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Bavaria 55 Cruiser review: Better by Farr – from the archive

  • Toby Hodges
  • May 13, 2021

A bit of fresh thinking – or in Bavaria’s case, a deluge of fresh thinking – goes a long way, especially when it’s from the minds of the Farr and BMW design houses. Toby Hodges joined the debut trials of the Bavaria 55 Cruiser, a radical new flagship from the German production giants

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-in-action-credit-Bavaria

Lowering electronically, the transom door provides a large swim platform (with steps) and access to the garage. Credit: Bavaria

Product Overview

  • All windows and portholeshave Oceanair blinds
  • Tanks are central and low
  • Gas springs used on most lockers
  • Not enough bilge access
  • Lots of corners to fall against

Manufacturer:

Without meaning to be cruel, a recession can sometimes be a mixed blessing for the consumer. It ensures the survival of the fittest among manufacturers, who have to sharpen up or be outdone by the depleting and ever more ferocious competition. Take Bavaria, who have acted boldly on a key market trend to produce the Bavaria 55 Cruiser.

At the moment the only production yacht market that could in any way be described as buoyant is in the mid-50ft range, an area not covered by the German builders up to now.

But Bavaria haven’t just come out with a bloated 55ft version of their cruising fleet. They went the braver (and costlier) route of using Farr Yacht Design to draw the hull lines and advise on construction and BMW DesignworksUSA for the exterior design details.

The results are significant. But what strikes you first is her staggering freeboard height and beam – she made a Bavaria 47 next to her look like a Flying Fifteen.

These topsides encompass a gargantuan interior, while allowing that coachroof to remain sleek.

Combine this with low coamings and large walk-through cockpit and it’s easy to deduce that her target clientele sails in the calm sunny waters of the Mediterranean.

And dare I mention the other German boatbuilder? Because the Bavaria 55 Cruiser has a certain Hanse look about her, which her hull windows, twin wheels and satin grey hull do nothing to disguise.

But the coachroof portholes set her apart and echo the windows, setting off an angular theme throughout the boat. Modern obviously equals 90° corners.

Clean decks were strategic to BMW’s aesthetics, so everything is hidden and led aft to maintain the look and there’s a feast of clever ideas to help achieve this.

A modern apartment

If there were such a thing, the Bavaria 55 Cruiser would arguably have the largest interior volume to LWL ratio I’ve ever seen.

I’m not keen on using tape measures on interiors, as lists of measurements can get a little dull, but suffice it to say that, at 6ft 4in, German idol David Hasselhoff ,‘The Hoff’, wouldn’t feel in the least bit cramped.

Once you’ve digested this prolific amount of accommodation, you’ll see Bavaria have included some smart ideas, combinations and options down here.

The test Bavaria 55 Cruiser was a four-cabin model, available also with three ensuites or in four and five-cabin charter guise, where the forward cabins can be converted into one large owner’s cabin post charter life.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-navstation-credit-Bavaria

Typical modern navstation: small and functional, with angular lift-top table, but a bit bland.

Here, the central flexible bulkhead is designed to be removed, with a kit available to transform the starboard heads into a dressing room.

In short, the layout is wide open and contemporary, the feel light and airy, and the look minimalist and smart.

Bavaria used Wenge timber heavily on their 43, 47 and 51 models, which they have continued on the Bavaria 55 Cruiser, but in a lighter colour – ours was in walnut with oak-floor finish.

But more attention to detail and quality control has been paid than we’re used to on a Bavaria.

Floorboards still creak, as does the deck above when anyone walks on it, but Bavaria have listened and there are grab-bars aplenty to accommodate the open spaces.

Sailing the Bavaria 55 Cruiser

Sailing the Bavaria 55 Cruiser proved something of a psychological test. On the one hand I was thinking: “Remember, it’s a cruising Bavaria”, while the more excitable part of my brain responded: “Yes, but it has been penned by some of the best performance brains on the planet.”

Luckily, the result was just how she should be: quick, easy and fun.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-in-action2-credit-Bavaria

Good sailer, but that freeboard is something to behold.

