Better decisions. Better boating.

Businesses
Insurance
Locations
Boats
Products

Try our free boat insurance finder service

Let Deckee's expert brokers find the best cover for you at the best price

Get started

Recent reviews from the community

Topics and articles

2013 Bayliner Element Review
Graham Lloyd
Deckee Pro  Posted July 30 2018

2013, July; Berowra Waters: One of the keys to ongoing success in any line of business is adaptability, and that often comes down to recognising a market trend and meeting it as early as possible. Sensing that economic conditions have buyers looking for better value and smaller boats, Bayliner has taken a back to basics approach with this Element. It has a simple layout and no extraneous equipment in an easy-to-use bowrider-with-a-difference boat that offers safety, stability and a quite unexpectedly high fun-factor for both skipper and crew.

The last few years have seen the bad old Global Financial Crisis and consequent after-shocks hit boating companies around the world, and the huge US Bayliner organisation was no exception. The market was withdrawing into its shell somewhat with less new boats being purchased, and those that were bought were typically smaller as buyers downsized to keep within more restricted budgets.

Bayliner responded in a number of ways, including re-assessing what first-time new boat buyers were really looking to acquire. That was a good thing to do, regardless of the market situation, and the result was that this very appealing 4.9-metre Element is now available. It hits the target perfectly, and has been receiving a warm welcome.

Whilst the target market might be first time buyers, the Element is going to appeal to many more experienced boaties as well because it is such a ‘just right’ design. Buyers at the Melbourne Boat Show this year, where the Element was launched in Australia, frequently commented that the Element had them re-considering what they really wanted in their next boat after they had been looking at alternatives such as centre consoles and more conventional runabouts.

It’s all very well to go for a larger boat that’s packed with all sorts of features and equipment but, when it comes right down to it, you can have as much fun on the water with a smaller craft that has just the basic gear. There is a lower initial outlay, less to maintain, the boat is easier to trailer, launch, retrieve and store, and it’s quite likely that it will hold its value better when it comes time to upgrade in the future.

The Element’s layout blends ideas previously seen on bowriders and jet boats. The skipper has a neat helm console amidships to starboard with a pair of seats opposite, more seating up forward and a small sunpad aft. The boat has a capacity for six people and it accommodates that number very well for its length of just over four metres.

The seating is all set on integrally-moulded bases that form part of the inner liner of the hull. However, whilst it is a bit limiting for the skipper with no seat or wheel adjustment, the other seats works better than you might expect as most are designed so you can sit facing one of two ways. This gives options for the crew to face forwards, inwards or backwards. It’s rather clever and allows changing around between when running along and when at rest for communal chatting.

Even with all this seating, there is still good floor space for moving about the Element. As well, at the back of the boat are two boarding platforms on either side of the standard 60-hp Mercury four-stroke outboard. The platforms have a good non-skid surface as do matching boarding steps moulded in front of them on top of the transom. These steps are also intended as aft-facing seats for when the Element is moored.

All the seat cushions lift off to provide stowage below, with the skipper’s seat revealing a very spacious locker that runs back under the starboard side of the aft sunpad. The battery is in that locker, whilst under the port side of the sunpad is stored a removable 45 litre fuel tank. The cockpit sole is moulded in a non-skid pattern and the interior of the stowage lockers is finished in brushed-on grey flowcoat, so everything would be easy to clean. The seats are well finished in a dimpled white vinyl with grey accent panels. Again, it’s simple, but it still looks good.

The standard package includes a single-axle trailer, bimini cover and a removable 75-litre Igloo cooler. The Element comes with a good supply of drink holders and grab handles plus quality deck hardware including a combined navigation light at the bow. Options include a stereo system, digital depth gauge, bow filler cushion, mooring cover and a ’Sports Package’ which includes a choice of red for the main hull colour – the standard colour is black with accents in grey and silver - plus a watersports arch across the back of the boat with a board rack.

In profile, the Element looks just like a racy sports car with smoothly flowing lines and a small swept-back wind deflector at the helm. It’s deceptive though, for the cockpit is deep enough to be safe for youngsters and the topsides are high enough to keep out spray in all but very windy and rough conditions.

