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      we have discovered a problem in our recently purchased 44.
      Briefly, the hull structure in way of the keel attachment was found to be inadequate as movement of the hull can be observed with the yacht in slings and a lateral force applied manually to the keel. The net result is a rather expensive repair, as clearly one would not want to sail the yacht in its present condition.

      It is quite probable that this condition may be present in many other Bavaria yachts, both old and possibly new.

      Has any owner had a similar experience?
      Has Bavaria Yachts been contacted with a view to them paying for the repairs?


        Having recently bought a bavaria 38 with a 1.98m lead keel I was a bit concerned at the keel to hull join. movement at the front and rear of the keel. The Bavaria dealer was contacted and they surveyed it sending the information to Bavaria, who recommended sealing with sikaflex, this was carried out by a local yard, still worrying though, I am not completely convinced – what did you find with your keel ?


          when the yacht was surveyed prior to purchase, she was held in slings for the underwater part. Our surveyor had considerable previous experience with bavarias, and was aware of potential problems. He therefore carried out a test wherein lateral manual physical force was applied to the lead keel, while he observed the floors in the keel bolt area. Flexing of the hull was easily observed !
          The net result was a survey report which recommended re-inforcement of the hull prior to her being sailed. As my insurers wanted a copy of the report, they have now stipulated that the works must be carried out before the yacht is sailed.

          Interestingly, there was also evidence of movement at the keel to hull joint, and possible leaking at the keel bolts. Water was seen to exude from the keel hull joint when the yacht was set on her keel.

          Had the yacht not been presented to an otherwise very high standard, we would probably not have proceeded with the purchase, but having looked at several of this model, this one was by far the best and came with a huge inventory.

          The yacht is currently undergoing work at Hayling Glass Fibre, who have some experience of similar work on other Bavarias.
          The work involves removal of the keel and building up the laminates over the keel attachment area internally.

          We are keeping the yacht out of the water for the winter and will be carrying out other works to prepare for next season.

          Of course the question is – how many other Bavarias have the same problem and are Bavaria Yachts GMBH aware? Is it a design problem, build quality control problem or what.

          I intend to contact Bavaria Yachts on this matter and invite them to pay for the repairs, but I will not be holding my breath!

          Michael B. Harvey


            This is worrying,

            Having sailed for a season a small amount of water around the keel bolts is evident I don’t know its source.

            Whilst in Guernsey in August a Bavaria was undergoing similar work you describe.

            I will get another independent keel survey.

            Whilst there appears to be alarming stories of after sales service and warranty claims surely Bavaria Yachts GMBH can’t avoid taking action if there is a design fault such as this. They may be taking a huge gamble that might ultimately lead to a death and perhaps corporate manslaughter if the fail to act.

            I contacted Richard Hewett of Clipper Marine and sent photographs of my keel. He responded on 19 April 2008 with the following:-

            I visited the boat last week and looked at the keel ……I then spoke to the factory who confirmed that the flexible sealant missing on the very front edge and rear trailing edge is not a problem and just needs raking out and resealing with a flexible sealant. The forward and aft keel bolts are set about 6 inches into the keel so the leading edges are free floating against the hull, the aft edge of the keel is not thick enough to accept another keel bolt so the rear section also is sealed using a flexible sealant.

            The keel is not covered by the 5 year structural hull warranty as it is a bolt on part. My suggestion to the owner would be to check the keel bolt tightness whilst it is in the cradle, clean out the gaps in the sealant and reseal using a flexible sealant. The hull can then be antifouled. I could see no sign of keel movement and there seem to be no leaks around the keel bolts, the fix is a very simple one and not a major issue.

            Later keels on new models from 2006 onwards had a slightly fatter profile and an extra keel bolt was added closer to the front of the leading edge, the rear edge is the same on other models. These later keels were also applied with epoxy rather than sealant.

            Perhaps you could share your contact with Bavaria Yachts GMBH.

            By raising awareness of this issue through the Bavarias Owners Association perhaps more owners can add their accounts and experiences, a collective voice might cause a positive response from a somewhat intransigent manufacturer. Especially if a large number of Yacht surveyors are drawing the same conclusions.

            Moving this post to ‘general’ might assist too.


              Re turning point

              Thanks for your comments.
              I cannot see from the members list where your boat is located but if you want the name of my surveyor you are welcome – pm me.


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