Bavaria 37

By John Kerr

Great sailing. Great layout. Great value. The Bavaria 37 Cruiser is an excellent family performance cruiser entry into the mid 30-foot category.  For us it was a nice balance of practicality responsiveness. The European influence and its continued sailing design innovations are evident throughout this great boat. 

Being somewhat used to seeing it all the new stuff, it’s always wonderful to catch a little innovation here and there and the Bavaria we tested did not disappoint. 

Since 1976, Bavaria has been one of those builders that seems to have just gotten better every year. With its state-of-the-art factory, well-trained staff and a real commitment to innovation in materials application and manufacturing processes, they build 1,700 yachts a year and having sailed the 37 is easy to see why. The value for the investment in this boat is clearly there with attention to quality first and to getting Lloyd’s register LRQA Offshore rating. Every Bavaria is known for the hand laid to the water line fibreglass, Kevlar bow sections, reinforced stringers and double center laminates.   

Bavaria 37 - teak decksOur test sail was conducted in a light to medium breeze (5-7 knots with a very light chop. We charged along at upwards of 6 knots and easily tacked and pushed the boat upwind. Sadly, with our cruising keel configuration, we were not able to hold height against a older longer keel CS 37 that decided to pace with us; clearly our speed through the water was competitive and the boat effortlessly tacked and accelerated beautifully. Control lines and set up were perfect. With drops in wind speed, the 37 seemed to track well and stay in a groove with little effort. 

The visibly from the helm was good too; it was easy for the helmsman to brace with solid footholds and an easy ability to steer from the side. There was no need to crank the back stay but, with its six part purchase system, we saw how easy any tuning underway could achieved.   

What we did also liked was the use of the lazy jack system and the decision not to use a furling mainsail on this boat. It seems there is a philosophical difference emerging with European builders versus the North American teams with this configuration: it’s evident that more and more builders are offering this option again. Getting the main up and dropping it quickly was a breeze. It was nice to see those Elvstrom sails again and even nicer to see tickers properly placed on the jib luff where they are easy to see.

Bavaria 37 - GalleyOne thing we did like to was the rigging of the lazy jack system attaching the top guide line to the mid point of the lower spreader. It was a yet another neat little touch that made a ton of sense when you thought about it keeping the jack lines off the spar.

Under power leaving the harbour the Volvo engine drove the boat effortlessly and more importantly it was very quiet below. 

The cockpit is neatly finished in teak on the floor and seats and a well designed beautifully moulded pedestal holds all the instruments you could use plus a neat highly visible compass. Our boat came with standard Raymarine’s Tridata cluster (speed/wind/depth). The cockpit table is integrated into the pedestal and makes good use of the space. One feature we liked was the great lazarette space, deep and easy to access from above or below deck. 

The deck layout is well done and typical of a boat that wants to be sailed all the controls lead aft and are easily accessible with the mainsail traveller installed forward of the companionway. The Genoa tracks are rigged with an 8:1 purchase and the control lines for the Furlex are also easy to reach.  But sometimes what you don’t see is the detail. All fittings are drilled and tapped into neat aluminium backing plates. And The ability to upgrade or change winches to an electrical    

Bavaria 37 - anchor chain lockerThe use of name brand fittings is evident with its Lewmar winches and steering system, and Rutgerson deck hardware blocks. 

Forward we really like the neat and fairly large anchor chain locker with its integrated Lewmar windlass that comes standard with Canadian Boats. The engineered anchor roller is well done as well. The beautifully moulded windlass mount is typical of how well built all the elements of this boat are and is evidence that this boat is meant to be used. 

Below is where this boat shines. It’s amazing the space below and just how big this boat feels below decks. I had to remind myself I was only in a  37 footer. This boat could easily handle a large family or two couples for a longer term cruise. It’s well done. 

Below its bright and well ventilated with ix opening hatches and several well placed large deck hatches that add to the light below. Natural light throughout no matter where you are is evident.  With a less is more design touch the main cabin and in fact all elements of this boat below make it well laid out and nicely proportioned which no doubt contributes to its larger feel. Shelves and stowage abound and all the detail touches like fit and finish have been done well. If there was ever a criticism of the “Euro” boats it was surprisingly here but a close inspection showed no issues here at all. In fact we were really pleased with the quality throughout.  We noted the fine handrails down the companionway and one integrated forward of the nav station. 

The seating below is more than adequate and the layout is functional with an ample galley and neat nav station. The galley has features like a double sink; fridge and gimbaled stove plus good counter space and its great galley storage. We thought the nav station was well detailed and the intuitive breakers and electrical panel along with its elegant and easy assessable wiring was well done. 

Bavaria 37 - jack systemForward the fore cabin is bright and with its double berth more than adequate and comfortable.

The 37 comes with either a two or three cabin configurations but no matter what you choose this boat is well priced and great value and we feel wants to be sailed. 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s November 2006 issue.

Standard Equipment

Windlass and anchor configuration as described 

Rigid boom 

Bavaria 37 - SalonAdjustable genoa tracks 

Battery charger 

Two D 140 size batteries and engine start battery   

Refrigeration package 


Raymarines Tridata

Galvanic isolator  

Dock lines 

Safety package including life jackets 

Steel Cradle 


Beam:        12 ft 5 in

Dry Weight: 15211 lb  

Hull Material: Fiberglass

Hull Shape: Monohull

Engine: Inboard

Fuel: Diesel

Horsepower (total): 29.00 hp

Fuel Capacity: 39.60 gal

Length at Waterline: 32 ft 2 in

Length Overall: 37 ft 2 in

Number of Heads: 1

Water Capacity: 55.50 gal

Mast Height: 50 ft 7 in

Canadian Dealers 

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 – The Bavaria 37 – Big, Bright and Beautiful.

Photo 2 – Bavaria 37 sailing in Europe configured with optional teak decks

Photo 3 – The galley has features like a double sink; fridge and gimbaled stove plus good counter space and its great galley storage.

Photo 4 – The neat and fairly large anchor chain locker with its integrated Lewmar windlass.

Photo 5 – The lazy jack system made getting the main up and dropping it quickly a breeze.

Photo 6 – the Salon with settee and large mahogany table plus Chart table.

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