The hull configuration is interesting, and fresh, with Bayliner having a patent pending on its new ‘M-Hull’ design. This has a moderate vee centre section flanked by catamaran-like mini sponsons. In some respects, it’s similar to a cathedral tri-hull, and in other respects it’s like a tunnel hull. Yet it’s none of these and it suits its purpose very well with increased lateral stability, excellent buoyancy up front, quite a soft ride and less-than-usual banking in tighter turns. Especially for new boaties, it’s instantly confidence building.

The 60-hp Mercury four-stroke is another pleasing aspect of the Element package. It starts instantly, runs quietly and smoothly, and has plenty of power for cruising around with enough in reserve for casual watersports. It might struggle to haul out larger skiers or riders, but for youngsters it would be perfect.

This is a very open boat though, with no windscreen to protect occupants from the slipstream. We had our test run on a very cool and mostly overcast mid-winter day; I was concerned whether our crew of two teenage girls would be alright in the resulting rather low wind-factor temperatures, but they loved every minute of the run. Suitably rugged up, any family with even a trace of adventure in their blood would react in the same manner. On warmer days, the rush of air along the boat would be refreshing, and the bimini is there for shade from the summer sun.

The best bit is driving the Element. It is a beautifully responsive hull and is reminiscent of driving an older sports car like an early Mazda MX5 or an even earlier Austin Healy Sprite ‘Frog Eye’; those cars didn’t have a lot of power, but they had character and charm and excellent handling that made them great fun to own and drive.

The steering on the Element is pleasantly weighted and requires just a light touch with 3.5 turns lock-to-lock. That’s fairly direct and helps the wheel give useful feedback on how the hull is handling the conditions. We had calm waters and so resorted to swooshing through our own wake to check the ride; the hull proved family-friendly by avoiding any hard bumps and the forward hull sections worked effectively to push the wash and spray out and away from the boat.

The Mercury was spinning a 13inch pitch three-blade alloy prop which proved fine for typical driving; when accelerated into really tight turns, the prop ventilated a bit, especially if the Merc was trimmed up at all, but that would not be an issue in normal driving.

There was very little bowrise coming up on plane, and the design of the Element gives perfect 360-degree visibility. Cruising along, the running angle is quite level (as it should be) and the M-Hull and the four-stroke Mercury combine for very low levels of noise and vibration – it’s a smooth and comfortable ride.

The dash panel is ultra simple with a single, large dial for a speedo and an inset volts gauge. There’s room on the panel to add an after-market tacho and trim gauge if you want, and to fit a fish finder. Without a tacho we couldn’t check revs, but the Element was happily planing and low-speed cruising at 35 kph with mid-range cruising around 41 kph and a top speed of 49 kph.

However, it really feels a lot faster at all those settings with the breeze in your face and the water so close – it’s genuinely exhilarating! This is a great boat to take out even for a short run to blow away the cobwebs of the everyday world. The trailer is one that self-guides the boat when it’s being driven back on, and single-handed operation is easy when required.

The simplicity of the helm position is one of the compromises Bayliner has used to reach the top-value price point of the Element. With neither seat nor wheel adjustable, the comfort level of the skipper will depend on his height and reach; equally though, the vast majority of skippers will find the driving position totally acceptable, with maybe the help of an extra cushion behind the back of shorter-reach skippers. There’s a good angled foot rest under the wheel, and the throttle shift is well positioned.

All three drivers on our test run had no problems, and a common characteristic was the huge grin on their faces as they sped the Element through its paces and cruised back to the ramp afterwards. The only times that any of the crew were not grinning and smiling was when they were laughing at the fun of it all, especially at the times when the Element ran joyously through wakes.

All in all, this is a bonzer boat. It’s what real family and fun boating is all about. It’s fine for cruising and relaxed watersports and would be just as great for fishing; it has stacks of stowage space and versatile seating, is very easy to handle and tow, needs little space to store, and it’s less expensive than many alternatives. Go and have a look for yourself!

