11th Nov 2015

Bavaria Cruiser 38 Review

Bavaria Cruiser 38 Review

The Bavaria 38 is a family cruising yacht engineered to handle a variety of conditions in control and total comfort. The designers have maximised the interior volume to create a roomy and comfortable cockpit that features attractive solid wood trim and veneered surfaces. The two-cabin layout has two large double sleeping cabins, while the three-cabin layout has an additional double berth. The Bavaria 38 is a solid all-round cruiser that makes an excellent second-hand buy.

Who and what was this boat designed for?

The Bavaria Cruiser 38 is designed for families looking for a safe, comfortable and spacious yacht that’s under 40 feet. The structure is conservative, sturdy and built to German Lloyds requirements. The hull is made from solid fiberglass below the waterline with Kevlar reinforcement in the bow area to improve impact resistance. Sight lines are excellent on this boat, and it’s comfortable to sail from either the windward or the leeward side.

What commentators say about this boat

In both style and substance, the Bavaria 38 appears to be a product of a builder that's looking forward while not leaving behind what matters most in a cruising sailboat.

Light on the helm and rewarding to sail.

Bavaria has built thousands of boats since it began in 1979, and the new Bavaria Cruiser 38 is a chip off the old block.

This boat keeps to traditional details while moving forward with design ideas.

Carefully detailed, sturdy cruiser with remarkable layout.

Continuing to do what it does best, producing well-mannered and equipped cruisers, Bavaria has once again hit the spot with its new 38.

It doesn't take a lot more money to move from a minimal, plain production boat to one that looks and acts like a yacht.

Model variations

The Bavaria Cruiser 38 was launched in 2002 and designed for Bavaria by J&J Design as an update to the earlier Bavaria 37.

The yacht is available with a number of options, including:

  • Two-cabin or three-cabin layouts
  • Standard or deep fin keel
  • In-mast furling or slab reefing mainsails.


  • Length overall: 38ft 6in (11.73m)
  • Beam: 13ft 1in (3.99m)
  • Draft: deep draft - 6ft 5in (1.95m), shoal draft – 5ft 1in (1.55m)
  • Weight: 8.27 tons (7501kg)
  • Sail area 722.15 sq ft (67 sq m)
  • Auxiliary engine: Volvo Penta MD22L 50-horsepower diesel
  • Fuel capacity: 33 gallons (39 US gallons) (150 litres)
  • Water capacity: 79 gallons (95 US gallons) (360 litres)

What’s great about the Bavaria 38

  • Single-handed sailors can sail the boat with ease.
  • Good sailing performance
  • Exceptional manoeuvrability.
  • Spacious accommodation and ample storage
  • Plentiful hatches for light and ventilation
  • The focus on quality production offers great value to the buyer.

What to look out for on a pre-owned Bavaria 38

If you’re buying a used Bavaria 38, our engineers and owners have reported some things to watch out for and potential faults that might occur on this boat from time to time.

  • Step-over ledge at forward cabin
  • No central helm seat
  • Difficult to walk around wheel
  • Rudder bearings need checking, any stiffness is relatively easily fixed.

Keeping your Bavaria 38 in shape

When buying a used Bavaria 38, regular scheduled servicing and attention to some minor points will keep your craft in top condition.

Regular servicing

Carry out regular engine and drive servicing in line with the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.


We don't currently have any specific maintenance information for the Bavaria 38.

If you have ever owned or worked on a Bavaria 38 and would like to share your thoughts, then get in touch and we'll add your information to the page.

Laying up

Follow manufacturer’s recommendations when laying up for winter.

Model-specific repairs

The Bavaria 38 is not known for needing specific repairs more frequently than other boats.

Why buy a pre-owned Bavaria Cruiser 38?

Clever interior design, careful engineering and outstanding build quality make a second-hand Bavaria 38 an excellent investment for safe family coastal or offshore cruising.

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