Unfurling the sails to a warm Force 3 on a typical, flat-water morning in Palma Bay, the Bavaria 55 Cruiser immediately showed a keen turn of pace.

Despite the light airs, she was soon tracking upwind at 6.5 knots. But what quickly gnawed at me was that this came at the sacrifice of VMG: we were struggling to point higher than 50° true (30° apparent) at full gallop.

The culprit turned out to be the genoa tracks, which had been mounted too low to keep the aesthetics of a clean deck.

By barber-hauling the clew we were able to move up a gear and point over 5° higher – a short track on the coachroof has since been mooted.

We were fitted with the standard deep keel (2.35m), furling genoa and in-mast vertically battened main and the sails were polyester laminate (Dacron is standard).

As we headed offshore, still slipping along at around 7 knots, the breeze filled in to reach a steady Force 4.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-in-action3-credit-Bavaria

The 55 showed a keen turn of pace in the fl at water of Palma Bay.

With 13 knots across the deck we were nudging 8 knots close-hauled, with the twin rudders delivering consistent tracking, let down only slightly by some play in the steering.

The sail set-up proved itself. While the brochure may quote a displacement of 16 tonnes, she was apparently measured at 18.2 tonnes half-loaded.

Yet as soon as the wind touched double figures, you couldn’t hold her back: so with electric winches the 106 per cent foresail is a more powerful and versatile option than a self-tacking jib, without being a handful.

A Sports package is offered, however, with taller mast and larger, fully battened main.

Beam reaching in these textbook conditions was a joy and we hit 9.5 knots on a broad reach in 16 knots – rewarding passage speeds and certainly an altogether more exhilarating ride than any other cruising Bavaria.

But with only a very lightweight Code 0 aboard, it was a crying shame there was no asymmetric as the Bavaria 55 Cruiser’s broad aft end design promises downwind potential.

Helming is comfortable with no coaming to straddle, but only the aft set of twin 58 winches are reachable (these can be powered as an option).

A ‘German’ system led the mainsheet forward on the boom then aft to coachroof winches, where banks of clutches each side also handle the hidden mastlines.

With her low coachroof there are no visibility issues, but there’s also very little cockpit protection or backrests for bracing crew.

Instead they’re compensated with plenty of sunbathing area: 7.5m2 alone on the fully flush foredeck, plus large side decks and a huge aft bench that spans the transom.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-aft-credit-Bavaria

The transom garage can hold a 3.2m RIB, easily launched over the boarding platform.

With so much clean deck area, getting the teak option is a must. Going forward, there’s a lot of boat to fall across (4.75m beam), with little to stop you doing so in a sea.

The guardrails are low and the short handles on the coachroof only shin-high. The upside is that there’s very little to snag sheets or stub a toe on!

Bavaria 55 Cruiser below decks

The forward ensuite is first class and a real selling point, with separate stand-up shower room. More like a hotel bathroom, it’s spacious, with large contemporary sink and mirror, attractive downlights and plentiful stowage – including a lift-top laundry basket, if you don’t opt for a washing machine.

A walk-in full-headroom dressing room resides in the ‘hallway’ of the opulent master cabin, with enough hanging and stowage room to swallow even a diva’s wardrobe . . .

This allows for a completely uncluttered queen size double. There’s still 6ft 2in headroom and plenty of light from two large overhead hatches and two hull windows.

It may need a few pictures to detract from the vast amount of pale woodwork, which can seem more static caravan than inviting cabin.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-foreward-ensuite-credit-Bavaria

More like a hotel bathroom.

The saloon is less warm and cosy, more smart and spacious, with room enough to seat eight – once the double bench (with magnetic backrest) slides out from under the island.

The softly lit glass cabinet forward looks attractive, but its practicality is questionable. There’s stowage under and behind all seats, including two large drawers under both end seats. Plus there’s a great provisions locker under the cabinet, including wine rack.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-saloon-credit-Bavaria

The softly lit glass cabinet forward looks attractive, but its practicality is questionable.