SPECIFICATIONS

Length (overall): 4.93 metres

Beam: 2.13 metres

Draft: 1.10 metres

Weight: 712 kgs

Capacity: 6 persons

Fuel capacity: 45 litres

Power: Mercury Four-Stroke Outboard (45 kw, 60 hp)

Top Speed: 49.1 kph

Read more...
1 person found this helpful. Do you?Thank Graham Lloyd
2014 Arvor 690D and 675SF Review
Graham Lloyd
Deckee Pro  Posted July 30 2018

2014, December; Sydney Harbour: The design and philosophy of Arvor boats is rather unique, and it’s probably because of that they have done so well in Australia. The style is reminiscent of European North Sea professional fishing boats – which is indeed where they originated – and the practicality shows through with fully enclosed wheelhouses and large open cockpits.

The hull designs are exceptionally seaworthy and other aspects of their antecedents are apparent in features such as safe side-decks, big self-draining scuppers and the ability to quickly fit emergency steering tillers. The latter may never be needed with today’s reliable engineering and systems, but if nothing else it’s reassuring to see that the builders still consider such ‘what if’ factors and allow for them.

The external styling is hardly streamlined, but it has real appeal in its sturdy and businesslike appearance. Anyone who understands what ‘seaworthy’ truly means will find it has a charm all its own. A quick tour onboard will also show the benefits within the spacious wheelhouse of excellent visibility and efficient ergonomics.

Peter Collins of Sydney’s long-standing Collins Marine saw the potential for the Arvor approach quite some time ago. He has since sold more than 500 of them here including around 200 of the Arvor 20 that he built locally. Arvor itself has expanded considerably over that time and now has manufacturing plants in a number of European locations all using latest technology facilities and materials.

This time around we were fortunate to have two newly released models for a side-by-side comparison which highlighted both similarities and variations to give prospective owners a very interesting choice. Both boats are primarily serious fishing platforms, but both are also excellent day or weekend cruisers and make fine family boats. Both could also be either moored or trailered, although each is probably more suited to one method of being kept, and one is faster. Both are in the same mid $80K price range (all pricing at time of writing), so budget considerations don’t affect the choice.

The 690D is a 6.88-metre diesel-powered shaft-driven boat that cruises around 15 to 19 knots and tops out around 22 knots. It’s more likely to be moored or kept in a marina and offers all the simplicity of operation of an inboard diesel. Pricing starts from around $84,500.

The 675 Sportsfish is a 6.55-metre outboard-powered design and cruises in the 20 to 25 knots bracket with a top speed of 33 knots. It would be easier to trailer and offers that extra speed for those who favour fishing spots further away; its pricing starts from around $84,150.

A trailer for either boat is about $11-12,000, and there are various extra cost options for electronics and accessories, and both boats can be fitted with dual helm set-ups (wheelhouse and cockpit). Sun awnings and cockpit covers can be added. There are other versions - smaller and larger - of the boats, so if the style appeals but you need less or more in terms of space or cost, there’ll be an Arvor to suit you.

Mainly because of the amidships engine location, the shaft-driven 690D has a larger cockpit and smaller wheelhouse than the 675 Sportsfish. In practice though, the variation in wheelhouse space is likely to be more of a consideration as both cockpits have plenty of room for moving around and for any form of angling activity. The latter is clearly the dominant design approach with rod holders, live bait tanks, integral tackle drawers and stacks of storage lockers prevalent in both Arvors. The layout is spot on for fishing too with wide side decks, right-height gun’l support and foot-work space below.

Continuing the fishing theme, both boats have quick and safe access to the foredecks with recessed walkways alongside the cabins. These are well below the gun’ls and protected by effective guard rails. It’s only when it is pointed out that you see that the cabins are actually slightly offset to port, so that the starboard walkway is wider and that little bit easier to negotiate. That’s another very thoughtful touch from Arvor that again emphasises the real-world experience in their design and build processes.

The anchoring and mooring arrangements are good on both boats with excellent deck hardware, anchor lockers with appropriate capacities for chain and line, and safe and easy facilities for handling mooring duties. The 690D has a power windlass as standard, whilst that’s optional on the Sportsfish.

