Bavaria E40 Fly review

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

Ever since I tested the Sedan version in Scotland last year I have wanted to get on board the Bavaria E40 Fly.

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.

Bavaria E40 Fly

We achieved a top speed of 14.5 knots on test

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.

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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.

Bavaria E40 Fly

There is a small sunpad aft on the flybridge

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.

Take a look inside

This particular boat had the two-cabin layout, though you can split the aft double into a pair of twins if you need more sleeping space or intend to use the boat for charter.

Bavaria E40 Fly

The bright, sociable saloon

As an owner the twin cabin boat delivers space and privacy that few rivals can live with aside from the likes of the more expensive offerings from Broom, Westwood and Haines. In this guise both cabins have comfortable double beds and ensuite access to their own bathrooms. Those using the forward cabin benefit from a split shower room and toilet, too.

Bavaria E40 Fly

The full-beam master ensuite aft is key to the E40’s charms

The rivals mentioned above won’t be having sleepless nights about the quality of the internal fit out just yet but it’s attractive, robust and built to last if lacking in lustre.

You can read the full review of the Bavaria E40 Fly in the June 2017 issue of MBY.

Contact Clipper Marine for more details.

VIDEO: Bavaria E40 review

The full displacement, aft cabin Bavaria E40 is a totally new concept for the German yard but what is it


  • Frugal cruising
  • Aft cabin privacy
  • Practical decks
  • Bright saloon
  • Good value


  • Mediocre performance won't suit everyone
  • Feels built to a price
  • Flybridge seating is low

Price as reviewed:

£319,747.00 as reviewed


If you can accept cruising at 10 knots then there is a lot to like about the E40. The living spaces are excellent and it's rare to have two such good cabins on a 40ft boat plus it's relatively good value and should prove cheap to run


Length: 40ft 3in (12.29m)
Beam: 13ft 8in (4.2m)
Draught: 3ft 8in (1.16m)
Displacement: 11.5 tonnes (lightship)
Fuel capacity: 270 litres
Water capacity: 420 litres
Test engine: Volvo Penta D4 300hp
Top speed: 14.5 knots

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