It immediately caught my gaze: an aft-deck sun pad the size of the cockpit. Admittedly, I wondered, “Why so big?”
As it turns out, there are several good reasons. The aft-deck sun pad sits atop a garage for fenders or an inflatable. When the salon’s aft picture window is lowered and its glass-paneled door, electric sunroof and side windows are opened, the entire deck becomes one entertainment area. A fridge, freezer and grill are to starboard, and a U-shaped settee with foldout teak table is to port. The Giebelstadt, Germany-based builder tailors each model for its specific market; the test Bavaria Sport 450 Coupe was built with the American yachtsman in mind, so it has an L-shaped settee forward to port across from the helm. There, owners have a Garmin GPSMAP 7412 touchscreen chart plotter, autopilot, analog and digital gauges, bow thruster and joystick controls. A single-pane forward windshield helps to ensure clear sight lines.
If the weather heats to a boiling point, button up those doors and windows and enjoy 40,000 Btu of air conditioning. On the hook, a 12 kW Fischer Panda generator keeps must-have devices running — and at a barely audible level.
Down the solid teak steps are two equally appointed staterooms with en suite heads and enough stowage for weekend or longer cruises. The forward stateroom has a center island berth with built-in incliner, side ports and an overhead hatch. An amidships stateroom is full beam, with twin bunks and filler cushions to form a berth for couples. The layout is ideal for using the Bavaria Sport 450 as a two-owner or couples’ boat.
The galley is just abaft the forepeak stateroom to port, with a full-height fridge/freezer, two-burner Kenyon stove-top, Summit microwave and stowage for a family vacation cruise. Across is the U-shaped settee for mealtime, to watch TV or to relax with a book on a rainy day. Teak veneer cabinetry and a teak and holly Ocean Line finish sole add to the relaxing ambience.
Running in sloppy 3- to 5-footers off South Florida, my Sport 450 Coupe held her own. The 14-foot-6-inch beam gives a broad hull area that kept our bow up and spray outward. Cruising in flatter water, she came on plane quickly. Slight tab adjustments leveled the hull in no time.
With an outside-the-box cockpit layout, a focus on entertainment and family space and sturdy performance in less than ideal conditions, the Bavaria Sport 450 Coupe is a solid citizen on the high seas.
If you are a flybridge fan or just looking for something a bit smaller, Bavaria offers yachtsmen options.