May 2022 Yacht Reviews
Words by Sarah Ell. Photography and video by Chris Cameron.
Build Quality
MODEL Bavaria C45
DESIGNER Bavaria Yachts
BUILDER Bavaria Yachts
LOA 13.98M
LENGTH (Waterline) 12.87M
BEAM 4.49M
ENGINE Yanmar 57hp, saildrive
Mast & Rigging Aluminium and SS
Sail Area 114 SqM
  • Super-simple sail handling
  • Bright, spacious saloon and roomy accommodation in two double cabins
  • Looks like a mini superyacht
  • Huge cockpit with a very social layout

Beautiful weather doesn’t always equal the best weather for going sailing, but sometimes you just have to make the best of it. On the day we motored up to Gulf Harbour in Boating’s Haines Hunter 660 to check out the new Bavaria C45, we appreciated the lack of wind and flat water on the way. . .

The Bavaria was certainly eye-catching in the marina: it was a bit of a surprise to pull up to the finger outside owner Peter Boddie’s apartment at Gulf Harbour and see something which looked like a mini superyacht, with sleek lines, a low-profile cabintop and a strip of through-hull windows. At 13.6 metres long, there’s plenty packed into her 4.49-metre beam.


As with many owners who had ordered new boats to arrive in time for summer 2021-22, the boat arrived in the country just as Auckland’s extended lockdown began mid-August, so Boddie had to spend months admiring it from a distance before getting aboard. This new boat is a step up from the 38-foot Chieftan he’d owned for nearly 20 years; he’s enjoyed lots of boating since retiring from farming in the King Country and moving up to Gulf Harbour full-time 11 years ago, and it was time for something bigger and more luxurious.
“I’d looked at several different boats, but it wasn’t until a friend got talking to me about the in-mast furling that his Bavaria had that I started to look into it,” Boddie says. He went down to Picton to see a C50 there, then ordered its little sister.
The C45 comes in two slightly different models: Holiday and Style. This is a Style, which means a few more comforts and luxuries. She’s part of Bavaria’s C Line, which ranges from 38 to 57 feet, and offers a good balance between being a super-comfortable cruising boat with lots of storage and enough performance to get you where you need to go in a reasonable time — and in plenty of style.

The boat has a factory-fitted but optional bow thruster, which comes in handy manoeuvring the yacht out of her berth into the Gulf Harbour canal. She’s living in a 16-metre berth, but there’s still some nimble cornering required to get her in and out.
From the outside, one of the most noticeable features of this particular C45, named Tianana, is huge dodger and bimini custom-made by Gulf Harbour Covers, which with clears on the sides basically turns the large cockpit into an outdoor room. It creates ample shade and shelter from less-clement weather, while still providing views all around and, importantly, up to the main when under sail through windows set into the fabric above the steering wheels. There’s also an array of four flexible Juice solar panels mounted up there, producing 440 watts of power.

The twin helms have a clear, easy-to-use layout, with each wheel mounted on a pedestal topped with a large B&G nav screen. The engine, bow thruster and autopilot controls are on the starboard pedestal, and controls for the Fusion audio system to port. Bavaria has designed the boat to have two distinct ‘zones’ in the cockpit, one for relaxation and one for the practical work of sailing, so the sheets and sail controls run in channels under the deck and pop up right by the helms, keeping the side decks and cockpit completely free or ropes.
There are a pair of Lewmar winches each side back by the wheels, one of each pair being powered for doing the heavy lifting — but when it comes to ‘hoisting’ the sails there really isn’t any: the main furls out of the mast and the self-tacking jib is on a furler too. This makes it super-easy for Boddie to manage the boat single-handed if required.

A panel folds down from the transom to create a very large boarding platform and to provide access to the storage area under the cockpit. Unfortunately Boddie has had to retire from diving, but he still has family members who are keen, and this is the ideal space to stow bottles and other bulky gear, right next to where divers enter the water. The 2m x 1m storage area can also be accessed through the cockpit floor, and there’s another big locker in the bow for fenders. The dinghy is stowed on fold-away davits on the stern.
A barbecue and sink are mounted under lids into the transom bulkhead, so you can stand on the boarding platform and prepare meals al fresco, while chatting to guests lounging on the cockpit seating, around the pair of fold-out tables. Boddie has had custom upholstery made for the cockpit too, creating a super-comfortable entertaining and relaxing area, though he says his favourite spot for morning coffee are the fold-down seats mounted on the pushpit, from where you get a great view all around from under the shade of that massive bimini.

The wide side decks have an efficient, non-slip surface and are enclosed by a substantial solid toe-rail, keeping you safe should you have the need to venture forward, although anchoring is automated as well. There’s teak decking throughout the cockpit and across the rear steps and transom, which gives a nicely nautical touch.
Down below, there are a pair of large double cabins each side under the cockpit. To starboard there’s a head compartment with a hand-held shower, as instead of having a full separate shower Boddie opted for the ‘utility cupboard’ option, which has created a full-height pantry storage cupboard, with pull-out wire baskets — a galley-slave’s delight.

On the port side is the galley, with double sink, three-burner stove with a pop-out extractor above, and three refrigeration options: fridge-freezer drawers under the bench and a chiller accessed through the bench. Forward of the galley is the u-shaped settee and table, with lots of storage built in to draws underneath. An option is to have the table lower to create another berth here, but Boddie felt he had enough sleeping space without it.
There’s a settee to starboard with a small nav station and switch panels at its aft end. The interior is kept light and bright with pale leather upholstery, light timber joinery and a teak floor.

The master cabin forward has a full shower compartment to port and head to starboard. Through-hull windows at eye level let in light and views, and there are two hatches above the bed.
We optimistically hoist the sails — a super-simple operation — and throw in a few tacks in desperate search of some breeze. Tacking is just as straightforward as hoisting the sails: everything pretty much looks after itself, with the main on a German system and the self-tacking jib.
We try our damnedest to get sailing but the wind just does not cooperate, so we give up and go and anchor at Tiritiri Matangi, listening to the birdsong and enjoying the sunshine. And isn’t that what this boat is about, anyway? Sail when there’s breeze, motor when there’s not, anchor up somewhere nice and laze the day away . . . sounds like the perfect cruiser to me.