There's no mistaking European craftsmanship when you see it. The standards are impeccable and the styling is contemporary — yet there's just a touch of international flavor to it. Bavaria Motor Boats has taken full advantage of these small differences and come up with the new BMB 32 Sport, a boat that is uniquely European but still speaks to American boaters' needs.
The 32 Sport's greatest achievement is its usability. The boat's creators at Bavaria Motor Boats took serious consideration of what owners would really be doing on board. From the cabin to the cockpit, every design choice seems to be a child of ergonomics.
Oh, the Places You'll Go
As much as we hated it (Ouch! That tongue-in-cheek thing hurts), we had to go to Spain to test the BMB Sport 32. Mallorca, Spain, to be exact.
Mallorca is a popular vacation spot for Europeans — especially those who boat — because you can cruise to the nearby island of Ibiza in less than two hours and then on to the Spanish mainland in a few more.
Although the 32 Sport will be available in the United States as of late February, only one of the boats existed when we tested it, so it was simpler to ship us over to Spain than it was to ship Hull #1 over here. Pity. (Ouch!)
We tested the boat out of Club de Mar, the main marina in Palma. After a short jaunt through the no-wake zone, we headed out into the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Mother Nature was extremely kind to us on the day of our test. Although the skies were an ugly gray, the water was flatter than you'd find on most lakes.
Roland Herrmann, Bavaria Motor Boats' sales manager, was along for the ride, as was one of the company's regional sales representatives. We had half a tank of fuel on board. Herrmann, whose father founded the company 25 years ago, informed us that the winds blow down from the north, so the water off Palma is sheltered by the island — hence, the flat seas.
We took the helm and explored the boat's handling as we simultaneously explored the local sites from the water. You can see the cathedral and the royal palace from just about anywhere in Palma, but you get an even better view from the water. In fact, the location of the palace was chosen centuries ago for its strategic view of the sea.
As we passed the current residence of Spain's King Juan Carlos, we took the boat to a top speed of 43.2 knots (at 3,800 rpm), which proved satisfyingly fast. We then slowed down to cruising speed, which was a more comfortable 32.8 knots (at 3,000 rpm).
With the push of a switch, the sunpad that runs along the transom can be lifted, revealing an easily accessible engine compartment with a pair of 260 hp Volvo Penta KAD 44P EDC/DP diesels (turning counter-rotating Duoprops).
Further tests proved that the boat tracks remarkably straight. It leans into turns, and we noticed only a hint of shuddering when we hit the occasional hard wave.
Visibility was excellent, both when sitting in the helm seat and when leaning against the bolster. The ride was an extremely dry one, with no noticeable spray over the bow.
The layout of the cockpit makes conversation easy, so we had no problem hearing Herrmann when he asked us to slow down, claiming he had seen a dolphin nearby. The dolphin disappeared for several minutes, but when we were under way again, it leaped from the water once more.
The cockpit has plenty of seating, including a J-shaped dinette served by an extra-large pedestal table. The starboard captain's seat is plush and comfortable, and the portside passenger's seat is something akin to a mini-settee. (A nice touch.) The helm's full set of instrumentation is easy to read.
Behind the captain's seat is a small bar with a Corian sink and stainless steel drink holders. Moving farther astern, the built-in aft swim step features a rear shower for washing down whatever needs it. Stowage compartments are hidden under the rear seats.
The forward-swept radar arch that stands over the cockpit has built-in illumination, making the 32 Sport a great place to hang out after the sun has gone down. The radar arch has stainless steel safety rails, and it is foldable. Moreover, it has two built-in splashproof speakers.
Teak runs throughout almost the entire cockpit deck, including the walk-around decking that leads to the bow. The walk-throughs are sufficiently wide, so you won't have to worry about tiptoeing back and forth from aft to stern.
After we were satisfied with our time behind the wheel, we went below to scrutinize the accommodations. As you enter the space, you see a long, curved settee to port. An appropriately sized pedestal table serves this settee.
You also immediately notice the galley, which is located to starboard, opposite the settee and the table. The galley includes a stainless steel sink with a cover, pressurized water (hot water is optional), a two-burner electric stove, a cutlery drawer and a waste bin. The standard refrigerator with freezer compartment uses 12v/230v voltage, and there are 12v/230v sockets included, too. A microwave oven is available as an option.
Other cabin furnishings include an FM-MW radio with a CD player and two speakers. Nine portlights (three along the port, three along the starboard and three overhead) let in plenty of light. The portlights receive an assist from the lighting built into the overhead.
As you'd expect, a V-berth is up front. Stowage space has been squeezed in along the sides, and the berth's mattresses are easy to pull up, revealing more stowage space underneath.
Just when you think you've seen everything, you realize there are two yet-unopened doors — one on each side of the stairway leading down from the cockpit. The doors are made of a faux bird's-eye maple, so they stand out from the mahogany and maple woods used throughout the majority of the interior.
Behind the starboard door lies the 32's enclosed head. This aseo (as they call them in Spain) has a flush toilet, a shelf with two storage lockers, a clothes storage locker and a lockable door.
When we ventured to the next door and opened it, we found a full midcabin berth with built-in lighting and more stowage areas. Having this entirely separate space is a great idea, because it's nice to have a little privacy now and then, no matter how friendly you are with your passengers.
Contradictory to what you might think, making the midcabin berth and the head separate spaces actually makes the interior seem bigger — at least in this case. When you open the doors, you find so much more room behind them.
A 140-amp hour domestic battery is standard, and the engine battery is either 80 or 140 amp hours, depending on the engine. There's a main switch for the domestic battery and for the engine battery, and the shore power inlet has a stainless steel cover.
Although Bavaria Motor Boats is still relatively new to America, the company's name carries much prestige in Europe.
Comparing boats is like comparing chocolates. There's almost no such thing as a bad chocolate, yet we all have our favorites. If you have a soft spot for European lines and detailing, you're going to be extremely enamored of this German confection.
CONTACT: BMB Marine Imports, Seattle, WA; (800) 993-7245; fax (206) 341-9320; www.bavariamotorboats.com
BMB 32 Sport Specifications
|Dry weight||10,820 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||145 gallons|
|Water capacity||40 gallons|
|Base price with twin 260-hp Volvo Penta KAD 44P EDC/DP diesel engines||$140,999.67|
|Price as tested||$150,084.93|
|Estimated op speed||43.2 knots|
|Estimated miles per gallons at 32.8-knot cruising speed||5.9|
|Fuel cost for 100 miles||$24.43|
|Range at 32.8-knot cruising speed||855 miles|
(Estimated fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.50 per gallon.)
Stainless steel sink with cover; concealed horn; central bilge system; 12v/230v outlets; two splashproof speakers in the radar arch; rear shower; self-draining cockpit; foldable radar arch; refrigerator/freezer; fuel tank with electric sensor unit; five-year warranty against osmosis; two fire extinguishers.
Hand-laid fiberglass hull.
For More Information
BMB Marine Imports