The Bavaria B/One was developed by Bavaria and Farr Yacht Design as a crossover boat between a dinghy and a modern yacht. The intention was to combine performance with easy handling for weekend and family sailors, with the aim of bringing both dinghy sailors and beginners into keelboat sailing. The class has a strict one-design rule and is already proving popular, with 80+ boats sold across Europe in the first season and a number of one-design fleets established.
The Bavaria B/One hull shape follows the latest Volvo 70 and IMOCA 60 styling, with relatively full bow sections and modest chines on the after quarters. While the deck layout is optimised for racing crews, the vestigial coachroof belies a surprisingly spacious interior for this style of boat.
The Bavaria B/One's deck layout is elegant in its simplicity – there are no winches or traveller, with the jib sheets on a 2:1 purchase, and pass through ratchet blocks. Similarly the asymmetric spinnaker sheets each pass through a pair of ratchet blocks, although two people may need to heave on the line if sailing at high angles to the apparent wind in a blow.
The mainsheet is on a meaty purchase that leads from a simple bridle, and there’s a powerful vang on a cascade system, negating the cost and weight of a traveller. The controls are positioned so that the can be trimmed either by the helm, or by a dedicated trimmer.
Continuing the theme of simplicity, halyards are led directly to cam cleats on the mast, with a light block and tackle used to achieve luff tension. The alloy backstay-less fractional rig, has adjusters for the both cap and lower shrouds, allow the rig to be easily set up for different wind strengths. The alloy bowsprit retracts into a recess in the foredeck, which is arguably not as neat as an internal tube, but stops the problem of water getting below decks.
The lifting keel has a T-bulb with more than one-third of a tonne of ballast and there's a cassette style vertically lifting rudder. The combination makes towing on the optional road trailer easy - an expensive 4x4 vehicle is not needed - and also gives the option of keeping the boat on an inexpensive drying mooring.
The rig on the Bavaria B/One is a moderate size but gives adequate power. Our test boat was fitted with the racing sail pack developed by Hyde including fully battened Mylar radially cut fat-headed mainsail, furling Mylar radial jib on a continuous loop type roller furling system and a racing asymmetric spinnaker. A smaller cruising gennaker is also offered as an option.
Our test sail started with around 10 knots of mean wind speed, later building to give gusts into the mid to upper teens. Although there’s a hefty bulb on the bottom of the keel, a boat of this size will always from crew weight to provide extra righting moment and with four people on the rail she felt very stable.
Upwind she tracked and pointed well, although boat speed is naturally limited by the relatively short hull length. As we were sailing in flat water it was easy to feather into the gusts, pointing a little higher without loss of speed. With the ultra-low stretch racing sails, there was good control of the main sail shape, despite the lack of backstay to give direct control of mast bend.
Turning onto a reach and hoisting the asymmetric spinnaker, in the lighter winds towards the start of the test the nicely powered up but steady and responsive, accelerating smoothly on the puffs. Later in the test and in more wind she picked up speed to provide an exciting but well-mannered ride at speeds approaching double figures.
The almost flush coachroof belies the space below – although sitting headroom is limited, the boat’s generous beam helps to creates a surprising feeling of space – this is no Melges 24 or J/70. A cruise package is available, with a large double berth ahead of the mast and two settees/quarter berths can also be fitted. Although there are no windows, the white flow-coat finish, combined with a proper forehatch and smoked acrylic/polycarbonate companionway hatch mean it’s surprisingly bright inside – a very different experience to going inside an all-carbon boat.
Construction is of a Coremat sandwich hull and foam sandwich deck, using E-glass chopped strand mat and multi-axial fabrics, with additional material, including uni-directional rovings, used in high-stress areas. A one-piece liner of transverse floors and longitudinal members stiffens the structure and provides support for the lifting keel. The keel fin is of extruded aluminium, while the cast mild steel bulb is electrically isolated from the fin.
There are faster boats of this size, and others that offer more interior space, but few that offer both options. Having said that, the B/One is definitely towards the performance end of the spectrum – look elsewhere if the luxury of the interior appointments is more important to you than the boat’s sailing qualities.
What the Bavaria B/One does best
There are few boats of this size and style that offer a true dual-purpose option that’s suited to both spirited day sailing, with the option of overnight accommodation, and close one design racing. With 79 boats already sold across Europe this is a boat that has clearly quickly attracted attention and where large fleets form good class racing can be expected. But don’t worry if there’s not a fleet near you – the boat is also competitive on IRC and therefore makes a good choice for handicap racing.
The collective might of Bavaria in Europe and Farr Yacht Design in the USA means the boat is being heavily promoted, with more than 80 sold across Europe after the first couple of months of production. You can find out more about the Bavaria B/One at Sail B1.
The new J/70 (see J/70: More than just a new boat) is an out-and-out one design raceboat with a carbon rig and impeccable sporty handling, optimised for fast and competitive one design racing. It would also be great fun as a fast dayboat, but the tiny space below decks is no match for the B/One’s accommodation.
The SB20 (formerly Laser SB3, see The SB20 is born: Laser SB3 class changes name and builder) is undergoing a revival, spurred on by a new builder and class organisation. As such it offers a low-cost route into top-notch one-design racing, but it is a totally open dayboat. If overnight or weekend accommodation is important, the obvious contender is the Elan 210, one of the few other recent all-new designs in this bracket.
Bavaria B/One specifications
Draught 1.6m/0,34m (keel down/up)
Mainsail 21sq m
Headsail 11sq m
Racing gennaker 46sq m
Cruising gennaker 40sq m