Author Topic: Considering B32 - spinnaker, storm sail, canopy/tent questions  (Read 3425 times)


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I’ve just sold up my S&S SHE 32C and looking to move back to a larger cruising boat for myself to sail, cruising with my partner and weekends with family & grandkids.

I’ve stumbled across an excellent Bavaria 32 in NW England whilst out looking at another boat which looks exceptionally well maintained (recent standing rigging replaced, sail drive diaphragm replaced, immaculate interior, updated Nav instruments, diesel heating). I’m going to go back and have another look and have a few questions, if anybody can help me with in advance….

(1) There was no spinnaker Pole of mast fitting for one so I guess this was not supplied as an option, but is there a spare halyard up the mast for hoisting a cruising chute; or an attachment at the masthead to add a pulley and run externally

(2) The sprayhood will need replacing and I would like to get one made which would incorporate a cockpit tent… anybody done this, pictures or suggested suppliers/indication costs appreciated

(3) There is no mention of a storm sail and no removal inner forestay option so what are the options B32 owners consider (I have to admit that in 20 years of sailing around Ireland, Western Isles, Faroe Islands and Norway I’ve never had to set my storm sail in any of my boats; I have gone down to just third reef in the main one occasion when caught out in Cardigan Bay)

(4) Last subjective question …. I’m looking at the boat for extended cruising around Irish Sea, Ireland, Western Isles up to Shetland; down to  the Scilly Isles and across to France; all of which I’ve done in my Previous boats which range from a Contessa 26 through to a Bénéteau 35s7 (which I took across to Norway and back),   I think I could cruise the Shoal draft B32 within this area too single/shorthanded… or am I kidding myself ?

Thanks in advance


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Re: Considering B32 - spinnaker, storm sail, canopy/tent questions
« Reply #1 on: September 30 2023, 18:47 »
Firstly, welcome, then no, you are not kidding yourself about single handed cruising in a Bavaria 32. An autopilot is a big plus if it does not already have one, as is an electric windlass.

You will however find it handles very differently from your previous boats as it is lighter displacement and higher sail area making it good in light airs. So reefing earlier than you might  think is important, although because of the generous original sail area you can still maintain good progress. If you do a lot of windward work or sailing in brisker weather it is worth considering a smaller higher cut genoa rather than the large overlapping original. The shoal draft version is perhaps not as close winded as the standard deep keel, but the stability is the same as the keel is heavier with more of the weight lower down. both my Bavarias (a 37 from 2001, similar basic design to the 32) and a 2015 33 had shallow keels through choice. The 37 because we had plans to go through the French canals and the latter because I sail from Poole. The 37 suffered more as it was very shallow, but the 33 was fine. Good sails make a lot of difference. The Bavaria originals were basic, but I guess by now they may be replaced.

There will be a sheave for a second halyard above the forestay, but pole fittings are not common as for offwind sailing a cruising chute is more appropriate, preferably on a furler. Rarely find inner forestays or a storm sail on the smaller Bavarias, although on larger ones used for extensive offshore cruising it is possible to fit a removable type.

If it was a UK supplied boat from Opal Marine then the sprayhood will have been made by C&J Marine in Chichester who will have the patterns for replacement and also have a cockpit enclosure but any competent canvas worker can make replacements and if necessary customise. The C&J are good quality but not necessarily the cheapest.

Hope this helps.

Suggest you post further questions on the Help section as that is the one that gets the most traffic.


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Re: Considering B32 - spinnaker, storm sail, canopy/tent questions
« Reply #2 on: September 30 2023, 19:43 »
My advice regarding storm staysails and a removable inner forestay: Don't bother!

We've sailed ours around for 8 years and it has been only in the way and taking up space, never used. The thing with a removable forestay is, it's useless: Either you know there's a storm coming, then you stay in port. Or you get hit by surprise while already out, then you certainly don't want to climb around on the heaving foredeck of a small boat in the dark and wrestle a massive ratchet tensioner and hank on a sail. When we did get that (surprise medicane), we ran off under a very deeply reefed main and the boat (40 Ocean) handled fine, even under autopilot. Going upwave in a gale I can't recommend in our Bavaria though (which means you also don't need a sea anchor, but maybe a drogue).

So spend the money on a deep reef for the main or a heavy main if she has in-mast furling, forget that inner forestay. Or alternatively, fit a roller furler there with the staysails ready to go. But then you'll be tacking the jib through the slot, which is going to be tedious.
Sailing Songbird  ⛵️ Bavaria 40 Ocean (2001)


  • Swab
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Re: Considering B32 - spinnaker, storm sail, canopy/tent questions
« Reply #3 on: February 19 2024, 02:33 »
Congratulations on selling your S&S SHE 32C and looking to move back to a larger cruising boat! Upgrading sounds like an exciting adventure, and the Bavaria 32 you found could be a great option