Day-cruisers are more and more complete, even when fully open, suitable for short-range cruises and weekends with family. The German shipyard Bavaria, one of the main players of the European boating market, has presented many new products in recent months. Among them, the Bavaria S30 Open, with an overall length of just 8.76 meters, is perfect even for longer cruises. I had the opportunity to test her in the gulf of the Campi Flegrei, thanks to the availability of Marine System, the Campania-based dealer of the German shipyard.
I was immediately impressed by the stern platform, very large thanks to a 55 cm extension that significantly expands the walkable surface. The cockpit is accessible only from the starboard side since, on the left, there is an outdoor dinette that can accommodate three people in total comfort. The central section of this area is removable to increase the walking surface, alternatively, it can be raised as a table by replacing the support bases. With this configuration, we have a living area where 6 people can sit.
Opposite the dinette, there is fiberglass support with a zone dedicated to the outdoor galley. Below, there is a refrigerator, while the surface is composed of a hob (optional, absent in the tested model) protected by a folding top and a small sink. The shelf is bordered by the driving seat, which, when moved to the rear, makes it impossible to open.
The dashboard has a central and rather close rudder to allow better ergonomics, while the indicators of the two Mercruiser 250 hp petrol engines are arranged on several levels. The Simrad central multifunction display that immediately gives us all the information necessary for navigation immediately catches the eye. The throttles are moved to the right and easily accessible while seated. On the left, there is an additional two-person sofa, well protected by the windshield glass.
The latter is arranged in three separate areas. A first space has an internal kitchen with induction hob on the left side and the owner’s bed (convertible into dinette) in the front, without any separation in order not to limit the visual impact. The bathroom is separate on the starboard side, while the guest cabin is accessed from the left side. The latter is facing the stern with the bed under the deck, but the height of the ceiling is adequate and two people can sit there without any problem. The average headroom in the cabin is 185cm, which translates into remarkable livability given the length of the boat.
The portholes – a little small, compared to competitors – flood the interiors with a considerable amount of natural light while a large manhole provides good air circulation. The side-decks are symmetrical and bilateral, with one difference: on the left, there is direct access from the swim platform through a rather narrow corridor, which forces the passenger to put one foot in front of the other, while on the starboard side there is a comfortable step that allows moving forward. The high side rail is very useful and offers safety even to less experienced ones. The bow has a traditional design with trapezoidal cushion, while the winch is inside a locker with the anchor visible. This way, the deck is completely uncluttered and anchoring maneuvers can be performed in total autonomy from the helm station.
It’s time for the test. We are 6 people on board (maximum limit for category B), the fuel tank is 50% (out of a total of 520 l) while the freshwater tank is at maximum (120 l). The sea is flat, but the wind creates a 1-meter short wave which can prove to be a good test. Leaving the port is easy thanks to the help provided by the bow thruster, with the boat that, with a geared inverter, advances at 3.6 knots with fuel consumption of 7 lt/h.
To have more space in the cabin, the bulwark was raised, exposing the hull to the wind at low revs. The noise of the engines increases with higher revolutions resulting higher than the diesel ones but allows guests to speak by raising their tone slightly. The minimum planing speed is reached at 3,000 rpm, the hull starts to relax and passes at 3200 rpm, 18 knots and 56 liters per hour overall. At 3,500 rpm cruising speed is reached, with a consumption/speed ratio of 2.7 liters/mile. It is very pleasant to navigate at this speed, the waves blow up the hull but the hull manages to cushion the impact by leaving the trim at zero and the flaps raised to avoid picking up water on board. The height of the windscreen is sufficient to offer us shelter from the wind if we are seated and the rudder offers prompt response to changes in direction while being more rigid. In tight turns, the boat tends to skid but it’s sufficient to increase the radius of curvature to avoid problems. With the throttles forward, it reaches a speed of 35.6 knots at 4900 rpm, with fuel consumption of 155 l/h.
The engines perform very well even in the acceleration phase. They manage to get the hull surfing (4700 kg empty) in 6 seconds; in 9, the boat reaches 20 knots while the top speed can be reached in 25 seconds. I recommend this boat to anyone looking for a small-sized day cruiser or weekender. The layout of the spaces makes it ideal for 4 people in case of several days out, while for daily outings the limit imposed in category B of 6 people (8 people in category C) may seem reductive. The high bulwark is a merit and a defect, but the livability in these dimensions can be bartered with a decrease in the seaworthiness. Consumption is also low as long as you stay in the cruising ranges, while they can double if maximum performance is required.