The ongoing collaboration between Farr Yacht Design, based in Annapolis, Maryland, and Bavaria Yachts, the German builder with an ever-expanding worldwide reach, continues to produce smart, sensible, solid production cruisers. The latest example of this fruitful partnership is the Cruiser 41, introduced to the U.S. market last fall.
Bavaria now builds two lines of sailboats. The Vision series is highly stylized, specifically targets couples and has the amenities and comforts of a second home. The Cruiser line, alternatively, is a collection of wholesome family cruising boats with more traditional layouts and accommodations. This new 41-footer perfectly fits that design brief.
Let’s start in the beamy cockpit and work forward. Contemporary production cruisers, like this Bavaria, have a series of what have become almost standard features, including a drop-down transom with a wide swim and boarding platform, and twin wheels. Check and check. Farr has specified a split backstay that really opens up this space. A central cockpit table also serves as the mount for the nice Garmin chartplotter, which is visible from the helms. There’s a pair of good-size lockers beneath each of the cockpit benches.
The headsail sheets are run to a pair of Lewmar self-tailing primaries on the coamings. The double-ended mainsheet system terminates at another set of Lewmar winches atop the coachroof (though owners can also opt to have the mainsheets run aft near the wheels, where the helmsman has better access). All the halyards and reefing lines are also led to the cabin top, and everything there is organized and tended through banks of Spinlock rope clutches.
All the rigging and related hardware is first rate, and includes a deck-stepped Seldén spar with furling main (a traditional main with full-batten sails is an option) and a solid boom vang (the winch-handle-controlled backstay adjuster is also by Seldén). The double spreaders are swept aft to facilitate tight sheeting angles — as are the jib tracks, which are located on the cabin to keep the side decks free of encumbrances — for the 106-percent jib, which is set and stashed off a Furlex 300S headsail furler. Our test boat had a Delta anchor on a single roller.
The companionway entrance comprises fixed, swinging doors with windows, with an overhead hatch fashioned with clear Plexiglas. Classy! A five-step ladder descends into the main saloon. At the foot of the stairwell, to port, is a large, enclosed head opposite a nice, proper navigation station to starboard. In the three-cabin version we sailed, the generous beam in the cockpit translated to a couple of big aft cabins below.
Moving forward, the straight-line galley, with a three-burner stove and oven, and double sinks with handy covers, is to port. To starboard, a long U-shaped settee wraps around the generous dining table; there’s also an “island” seat in the middle of the boat. The owner’s cabin is in the bow, and includes a large double berth, a second enclosed head, lots of storage space and a bench seat for dressing. The Bavaria representative claimed this “master bedroom” was the biggest in its class of recent 40-footers, and he’s probably right. It’s certainly a comfortable, spacious compartment.
The hull and deck of the Cruiser 41 are hand-laid laminates with E-glass reinforcements and a polyester resin, with an outer layer of protective vinylester resin. High-load areas have been specially reinforced, and coremat and PVC foam are employed in other parts of the laminate. Below the waterline, a one-piece E-glass liner, or grid, has been bonded in place and post-cured with the hull. Above the waterline, the interior components themselves provide strength and support. The iron keel is bolted directly to the grid to disperse loads evenly.
Under power, the Cruiser 41 handled with authority in both forward and reverse. Unfortunately, on the day of our test sail, the breeze was but a zephyr, though the boat still managed to record 3 knots of boat speed in about the same amount of wind. Still, the Farr office is renowned for boats that sail well, and there’s no reason to doubt that the 41 will also be a steady and able performer.
This article first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Cruising World. Click here to see more boats from Bavaria.