on the Cruiser 46 I was also able to test something different. In fact, even we journalists often do not give enough emphasis to a purely design aspect: the hulls of Bavarias are the work of one of the world’s leading designers, Bruce Farr.


Let’s start at the bottom, of the test I was able to do of the Bavaria 46 Cruiser in Loano, which is sailing. For the first time in the past two years, I tested a boat from the German shipyard in fairly challenging sea and wind conditions. Last year, when I tried the 33 Cruiser and the 42 Vision, at most they got up about ten knots. Once again it seems that the Ligurian town has no intention of giving me a good day. Instead, after three hours of waiting, spent analyzing the boat from the bilges to the masthead, a slight breeze finally seems to be picking up and we leave the harbor. Well, within a quarter of an hour we found ourselves with fifteen steady knots, a few gusts around 18 to 20 knots, and an annoying short wave caused by the bottom suddenly rising toward the coast.

I take the helm while the two yard managers take care of the sails. Actually there is only the mainsail to adjust, because installed on board is the Trim Control, the Lewmar automatic winch adjustment system that Bavaria gives as an option on all its boats. Basically, in addition to capping and letting go of the jib, when tacking, I just hold down a button (or rather, a point on the watertight panel) to make the sail go from one broadside to the other. The boat seems quite balanced to me, and the rudder, which has correct gearing, responds well to my stresses. No doubt the choice of having a double rudder blade makes itself felt, helping me steer smoothly and maintain good course stability. The wave passage is smooth, and in the cockpit, apart from some inevitable splashing, we stay nice and dry. For the first time in my memory, Bavaria has made two liftable footboards for the helmsman: helming this way is definitely more comfortable! Personally, the only choice, a very cruising one, that I did not like was the lack of mainsail traveller. It’s true that with the double turn of the sheet (if you let go on one side, dicks on the other) the boom still stays low, but when the wind strengthened further I would have preferred to be able to let go of the undercarriage to balance the boat.

The three hinges of the deck
Starting from the stern, the folding transom could not be missing on this 46-footer either, giving rise to a swim platform a full 2.30 meters wide, which is accessed by descending two full-beam steps.

On deck, one moves easily, thanks among other things to the cleared walkways, except for the attachment of the shrouds, with all rigging moved to the deckhouse and sent back to the cockpit. Following the prevailing trend, a gennaker was devised for carrying gaits, the tack point of which was made on the mighty anchor snout.

The helmsman, as mentioned has at hand on both columns, the Trim Control panel, to which is added the wind instrumentation and chart Gps.

As we had the opportunity to tell you back at the Genoa Boat Show, on the 46 Cruiser the shipyard opted for a linear galley along the left broadside, which may or may not be separated from the dinette by a totem pole equipped with several storage cabinets and which also accommodates an additional bench. But the lion’s share of the work on board is done by the cabins, with the forward cabin (which can also be divided by a panel into two additional double cabins) appearing almost like a suite, with separate toilet and shower room.



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