Bavaria 29DC Review

Hop onboard the BMB 29DC and your first impressions will be that of a luxury craft that offers a good balance between open decks and cabin facilities. But once its V8 engines start to growl, those first impressions are promptly blown aside. As the deep rumble of the twin 5.7lt Volvos suggested, this craft was built for more than just pottering about the Harbour.

Put simply, the BMB 29DC would have to be one of the fastest luxury express day cruisers in its class. Plus, it’s stylish as well as fast. Andrew Howden, from Bavaria Motor Boats, Rose Bay in Sydney, was keen to demonstrate the performance orientation of the new BMB and rest assured it didn’t take much demonstrating. The fact that one minute we were at Sydney Harbour’s North Head and then, before I even got my GPS working, we were down near Rushcutters Bay, was enough to confirm BMB’s substantial grunt.

With a little more trim, less water and fuel and an inch more pitch on the props, this BMB would hit close to 60mph, but this package was set up for power. She leapt out of the hole like no other 29 footer I have taken out and it was this sheer power that gave the real sensation of exhilaration and speed. At the end of the day we hovered around the early 50s, but ‘ before the days of GPS ‘ if we were relying on the boat’s speedo the BMB would be placed in the 60mph class.

The ‘I want one’ factor is always a good measure in a boat review and after the sea trials I pondered whether one day, I might be able to gather the funds to splurge on such an exciting package. The combination of style and speed is what grabbed my attention, but this does come at a cost. Admittedly, fuel consumption would be an issue, but I guess at $200,000 plus for the boat, there should be a bit left in the kitty for the gas. Bearing in mind that this isn’t as big as many express cruisers, so fuel consumption should be OK. Although we did no specific fuel tests I would say 80lt per hour to keep you out of trouble.

As the name suggests, the BMB 29DC is designed primarily as a Day Cruiser hence there is relatively more deck space and less below. The deck has a large aft sunpad, a settee, wetbar, two helm bucket seats and there is space forward designed for another sunpad. The teak laid swim platform with optional teak laid cockpit area combine to provide extra style, while the optional Bimini Cover adds to the overall versatility of the deck areas.

The test craft had no fridge or wetbar by the owner’s choice, but the craft normally includes a fridge below and on deck. Down below, there is a spacious modern portside galley with 12V fridge freezer and a spirit/ electric cooker. There was a roomy starboard head that was also easily accessed from the cockpit. Central access was also easy to all the electrics, interior lighting and CD player.

The leather settee on the test craft was comfy, but not overly roomy, although it did convert into the double bed. It is obvious that the focus is on-deck room and the cabin facilities work well to service all that’s going on topside. The BMB 29DC would be great for a couple to stay aboard for a night or two, but don’t expect more than the convertible settee/bed for seating. Storage is ample with a starboard side locker good for clothes, but there was no shower in the head, though one could be fitted if required. I can fully understand why the craft had some below deck compromises, because all that is lost below is gained in the cockpit. For example, the swim platform shower has hot water through an engine heat exchanger.

There is also an abundance of storage in the cockpit including large areas under the aft sunpad and a deep storage area in front of the wetbar. As with the larger BMBs we have tested, the deck was well laid out and easy to move around. The wide walkways around the craft are a feature that many other boat builders don’t seem to appreciate. It makes moving around the boat a snap and removes the need for a walk-through windscreen. Once forward, the bow has a spot for the sunpad with half a dozen drink holders already in place.

The walk-through bow rail is another well-considered feature making it a breeze to pick some one up from a wharf without having to manoeuvre the boat completely along side. The full adjustable single helm seat provided a good driving position for the skipper, while electronic controls produced instantaneous response from the engine room. The instrumentation comprises oil pressure, volt, tacho, bi-data, trim tab gauge, temp, fuel, and electronic engine controls.

There are switches for cockpit illumination, horn and leg trim, plus tilt steering and the adjustable driver’s seat. Normally, the stereo system was a standard four speaker German system, but on this craft the owner installed an impressive big doof doof system. A couple of days after this review I was out on Sydney Harbour and from afar I saw the BMB29 effortlessly carving through the Saturday traffic.

There was no doubt that this day boat on steroids stood out from the rest, going faster and dwarfing other 20-24 footers in her wake. Whether it is for a harbour romp, or a quick offshore stint, the BMB 29 DC delivers, at a price between $200,000-$245,000 depending on options and engines.