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reviews/opinions of Bavaria 38 Ocean Center Cockpit

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Oct 8, 2011
3
bavaria 38 Ocean Center Cockpit Tacoma, Wa.
I've looked at two of the above for possible purchase recently; years 98 AND 99. I've started a search for some reviews and have found that some specific reviews that are referenced in a google search are currently unavailable. So of coarse my questions are to the Bavaria owners/aficionados out there who may be so inclined to respond; What has your experience been? What review resources might you recomend? Have you used these boats much on offshore passages? and etc. etc. There is nothing like the hand of experience..... Thank you
 

njsail

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Feb 18, 2010
216
Bavaria Ocean 40 CC Forked River
I like your choice in boats. Here's my 2 cents: I own a Bavaria 40 Ocean CC which appears very similar to the 38 Ocean. We're going into our 3rd season with Valkyrie and I'm still a very happy owner. I could easily move aboard this boat full time (my wish) and be comfortable for many years. Build quality: It's a well fitted boat with some quirks. The boat is well made and has a strong hull. The level of finish of the interior is above average. I actually like the fake teak/holly screwed down floor. It makes getting access to all the area's of the floor pan simple. And everyone that comes aboard complements us on how great the floor looks. I mention the floor and ease of access for a reason. I owned an island packet for 10 years and I loved the top quality and overbuilt nature of the boat. The weakness of the IP's was the same as it's strengths...access. I would constantly hear of people spending $10-20K to replace tanks under the beautiful real teak/holly floors (ouch). The bavaria oceans have easy access to all tanks. They have clean outs so you can gain access to the inside of the tanks. Even the holding tank is only a half dozen screws away behind the shower panel. The deck is well outfitted and works really well. The teak decks are great but do require maintenance. I still love them. Now the center cockpit is a huge asset. You get the huge aft master cabin, an engine room with access on 3 sides that you can step into. We put two great captains chairs on the back deck and it's my favorite place on the boat. Having a back deck changes the feel of the boat. We have a fully enclosed cockpit so without being a transformer if we want sun we sit in the captains chairs, if we want shade we sit in the cockpit. Another beni of a center cockpit is when you have a lot of people many times it hard to actually sail....so with the CC you just walk out the back and work the winch from the outside deck. We sail with company often so the first time I figured that trick out life became much easier.

Sailing ability: The boat has a in mast furling main and a 130 genny. She sails great and has the weight to stay on her feet in a blow. Our avg day is in 10-20kts and the boat is in it's sweet spot. I've sailed in 35kts and felt very comfortable and safe under a partial main only. We had a blast. She heeled a bit but really had a good feel and was responsive. The spade rudder has it's cons but it provides very responsive steering. In the past couple years I'd had a few moments of excitement usually due to being over canvased and not reefing before a front came blowing in. Easily rectified with the furling main. It took a while to learn how to effectively use the furler. I have a complaint about the winch setup. There are locations for 2 winches per side but only one winch is present. When the wind is high and I need to reef it's a pain in the butt. There is no way I can see to lock off the sheet and switch out to furl the genny in. I've been thinking about adding a second smaller winch next to the existing ones. I hate the stanchion design - I have no idea what the designer was thinking about. If you have the rutgerson hatches on the deck be aware they will most likely leak and require rebedding. I saw them as a weak link and replaced 3 of them with Lewmar 60's. I still have the 2 side opening Rutgerson hatches next to the mast since they are 1 inch larger in width and length than the custom lewmar hatches I bought from Bavaria over a year ago and didn't fit. Bavaria didn't realize they are different sizes. In contrast I owned a 25 year old Island Packet and when I called they could tell me more measurements about my boat then I could give. I guess that's a difference between a mass production boat building and a more customer service oriented builder. Bavaria was of little help resolving my problem. Customer service is not their strength. Rutgersen never returned my emails, calls, inquiries. I even tried in multiple languages. I will say the Rutgersen ports on are high quality and work great (unlike their hatch line).

If you search the forums you'll see a love or hate relationship with the Volvo engine and saildrive. I think much of your experience will be how well the engine/sail drive was maintained. I haven't had any major issues yet but I'm not naive enough to believe I will continue that streak of luck. (but I'm hoping).

I rambled for a while. If there is anything in particular you want to know about let me know either on or off forum. There's only about 40 of the B40 Oceans out there, not sure how many 38 Ocean CC's were made.

