Bavaria Motor Boats 35 HT Sport Review

Issue: April/May 2006


It’s a hardtop, but guests can still soak up the sun.


Sydney Harbour is regarded by many as the most beautiful harbour in the world. And what a superb backdrop it provided for this BMB 35 HT Sport test.

The Modern Boating team’s been out on soft -top and open Bavaria Motor Boats plenty of times and has always been impressed. Bavarias are great value European production boats offering style, solid performance and impressive layouts, all at a fair price.

This Hard Top 35 is a sports boat with a cruising twist. You can order the 35 as an open-sport boat and save a few bucks, or go for the more popular hard top.

“We’ve sold all of our BMB stock (except this one) and she won’t last long,” reckons Andy Howden from BMB Clontarf Sydney, who joined us for the ride.

The advantage of a hardtop is it extends your boating season, because the cockpit area is undercover. The trade-off is the loss of open outdoor areas, which we all enjoy on sunny days. To combat this, the Sydney BMB dealer is adding a custom-made aftermarket extended swim platform to all local BMB HT 35s. The extra 80cm out the back is great and you don’t even realise it’s an after factory add-on because the local work has been done so well.

The extended swim platform combined with the reversible aft lounge (that also converts into a sun pad) makes the 35HT a super sunny day boat.

Another feature that adds pizzazz to this vessel is the settee and beautiful timber table in the cockpit area.

All up, there’s cockpit seating for about 10 people, a wet bar with 12V fridge and an array of creature comforts including swim platform shower and ladder, extra bright halogen cockpit lighting and plenty of drink holders.

Moving forward on this boat is easy thanks to the teak inlaid step-ups and generous sidewalks around the main cabin. The high, extended bowrail is an excellent safety feature. Once forward there’s a place for a sun pad and half a dozen drink holders. Anyone for a party?

One feature most Bavarias have is an open bowrail, allowing passengers to board easily. Andy dropped me off on rocks close to The Heads with all my camera gear using the split bowrail.

The helm has twin adjustable bench seats which allow the skipper to stand while driving. There are instruments covering all the required engine data and all new Bavarias have an excellent panel for the control switches. Some of the standard gadgets include bow thrusters, hydraulic hardtop sunroof, an ICOM 45 VHF radio, GPS and speedo. The windscreen did get a bit of salt spray on it and there was a windscreen wiper, but no freshwater spray to wash the salt off.

The reflection of the white dash on the windscreen hinders visibility on some runs, but Andy says a dark dash cover is available as a standard option.

The layout below is split into three compartments with solid bulkhead doors separating both sleeping areas from the main saloon.

The starboard side galley features a cook top and sink with cover to extend the bench space. Behind closed doors is a microwave and an under sink bin. Hidden below the timber flooring are cavernous stowage areas supplementing the generous compartments factored into the joinery.

The forward cabin has an island double berth, two clothes lockers and natural light from portholes and a deck hatch. The second berth is under the cockpit. It has full headroom at the entrance and a long lounge that could double as a kid’s berth. Any sense of claustrophobia is lost because there’s also a generous opening hatch in the cabin roof.

The massive engine room houses twin 320hp Volvo petrol engines spinning DuoProp legs, which power this seven tonne boat to a cruise speed up around the 30 knots mark. One of the trim tab senders had been borrowed (to get an owner’s boat out of trouble while a new sender was making it’s way from Germany), but even without trim tab control we nudged 35 knots flat stick. No doubt there’d be a few more knots on the clock if the tabs were up.

The boat’s fine entry works well, carving through chop and swell easily. And when the hull took on the Middle Head chop at speed, everything felt solid.

The boat’s hardtop captures engine noise, so she gets a bit loud when the revs are up, but with the extensive engine insulation and sound proofing, we were able to have a conversation without screaming.

The Bavaria 35 Sport HT is a tidy and well-considered package. The accommodation is stylish and the areas are brighter because Bavaria now uses lighter, straight-grain Mahogany timbers.

BMB has managed to keep costs under control by excluding things like air-conditioning and generators, going instead with extra batteries and an invertor. It’s worth noting that the engine batteries are circuit protected from the house batteries, so they can’t be run down
using appliances.

So, how much will it costs to park a 35HT at the marina? Around $395,000.

All Bavaria Yachts leave the yard only after a detailed final quality control, in addition to the quality assurance inherent in the production chain.

Innovation, modern manufacturing methods, computer-aided manufacturing processes and highly skilled craftsmen all enable its boats to be produced relatively inexpensively. Bavaria Yachts is able to pass this competitive advantage directly onto its customers.

Every year more than 2000 yachts leave the yard, built by approximately 600 employees in one of the most modern series production facilities for sailing yachts and motorboats in the world. Its worldwide network of competent sales partners guarantees professional delivery and high-quality service.

Twin petrol Volvo 5.7lt GXI 320hp driving through DuoProp sterndrives powered the test vessel.

We logged the following speeds using GPS in modest chop.

7 – 1600
19.5 – 3200
22 – 3600
26 – 4000
35 – 4900

LOA: 11.4m
HULL: 10.85m
BEAM: 3.68m
HEIGHT: 3.0m
DRAFT: 0.92m
WEIGHT: 7100kg
FUEL: 800lt

+ Aft cabin; Hard top
– No windscreen wash