Linear it may be, but the galley is a refreshing design that utilises a workstation island. Which with surrounding grab bars more than satisfies the seaworthy credentials.

It rather resembles a kitchen in a modern flat, complete with front-opening, full-size fridge-freezer (there’s a lift-top fridge too) and large deep sink and draining sink. Stowage is abundant.

Bavaria-55-Cruiser-review-galley-credit-Bavaria

It rather resembles a kitchen in a modern flat.

Heads are nice and light (again with huge headroom), boasting a proper shower permanently mounted on a stand.

A seat/cover drops over the small heads and a Perspex door keeps the wash area dry. This has a smart, deep, lipped basin and large mirror.

Identical double aft cabins have excellent headroom, changing space and stowage in tall double hanging lockers.

Fiddled shelves run the length of the generous doubles and four portlights help keep these cabins airy. Hatches aft provide access to steering gear.

First published in the August 2009 issue of YW.

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All credit to Bavaria, they haven’t simply extended their 51 and stuck a designer sticker on it. Although this is a high-profile showboat, there’d be no point paying for top dollar designers if you didn’t build it properly – this prototype Bavaria Cruiser 55 shows a fastidious level of quality control. Farr are reliably good, but this is the second BMW DesignworksUSA boat we’ve sailed and both have impressed us by bringing fresh, yet practical ideas into deck and interior design. Some might question the height of the freeboard. I appreciate Bavaria wanted to fit a garage in below the cockpit and give good headroom in the master cabin, but you do feel dwarfed in the saloon and anything other than stern-to boarding will be a challenge. Once again Bavaria have redefined the term ‘a lot of boat for your money’, and this is a whole lot of boat. The German builders have upped their game at a critical time, thanks to the positive input of fresh thinking. It will be interesting to see the response from the French builders Jeanneau and Bénéteau – due to launch a 57 and 58 respectively during the summer. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the Bavaria Cruiser 55 will appeal to many a modern buyer – particularly those in the Med and charter boat markets. She’s manageable, fast and fun.

Bavaria Cruiser 55 Shoal draft

Sailboat specifications.

  • Last update: 29th March 2020

Bavaria Cruiser 55's main features

Bavaria cruiser 55's main dimensions, bavaria cruiser 55's rig and sails, bavaria cruiser 55's performances, bavaria cruiser 55's auxiliary engine, bavaria cruiser 55's accommodations and layout, bavaria cruiser 55's saloon.

Bavaria Yachts Bavaria Cruiser 55  Picture extracted from the commercial documentation © Bavaria Yachts

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55 Bavaria 2015 Boat For Sale

Asking price: €340,000.

  • Yachts for sale
  • express cruisers
  • 55' Bavaria

Last updated Jan 31, 2024

55' Bavaria 2015

Version with furling mainsail and 3-cabin layout, 3 bathrooms + crew cabin. Super equipped with 110hp Yanmar engine, aft manoeuvring propeller + retractable bow, air conditioning in all rooms with 3 engines, 8 Kw generator, two electric winches, garage for the tender, bimini + sprayhood from 2023, electric stern platform with remote control, Garmin electronics with autopilot. Used Bavaria 56 Cruiser. Boat offered with exclusive sales contract. Authorised shipping brokerage company. This boat really exists: we were personally on board, checked the documents and carried out the photo shoot. Book your private live video visit. 45 minutes just for you. See the complete card directly on our website ABAYACHTING. The data in this sheet are not contractual.

Versione con randa avvolgibile e layout 3 cabine, 3 bagni + cabina di equipaggio. Super accessoriata con motore Yanmar da 110hp, elica di manovra a poppa + prua a scomparsa, aria condizionata in tutti gli ambienti con 3 motori, generatore da 8 Kw, due winch elettrici, garage per il tender, bimini + sprayhood del 2023, piattaforma di poppa elettrica con telecomando, elettronica Garmin con pilota automatico. Bavaria 56 Cruiser usato. Imbarcazione proposta con contratto di vendita in esclusiva. Società di mediazione marittima autorizzata. Questa barca esiste davvero: siamo stati personalmente a bordo, abbiamo controllato i documenti ed effettuato il servizio fotografico. Prenota la tua video-visita privata in diretta. 45 minuti solo per te. Guarda la scheda completa direttamente sul nostro sito internet ABAYACHTING. I dati riportati nella presente scheda non sono da ritenersi contrattuali.

