Look out, Bénéteau – the Bavaria R40 has a full-beam master cabin, plenty of pace and a hull good enough to give its rivals a bloody nose
From the outset, this range was designed to be a flybridge and a sportscruiser, so it’s no great surprise that the Bavaria R40 Coupe model works so well. It’s a handsome, well-proportioned
boat with tidy lines and an attractive profile that some other models in Bavaria’s motor boat range still lack.
The hull design, lower deck layout and engine options are all borrowed from the flybridge variant, though with a lower centre of gravity and a crash diet consisting of ditching the top deck. The Coupe, on paper, promises to be even more engaging to drive than its double-decker relative.
The conditions in the Solent were perfect for putting a nimble planing sportscruiser through its paces. A stubby, defiant chop and stiff breeze sought to unearth any deficiencies in the hull’s capabilities and challenge the R40’s rough water refinement.
The hull rose to the challenge with gusto and took all we threw at it (which was a lot) in its stride. Flat out, full-lock turns were dispatched without issue and the countless twists and turns around the chase boat failed to outwit it. On a couple of occasions where we launched off our own wash during a hard turn and landed on the edge of the hull, we managed to provoke a slam, but it took some doing.
Although the hull took it well, the interior let out a few too many squeaks and rattles for my liking, which somewhat detracts from the overall feeling of solidity. What most impresses is how dry the hull is. We were splashing around in the boiling cauldron around the chase boat and there wasn’t even a hint of spray on the windscreens – and for most of it, I had the starboard side door ajar to help with ventilation.
Downwind is when you really get to enjoy what is a very sweet drivetrain. The potent mixture of Volvo’s punchy 6-cylinder 370s and sterndrives on a well-sorted planing hull is there to be enjoyed. I have tested more boats with D6 motors fitted than any other and they never disappoint: smooth, grunty and refined, they tick all the boxes on the R40.
The Bavaria E40 Fly offers full displacement cruising and an aft cabin in a neat 40ft package, Jack Haines gets
Fast and fuel efficient, thanks to the space saving benefits of sterndrives the Bavaria R40 packs a lot into 40