Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Bavaria Easy 9.7

Bavaria has launched a new day cruiser / weekender called the Bavaria Easy 9.7. The name suggests that it's aimed at first time boat owners or perhaps people intimidated by the thought of boat ownership. It is apparently available from less than €50,000, which at first glance makes it staggeringly affordable, but this figure will balloon somewhat when VAT and all the minimum required extras are added.

So what's included? Well I was surprised to find that sails are included, as that would have been one obvious way to shave the cost down. Everything else is the absolute bare minimum, but just about enough for light use pottering between marinas around the solent during the day time.

And...what's not included? The headline grabbing optional extra is the lack of internal doors. They're only available as part of the €6,500 Easy Living Package, which also includes a second halyard winch; Cockpit table, hot and cold cockpit-shower, shore power; windowed companion way door, stove, fridge, Holding tank; additional battery & uprated charger; Shower in aft head; Warm water boiler. It all seems like sensible stuff you'd want if you were going to use it for much more than day sailing - especially the cooking facilities.

So what else would you need? Well for €200 you'd be crazy not to get midship cleats and I can't imagine sailing a yacht without a sprayhood for when it turns nasty - so that's another €1,500. Other than that there are a variety of upgrades for things like sails, rigging and electronics.

She's got an open transom, which gives the cockpit a nice modern and open feel, but may be unsuitable for those with young children or those of a nervous disposition. Conversely - it's a huge advantage in warmer climes as climbing in an out of the sea is so much nicer with this layout.

On reflection I'm not sure about the name though - it seems like "Easy" might limit it's appeal on the second hand market. Easy sounds a bit like "My First Yacht" or something for beginners and might make people that don't consider themselves in those demographics less likely to buy 10-15 years down the road when you've payed off the marine mortgage. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

In an earlier article I made another case for the cost savings of sub 10M boats - Annual marina berthing is cheaper for smaller boats. Lots of marinas have multiple tiers of pricing so smaller boats save twice (having fewer meters to pay for and at a lower rate as they are in the cheaper bracket)

There is a certain type of snobby yachty that likes to talk down about Bavarias. I think it's because they're aimed at the cost conscious end of the market and aren't the same product as Hallberg Rassys costing three or four times as much. I for one am not one of them. I've sailed on a few and they've been comfortable safe and good to sail and every owner I've spoken to has been happy. Anything that can open up yachting to more people has to be a good thing. I look forward to having a look around one at the Southampton Boat Show in a couple of months.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Boat Craft for Summer

Stumbled across this nice article over at redtedart.com about boaty crafty things you could do with your kids. Well worth bookmarking for the inevitable rainy day.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

First glimpse of the Marinekart

Just spotted this in Port Hamble marina. It's the new Marinekart that's been doing the rounds in the yachting press recently. 

I love the concept of a low cost go-kart like boat. Though it must be pointed out that no pricing is available on the website and several of the recent press releases also mentioned that pricing wasn't forthcoming.