Bavaria Nautitech 46 Fly is a mouthful, and it’s the name of the latest catamaran launched by the German builder, Bavaria, that bought the French catamaran company Nautitech. The new design follows the model’s little sister, the Open 40, which made its U.S. debut last year. The much larger new boat also dedicates most of its social spaces to the great outdoors. Okay, so now we know where the name comes from, but it’s not just the name that’s large. The 46 Fly can accommodate 10 to 12 people on charter or private cruising adventures, so there’s really nothing small about it.
The 46 Fly came fast on the heels of the 46 Open, which, as you may guess, is the same model without a flybridge. It’s too early to tell, but the latter with it’s impressive room up top, may even supersede the former in popularity. Both boats are built in Rochefort on the Atlantic Coast of France; however, the woodwork and interior components are shipped there from Germany. The adherence to strict manufacturing standards is also purely German, so the result is a boat with good machinery access, bulkheads fitted to tight tolerances, and cabinetry that in most cases, is finished on both sides.
Standing next to the Open 46 Fly at the dock, you get an idea of her massive proportions. She’s 45’ 3” overall and just about exactly that on the waterline. Her double-spreader rig carries 1,152 square feet of sail area with the jib that is on a self-tacker on the coachroof ahead of the mast. That sail plan grows significantly with the gennaker, on a furler attached to the long bowsprit.
The flybridge is approximately 12’ above the waterline so the visibility forward from the helm is good, although the aft corners are obscured by the hardtop. By contrast, the standard Open 46 has twin helms at the transoms so it can be a challenge to see the opposite bows, though it’s perfect if you’re backing into a slip.
Naval architect Marc Lombard created a design that has high freeboard and narrow hulls with fixed keels. Hard chines run the full length of the hulls, from bow to stern to help part the water and keep the decks dry as well as provide a bit of extra interior volume. The boat is fairly light with solid glass below the waterline and a cored infusion above. The Open 46 dry displacement is just over 25,000 pounds. Unlike many cats, the underside is not a gullwing shape but is rather a flat section that’s high off the water to reduce pounding in head seas.
There’s no shortage of gathering spaces for small-group conversations or even a solitary escape when it’s time to get away from the pack. Forward are two cushioned lounges that unfold onto the trampoline, forming double sunpads with a place for drinks in between. Aft, the cockpit will accommodate six for dinner, two more on the side lounge and four across the transom seat. Up top, eight can keep the helmsman company, even if one is en repose on the starboard lounge.
Three winches near the helm manage all the lines while the driver consults the Garmin multifunction display and handles the engine controls to the left of the dash. Engine access is via the transoms and is quite good. The Saildrives sit ahead of the engines and there is room for an optional Onan genset that’s aft of the starboard diesel.
The comfortable and functional interior is the work of Roseo Design and anyone who says catamarans are bland Tupperware boxes with white fiberglass interiors should take a look at the nod to luxury aboard the 46 Fly. The saloon and cockpit are on one level so there’s a nice flow and same-deck living. The U-shaped galley is forward and to port, which is different from cats that have the galley right next to the cockpit. But because the saloon is somewhat truncated in order to make room for the enormous cockpit, it’s only about five steps from stove to table.
To starboard is an L-shaped lounge with a hi/lo cocktail/dining table. Another lounge is aft but can be changed to add cabinetry and refrigeration. Otherwise, there are two refrigerated drawers in the aft port corner just below what serves as a nav desk. Here, another MFD and instruments keep an eye on the vessel’s progress and the electrical panel is below, near the steps into the port hull.
Visibility in all directions is good due to the wrap-around windows. Opening hatches in the front windows and twin hatches in the coachroof bring in lots of air so it won’t be hot and sticky in the tropics. And while the Open 40 sacrificed a good bit of her saloon to the cockpit, there’s no such tradeoff on her bigger sister. With a beam of nearly 25’ there’s plenty of room to fit in a full-sized living room and enormous galley, and still have a giant backyard.
The 46 Fly will likely make a splash as a private vessel, but will also be in charter. I know I’ll be looking for one to test out for a week or more in paradise—and as soon as possible.
Other Choices: The Leopard 45 has a raised helm as opposed to a full-blown flybridge. Also of interest to comparison shoppers will be the Bali 4.5 Open Space, and the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44.
For more information, visit Bavaria Yachts.
See Bavaria sailing catamaran listings.
Get the British point of view from our UK reviewer Rupert Holmes, in his review of the Open version of the Nautitech 46.
|Sail Area||1,152 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||159 gal.|
|Water capacity||159 gal.|