Moving aft to the transoms, the two boats are obviously different with the 675 having a Mercury Four-Stroke EFI 150 outboard in an engine well and a boarding platform to starboard. The 690 has a much larger full-beam boarding platform with a bracket for an optional auxiliary outboard. Both boats have drop-down swim ladders and entry ports into their cockpits.

The latter have non-slip fibreglass soles with hatches that lift on gas-assist struts above very generous under-floor stowage. The 690D has a raised section that also lifts for excellent access to the Mercury diesel and its systems such as fuel and raw water filters and so on. The 690 has a single lounge seat that folds out from under the starboard gun’l, while the 675 has twin lounges – one across the port side of the aft deck and the other in the rear port corner of the cockpit.

The 675 also includes as standard a demountable table for the cockpit that slots into a floor bracket positioned to suit the two lounges. It would be easy to find a fold-up table for the 690D to set out drinks and snacks, or for some extra work space. Both the Arvors have cutting/bait boards.

Whilst personal preference between inboard/diesel and outboard/petrol power will probably play a big part in anyone deciding between the two boats, the other major differences are in the wheelhouses/cabins and in how the two boats drive and perform.

Both wheelhouses are spacious and have top class helm positions. Being fully enclosed, they offer total protection so skippers can con their craft comfortably in any conditions. An often overlooked joy of boating is cruising along when it’s raining (not too heavily though!) – but that works only when you’re snug and dry with good visibility and effective screen wipers. The Arvors are brilliant in this regard, and are also as good as you can get in this size of boat when offshore in rough conditions.

Both helm stations are to starboard with large panels to accommodate engine gauges and navigation electronics; the panels are moulded in a non-glare black and sweep across to port with recesses for storage and a drink holder for the skipper. The tall, near vertical curved windscreens are key factors in the good visibility aided by large side windows with slide-open panels for ventilation. Overhead hatches that also slide help further with light and air. Headroom is very liberal and that plus all the light that flows into the wheelhouses makes you feel you’re aboard a larger boat than the actual size represents.

Both the 690 and the 675 have cushioned areas in the lower forward sections of the cabins with fill-in panels that extend aft with other cushions to make up into double berths. A clever aspect of the fill-in panels are sections that hinge into place in front of the helm seat to provide a higher foot rest ‘false floor’ when seated to drive; but fold them away and you have a better set-up with more headroom for standing to drive. The seats are adjustable fore-aft and have flip-up bolsters for either a higher seated line-of-sight or for good ‘bottom bracing’ when standing at the wheel.

The 690D has twin seats side-by-side to starboard whilst the 675’s two seats are on either side of the cabin. The 675 also has an additional double lounge behind the helm seat and opposite that is a mini-galley with a fridge/freezer plus a storage locker with a small sink and cold water supply. The 690D is not so well equipped in this area, although there is a similar sink (but no water supply) and a little workbench area. Both boats come with single-burner butane camping stoves that can be quickly set up and are entirely suitable for likely simple cooking requirements.

An option for the 675 is a flushing toilet with overboard discharge (for waters where that’s okay), or alternatively a portable toilet could be set up in either boat. The 675 had curtains fitted around the cabin windows for a degree of privacy, and it wouldn’t be hard to do the same for the 690D.

Both the Arvors had full depth stainless-framed glass bulkheads across the back of the wheelhouse with sliding doors to seal off the cabin space. From each cockpit, a step down into the cabin made it an easy transition and, with the door open, it was no problem to converse between the two areas of the boats.

Although the two Arvors are quite different in their speed and handing, I found that both were easy and enjoyable to drive. There’s a degree of extra exhilaration with the 675’s additional power and performance, but the 690D has a sure-footed feel that’s also appealing.

Both boats had steering that was light and to which the hulls responded quickly. Neither boat banked all that much as tighter turns were negotiated, although the 690D has a near full length keel to protect the rudder and prop so that gave a slightly more secure feeling and would help with directional stability in a seaway.

