This is an amazing story about a Bavaria 38 and raises a number of questions. The main question I have is regarding his point about the keel bolts; is he correct and that there shouod be a backing plate and not just washers?
As a Bavaria owner, I would say that the Bavaria range may be excellent boats for offshore and coastal cruising, but personally I would not choose one as an ocean cruiser (although many do), I would be looking for something with a lower aspect ratio keel and more fore and aft symmetry below the water line and perhaps something made of steel. Moitessier’s Joshua would be a reasonable model. The downsides of such a boat for the sort of cruising that most of us do are legion (speed, weight, windward ability, capacity for length) so it’s really horses for courses. As for keelbolts secured to backing washers, this sort of construction is normal for production fibreglass boats and keel failures, except for racing boats, are very rare. For a comparison with racing boat keel attachments, read the MAIB report on the loss of Hooligan V. Mr Hamm’s Bavaria 38 perhaps had battery acid in the bilge, which would be consistent with the damage to his fingers and might explain other problems he has had. Who knows?