Bavaria 34 - 2001 Vintage - Experiences please.

Baggywrinkle

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I may be about to buy a 2001 vintage Bavaria 34.

Before all the purists throw their hands up in horror it ticks all MY boxes. It's cheap, it's roomy, it sails OK. It's destined for the Adriatic and will be used for family summer holidays, island hopping, and will probably stay holed up in anything more than a F6 with us frequenting the local restaurants. I DON'T WANT TO GO ROUND CAPE HORN IN IT!!

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has a Bavaria 34 of this vintage, or anyone who has extensive experience of servicing, repairing or chartering said yacht.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.

PS if it's only hearsay or anything about keels falling off, please don't post. ;)
 

photodog

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Got a simular aged 31..... very simular build and quality.

A good choice.... easy to manage... good space.... no real vices.... electrics on mine have been good..

They are in reality quite simple boats... keep the maintanence up to date and she should be good.

34 sails quite well... rewards a bit of tuning.. (I have had the 34 on charter a couple of times...)

I honestly can not think of any real problems or bad points... I understand that they can round up a bit smartish if overpressed... but I didnt have a issue with this.
 

dt4134

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I may be about to buy a 2001 vintage Bavaria 34.

Before all the purists throw their hands up in horror it ticks all MY boxes. It's cheap, it's roomy, it sails OK. It's destined for the Adriatic and will be used for family summer holidays, island hopping, and will probably stay holed up in anything more than a F6 with us frequenting the local restaurants. I DON'T WANT TO GO ROUND CAPE HORN IN IT!!

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has a Bavaria 34 of this vintage, or anyone who has extensive experience of servicing, repairing or chartering said yacht.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.

PS if it's only hearsay or anything about keels falling off, please don't post. ;)

I sailed on three, between about 2002 & 2005. Quite fast in light airs, more so than I expected - not a racer of course but still quite nippy. Handling under engine would be hard to beat.

You know it's not for going around Cape Horn already. One boat I was on had a handbook that said fit the inner forestay and hoist the storm jib at 16 knots true wind. Might've been a misprint as it was ok in a F4. Never tried a F6 but my expectations of the handling wouldn't be high.

There was lots of accommodation for a 34 foot boat. Double aft cabins, forecabin and two reasonable berths in the saloon.

I don't know what state the woodwork will be in in 2011 but the ones I was on were ok. Bavaria seem (seemed) quite good at building boats with woodwork that although not perfect seemed to survive use reasonably well.

Pretty much all of them had rubbish sails, so you might have to buy new sails when you buy it.
 

Tranona

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Have the same vintage 37. Very similar construction and finish but a different layout.

For your purposes difficult to fault. Our preference when buying the boat new was a 34, but delivery times were too long and the price differential was relatively small. Mine stood up to 7 seasons' chartering with almost unblemished reliability and still looks good. Agree original sails were rubbish, but should have been replaced by now. Don't be put of by in mast reefing or a shallow keel as performance in gentle Med cruising is perfectly adequate. Consider also a 37 or a slightly later 36. The larger boats tend to have the 29hp engine which is very well matched to the hull.
 

fireball

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I had a test sail in a Bav 34 (with Bav 34!) - not that he was selling - but just to show us how a Bav sails ...
It was a blustery day (Dad was in the club patrol boat and had a few unexpected retirements - so yes it was windy!) - but she handled very nicely - quartering seas were the only handful and that was because I wasn't used to wheel steering ...
This was a shallow keel one too ...

We ended up with a 2000 Bav 37 - like tranona's ... and are very happy with it ...
 

PeterGibbs

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I may be about to buy a 2001 vintage Bavaria 34.

Before all the purists throw their hands up in horror it ticks all MY boxes. It's cheap, it's roomy, it sails OK. It's destined for the Adriatic and will be used for family summer holidays, island hopping, and will probably stay holed up in anything more than a F6 with us frequenting the local restaurants. I DON'T WANT TO GO ROUND CAPE HORN IN IT!!

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has a Bavaria 34 of this vintage, or anyone who has extensive experience of servicing, repairing or chartering said yacht.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.