On the other hand, the 675 Sportsfish had a deeper vee hull which gave a slightly softer ride and still handled well in turns. We ran both boats across the Heads of Sydney Harbour in a typical wind-blown chop on top of some mild incoming swells and both were a delight to handle. It’s true I enjoyed the extra punch and faster acceleration of the outboard-powered 675, and that could well allow finer placement in rougher waters or when crossing a bar, but it’s only when driving the two boats one after the other that you’d really notice the difference.

The 690D still had plenty of grunt – a lot more torque of course from the diesel – and it would be a rare skipper who would find it wanting in any respect. Running before the swells in both boats was no hassle at all, and heading into the sets and plunging through some larger waves sent spray sweeping away to each side; any that reached the screens was swiftly dealt with by the wipers.

The 675 was a bit more manoeuvrable going astern with the prop-angle steering being a benefit, and that might make a difference in some higher-action fish fighting situations, but again that would be a rare situational advantage. In short, the long heritage of Arvor in generally far worse Northern seas than recreational anglers in Australia would encounter shines through in the way the boats perform.

This particular 690D dash panel was better equipped than the Sportsfish – although that’s just a matter of preferences and options as both could be set up the same. In this case, in addition to typical engine gauges and switch panels, the diesel boat had been fitted with a seven inch Simrad colour display combination GPS chartplotter and sonar fishfinder which certainly added to skipper information and enjoyment. Radar and an autopilot can optionally be added.

As well, a control topped by a large red button was for a trolling valve. Because the 115 Mercury diesel runs the boat at around four knots at idle revs, the trolling valve can be progressively opened below 1,200 rpm and that reduces oil pressure in the transmission. The result is a certain amount of slip to slow the boat to more desirable trolling speeds even down to half a knot or so.

In addition to the dash panel, the forward overhead internal mouldings of the wheelhouses comprise three angled panels that are ideal for mounting additional electronics including marine radios or stereo systems. It was good to see Arvor had provided easy access into behind the panels through removable sections on the undersides of the mouldings – marine engineers would be most happy to see that, and to find ready accessibility behind the main dash panels to all the wring and steering hydraulics.

Arvor has done a great job of ‘getting back to basics’ in these boats; they have everything you could want for fishing, especially offshore, and for cruising around and relaxing, but there’s nothing superfluous to add to maintenance costs. It’s all easy-care and easy-clean; the overall design and packaging is extremely practical. Yet both these boats stand out with their ‘pro fishing’ seaworthy styling and you’ll receive nothing but looks of admiration and approval as you cruise and fish your own.

Read more...
1 person found this helpful. Do you?Thank Graham Lloyd
2012 Bavaria 31 Review
Graham Lloyd
Deckee Pro  Posted July 30 2018

2012, June; Middle Harbour, Sydney: The Sport 31 is the second smallest in the Bavaria line of cruisers that range from around 8.5 metres up to the near 14-metre 43 Hard Top. All models feature exceptionally good use of space and the 31 size in particular is often purchased by owners who were originally looking at larger boats. The design is an appealing package of a one-level cockpit with safe, wide side decks and an open plan layout below including a double berth forward and a separate aft cabin.

At just over 10 metres overall length, the Sport 31 is compact enough to be easily handled yet spacious enough to offer comfortable accommodations for weekends or longer on the water. The styling is contemporary European with external lines that are perhaps a little more flowing and more visually appealing than most counterparts. Pricing is competitive too from $239,000 to our as-reviewed boat at $250,000 (all pricing at time of writing) which includes a number of options that add to a strong list of standard features.

The owner demographic is widespread, but the Sport 31 has particular popularity for couples in the 35 to 50 age group who are discerning enough to look for a boat that’s a bit different – not so much that it’s a brazen ‘look at me’ style, but one that has that air of extra quality and ‘charisma’. The aft cabin allows family or friends to stay aboard in comfort, or to just have somewhere private to change clothes. The salon is roomy enough for entertaining, although the large cockpit and aft sunbed will be the areas of choice for most occasions.

