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Published on 23.04.2024

BAVARIA C46, a winner across the board

Written by Marcus Schlichting
BAVARIA C46, a winner across the board

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The BAVARIA C46 impresses with versatility and excellent sailing characteristics

The BAVARIA C46 was created at the BAVARIA YACHTS shipyard in Giebelstadt out of a new way of thinking. The usual categories, such as owner, charter, cruising or regatta yacht, were disregarded and the focus was instead placed on the core of a modern sailing yacht. This includes outstanding sailing characteristics that meet a wide range of requirements as well as a modern interior that promises and delivers maximum comfort! A concept for which the BAVARIA C46 was awarded the title "European Yacht of the Year 2024". ⛵ The jury summarized their choice as follows: "The new BAVARIA C46 came out on top in the Family Cruiser category. The decisive factors were the good sailing characteristics, the innovative interior concept and the craftsmanship, especially with regard to the furnishings."

The crew of two sailed one hundred nautical miles in just under 15 hours. An average of almost seven knots, and of course a little more speed during the peaks: "During the day we passed Monaco comfortably in light winds, but by midnight it was getting pretty rough. We had 25 knots of wind in places, with gusts of up to 30 knots," reports Marcus Schlichting from BAVARIA Yachts, who sailed the boat from the Cannes trade fair to the next trade fair in Genoa together with his colleague David Gödde.

The eagerly awaited new yacht from BAVARIA proved not only on this crossing but also on several other test cruises that it meets the shipyard's expectations to the T. The BAVARIA development team wanted nothing less than a 46-foot sailing yacht that sails well and is easy to handle but is so versatile that it can be configured for a wide variety of purposes and wishes.


BAVARIA C46, European Yacht of the Year 2024

The eleven members of the jury for the Euopean Yacht of the Year Award were also impressed after their test sail off Barcelona. 👍

💬 Jochen Rieker from "Yacht" reported: "The boat builders from Giebelstadt in Franconia already proved three years ago that something has changed at BAVARIA YACHTS. Back then, after a long break, the C42 designed by Maurizio Cossutto won the European Yacht of the Year title with overwhelming clarity. Now the C46 is following suit and, despite well-known and numerous competitors, is once again clearly ahead. Although it follows the same basic concept, in many respects it sets the bar even higher than its 2021 winning sister!"

💬 Toby Hodges from "Yachting World" explains the triumph of the C46 based on its substance: "BAVARIA Yachts has increased the quality to such an extent that other large shipyards find it difficult to keep up." In conclusion, Joakim Hermansson from "Praktiskt Båtägande" in Sweden praised: "Sailing her is simply fun!"

What makes the BAVARIA C46 so special sailing-wise?

Whether as a comfortable family boat or for use as a charter yacht with many cabins - it doesn't matter, this yacht is the perfectly functioning, easy-to-sail base for all requirements. Ambitious sailors will even be able to sail the BAVARIA C46 successfully in regattas with the appropriate sails.

➡️ Back to the basis; the sailing capabilities. These can be exploited in a variety of ways. During the numerous tests carried out by the BAVARIA Yachts shipyard crews, the C46 was pushed to its limits with the Code Zero and the placement of winches and fittings was tested in sporty manoeuvres. Conclusion: All tests were successfully passed, and the crew had a lot of fun! However, such a challenging sail is not without its challenges on a boat of 46 feet. Fortunately, however, the C46 can also be manoeuvred in a very relaxed manner, depending on your own discretion.

What is the Elvström Code 0 sail?

Sailing is simplified by the "Code Permanent", as Elvström's large, furled space sail is called. It is a Code 0 sail made of lighter cloth, which can be left permanently hoisted on every trip. Due to the stable torsion line in the forestay, it can be easily furled and does not necessarily have to be set or retrieved when sailing, as it is unfurled and furled like a large genoa (the sail even has UV protection on the leech). Handling is extremely easy, and jibing loses all drama as the sail is simply furled from the cockpit before the manoeuvre and unfurled again on the new bow.

Equipment features and technical details of the BAVARIA C46

But what the BAVARIA C46 was designed for is its versatility in terms of sailing versatility. In addition to sporty, challenging manoeuvres, the cruising yacht can also develop its full potential in relaxed mode.

  • The rig and sail plan were designed precisely for this purpose. The mast is positioned almost exactly in the middle of the ship, which ensures balanced sailing. As a result, the self-tacking jib develops plenty of propulsive power due to its 50 square meters of sail area, which is clearly demonstrated during test sailing in the choppy seas off Barcelona: After tacking, the ship can immediately pick up speed again despite the short, slowing waves. This is impressive, increases the pleasure of sailing and is ultimately an aspect of safety.
  • A central point on deck is the winch layout in the cockpit. A maximum of six winches ensures maximum versatility. There are two on each side at the helm stations. This means that the BAVARIA C46 can be comfortably sailed from there alone. The mainsail and headsail sheets are perfectly at hand. However, if faster manoeuvres are to be carried out with more participants, things could get a little cramped. In this case, it is better to choose the traditional option of placing an additional winch on each of the cockpit coamings. The large genoa, gennaker and Code 0 can be trimmed perfectly from there.
  • The headsail sheets can be redirected so that they can be operated from here as well as from the helm stations. Likewise, each halyard, which are all led from the mast in a tunnel aft into the cockpit, can be operated from any winch at the helm. And of course, there is the extremely popular option of ordering at least two main winches as electric winches.
  • The mainsheet is run as a "German Mainsheet" without traveller, from the boom it is led to the mast and from there aft into the cockpit on both sides, where one end lands on each winch at the helm stations. But here too is a simple and ingenious variation: if you turn the sheet around and attach the loose ends to the boom, you have an "endless sheet" in the cockpit, but above all you have a double sheeting system with which each side of the sheet can be adjusted individually, and the boom can be trimmed optimally. An additional advantage is provided during gybing in strong winds, when the boom can be brought into the middle of the ship calmly and in a controlled manner with both sheets and then slowly lowered again on the new side.

💬 "The BAVARIA C46 is not a reinvention of the boat, but a small quantum leap for us as a shipyard, thanks to very good and well-thought-out development and some really innovative ideas," summarizes Marcus Schlichting, who was present at almost all the test trips.

The BAVARIA C46 at the Kornati Cup

Two BAVARIA C46s will be at the start of the Kornati Cup 2024. The first international regatta for the "newcomer" and another important test for the team from BAVARIA Yachts and Yachten Meltl, including new sails from Elvström. "It will certainly be exciting, and we are very much looking forward to taking part again," reports Marcus Schlichting, who has been a regular participant at the Kornati Cup since 2011.

Marcus Schlichting and crew at the Kornati Cup 2023 on a BAVARIA Cruiser 46.
Marcus Schlichting
Marcus Schlichting
author of the article


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