PS if it's only hearsay or anything about keels falling off, please don't post. ;)

12 years a Bav owner and sailor - excellent boat and one I can recommend with confidence.
Have boarded a 34 but have to admit, not sailed one, but I say this - if it feels right for you both below and on deck then go for it (price assuming)

Then sit back and join the cadre who smirk at the knuckleheads who write these boats off
in ignorance.

PWG
you will not
 

Talulah

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I used to sail 'Jetstream' which was a Bav 34 belonging to British Airways Social Club.
It had a lot of use.
It sailed and motored really well. It had to be reefed early. (I was told that the 34's had the rig of the 36 on which would explain the need to reef early but I don't know how true this is.)
When it was new we had it at BA headquarters at Heathrow as part of a recruitment drive for new members. Before it was anti-fouled you could see the light coming through the hull. It was pretty thin. Within a year someone had put a hole in the rear quarter as they clipped a corner of a pontoon whilst maneuvering in the marina. Again showing how thin the build was in that area.
On another Bavaria I sailed (Bav 36) the fibreglass at bow below the water line was all mushy. This was probably as a result of a serious impact that no one owned up to and it's not known how long it was like this before it was discovered at the annual haul out. The reinforcement at the bow is pretty good and probably saved the day.
I have sailed quite a few Bavarias and really like them for the job they do. OK so it's no thrills but they are easy to maintain and fix. (I have done quite a bit of maintenance on Bavarias.) Parts are cheaper than some other brands but they also have some custom fittings that you wouldn't at first glance notice. i.e. The Lewmar deck hatches are a custom size. Slightly smaller than a Lewmar 60 at twice the price. When I've replaced one I've just increased the size of the opening and dropped in a standard hatch. I mention hatches because on some Bavarias I've sailed the saloon windows had become so sun crazed you could no longer see through them. Some of these windows opened inwards and were known as 'ankle breakers'. If you were heeled over and walked along the side of the coachroof you could accidently put your foot through the window opening if it hadn't been shut properly inside.
My advice would be to get the hull and deck surveyed really well as it doesn't take much to cause significant damage on those boats. Everything else can be done DIY.
 

Monique

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I own an older big sister to yours. I like it very much and sail her as much as possible when the winds are very .... F6-F7.... sails well!

If there is a deep keel option for the 34, go for it.

Mine sails very well but heeling much more than 22 degrees is counter productive. She just slows down.. = seems a trait of all Bavs.

Enjoy your new boat.
 

Bav34

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We are very pleased with our 34. It was launched in 2001 and still looks like a new boat.

The only failures that we have had have been outsourced parts … the Quick calorifier had an annoying drip but just needed a new rubber gasket. The fridge thermostat has just failed … £15 to repair. A Lewmar hinge started to creak two years ago, replaced FOC. One of the Garmin GPS’s had a minor nervous breakdown and reset the nmea sentences … whatever that means. I ran the holding tank discharge without opening the outlet and it destroyed one of the joker valves ... easy cheap fix.

The interior is unmarked and the hull and fittings seem bullet proof … the Kevlar reinforcement helps!

We chose the shallow fin option complete with a large bulb on the bottom and have not noticed comparable boats pointing higher or going faster.

In fact the speed of the boat is amazing. <10 hour x-channels are the norm and she is so well balanced that we normally sail long distance using the ST4000 Autopilot. Last year, travelling from Cherbourg to Poole FWB took just 9hours 1 minute and about 20 seconds. DOH !!! For a long time 9 hours looked possible.

I dared to publish a Youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5djDQegDqvM showing her surfing at > 8 knots but this was met with such derision by the armchair sailors that I don’t know why I bothered. Out came the slide rules and LWL calculations proving it was impossible. Having not expected The Spanish Inquisition I hadn’t bothered going into finite detail such as the wind speed instrument is damped to show 30 second updates, hence the gusts were not recorded. (but heard). I did not mention that we were surfing on waves breaking out of The Alderney Race, Still, one Lymington based expert did point out that as the SOG was lower than the log reading then the log HAD to be wrong, Quite cheered me up! (Worried me about his nav. skills but that’s his problem)

We sail in exactly the same weather as other comparable sized boats regardless of their perceived pedigree and usually arrive before them. Summer 2007 around The Morbihan proved that.