Here’s a quick review of the company background. Producing a wide variety of award-winning sail and power boats, Bavaria is a well established German manufacturer with high-tech facilities that mix automation and hand-built attention to detail. A large production facility has the capacity of building up to 4,000 boats a year. Highly efficient systems keep costs under tight control and enable selling prices to offer top value. A predecessor of the 31 Sport won the prestigious European Powerboat of the Year Award in 2009 and other models have won that award since then, so Bavaria’s designs are widely recognised for quality and style.

First impressions of the Sport 31 mix appreciation of the elegant lines with thoughts of lazing away summer days on the large sunbed that dominates the back of the boat. Actually we were aboard on a winter’s day and even then the sunbed became a popular spot for our crew. Beneath the sunbed is a very large storage locker that’s perfect for fenders, covers, watersports gear and so on. And then both the locker and the sunbed lift on a power ram to reveal an unexpectedly deep and full-beam-wide engine bay; this was an initial clue to the deception of that external low-ish profile hiding generous internal cavities.

With the sunbed raised, a non-slip metal step and ladder take you down to check out twin MerCruiser 5.0 MPI V8 engines, each rated at 194 kW (260 hp), that are coupled to MerCruiser Bravo Three twin-prop sterndrives. The V8s are strongly mounted into a box-section grid of stringers and cross-braces that are fibreglassed into the hull for a tough unitary structure. The surrounding equipment and engineering, including an automatic fire extinguishing system, was efficiently installed and there was easy access to everything for normal checks and maintenance. It was all as clean as a whistle too and set a high standard that the rest of the boat easily matched.

The sunbed is surrounded by a teak-surfaced boarding platform with steps either side leading up to safe side decks protected by guard rails that allow you to walk along to the foredeck with no concerns about slipping overboard. The deck hardware is simply styled but, perhaps partly because of that, it looked strong and easy to use. The side guard rails continued around the foredeck and included extra bracing near the anchor locker so there would be good support when tending mooring duties.

Back aft, from the boarding platform a step or two takes you up into the main cockpit area with a wet bar over a fridge on your right and U-lounges around a removable table to your left. A clever aspect of those lounges was that the front inboard seat could be reversed to alternatively face forward and provide a companion chair across from the helm position.

The lounges were covered in a soft creamy vinyl that was very comfortable, and that applied to the helm chair as well which was pleasantly supportive to my back and had hip-high sides for holding me steady during tight turns or rougher waters. At the front of the seat, a fold-up bolster allowed standing to drive and, whether doing that or sitting, there was good vision in all directions as well as looking down to the dash panel with its gauges and displays.

In what has become an appreciated standard practice on upmarket craft, there was a mix of analogue and digital data with clearly marked gauges covering speed and drive trims as well as fuel level plus revs and temperature for each engine. Inset digital displays added to the range of information the skipper can monitor, whilst navigation was assisted by a Garmin GPSMap4008 GPS/Plotter. A graphic touch panel had controls for functions such as the horn, stereo, anchor winch and so on whilst there was a separate panel for the bow thruster and a twin-binnacle for the throttle and shifts with inbuilt drive trim switches.

The tilt-adjusting wheel varies anywhere between near vertical and near horizontal so you’ll surely find the angle that suits you best. A foot rest is handy when sitting and that bolster is good to lean back against when standing. The throttles/shifts/trims fell right to hand for me and made it feel just right as I ran the Sport 31 through its paces. The steering is quite direct at just under three turns lock-to-lock and was not quite as light as I’d expected, but nonetheless gave good feedback on what the hull was doing. Mostly that ‘doing’ was giving enjoyment and periods of excitement to the crew.

Accelerating from rest resulted in a fair degree of bowrise that hid the horizon for a while if sitting to drive. Even full in-trim for the drives couldn’t prevent the period of high-angle running until the boat was properly on plane. I was told the 150-litre water tank is located right forward (under the vee berth) and was empty for our run, so it’s likely that if it had been full the trim angle would have been reduced, or held for a shorter time. Even so, the hull settled after a pause to a good running angle and we were off for a comfortable cruise.

