Bavaria R40 review

Fast and fuel efficient, thanks to the space saving benefits of sterndrives the Bavaria R40 packs a lot into 40 foot

Flybridge boats the size of the new Bavaria R40 invariably used to be powered by shaft drive.

Then along came pod drives like IPS and Zeus, which allowed designers to move the engines a long way back and provide more accommodation forward, albeit at the expense of the lazarette. Sterndrives do the same thing but more so, and this is what Bavaria has plumped for.

Bavaria R40 saloon

Three forward-facing seats in the R40’s saloon

The result is two good ensuite cabins in a hull that is just 38ft 5in (11.72m) long. However, that is not unheard of; the real surprise is just how good and workable the full beam midships owner’s cabin is, given that it lies tucked almost entirely beneath the saloon. Headroom is unavoidably restricted around the big double berth, but when you first step into the cabin it is very good indeed.

Bavaria R40 master

Bavaria R40 master cabin a unique proposition on a flybridge of these proportions

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Two of the highlights of the R40 are the starboard side door and its opposite number in the form of a sliding window big enough to step through with ease. This pair transform the workings of the R40; communication, ventilation, and movement around the boat all improve significantly.

That roomy midships cabin pushes the cabin/engineroom bulkhead a long way aft. Consequently, engineroom access is down a vertical ladder into a cramped area with (surprisingly) no soundproofing whatsoever.

Bavaria R40 lower helm

The side door is a real plus on a boat like this

Our boat was one of three very rushed pre-production prototypes, so that might explain the untidy nature of the wiring and the plumbing installation. However, we’ve been assured that production R40 will be better, and that some engineroom soundproofing will be added.

Handling & performance

A top speed of 36 knots and impressive fuel efficiency are the other benefits of Bavaria’s decision to opt for Volvo’s slippery D6 370hp sterndrives.

Of course, those sterndrives dish up a ride that is livelier than a similar shaft drive boat – even a shade more lively than a pod drive boat like the rival Prestige 420.

Bavaria R40 flybridge

The flybridge sports generous seating, an excellent dash, and a neatly concealed bimini

However, in the undemanding test conditions we experienced (a modest chop with a long underlying swell a metre high at worst) the handling was never wayward or unpredictable, just more sporty.

When it comes to the driving positions, both helm areas have been well thought out and in general the drivers’ lot is very good indeed.

You can read the full report on the Bavaria R40 in the August 2016 issue of MBY.

Contact Clipper Marine. Tel: +44 (0)1489 550583 Web:

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  • Good top speed of 36 knots
  • Side door is transformative
  • Very good headroom and berth sizes
  • Fuel efficient sterndrives
  • Impressive choice on extras list
  • Easy and safe to move around


  • Poor engineroom (on prototype)
  • Under power, flybridge numbers are restricted to five

Price as reviewed:

£400,000.00 approx.


Using sterndrives on a 40ft flybridge boat produces a cruiser that just might be just a shade too lively for some. But for those at home with the R40’s sporty nature, a good top speed, impressive fuel efficiency and excellent accommodation are the rewards


Length overall: 41ft 11in (12.78m)
Beam: 13ft 1in (3.99m)
Fuel capacity: 198 imp gal (900 litres)
Water capacity: 198 imp gal (900 litres)
Fuel capacity: 76 imp gal (348 litres)
Draught: 3ft 7in (1.08m)
RCD: B (12 people)
Displacement: 9.6 tonnes
Test engines: Twin Volvo D6 370hp
Top speed: 36.1 knots
Cruising speed: 27-33 knots

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