Version avec grand-voile à enrouleur et aménagement 3 cabines, 3 salles de bain + cabine d'équipage. Super équipé avec moteur Yanmar 110cv, hélice de manœuvre arrière + étrave rétractable, air conditionné dans toutes les pièces avec 3 moteurs, générateur 8 Kw, deux winchs électriques, garage pour l'annexe, bimini + capote à partir de 2023, plateforme arrière électrique avec télécommande, électronique Garmin avec pilote automatique. Bavaria 56 Cruiser d'occasion. Bateau proposé avec contrat de vente exclusif. Société de courtage maritime agréée. Ce bateau existe vraiment : nous avons été personnellement à bord, nous avons vérifié les documents et nous avons réalisé la séance photo. Réservez votre visite vidéo privée en direct. 45 minutes rien que pour vous. Voir la fiche complète directement sur notre site ABAYACHTING. Les données de cette fiche ne sont pas contractuelles.

Version mit Rollgroßsegel und 3-Kabinen-Layout, 3 Bäder + Crew-Kabine. Super ausgestattet mit 110PS Yanmar Motor, achterlicher Manövrierpropeller + einziehbarer Bug, Klimaanlage in allen Räumen mit 3 Motoren, 8 Kw Generator, zwei elektrische Winden, Garage für das Beiboot, Bimini + Sprayhood von 2023, elektrische Heckplattform mit Fernbedienung, Garmin Elektronik mit Autopilot. Gebrauchte Bavaria 56 Cruiser. Boot wird mit exklusivem Kaufvertrag angeboten. Autorisierte Schiffsmaklerfirma. Dieses Boot gibt es wirklich: Wir waren persönlich an Bord, haben die Dokumente geprüft und das Fotoshooting durchgeführt. Buchen Sie Ihre private Live-Video-Besichtigung. 45 Minuten nur für Sie. Sehen Sie die vollständige Karte direkt auf unserer Website ABAYACHTING. Die Angaben in diesem Blatt sind nicht vertraglich.

Versión con vela mayor enrollable y distribución de 3 camarotes, 3 baños + camarote de tripulación. Super equipado con motor Yanmar de 110 CV, hélice de maniobra en popa + proa escamoteable, aire acondicionado en todas las estancias con 3 motores, generador de 8 Kw, dos winches eléctricos, garaje para la embarcación auxiliar, bimini + capota antirociones a partir de 2023, plataforma de popa eléctrica con mando a distancia, electrónica Garmin con piloto automático.Bavaria 56 Cruiser usado. Barco ofrecido con contrato de venta exclusivo. Empresa de corretaje marítimo autorizada. Este barco existe de verdad: estuvimos personalmente a bordo, comprobamos la documentación y realizamos la sesión de fotos. Reserve su visita privada con vídeo en directo. 45 minutos sólo para usted. Consulte la ficha completa directamente en nuestro sitio web ABAYACHTING. Los datos de esta ficha no son contractuales.

Denison Yachting is pleased to assist you in the purchase of this vessel. This boat is centrally listed by Abayachting.

Denison Yacht Sales offers the details of this yacht in good faith but can’t guarantee the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of this boat for sale. This yacht for sale is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal from that yacht market without notice. She is offered as a convenience by this yacht broker to its clients and is not intended to convey direct representation of a specific yacht for sale.