From 3,500 rpm and up, the MerCruiser V8s had the Bavaria well under control. At those revs, the GPS was reading 34.3 kph whilst a few hundred more turns at 3,800 brought up 43.5 kph. The props preferred the drives to stay trimmed just a few touches up – again the empty water tank probably influenced that, and higher trim angles might be advisable at faster speeds with a full load of water. The 520-litre fuel tank is intelligently positioned at the front of the engine bay where it is closer to the centre of balance for the 31, and so would have less effect between full and empty.

The hull banked into turns like a fighter jet with the underwater surfaces keeping hold for a secure feeling. The two sets of counter-rotating props on the Bravo Three drives were well suited to the boat and also kept hold with no ventilation or slipping. Response to the wheel and throttles was quick and gave precise control so that driving was rewarding when using the performance potential that the 31 offers. Most of the time on a boat like this though will be cruising, and that was easy on the skipper with a relaxed hand on the wheel all that was needed – although with a vigilant outlook at all times highly recommended.

Full throttle brought up 4,750 rpm and a healthy 60 kph, whilst mid-range mildly-hurrying cruising (say to outrun a forecast change in the weather) was best anywhere between 4,000 rpm for 46.5 kph and 4,500 rpm for 58.3 kph. We had calm waters for our run, but the heritage of the boat with its home base in often–rough European seas augurs well for handling short haul coastal cruising. Charging through a few wakes certainly gave a soft ride and a feeling of both strength and seaworthiness.

Just forward between the helm and that clever-convertible companion seat is a sliding lockable door that opens into the belowdecks accommodations. Downstairs there is a bright well-equipped salon with an L-shape dinette to port and a double berth forward that can be concealed behind a privacy curtain. Around the berth are stowage areas, and natural light flows through port holes and an overhead hatch – useful too for ventilation.

To starboard of the dinette is a galley with a two-burner electric cook top, sink, fridge/freezer and plenty of drawers and cabinets for stowing all the utensils and supplies. There’s a TV and stereo system there as well. A generous 1.9 metres of headroom helps the impression of spaciousness, and the use of fabrics and timber-tones makes the whole area most welcoming.

In the rear port corner of the salon, a door opens into the aft cabin which has a double berth running across the hull to starboard. The berth has a centre-foot removable section with sitting headroom (under the cockpit) whilst at the foot of the berth to port is standing headroom to make changing clothes more comfortable. There’s a seat there too, and again plenty of stowage.

Aft of the galley on the starboard side is another door into a bathroom with a basin, toilet, hand-held shower and spots for overnighting requirements. All the accommodations have room to move around and would make staying onboard a real pleasure for a family or two couples. Bavaria has been very good at fitting such a wealth of facilities and interior space into the external dimensions.

Whether downstairs or upstairs, the Sport 31 has a lot to offer with a pleasing combination of style, comfort, value and performance. The spacious one-level cockpit is perhaps the highlight of the boat, but that aft sunbed and the overnighting features keep it close company.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Length (overall): 10.06 metres

Beam: 3.31 metres

Draft: 1.21 metres

Weight: 5,470 kgs

Fuel: 520 litres

Water: 150 litres

Power (as tested): Twin MerCruiser 5.0 MPI V8s, 194 kW (260 hp) each

Sterndrives: Twin MerCruiser Bravo Three

Top Speed: 60 kph

Read more...
Was this helpful?Thank Graham Lloyd
From the web
Finding a Good, Cheap Boat

Here’s one sea gypsy’s approach to finding a vessel and untying the dock lines...

The Iconic inland waterways of America’s Great Loop

Imagine 6000 miles of sheltered waterways and stunning scenery...

Azimut 50 Flybridge Review

Has the feel of a craft larger and more expensive and delivers usability in droves...

Yamaha F90 Four-Stroke Outboard Review

A well-engineered unit that I suspect will find its way onto many packages in that...

Riva Unveils The 56’ Rivale

Oozing class and style, only rivalled by its thrilling opening event...

Magnetic Island Race Week

Competitors prepare for a week of fun and sun...

Please select a location