• The entire layout is very sensible – a great deal of thought has been given to how the boat will be used and those aspects given emphasis.
  • The helm has a glorious view surrounding the boat, being slightly elevated from the saloon deck and on the same level as the cockpit.
  • The E40 represents the beginning of a new era, one where life goes just a bit slower, and money goes a bit further thanks to the running costs.
  • The E40 is about taking time out and enjoying the here.

Bavaria E40

Simon Everett brings us news of a fresh take on a traditional formula, with the Bavaria E40 providing comfort and relaxation at a steady pace of life.

Bavaria’s E40 represents a new direction for a yard that has always focused on sail or planing-power. This spacious and competitively priced displacement cruiser is aimed at a sector of the market that thanks to increased environmental awareness and rising fuel costs has been growing over the last decade.

This particular boat was powered by a single shaft driven 150hp Volvo D3 engine, located amidships. The engine sits below the helm and is accessed through a dedicated door in the guest cabin. Space within the engine room is generous with plenty of space to get to all the service items. Although we tested the 150hp version for use on the inland water ways there is also a 75hp power option which to be fair is probably not a realistic choice for a ten tonne boat. For offshore cruising Bavaria are shortly to launch an E40 powered by a single 300hp Volvo D4 and there will also be a hybrid version available. Running at low speed sound levels were certainly not intrusive, but once you start to load the engine the lack of sound proofing made itself felt. As promised this was subsequently rectified at the Southampton Boat Show with the fitment of sound insulation and seal to the engine room door. Sensibly for a single screw boat she is fitted with bow and stern thrusters.

As a displacement hull with a ballast keel the hull is designed for an optimum speed of around 8–9 knots. The keel is deep enough to protect the prop and rudder. Her very full waterline length, coupled to a 3 to 1 length-to-beam ratio, is the reason why she is fairly slippery through the water at low speed. However, once you reach 6 knots the fuel consumption equation changes rapidly. Doubling the horsepower does little in performance terms, but the consumption rate increases.

The law of diminishing returns comes into play once you have reached about 9 knots. For instance, to go from 9 knots to 10 knots with just a 10% increase in speed, requires a 75% increase in fuel consumption. This is because you have reached ‘hull speed’ and the boat is catching up with and trying to climb her own bow wave. The amount of water being pushed out of the way becomes ever greater for virtually no gain in speed. At slower speeds, though, the hull is efficient, as witnessed by the fact that this near 12-tonne 40ft boat can cruise at 6 knots and use only 4.1 litres per hour. Putting in the 300hp engine will gain you 3 or 4 knots – naturally with a fuel cost, but the real gain is the extra torque needed for offshore conditions.

With this boat all the accommodation is located on the lower deck. Normally there are three double cabins – two guest cabins aft and the master cabin forward. Alternatively you can choose a full beam master aft with the forward cabin becoming guest accommodation. The main heads compartment sits opposite the shower cubicle in the forward section while there is a second heads for the guest cabins aft. The forward owner’s cabin features an island double bed with limited stowage but plenty of headroom.

The helm will be familiar to anyone crossing over from a sailing background. The large wheel and binnacle-style console occupies a centrally located aft position within the wheelhouse saloon. Unusual though this layout may seem, being elevated slightly above the saloon floor the helm enjoys great visibility through the huge saloon windows, while maintaining continuity with the galley and saloon seating areas. The galley is the main feature, taking pride of place along most of the port side. It has plenty of worktop area, a double sink beside the two-ring hob and an under-top fridge.

The foredeck extends the open-air area, with dedicated cushions included in the comfort pack to give a sunbathing area without interfering with the cockpit seating. If you want more open air space there is a flybridge version in production. Various changes from standard are available: the guard rails along the side decks, for example, can be exchanged for rigid versions with offset stanchions to provide a wider walkway.

A great deal of thought has gone into how people use their boats in the main, and the truth is, many 40-knot cruisers spend the majority of their time at much slower speeds. Bavaria have concluded that there is a huge amount of wasted horsepower installed in boats, much of it never used. The E40 represents the beginning of a new era, one where life goes just a bit slower, and money goes a bit further, especially as the E40 has a base price of £231,000 inc UK VAT.


RPM Speed (knots) Consumption (L/hr)

  • 700 2.8 0.9
  • 1000 4.1 1.9
  • 1250 (inland) 5.0 2.3
  • 1350 5.5 2.7
  • 1500 6.0 4.1
  • 2000 (turbo) 7.7 8.1
  • 2250 8.3 11.0
  • 2500 8.9 14.0
  • 2750 9.5 19.0
  • 3000 10.0 23.0
  • 3200 10.6 28.0


  • LOA: 12.29m
  • Hull length: 11.99m
  • Beam: 4.20m
  • Air draught: 3.40m
  • Draught: 1.10m
  • Dry weight: 10,500kg (approx.)
  • Fuel tank: 270 litres
  • Water tank: 420 litres

Engine options:

  • 1x Volvo Penta D2 rated at 75hp
  • 1x Volvo Penta D3 rated at 150hp
  • 1x Volvo Penta D4 rated at 300hp

Drive: Conventional shaft drive – Also available with hybrid drive

Cabins: 3 x doubles as standard – 2 x doubles as option

CE cat: B 8 persons, C 14 persons


  • Elegant lines
  • Very frugal fuel economy
  • Spacious, well-thought-out living areas
  • Panoramic vision from saloon


  • No guard on engine shaft – is already being addressed
  • Engine room soundproofing needs improvement
  • Aft gangway is heavy for manual lifting – electric or hydraulic system would be preferable


From £231,300 inc UK VAT.


Clipper Marine

Website: https://www.clippermarine.co.uk/

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