Bluewater Sailboat – Bavaria Cruiser 34


With a waterline length of only 30 feet, Bavaria Yachts used the magic of German engineering to construct the Bavaria Cruiser 34, a boat that can fit up to three cabins, has a usable cockpit, and can sail at speeds of 7+ mph.

The company’s previous 33-footer is replaced by the new Farr design, which also adds a little sportier profile. Infusing the hull and deck of the foam core sandwich boat results in a lighter structure and helps to keep the boat’s lightweight displacement under 12,000 lbs. Other models in the Bavaria line will be introduced after this one, which is the first.

  • LOA 10.34m (33ft 11in)
  • LWL 8.45m (27ft 9in)
  • Beam 3.47m (11ft 5in)
  • Draught 1.83m (6ft 0in)
  • Displacement 4,500kg (9,900 lb)
  • Ballast 1,400kg (3,080 lb)
  • Ballast ratio 31%
  • Sail area 56.2m2 (604sq ft)
  • SA/D ratio 20.96
  • Diesel 90 litres (20gal)
  • Water 150 litres (33gal)
  • Engine 29hp Volvo Penta
  • Transmission Saildrive
  • RCD category A-Ocean
  • Designer J & J
  • Builder Bavaria Yachtbau


A large sailboat that sails quickly and comfortably can be constructed with ease. The designer has access to a lot of interior space, expansive deck areas, and a sizable sail area. The real magic of smart design, however, lies in making a tiny cruiser that has the conveniences and sailing qualities of a large boat—yet fits in a smaller space and is more cost-effective. Only German engineering could create a boat with a 32′ 9″ LOA that can fit up to three staterooms, have a usable cockpit with one or two helms, and sail at speeds above seven knots on a 30′ waterline.

Other models in the company’s line will follow this boat as the first in its series to be infused. Because she is just 32 feet long on deck, the Farr design appears a little smaller than her stated 34 feet. She is one of the smallest boats having below-decks accommodations with three cabins as a result. A compact model is asked to perform three tasks at once, which is a design achievement in and of itself. Although American families with children may thrill at this strategy, which is common in Europe.

Above Deck

The model is well-designed and quite comfortable on the inside. The twin helms on our test boat had a walkthrough to the transom, which descended to serve as a swim platform. Although this technique is manual, I could practically lift the platform with with one hand because it was so nicely counter-levered. The swim platform, seats, and cockpit sole all come standard with teak decking. It gives the appearance of richness and contrasts the stark white fibreglass surfaces.

Both the Jefa steering system and the optional carbon wheels from Garmin are 721 (seven-inch) touchscreen multifunction displays with WiFi.

Aft of the cockpit table is where the MFD is situated, and the starboard wheel is where the wind instruments and autopilot are located. There is also a Garmin VHF 300i AIS available, and having situational awareness tools like these on a yacht of size is a sign of safety.

On a folding table with inside storage, built-in cup holders, and a plug for a light, a single compass is installed. In the single helm configuration, a sizable wheel is fixed to a pedestal that also supports the MFD, instruments, and compass and extends to the rear of the cockpit table.

A conventional mainsail, lazy jacks, and a bag make up the sail plan, which is rather basic. Both in-mast furling and tri-radial sails are optional.

The shrouds are all the way outboard and make it simpler to move around on deck, while the small jib tracks are on the cabin-top for tighter sheeting angles. There is no requirement for a topping lift because the double-spreader Selden rig has a rigid boomvang and is deck-stepped.

A tall sailor might trip over the lifelines since they are so low. On the plus side, the side gates are big and wide, making it easy to load coolers and other supplies from the dock. Behind the roller furler in the forward direction is a locker that conceals an electric horizontal windlass with a remote control.

There are many grip rails on all of Bavaria’s models, which makes it simple to locate something to hold onto in the cockpit or below.

Except in the two-cabin version, where the portside bench opens to reveal a deep lazarett, cockpit storage is confined to two modest lockers aft. An observation on cost-efficient bundling: The popular alternatives are combined in Bavaria’s packages, which are a convenient method to choose what you want without having to pay per item.

Below Deck

With two cabins, the port side head is larger than the starboard side head, but there is no separate shower stall. The model’s latest iteration adds a tiny aft-facing navigation station that can be accessed from the cockpit and sits alongside the portside settee and garage storage. In both designs, the galley, salon, and forward stateroom are identical. The saloon’s two hatches over the drop-leaf table let in plenty of light, and when the door to the master is open, the boat appears bigger and more spacious within.

The L-shaped galley is small and equipped with a top-loading refrigerator, a two-burner stove, and one sink. Even if there isn’t much room, a skilled cook may provide inventive meals over the course of a long weekend.

Dovetailed joinery, solid wood doorframes and counter fiddles, a variety of wood treatments, and integrated hatch and portlight shades are just a few examples of the high-quality elements. The absence of creaking is one element that stands out. The cabin sole and every other surface seemed sturdy and kept their silence when being moved.


On a test day with blustery conditions, the Bavaria Cruiser 34 was sailed on a protected part of Biscayne Bay where 23-knot gusts were encountered. Despite the fully-battened traditional mainsail having a reef, the boat was difficult to handle with just two people. The absence of a traveler made it challenging to fine-tune the mainsail trim. In these conditions, the 34 demonstrated her ability to cut through chop like her larger siblings, the Bavaria Cruiser 37 and Cruiser 41, due to her 549 square feet of upwind sail area. At 18-20 knots of true wind, the boat sailed at 6.6 knots at a 45-degree apparent wind angle and increased speed to 7.3 knots at 60 degrees. The standard 6’ 8” keel was preferred over the optional 5’ 2” version for stability in gusts, but it may impede cruising in shallow waters. Downwind, the boat sailed smoothly and reached a speed of 6.2 knots at 150 degrees.

The Bavaria Cruiser 34 also performed well when motoring with her Volvo Penta 20 HP diesel and three-bladed folding propeller. At wide-open-throttle, a speed of 7.3 knots was reached at 3050 rpm. A cruising speed of 6.2 knots was found at 2500 rpm. The boat has a fuel and water tankage of 40 gallons each, giving it a range under power of more than 400 miles with a reserve.

Quick Notes

The Bavaria Cruiser 34 is a compact package with enough stowage space, sleeping accommodations, and galley amenities for cruising, and is comfortable in a 33-foot slip.

There is no need for a topping lift because the double-spreader, deck-stepped Seldén rig on the Cruiser 34 has a rigid boomvang. A typical Dacron mainsail, lazyjacks, and a sail bag make up the sailplan, which is rather straightforward. Both in-mast furling and tri-radial sails are optional. The shrouds are situated all the way outboard, allowing for a clear run forward along the side decks, while the small jib tracks are on the cabintop for tighter sheeting angles.

It is an attractive option for weekend boating.

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