Boat Review Date: Febraury 2011
Author: Mike Brown
There are plenty of 28 footers that are considered trailable, but they do not have 2.99m beams, or weigh four tonnes even without the trailer. The Bavaria 28 is more suited to hardstand or rack storage, or to an owner prepared to buy a really serious truck.
What those dimensions suggest is a lot of boat for its length, and a high deck and full bows boost its capacity further. Four people could spend a week afloat in this boat in some comfort, and without feeling too close to each other. The 28 is a thorough piece of design that, appropriately for a German boat, was done by BMW who have also had a hand in recent Bavaria yachts.
The layout is sports cruiser, featuring a reasonable sized cockpit and exceptionally spacious accommodation. Like the typical sports cruiser it has a rear cabin under the cockpit deck, but only its location is typical. This one has a real door for entry instead of the usual crawl space, and it has full headroom for a useful share of the cabin. It has a hanging locker, and even a day bed as well as the double.
The main cabin has headroom everywhere for significantly tall people. The forward part takes advantage of the boat’s roomy shoulders and allows a super spacious dinette that converts into a playboy size bed. Aft of this section, to port, is the galley, also a good size. The only real problem with it, a fixable one, is that the double hot plate only works if the boat is connected to shore power supply. A genset would cure this, and the engine room certainly has the space to take it
Opposite the galley is the bathroom containing flushing toilet, vanity, lockers, and shower, and room to use them all. The whole of the accommodation area has very good cabinetwork and fittings of a high standard, and the overall look is upmarket contemporary. Perhaps the only shortcoming to Australian eyes is the glass area: there are six ports, but total area is on the small side.
The cockpit has a little room taken away by an intrusion necessary for giving the aft cabin its headroom, but there is still enough left for a bunch of friends to get comfortable. Besides seats for the skipper and offsider there is a fair metreage of settee around three sides of the removable table, and the island sun bed could take a couple more people. In current style, the cockpit has a wet bar with fridge and sink.
A large volume of stowage is available under the sun bed, and aft of it is a disappointingly small swimming platform. Presumably realising this, Bavaria offer an optional extension. Steps either side of the bed lead to the platform, and more lead up to the side decks. Ease of access forward is a feature of the 28 with a good width of side deck; grab rails recessed into the Targa uprights, and effective guardrails.
The Targa can support either a locally made Bimini or an option from Bavaria. In northern Europe’s climate the sun shading qualities of the Bimini are seldom wanted, and those opting to fit one usually couple it with storm sheets to effectively create an extra cabin.
The standard motor is a 5.7L V8 Volvo sterndrive providing 320 horsepower, generous perhaps for a 28 footer but bear in mind those four tonnes it has to push. There are various options on power units including twin diesels. One interesting option on the Volvo is joystick manoeuvring. This lets you look like a gun operator when parking the boat, twisting the joystick to swing the bow, pushing it in any direction to make the Bavaria go that way. The option on a bow thruster lets you either do tricky manoeuvring more easily yourself, or gives the joystick an easier time in strong breezes.
Bavaria had long trips between refuelling in mind when they fitted a 520L fuel tank – you would not want to think of replenishing that during a long weekend. The 120L fresh water capacity is similarly generous. You might put that much through your home grey water system in quick time, but with cautious boat use (showers are usually just a matter of sluicing off salt water) you will have water to spare.
Many people are rethinking what they are looking for in a boat and how they are looking. Rather than setting an arbitrary length and checking out what is available, they are going through the more logical process of deciding what they need and what will satisfy the need. At first glance the Bavaria 28 might seem barely enough boat for serious cruising, but the sheer capability it has – with a price at $175,000 that is a lot more attractive than the big fellows – requires a second or third look.
Price from $175,000
Length overall 8.95m
Hull length 8.5m
Fuel capacity 520L
Fresh water 120L
Motor Volvo 5.7L V8 sterndrive, 320hp