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bavaria yacht 55

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55' Bavaria HIGHLIGHTS

  • Yacht Details: 55' Bavaria 2015
  • Location: Campania, Italy
  • Engines: Yanmar
  • Last Updated: Jan 31, 2024
  • Asking Price: €340,000
  • Max Draft: 7' 10''

55' Bavaria additional information

  • Beam: 15' 7''
  • Hull Material: Fiberglass
  • Fuel Tank: 1 x 330|liter
  • Fresh Water: 1 x 700|liter
  • Max Passengers: 17

Randa Elvstrom avvolgibile dacron 2016, Genoa Elvstrom avvolgibile dacron 2016, Albero 2 crocette. Selden

STRUMENTAZIONE ELETTRONICA DI NAVIGAZIONE

AIS, Bussola, Display (Garmin), Pilota automatico (Garmin), 2 Plotter con antenna GPS (Garmin 820i), Radio VHF (Garmin), Stazione vento (Garmin)

ALLESTIMENTO TECNICO E DI COPERTA

Ancora (+ catena da 70 mt da 12.), Autoclave, 7 Batterie (1 mot + 2 eliche prua-poppa + 4 servizi ), Camminamenti laterali in teak, Caricabatterie, Doccia esterna, Doppia timoneria, Elica di poppa - stern thruster (a scomparsa), Elica di prua - bow thruster (a scomparsa), Elica di rispetto, Garage per tender, Luci subacquee, Passerella, Piattaforma (elettrica con telecomando), Pompa di sentina elettrica, Pompa di sentina manuale, Pozzetto Teak, Presa 220V banchina, Salpa Ancore Elettrico, Sartiame spiroidale, Scaletta da bagno, Supporto motore fuoribordo, Tavolo pozzetto, Tavolo Salone Abbattibile, 6 Winch (2 elettrici)

DOTAZIONI DOMESTICHE DI BORDO

Aria condizionata (3 motori (cabine poppa+ dinette+ prua/marinaio). Hot/Cold), Boiler, Impianto acque nere, Inverter, Prese interne 12v, Prese interne 220v, 3 WC marino elettrico, WC marino manuale

INTRATTENIMENTO

Altoparlanti, Stereo (Fusion), TV (4)

ACCESSORI VELE

Avvolgi Fiocco (Furlex), Avvolgi Randa (Selden), Vang rigido (Selden)

CUCINA ED ELETTRODOMESTICI

Congelatore, Cucina, Forno, 2 Frigorifero interno

TAPPEZZERIE

Bimini (2023), Cappottina (2023), Cuscineria Pozzetto, Prendisole aggiunto, Zanzariere

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2022 Bavaria R55 Fly

Bavaria R55 Fly

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Specifications

Bavaria 55 - bareboat monohulls.

Surely a boating combination of Farr Yacht Design, BMW Design-Works and Bavaria Yachts will make any sailor sit up and pay attention. So we should, with the latest Bavaria 55, now available for a special sailing experience.

Bavaria 55

This beautiful yacht comes from world-leading design specialists and boat builders. The result combines top level sailing performance with great spaces for sunbathing and sporting activities. Below decks, the saloon makes excellent use of space for the working/living arrangements needed when cruising and at anchor, while spacious cabins provide the best in comfortable relaxation.

With a choice of three, four or five cabin versions, the Bavaria Cruiser 55  has plenty of options for families or friends cruising together.  

Date Added: Nov 11th, 2018   Last Updated: Jan 13th, 2020

Charter Locations

  • Regions: Mediterranean
  • Destinations: Croatia , Greece
  • Cabins: 4 double + 1 single
  • Length: 16.5m, 54'
  • Beam: 4.7m, 15'
  • Draft: 2.3m, 8'
  • Engine(s): 110hp
  • Fuel Capacity: 380l, 100g
  • Water Capacity: 850l, 225g

Equipment Includes: Bimini /spray hood, electric windlass, h & C water, transom shower, 12 volt electrics, dinghy and outboard, bed linen, VHF, CD/FM radio, bow thruster. Additional equipment may vary. Ask us for equipment available on this boat in your preferred destination.

Yacht Layout

Bavaria 55 - 4 Cabin Layout

Specifications and accommodation layouts may vary. Ask us for the details of this boat in your preferred destination. Many boats have additional saloon berths not indicated above.

