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Sometimes you're just plain lucky

by John Curnow, Editor, 18 Jul 2018 22:00 UTC
All hands aft to the BBQ for lunch on Bavaria's C45 © John Curnow

You set a date for a sail, and there is no wind to speak of all morning. There's nary a breath when you show up after lunch, either. But you had a plan, and that included afternoon sea breezes, for the sun was out, and there were faint Nor'easters born in the tropics, taking your daytime temperatures into the mid-20s.

So the plan came off and all of a sudden the afternoon zephyrs were making at first four knots, then six and a for a wee spell even 10. Time to go for a yacht, and the weapon of choice was the very new, in fact maiden sail, aboard Bavaria's C45 Style. This is the full cruising version, with in-mast furling mainsail and self-tacking, deck sweeper jib. Other accoutrements of this package include the BBQ and sink across the transom. In the Ambition version this is all removed, extra winches are added, as too are a deeper keel and taller stick. The Holiday version is squarely aimed at the charter market, but the whole series can be ordered as three, four or five cabin versions.

This in turn raises the spectre of exactly what is going on. The hull form is from Maurizio Cossutti and Alessandro Ganz's, Cossutti Yacht Design, who amongst many things also did the Italia yachts. The guiding notion here is progressive, and this is also displayed right throughout the craft. Appendages demonstrate this too, with deep rudders, and narrow chords on the fins, with real bulbs at the bottom of them. In the case of the Style version, this is an 'L' variety.

Given Bavaria's search for new parents, this was actually the first time since Düsseldorf that one has been seen in public, save for a couple of privately delivered ones in Europe. Come Sunday, she will be off to Sydney from the Gold Coast, which is where we were fortunate enough to have time on board. At Sydney, the public will once again be able to see the new direction from this, the starting point in Bavaria's new C Line of cruisers.

This new theme for Bavaria is all about the cruising amenity, which includes looks and also technology. There is copious amounts of room below, 60m2 in fact, chest freezer, drawer fridge and another freezer, even a fridge on deck, twin helms, and twin cockpit tables, which are a real boon. The latter leaves a central access to the companionway, and also lower to create huge sunbeds. Remember there are no cabin top lines to interfere with guests, as these are all fed to the electric winches at the helm positions, providing for the ultimate in short-handed sailing, courtesy of craft like Class 40 and IMOCA 60.

The designers also went for a tender garage, which is unique to the class and in this boat runs athwartships, thereby not impinging on the two aft cabins, which retain fully rectangular bunks. It is not super tall, but it does have a compressor built in, and will take up to a 3.6m inflatable, and on longer trips you can stow a heap of gear in there as well. The huge swim platform serves as the door, is also a great space to cook from, and is the right height to dangle your feet whilst underway.

The C45 also brings the first of B&G's Bluetooth control and connectivity to market. There is no analogue switching to be had at the nav desk for instance. You do it all via the chartplotter. Instead of ropes and traditional methods, you have remote for transom door, and your phone or tablet, so you can literally walk off and shut it all down as you head up the quay, and vice versa of course.

All of this, along with the insanely good amount of information presented for you on the MFDs will take a bit of getting used to, but the clarity and functionality are wonderful. Wind gauges were never so easy to take in, and do make sailing more comprehensible for the uninitiated.

There are two distinct and notable areas of her hull form. The first is her bow, which kind of reminds one of the WWII battleships, where all the girth required to carry the guns then got channelled into a narrow bow with which to slice through the water, rather than ending up with a complete scow bow. It is nowhere near as radical as that, but in the last four feet before the stem, you get to see what is going on in order to be huge down below.

The other is the gunwale line. She is beamiest from just aft of the shrouds, but the taper at the quarters is negligible, say no more than 150mm. You get to thinking that she is just begging for a beam reach in about 15-25 knots. For those chasing all of that, then there is an overlapping genoa, as well as prodder and code zero on offer as options, but take the tall rig and long keel at 2.6m with lead bulb, for that.

So given our boat had the 2.2m draft with her super-relaxed sail plan, and that she hauling around 12 metric tonnes, then in the light her performance was more than comfortable. Think four knots from sixes and you are there, as long as you don't try and head higher than say 40AWA. She will sail down to 140 in the lighter airs, when I managed sixes from ten, remembering too that this was all two-sailing.

Lee Randall from Ensign Ship Brokers is the man who put the boat together only days ago, and is also the one taking her down to Sydney. "It has been exciting to have her arrive, and to see all the changes with the Bavaria brand stemming from the introduction of this model line. The money spent on R&D has been very well spent. It only took us less than a week to be in the water and performing sea trials, which is great."

"Our underwater shapes, both in terms of hull and appendages, have really gone for a performance angle. So I'm very much looking forward to taking her down the coast and seeing what it all adds up to. There is a stronger Nor'easter due after we leave, so hopefully that will help to kick us along nicely."

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about the French Isles, ARC, rope maintenance, Multihull Solutions regatta in Phuket, fresh water in the Arctic, polar explorer ships, Nordac from North Sails, Caribbean reef fish, whales near Nantucket, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other hemisphere, go to the top and the drag down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow, Editor,

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