The Bavaria E40 Fly offers full displacement cruising and an aft cabin in a neat 40ft package, Jack Haines gets to grips with it in the Solent
I appreciated that the Sedan we tested, with its 150hp motor, was well suited to our testing grounds on Loch Lomond but for offshore work the flybridge with the 300hp engine option would be the one.
The D4 300 engine doesn’t exactly deliver blistering performance but it means you can cruise at 10 knots as opposed to it being top speed. Flat out we managed just shy of 15 knots so, in reality, 10 knots is where the boat is most comfortable. And that takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to a planing boat. It requires a change of attitude – almost the sailor mentality – where the journey is as much a part of the trip as the destination.
The saloon lends itself to this notion with a helm that is located aft in the wheelhouse and mounted centrally so the dinette seating sprawls out ahead of it. The bench seat at the helm is large enough for three people to sit facing forwards so it means that even on passage the skipper is at the heart of the action.
The windows directly aft of the helm slide across so that it’s easy to communicate between the saloon and seating in the raised cockpit.
Because you are only moving a long at a maximum of 15 knots the boat is very easy to get around and you can comfortably move forward to the bow or up to the flybridge. Bavaria didn’t have a huge amount of space to play with on the top deck but it’s included a small wrap of seating and a table, better suited to drinks and nibbles rather than a full-blown meal.
The helm is so low that it’s not really feasible to be in constant contact with the wheel and throttle and remain comfortable. The substantial keel section and lazy steering mean the E40 naturally tracks straight and true so it’s more likely that the skipper will set the autopilot, sit back and keep an eye out.
The helm itself is surprisingly light and she turns quite tidily when you really dial in the lock but it’s a boat that will not be hurried.