Bavaria Vida 33

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Bavaria has long been known for producing a range of inboard family cruisers and sailboats at its yard in Giebelstadt, Germany. Apart from a sister company that builds catamarans in Southwestern France, and one failed dip into day boats 20 years ago, the company has shied away from other markets. In Giebelstadt, four modern production lines, each longer than a football field, churn out over 450 boats a year. But what might be even more surprising is that none of them have ever been powered by outboards. Until now.

If you think the new outboard-powered Vida 33 looks suspiciously similar to another European model, you’re not wrong. In fact, $200 says you can’t name it. (If you answered “What is the Greenline Neo, Alex?” you’d be correct, but my name is Simon.) The Neo debuted in 2018, but was jettisoned by Greenline’s parent company, SVP Yachts, for not quite aligning with the eco-friendly focus of the brand’s hybrid models. Bavaria acquired the rights to the 36-foot mold and the rest, as they say, is history.

Originally designed by the naval architects at J&J Design, the sporty little cruiser has since undergone a reimagining in German hands. Bavaria’s designers went to work, adding a new deck and hardtop and injecting their own DNA when applicable. The result is a stylish, sensible day boat available in two versions: open and hardtop. (Bavaria has discontinued the Neo’s fully enclosed coupé version at this time.) The hardtop will likely be the preferred version thanks to its sunroof and recessed windows, which give it added protection from the elements. It’s the best of both worlds.

“It has the Bavaria style and quality, but the concepts are very new; you didn’t find them on any of our older boats,” said the Head of Product Management, Norbert Leifeld. The bow includes two layouts for owners to choose from: a flat foredeck featuring a large sunpad, or a hi-lo table flanked by seating for six. Below decks, the 33 offers the comforts of a weekender, with a settee that converts into a berth and a stand-up wet head. “It has our brand DNA, so that means it’s a safe boat for families,” added Leifeld. “You have hand rails wherever you need them and enough space to sit down.”

Power comes from twin outboards in options of 150- to 300-hp. Owners can also choose to extend the transom around the motors, giving younger families added peace of mind. The helm accommodates three seats, which, on first glance, look a little rigid, but I’ll save any judgments until after my keister has been parked in one. Behind them, an L-shaped sofa looks incredibly inviting.

Germans are known for their industriousness, and Bavaria is no exception. In 1978, the founder, Winfried Hermann, said he wanted his facility to run like Ford Motors. Since then, Bavaria hasn’t needed to look so far for inspiration, adopting the lean philosophies borrowed from big players in the country’s own automotive industry. With orders already coming in from Europe and the U.S., the company plans to produce a new 33 every four to six weeks. That’s lighting fast, which is possible thanks to a “German Made” stamp. “It’s all made here: the furniture, the hulls, the decks—­everything,” said Leifeld.

Available through S&J Yachts, JT Yachts, Cruising Yachts Inc. and their respective network of sub dealers on both the East and West Coast, look for the first models to arrive stateside in the ­coming months.

Bavaria Vida 33

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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