I do agree that a reef at F4 on a beat makes for more upright sailing but there are ways to flatten the main first … strong kicker/adjustable backstay etc. Using the continuous line reefing means that we can reef within about two minutes with no need to leave the cockpit, so it really isn’t an issue.

Just to pick up on a few points from above:

One boat I was on had a handbook that said fit the inner forestay and hoist the storm jib at 16 knots true wind. Might've been a misprint as it was ok in a F4 ... there is no inner forestay and my handbook makes no mention of a frankly ridiculous suggestion.

showing how thin the build was in that area I really don't understand this. There are literally THOUSANDS of Bavarias out there ... I heard 25-30,000. If the hulls are so thin I really do think that we would have seen or heard more of this issue.

Some of these windows opened inwards and were known as 'ankle breakers'. If you were heeled over and walked along the side of the coachroof you could accidently put your foot through the window opening if it hadn't been shut properly inside. I don't understand this either. Most boats that I have been on have inward opening windows. It's the outwards opening ones that catch your shins! Reading this comment can only make me assume that if the inward opening window of an Oyster 600000000 is accidentally left open AND stepped on that, in some miraculous way, your foot would not go inside. (???????) Bizzare.

Do let us know your decision.
 

robbieg

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Malay Girl

Chartered a Bav 34 of that vintage a few years ago-Malay Girl that is now written up in current issue of ST-sadly wrecked off Poland. Looks to have stood up to the battering quite well all things considered and obviously cruised a fair distance. Might be worth a read.

Not a performance cruiser but from what I remember she had decent accomodation, good under motor and seemed a decent cruiser. Surfed well downwind and no slouch on a reach. Onthe wind-rounded up easily if pressed. Should be fine for family sailing in light winds.
 

johnalison

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I used to sail in company with a 34 of about that vintage (2002 I seem to remember). Bavaria dropped their prices suddenly shortly after but I'm not aware of any particular quality changes at the time. My friend's boat was satisfactory in most respects, though he had some problems with components which weren't always as substantial or as good quality as my Swedish boat, but should have done the job. He never really managed to sort out a high current-drain from the fridge and it was this and the slightly unresponsive handling that made him change after a few years.

His 34 was slightly larger than mine, being nearly 35' and consequently went well downwind and on a reach, but was only average to windward. I would think that a good set of sails would make some difference here. My impression was that it did what it said on the tin and would be fine for holiday sailing if less suitable for long-term living.
 

Longshanks

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I may be about to buy a 2001 vintage Bavaria 34.

Before all the purists throw their hands up in horror it ticks all MY boxes. It's cheap, it's roomy, it sails OK. It's destined for the Adriatic and will be used for family summer holidays, island hopping, and will probably stay holed up in anything more than a F6 with us frequenting the local restaurants. I DON'T WANT TO GO ROUND CAPE HORN IN IT!!

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has a Bavaria 34 of this vintage, or anyone who has extensive experience of servicing, repairing or chartering said yacht.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.

PS if it's only hearsay or anything about keels falling off, please don't post. ;)

Recently bought a late 1999 build (with the Germanische Lloyd certification). Very pleased with it so far. Zero problems on survey. Well put together and looks as new after 10+ years. Looking forward to some summer liveaboard cruising around the UK in 2011.
 

Baggywrinkle

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Price estimate anyone?

Great to see there are so many people happy with their Bavarias.

Can anyone hazard a guess as to how much an ex-charter 2001 Bavaria 34, no VAT and typical charter inventory (dinghy, sprayhood, roller reefing, bimini, extra water tanks, 2030 engine, plotter, autopilot, basic instruments, shore power etc.) might actually be worth?

Just want to get an idea how much bargaining room there is in the price. It's listed at 32,5K pounds equivalent (38K Euros) .
 

Tranona

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Spot on. They are usually 40K euros in Greece. Asking price in UK is around £50k VAT paid. So you are effectively getting it at between 10 and 15% less than a "private" boat, but with probably a better and more appropriate inventory.
 
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