Author Topic: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice  (Read 14425 times)

Jackabee

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A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« on: February 20 2013, 15:08 »
Hi

Me and my partner are looking to buy a Bavaria 50 Cruiser as our first boat? We will be taking our navigation, day skipper, courses next summer. Until then we will be reading many books. Is this boat a good boat for novices? We are planning on mostly living on the boat during the summer months in the Med. We were also thinking of a catamaran but they seem to be much more expensive than monohull boats. If anyone has any advice on starter boats (if there is such a thing) it would be much appreciated.

Trapeze Artist

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #1 on: February 20 2013, 15:28 »
General received wisdom says that you should start off with a small boat and work up to something larger. I'm not sure how much validity that really has, but for sure you can do a lot more damage in a marina if you lose control of a big boat.

When you get the the 50 foot scale, I think you would need to consider the feasibility of sailing it as a husband-and-wife team, as much as the consideration of being novices. The problem at the moment is that being novices, you don't what you don't know. Once you have done your day skipper you will at least be in the position of realising how little you know, and how much you need to learn by experience.

Looking at a slightly wider question, a Bavaria would definitely get my vote as a boat for novices. My only reservation is your choice of size. Are you sure a 38 or 40 can't give you the accommodation you need?

Jackabee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #2 on: February 20 2013, 15:34 »
I understand what you are saying. When i was stood on the 50 at a boat show on sunday, it seemed awfully large. It would cause a lot of damage in a marina like you say. However, the day skipper course we are booked onto is on a 46 ft boat. Again like you say after we have been tested a little on the sea maybe i will know more. I have a little experience on a 36ft and i felt quite confident after a day of sailing.

We were looking at larger boats because we have two cats as well, and many people who want to visit. Also a few years down the line we were thinking of offering tours once we get more experience. We wont be able to afford to buy a bigger boat later, so we were hoping to start with a bigger, we just don't want to go too big

Moodymike

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #3 on: February 20 2013, 16:35 »
Anything above 46ft and you may find marinas not to keen to accomadate. I think 42 would be the max to start with.

Jackabee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #4 on: February 20 2013, 17:19 »
That would be a problem!

Ripster

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #5 on: February 20 2013, 17:30 »
Is 50ft Marina mooring as much a problem in the Med as it can be here (UK)? 

As others have said, a 50 ftr for two of you is a big boat to start on, but if you are properly trained, get to know your boat and how it handles, plan well for mooring and sailing between you, are aware of the dangers and your own limitations, why not!   

Jackabee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #6 on: February 20 2013, 17:45 »
We are going to spend the next two years getting ready doing courses and stuff, so hopefully we will be ready. I guess the more we learn the more we will know our limitations. I will have to look into the 50ft marine limit more, that could really change our plans

stevem

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #7 on: February 23 2013, 10:31 »
I chartered a Bav 50 Ft in the Greece two years running with four other guys, we found it a great boat and fast, sometimes doing just over 11 knots. two of us could handle it but there was always a reserve of hands just in case. We also had a bow thruster. But if there are only two of you and one is a woman. you might find the winches are hard work for her.
Also I would add that we were all experienced.
I have a Bav 38 and that is certainly big enough for two to live aboard, only drawback is that it only has one heads, so maybe a 40 would be a better bet. I would not recommend a 50 footer so would suggest you try chartering one for a week or two, take another couple but try handling it with just the two of you to see how you manage.

Jackabee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #8 on: February 23 2013, 10:51 »
Thanks, that's is some good advice. The summer after next we were planning on chartering a boat with a few friends to 1) get some practice and 2) see if we can handle it. Did you have any problems getting the 50ft boat in the marines? I mean were there any restrictions on the size? We are thinking of maybe going for a 46ft instead now. Just need to get some practice on the water thats all to know more

bobvee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #9 on: February 24 2013, 21:02 »
Surprised no one has mentioned the new Bavaria Vision 46, which is at the top of our list at the moment.  We are a couple also planning to cruise the Med during the summers starting May 2014.  We are not beginners, but not highly experienced either.  Last boat owned was a share in a Bavaria 37 and have chartered yachts in Italy and Tahiti. The joystick docking control system and push button sail control/furling seem to make it ideal for getting into tight marina spaces in the Med and for overall managment/comfort for a 60ish couple. Thoughts anyone? 

IslandAlchemy

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #10 on: February 25 2013, 10:33 »
I've got a 50fter (had it for 10 years now), and sail it with the wife (she steers and I pull the strings).

It's fine. We've never had a problem with it. Parking is easy as long as you plan ahead and take it slow (they handle very well and go where they're told). I don't have a bow thruster, but I would recommend it to you as you will probably find it helpful.

I sail mine a lot single-handed, and find it easy enough (with the help of the autohelm).

I would suggest that you do your course, and then charter one in the med for a couple of weeks to see how you get on. After 2 weeks with just the two of you on-board, you'll know if it's too big for you or not.

