Bavaria’s latest model, the Bavaria Vision 46, is the first in the second generation of the Vision range. Aimed firmly at boat owners rather than charter fleets, it includes a wide range of options designed to provide every comfort and to facilitate handling the vessel. We first spied the design at Dusseldorf, see Nine yachts in the spotlight at Dusseldorf, and were immediately keen to take a close look.

Bavaria Vision 46 under way

The Bavaria Vision 46 under sail.

Bavaria Vision 46: key attributes

A great deal of effort has been put in to the conception of the design of the Bavaria Vision 46, including workshops with customers and dealers in seven countries aimed at gleaning their ideas. The result is a deck saloon design from the Farr studio offering plenty of space, both above and below deck. A wide range of options enables owners to cutomise the boat to their exact requirements.

The Bavaria Vision 46 was also conceived to be easy to handle. Options include joystick manoeuvring and push-button sail trimming, the latter enabling the boat to be tacked without touching any ropes.

Below decks on the Bavaria Vision 46

The Bavaria Vision 46 is offered with either a two or three-cabin layout below decks. Both feature a large forward owners’ cabin with walk-around bed and plenty of floor space, plus generous stowage and an aft-facing deck/dressing table. This cabin can also be fitted with an en-suite heads.

Saloon, galley and navigation areas are identical in both layouts, and are bathed in ample natural light. The galley is well-appointed, with ample worktop space and stowage. Options range from a microwave, coffee machine or ice maker, through to a dishwasher.

Aft of the galley is a spacious cabin that occupies around 60 per cent of the width of the boat’s after sections. This can be arranged with two single berths or a generous double.

To starboard of the companionway is a large heads, with separate shower. Abaft of this the two cabin version has a large storage area, with ample space for typical cruising paraphernalia including folding bikes. A workshop could conceivably be fitted in this area for those planning long-term voyaging. In the three-cabin model this space becomes an additional small double cabin.

Bavaria Vision 42 saloon

The Bavaria Vision 46's saloon is bathed in natural light.

On deck and performance

The hinged transom provides easy access from shore when berthed stern to, an enviably large bathing platform and facilitates safe boarding from a dinghy. The twin helm stations also follow convention for a boat of this size. Further forward the cockpit guest areas depart from common practice, with the table offset to port surrounded by seating on three sides. This has the advantage of creating a clear passage through the cockpit from the companionway to the transom.

At 12.3 tonnes, unladen displacement is heavier than many contemporary designs of a similar size. This is balanced by a powerful, but easily-tamed rig. Beam is marginally less that that of some rivals, which will help to confer good handling characteristics and quick passage times can be expected, although neither keel is particularly deep for a vessel of this size.

A number of different sail and rig options are available for the Bavaria Vision 46, including a fully-battened mainsail, hi-tech laminate sails and a gennaker set off a short retractable bowsprit. In-mast furling is available for owners who prioritise ease of handling.

Many buyers will want to upgrade the four winches supplied as standard, with more powerful manual or electric models. In the Trim Control with Auto Tack package (€25,264 inc 20 per cent VAT) these are interfaced with a Garmin autopilot. The most important sail controls, including sheets, can be operated from either helm position at the touch of a button and the auto tack function enables the boat to be tacked with a single command. No other human intervention is needed, not even to release the headsail sheet from the winch, or to wind it in on the new side.

The optional joystick docking system controls the main engine plus retractable bow and stern thrusters. In all but the strongest of winds this enables the boat to be easily spun 360 degrees within her own length and move bodily sideways towards the dock. The system adds €22,680 (including 20 per cent VAT) to the price of the boat.

Further equipment and options

The boat’s standard level of equipment is minimal, with a number of basic items missing, but the extensive options list gives owners the scope to create a boat equipped to their own specifications at a fraction of the price of a custom or semi-custom build.

As standard, interior joinery is in a sipo, a dark African hardwood with similar properties to mahogany, with oak and teak as options. There’s choice of fabric and leather upholstery and three flooring options: chestnut, walnut and ocean line. Other interior options include heating, air conditioning and a diesel generator.

On deck options include a shoal-draft keel and composite steering wheels. Electric height adjustment for the folding cockpit table, plus cockpit cushions, enables this area to be effortlessly transformed to a huge sunbed, or even for use as an alfresco sleeping area.

Bavaria Vision 42 deck and cockpit

The hinged transom provides easy access and the boat has an enviably large bathing platform.

What the Bavaria Vision 46 does best

The Bavaria Vision 46 follows the builder's tradition of providing large accommodation at an attractive base price, while allowing owners to choose from a menu of upgrades to suit their needs. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the design and it will certainly appeal to owners who are looking for levels of comfort that were previously the preserve of considerably larger craft.


Below deck the most obvious compromise is that the optional third cabin is relatively small and has awkward access. Beyond that, the temptation of specifying a high level of optional equipment must be weighed against increased maintenance requirements. Although the reliability of on-board systems is improving, only a few years ago a vessel with a level of equipment equivalent to the Vision 46 with all the options specified would frequently have been maintained by a full-time skipper.

Alternative boats

The most obvious contender in this market is Jeanneau’s new deck saloon model, the Sun Odyssey 44DS. This distinctively-styled design has light and spacious accommodation with two very large cabins at each end of the vessel, making it ideal for two couples to cruise in comfort.

Another new model in this size range is Hanse’s 445. This doesn’t have deck saloon styling, but the accommodation is similarly light and spacious, with a large forward stateroom, plus a pair of good-sized double aft cabins. For more information about this Vision 46 see Bavaria Vision 46, or find a list of European Bavaria dealers here.

Bavaria Vision 46 Specifications






Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.