Bottom line: would I buy the same boat again? Without hesitation...YES. I love the boat, it's abilities, and want to step aboard and toss the dock lines away for the last time to head south.
 
Oct 8, 2011
3
bavaria 38 Ocean Center Cockpit Tacoma, Wa.
Thanks a lot for your detailed reply. Since I posted the thread I had more luck accessing reviews. Boat mag reviews are mostly fluff and praise and not usualy as usefull as you'd hoped. The bavaria chatter on sailnet is mostly negative. The internet sailers who walked thru a bavaria 5 years ago at a show and those that are convinced that a sophisticated assembly line must be very BAD. Anyway, I remain impressed with the 38CC. I myself have reservations about the catabeneunters but all things should be looked at carefully. I guess I wanted to know as well about anyones offshore experience or thoughts wrt the 38CC. ?? It is an interesting coincedence that you had an older IP. I'm currently "working up" an IP350 year 2002. Of coarse this is a horse of a different color that the bavaria. I have the time and intention to do a fair bit of offshore stuff so of coarse I'm attracted to this type of boat. The price is also in the 38CC range. Anyone have any thoughts on any of this offshore vs. coastal use for these two boats or for that manner of any other boats that may be in mind??
 

njsail

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Feb 18, 2010
216
Bavaria Ocean 40 CC Forked River
The IP350 is a fine ride. We have one in our marina and it has everything you need to travel long and far. That said with the IP you have a modern full keel that shines offshore. The IP's you need to really know the maintenance history of the boat ( search for island packet chainplate issues and tankage issues). I'd buy another one but I would certainly work double time on the survey Nd online research. Look in iphomeport.com for ip information as well as ipyoa.com (owners site). Ipsailor.com is a paid ip forum for island packet if you so choose. I'd love to own another ip but right now the cost is still prohibitive for what I need in a boat.

The Bavaria ocean models have a modern f'in keel with a deep spade rudder. They are however about a ton heavier then the non-ocean standard aft cockpit layout. The extra weight helps the ride. Our b40 ocean cc has about 6000 miles under her keel with a lot of those miles offshore. The prior owners sailed from the Chesapeake to new foundland and back to NJ. One of my friends crewed on that trip and had nothing but praise for the boat and the ride. If your traveling that far up north and back and you don't complain about anything of substance I figure it's a good sea motion. I've been out in 35-40kts under hair poles and an autopilot just to rest and have lunch heading downwind. It was amazingly pleasant and a comfortable motion. In comparison the IP and ocean are very different boats. If you are going to spend lot of time offshore the ip will probably feel better due to the full keel and boat design. They have an awesome ride. The ocean will have a nice ride with a heavy f'in keel and certainly feel like a race horse compared to the ip. But when your swinging on the hood or at dock the center cockpit rules (IMHO) as dies the big aft cabin. Look at cost vs what you really will use the boat for. And of course you have to fall in love with it. It's a buyers market so low ball whatever you choose. Enjoy.
Just my extra 2 cents.
 
Oct 8, 2011
3
bavaria 38 Ocean Center Cockpit Tacoma, Wa.
njsail- Thanks again for your detailed help. Yes, its to bad about the ip tank issues and having to tear the floor up! I've found descriptions of this and maby 5000 is a reasonable ballpark for a waste tank R&R if you do much of the work yourself. Apparently, fresh water tanks are also subject to deterioration maby due to Cl in water. There were questions about factory deficiencies regarding lack of internal coating when it was represented as such and at some point ip is said to have gone to a propylene material. Of coarse a survey would have to verify the type. I found something on chainplate failure but only one case and so that is a TBC issue. All in all, not a lot of things have popped up in searches and considering the number of ip's out there and the active nature of their owners, this may be a good thing. So, anyway, I was attracted to what you said about cost of an ip for yourself. The bavaria is a lot of boat for the money. The 350 I want to look at is comparible in price to the 38CC's I saw but somewhat more money. The rub is that if you want the space and creature comforts that you currently have but in a somewhat comparible ip then the price really goes up! And by a lot incrementally with length. A standard ip line repeated by the factory and those who have read the factory line is that ip's "hold their value well". A perusal of for sale boats says to me that ip depreciation is relentless and steady. There are lots for sale and 50000 difference for essentially the same boat but 5-7 year difference is not uncommon. Usual for the business I suppose and a pill one may have to swallow.. Thanks again and happy sailing.
 
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