If you want to have a go for a day/weekend in the Solent, I'm happy to take you out so long as you bring the beers.

Cheers

Bob

Jackabee

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #11 on: February 27 2013, 08:00 »
Hi Thanks for the advice. We really would like a 50fter but we dont want to bite off more than we can chew. We might well take you on the offer for a day trip. We live in turkey at the moment but we make regular trips back to the uk.

Arvid

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #12 on: March 20 2013, 17:44 »
Hi Jackabee,
My wife and I bought a 47ft Bavaria 1 1/2 year ago. It took a couple of weeks to get used to and a bow thruster helped a lot too.
Bring friends with you the first times you take it out (preferably friends with boating experience) and you'll be fine.

We never wished we had a smaller boat. But often talk about how a 60+ft boat would be nice for longer passages.

We never had a problem with size in any of the marinas we've visited (a lot of different ones since we cruise and live aboard).
I guess a small village with a dock for 15ft fishing boats might not be able to accommodate you but that's what the anchor is for :)

Monique

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #13 on: March 27 2013, 07:46 »
Hello Jackabee,

My first boat is my 46 footer. ( for sale). I have a bow thruster and electric primary winches and would not be without them for sailing short handed or solo.

You get used to it quickly especially if you are a dynamic thinker.

I would not buy smaller because some folks adapt slowly.  Go for your choice......

Enjoy!

AB1707

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #14 on: March 28 2013, 15:52 »
Hi Jackabee

I don't wish to put you off but I would definitely not consider that big a boat for a first one-their's a massive amount for you to learn and your confidence is easy to lose early on- we all make mistakes and the bigger the boat the bigger the risk.

You sound like you're preparing yourself quite well but honestly the Day Skipper's is just a beginning.

Mooring fees increase significantly over 40''t  in the Med but big boats aren't easy.

Definitely try and go out on the 50 in the Solent to get a better idea

Good luck whichever way you go

Adam

spencerd

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #15 on: March 30 2013, 10:07 »
Hi Jackabee,

Our first boat was a Bavaria 44 but we had lots of sailing hours previous on various friends/charter boats. I can only say that the Bavaria has been the easiest to sail and manoeuvre and I'm planning to sail her next year singlehanded. Once you have your day skipper hire a 40ft for a week to get a feel and you will be surprised that moving up to a 50ft wont seem so much difference.

Fair winds and good luck.

Spencer

islandtango

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #16 on: May 17 2013, 11:57 »
I'm  41 yo woman from Australia. I have just bought my first yacht, a 1999 Bavaria 42' and I am a novice sailor. I'm not new to boating/ boat ownership/navigation however. But sailing is yes, a new thing. But anyway, I am in the Med on her now for the next 18 months and sailing the ARC in 2014 and, in fact, sailing her all the way back to Australia.
I got this yacht because it was the perfect step up for me. I feel completely comfortable in my choice, having specifically selected this yacht because I AM a novice. I have no doubt I would be able to comfortably sail her single-handed (despite this not being the general plan). Of course, my preparations pre-purchase were long and tedious, I had been looking for the right yacht at the right price for 18 months. I eventually bought my yacht in Greece, arrived here 7 weeks ago, having packed up my life living on remote tropical islands in Australia for the past 15 years, and well, here I am!
Good luck finding your yacht. You will work it out. It is not rocket science. Good common sense will see you through. And it sounds as though you have given it all lots of sensible thought.  if your bombing around the Mediterranean any time soon, catch up :-)

Alec

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #17 on: May 20 2013, 10:31 »
Hi Jakabee,
I am in Izmir Turkey if you want to come out for a day sail on a 40ft
You have received some good advice, my 2 bobs worth is the extra cost for every foot you have.
If you need it get it but if you don't you will save big dollars on maintenance and marina fees.
My wife and I are first time yacht owners (1 month ago) and we went for the 40ft because of duel heads and helm, we have done several Flotillas and bare boat charters though still very much novices :)
All the best
Alec

Rampage

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #18 on: May 21 2013, 17:55 »
Rampage is a 38 and we've been living on board her for the past 4 years.  We bought her as our first sailing boat, although we'd had smaller motor boats for some years before that.  We did a back to back course over 2 weeks (competent crew and DS) the year before we bought her, having done the course on an older 39.

For 2 people to live on board, full time, the 38 with the 3 cabin layout is pretty good.  One cabin (forepeak) for us, one cabin (stbd aft for guests) and one cabin (port aft) as the 'shed' where all the stuff we've found we need lives.  When we bought her, Rampage was as big as we felt comfortable with; she seemed immense when we brought her round from the Hamble to the Menai.  At that stage, neither of us would have wanted anything bigger as it would have been too intimidating.

Now, with 4 years sailing her, we are much more relaxed about having a bigger boat but we won't be shifting as the one thing that has become clear is that the bigger the boat, the bigger the bills.  This is not just the business of marina fees, although that's part of it.  Things on boats wear out and need either replacement or repair; as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the boat, the bigger the bill to replace or repair whatever has broken. So we'll be staying with Rampage, unless we win the lottery.

