When Bavaria’s R40 Flybridge was introduced at the Cannes yachting Festival in 2016 (see the Bavaria R40 Fly First Look Video), it was always understood that the German yard would go on to maximise efficiencies by generating an additional R40 variant – and that second model has now arrived in the form of the Coupe.

Watch our First Look Video of the boat below.


The Coupe joins the Flybridge model as the second R40 from Bavaria.

The Coupe joins the Flybridge model as the second R40 from Bavaria.

The R40 Coupe is built upon the same hull as the new Fly model, with “progressive tapered S-chines” allied to a deep forward V in a bid to achieve improved softness of ride. Electric steering and trim system both come as standard, as do a pair of Volvo Penta D6-370 engines for a very serviceable top end of around 35 knots. However, as on the Fly model, it’s the construction methods that are particularly interesting…

For the first time, Bavaria is using a sandwich-cored hull and an internal floorpan and deck that benefit from resin infusion for greater consistency of lay up and increased stiffness. The R40 also uses the new construction approach of the R Series, whereby the lower internal section (including the headlinings, wiring and services) is constructed externally and then dropped into the hull in its entirety. The idea is to improve build quality while simplifying servicing and maintenance and while it doesn’t appear to translate into major savings in terms of price for the end user, it does promise an easier, more reliable ownership experience.

A multi-purpose main deck

Like the original R40 Flybridge cruiser, the new Coupe model aims to put passenger comfort right at the top of the priority list – and that all starts at the helm. As you would expect, the absence of the fly deck has been usefully exploited here to create a sliding sunroof above the Skipper. In tandem with large wraparound glass panels, narrow stanchions, decent headroom and a Skipper’s door to starboard, that helps generate excellent visibility from the wheel. And sociability is also pretty well catered for here, with two side-by-side seat pods at the helm station itself and a third to port, on the other side of the access point to the stairwell. None of these seats can be reversed to face the rest of the saloon, but the capacity of the dedicated dining areas further aft certainly help make up for that.

The saloon is all about big views, a port galley and a three-man helm.

The saloon is all about big views, a port galley and a three-man helm.

In addition to a long dining station running fore and aft on the starboard side of the saloon, there is another in the aft cockpit, beneath the retractable aft canvas, to cater for alfresco gatherings. Between the two areas, the R40 uses a flat, open, single-level deck in a bid to meld the two regions into a single, integrated entertainment zone – but in fairness, there’s nothing especially ingenious about the sliding door that divides these spaces. On the contrary, even when fully open, its frame still separates the two dining stations and in the absence of an infil mechanism to eradicate that threshold by joining up the benches or the tables, the two areas continue to feel quite distinct. And similarly, on the port side, there’s been no real attempt to integrate the full-length galley with the external aft cockpit.

The cockpit adds a second dining station under the retractable overhead canvas

The cockpit adds a second dining station under the retractable overhead canvas.

Even so, the option of an alfresco wetbar and barbecue module at the transom certainly helps bring recreational versatility to the main deck mix; and the optional foredeck sunpad also ramps up the recreational usability. Framed by secure, teak-lined, rail-contained walkways, this forward sunbathing space comes complete with grab rails, cupholders and a cleverly integrated bimini. However, the quality of the cushioned backrest panels is distinctly below par. They flex and bend to an extraordinary degree, compromising their comfort and suggesting that they would quickly require repair and reinforcement. In all fairness, the build and finish elsewhere feels much as you would expect of a mid-range motor cruiser from a modern, industrially experienced boat builder, but this foredeck sunbathing station plainly in need of an overhaul.

Down below

In terms of accommodation, the R40’s base configuration provides two ensuite double cabins – a full-beam master suite amidships and a guest cabin in the V of the bow. Both come with electric freshwater toilets and separate showers and the owner’s cabin also features a king size bed with starboard chaise longue and oversized hull windows. The forward cabin meanwhile can be rigged with either a standard double or optional scissor berths. That’s a neat feature for a touring family and so too is the fact that the designers have worked so hard to ensure that every last vestige of space is gainfully employed. In addition to generating plenty of storage options to help keep your main spaces clear and uncluttered, it also creates very generous headroom of up to 1.95 metres (nearly six feet, five inches) in the key traffic areas.

There's sleeping for four in two cabins, with plenty of storage and generous headroom.

There's sleeping for four in two cabins, with plenty of storage and generous headroom.

Bavaria R40 Coupe summary

Bavaria describes its new R40 as “a game changer for Bavaria and the 40-foot motorboat market as a whole”. Plainly it isn’t quite that, but it does come with seating for 12, some generous main deck entertaining options, a comfortable and inclusive helm, a full-beam master suite, a pair of heads compartments and the promise of easy 35-knot performance – and on a 40-footer, that’s heartening stuff.
However, the pricing of the new boat introduces a conundrum, because while the Coupe model starts at 351,000 Euros, the equivalent Fly model costs just 26,000 Euros more. That’s only another 7% for an entire third deck, complete with a second helm and all the seating, sunbathing and dining options that encompasses. Now I’m no great fan of flybridge cruisers and I never will be - but with a price structure like that, the new Coupe might struggle to compete with the extra features of its three-deck sibling. For a more alternative, eco-friendly approach to 40-foot family cruising, see our First Look Video of the Bavaria E40.

Bavaria R40 Coupe specifications

LOA: 12.65 m
Beam: 3.99 m
Weight: 9,300 kg
Cabins: 2
Heads: 2
Berths 4 + 2
Fuel capacity: 900 litres
Water capacity: 348 litres
People capacity: 12
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta D6-370s or D6-400s
Price: from 351,000 Euros

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.