Fresh competition for the Melges 24 and newly re-named SB20 (see The SB20 is born: Laser SB3 class changes name and builder) could be on the horizon from Germany, with the launch of the Bavaria B/One.
Designed by Farr Yacht Design, the B/One is seven metres long and 2.45 metres wide. Developed by the team from Bavaria, with the added expertise of Peter Meyer, the sailplan has been developed in collaboration with Hyde Sails in the UK and the sails will be strict one-design, built by Hyde. The boat enjoyed its inaugural sail last week and we think it looks great!
The overall weight all up is approximately 1,000kg. The slim keel with a lead ballast bulb of 370kg, like the rudder blade, is retractable, making the boat easy to trailer and launch from a slipway. The aluminum deck-stepped mast can be raised by two people without the need for a hoist.
The sail plan includes a square top mainsail, but interestingly there's no backstay (again a difference from the SB20). The upwind sail area is 32sq m, with a 9/10ths asymmetric flown from a retractable bowsprit, which slides back and forth in a recess that’s molded into the deck surface. Hull and deck are from solid fibreglass, while a GRP floor pan with integrated keel box has been laminated to the hull to improve stiffness.
Class rules stipulate a maximum crew weight of 285kg, slightly higher than the SB20 (270kg), which suggests the boats will mostly be sailed by crews of four, while the maximum permitted head count is six (that's six sub 50kg people - so it does encourage youngsters - although we're not sure where they would all fit!) The boat also satisfies minimalist expectations for camping comforts with two pipe berths below deck and room for a portapotti and a small fridge - which in a sportsboat design of this size, borders on luxury! Rather than the SB20's 'granny bars' there are also proper guardrails.
Five boats have already been built, with the first boats expected to be delivered by the end of May and going out to Germany, Sweden, Denmark, USA, the UK and even Chile. Bavaria already has orders for 25-30 boats, with four boats coming off the production line each week, which suggests a rapid growth for the class in the first year! There will be plenty of racing for them as well, with an attractive racing circuit planned for the 2012 season.
Attention has also been given to the boat's accessories and portability, with a specifically-designed road trailer, and a rage of accessories, again developed with Hyde Sails. Price is around €27,000 for the racing package, which sounds pretty competitive to us... an interesting boat to watch. For more details and updates on the class's progress, see Sail B1.
Gael Pawson is the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine and the founder of Creating Waves. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.