I wrote a blog on the topic of why we bought Rampage.  The blog is at www.djbyrne.wordpress.com if you're interested.

Viking

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #19 on: May 22 2013, 00:04 »
You're asking specifically of the (1) feasiblity of a Bavaria 50 as (2) a first boat (3) for 2 persons whom are (both?) novices to sailing.
Let me try to address your questions systematically (this is a long reply, sorry, but now you are all warned!). 
My reply is based on my own ownership experiences of a Bavaria 50 (model 2008/2009) and a Bavaria 55 (model 2010) and quite a long sailing history. Still have both yachts :-)

(1a) Size: Since you plan to live for extended periods onboard, make sure to get a boat big enough that you feel comfortable inside it, in the cockpit and with a layout that suits your needs best. For example, my 50' has three bathrooms, which I find to be one too many for just two persons. Your cats might like to have their own, though :-) 
Do make sure to get the boat properly equipped to help you manage it with ease, e.g. with an adequately sized bowthruster, furling sails, electrical winches and so on - this added about 1/3 (!) to the costs of each of my boats; truth to be said: they are very, very well equipped.

(1b) Make: Bavarias are at the cheaper end of the scale and as always, there is some kind of correlation between price and quality. This should be a serious consideration if you were to do Blue Water cruising in adverse weather conditions. I have been lucky to escape with only a small amount of build-problems and bear in mind that even owners of very expensive makes experience build-problems. Some Bavaria owners have been far less lucky, which brings me to the consideration of After Sales Service and warranty.
What you will experience to this end is highly dependent on the actual dealer you buy from, as it is the dealership which will have to deal with any warranty issues you might have. My study of endless amounts of blogs etc. concerning other peoples experiences plus my own practical experiences can be summarized to just four words: prepare for a marathon.

(2) A 50' as a first boat: In my opinion, a big boat is like a big car: the first few times you drive it and park it, it is a bit hard to do it precisely and with ease. Then you get used to it and you no longer even think about it as being a big car ...
But, as others have written: Big boat - Big costs - Big trouble.
Everything on a larger yacht becomes exponentially more expensive and this goes for marina costs as well. In the Med, berths are available, but the bigger the boat, the fewer the available spots.
I noted your (economical) rationale for getting a big enough yacht as the first one and someone wisely commented that "you don't know what you don't know". Even with years of practical sailing experience and meticulous studying and planning before buying the 50', I think I would have chosen differently today, just 4 years later. So do not bet all that you will just buy "the one" boat and then that's it ...

(3) Novices to sailing: As long as everything goes well and the weather behaves, no size is too big. But when the weather turns sour or something breaks, then everything is much harder to man-handle on a big boat. This is where experience comes in handy and may save or compensate the situation. From personal experience, I can recommend hiring a professional skipper and spend some time sailing with him/her to learn first hand from their hard earned lessons on the big oceans.

Am I happy with my 50' and my 55'? 
Considering that I knew quite well the trade-offs of getting a relatively cheaper make of yachts, and that I would want to and need to make a lot of upgrades, then yes. What surprised me the most is the (lack of) after sales service and the builder's (lack of) concern for its customers.

Congratulations: you made it to the end! 
Feel free to contact me for other aspects of optimising your first buy of a yacht.

zz000mm

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #20 on: July 25 2013, 18:46 »
I bought a Bavaria 49 as my first yacht half a year ago.

I do not have a day skipper but I grew up dinghy sailing.

The 49 is my first yacht.

So far I've been across the Channel a few times with friends with very little experience, once in 6 gusting 7 winds.

If you are thinking big at this stage, you will regret buying something smaller.

If you are level headed and not prone to panicking then go for it. You will learn a lot quickly.

The 50 will have furling main and genoa, so its not too much of a handful with just two.

Make sure you do not have too much sail out. Well reefed a 49/50 will handle anything without drama.

All good fun.

Brian.

Sanna

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #21 on: August 07 2013, 22:14 »
Well, we have a 1999 build Bavaria 50 which can be classed as a hybrid now. We're circumnavigating eastwards with just the two of us sailing and we've never had any problems, even in tough conditions. I thought we were experienced when we set out but realised after a month or so that weren't as experienced as we thought. But you soon learn. Bavarias are easy to handle short handed and are much tougher boats than 'experts' will tell you. And we should know. We've been in some of the hardest oceans in the world and never had the need for additional crew. You will be fine. www.sailblogs.com/member/eastwards.

Solosailer

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Re: A Bavaria 50 ft cruiser for a novice
« Reply #22 on: August 18 2013, 11:28 »
I am also looking at buying my first yacht and seem to be following in the same footsteps as Islandtango where i am in the research stage but feel i have settled on a Bavaria. Mainly due to cost options and being able to sail singlehanded if needed. There are so manny things to learn and is quite an adventure which if taken slowly and safely. I am also looking at purchasing in the Med and eventually sailing back to Asia as my base.