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bavaria yacht 55

From the Danube to the Côte d’Azur with the BAVARIA R55

The overland journeys that a BAVARIA covers from the yard in Giebelstadt, via one of the more than 77 BAVARIA YACHTS dealers worldwide, to the customer are sometimes even more spectacular than any voyage. This was the situation for a BAVARIA R55, the largest motor yacht from BAVARIA YACHTS, on her journey from Marina Saal located near the Danube to its mooring at the French Mediterranean coast at the end of March.

The dimensions of a BAVARIA R55 are already striking on the water. Including the bathing platform, the flagship of the BAVARIA YACHTS motor boat fleet is almost 18 metres long. With a width of 4.75 metres and a height of more than 6.50 metres from the keel to the radar on the flybridge, the BAVARIA R55 forms an impressive image in the marina. Transporting the R55 on German motorways with their bridges, through tunnels and on narrow cross‐country roads in France is a real challenge for any haulier.

bavaria yacht 55

At the end of March, a brand‐new BAVARIA R55 made the more than 1200‐kilometre overland journey directly from the showroom at Boote Yachten Marina Saal to Port Napoleon between Montpellier and Toulon. More precisely, two heavy loads took to the road because it was necessary to remove the flybridge to clear the bridges. The semitrailer for one of the two trucks was already fully laden with the flybridge, well packed in a crate. The R55 was lashed securely to the second semitrailer, after also removing the propulsion systems to reduce the clearance height for the bridges as much as possible.

"Just preparing the transport was nerve‐racking. Loading an 18‐metre yacht onto a truck and then securing it for transport is not a quick task. We spent weeks on perfect preparation‟,  reports Peter Seifert, General Manager of Boote Yachten Marina Saal GmbH.

bavaria yacht 55

Too high for transport over motorways and country roads...

bavaria yacht 55

that's why the flybridge had to be transported in its own box.

On March 22, the two trucks and their semitrailers with the R55 could then set off for France. Overnight it went over the German motorways, constantly secured by escort vehicles and the police. In France, the transport was stopped and checked time and again and also got accompanied on narrow cross‐country roads. It often passed close to buildings, over junctions and up and down difficult gradients. The transport team had to drive every kilometre with maximum concentration.

"As the R55 arrived undamaged in Port Napoleon four days later and we were able to start unloading without delay, we were obviously over the moon. We had a tight schedule because the new owner wanted to drive the R55 to her final mooring in Nice a few days later and a strong Mistral with wind speeds of over 90 km/h was forecast‟, explains Christian Wagner, Head of Sales at Boote Yachten Marina Saal GmbH.

bavaria yacht 55

The BAVARIA boat specialists Slavo Korejwo and Stefan Emrich travelled directly from the BAVARIA YACHTS yard to the Côte d’Azur to provide assistance. The two experts, who undertake such tricky tasks for BAVARIA YACHTS worldwide, are familiar with every corner of the BAVARIA R55 and have often mounted a flybridge on a BAVARIA R55. At the same time, it was also necessary to mount the two propulsion systems again and prepare the R55 for final acceptance. Work went on around the clock until finally the big moment arrived and the owner of the new BAVARIA R55 was able to take possession for the transfer to Nice.

"Undertaking a sea trial together with the owner is always the best moment and is a reward for the stressful days of preparation for delivery. Our team in Saal, all those involved in the transport, our colleagues at BAVARIA YACHTS and the assembly team on site did a really good job‟, resumes Peter Seifert at the end of the journey of the BAVARIA R55 from the Danube to the Mediterranean.

bavaria yacht 55

A look behind the scenes:

bavaria yacht 55

©Port Navy Service

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COMMENTS

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  3. Bavaria Cruiser 55 Standard

    The Bavaria Cruiser 55 is a 53' (16.16m) cruising sailboat designed by Farr Yacht Design (United States). She was built between 2010 and 2014 by Bavaria Yachts (Germany). The Bavaria Cruiser 55 is as well listed, on Boat-Specs.com, in Shoal draft version (see all the versions compared).

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