|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||2 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GXiE|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
1 x 330-hp Volvo Penta D6
2 x 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI
This is the Sport 30 soft-top, or express, version, a popular choice for friendlier climes where the boating season is naturally extended. Other than the top, the Sport 30 and HT are just the same. Bavaria Yachts builds their boats using aramid reinforcement (Kevlar) forward where impact is most likely. The foam-core sandwich is based on icebreaker technology. It’s a typical German product, built to last.
It's a European Thing
The European Powerboat of the Year Award was created in 2005 by Germany's BOOTE magazine, and has since been voted on in co-operation with Barche a Motore (Italy), Neptune (France), Marina CH (Switzerland), Yachtrevue (Austria), Batliv (Norway) and Vene (Finland). We're waiting for BoatTEST.com to be invited to participate – maybe we're not European enough? In any case, winning the Powerboat of the Year award in Europe is like taking home an Oscar in Hollywood: In a part of the world where so many wonderful boats are built, it's a genuine honor, especially since the voters are hard-to-please yachting journalists. (Other Bavaria yachts have won the award, too: In 2010 the company's Deep Blue 46 took the prize in the 12 to 14-meter category.)
The hardtop is fiberglass, with an electric sliding sunroof and stainless steel handrails on either side, very handy for crew moving forward on the narrow side decks. We like the all-around stainless rails on deck, too. Like most Sport 30s, whether soft top or HT, this boat has twin sterndrives; a single 330-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesel is also available.
The Bavaria Yachts factory in Giebelstadt, a small industrial town in, of course, Bavaria, is modern and automated, or as automated as a boatbuilding plant can be; it’s still a very labor-intensive industry. Some processes, like spraying gelcoat in the molds, are done by robots; computers are used liberally to ensure all structural and joinery parts are precisely milled. CNC routers cut deck openings for ports and companionways automatically. The hulls and decks roll along separate assembly lines, and are joined only near the final stage of production. It’s easier to install engines, tanks and systems when the hull is open; hatches, fittings and other hardware when the underside of the deck is fully accessible.
This artist's rendering shows the slightly redesigned hard top of the latest Sport 30 HTs with the radar arch. The aft-sweeping accent curve gives the boat more of a Mediterranean look, we think – but we kind of liked the older hard top, somewhat reminiscent of a VW Beetle. A bow thruster is optional.
You know the Germans: They never build anything halfway, but intend for it to last forever. Apparently Bavaria Yachts is no exception. All their boats receive GL Yacht Plus Certification, a higher standard than the basic EU requirements; the Sport 30 also gets a CE Category B certificate. The foam-cored topsides and decks are built literally using icebreaker technology. Aramid fabric provides extra reinforcement where necessary, isophthalic resin in the outer laminate provides osmosis protection. Finally, all Bavaria yachts are tested in the company’s high-tech riverside facility in Markbreit on the Main River.
The cockpit has a wet bar with sink, a lounge with fiberglass table and a sun pad. A refrigerator and grill are optional. The single helm seat leaves the skipper on his/her own, but a companion is close at hand, on a small lounge across the companionway. The swim platform is decked in teak, and has a shower and telescoping ladder.
There aren't many ways to arrange a dinette, galley, head and mid-cabin in a boat this size, so you'll find no surprises belowdecks in either the Sport 30 or 30 HT. (The layouts of the two boats are identical.) But in keeping with Bavaria's boatbuilding standards, the solid and veneer mahogany joinery is excellent, the upholstery is plush and the details are classy.
The arrangement is typical for a boat like this; what else can you do? The dinette will convert to a berth, and the galley looks adequate for the amount of cooking most folks will do onboard. The stove is alcohol/electric, the refrigerator 12-volt; 230-volt shore power is standard. A TV/DVD and stereo/CD are optional in the salon. Headroom is 1.9 m (6' 3").
Bavaria offers both twin gas and single or twin diesel power, all sterndrives. The base boat has twin 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GXiE EVC gas, but if we wanted gas we'd opt for twin 5.0L engines. We found the Sport 30 listed at prices between €112,455 and €124,474 with gas engines, the HT between €131,970 and €143,990. These prices include German VAT.
For diesels, the choices, all Volvo Penta, are a single 330-hp D6 EVC or twin 163- or 190-hp D3s, also with EVC. All have Duoprops. The Sport 30 lists at between €136,612 and €146,251, the HT from €156,247 to €165,886 with diesels. Your prices should vary depending on local taxes.
Converting the dinette to a berth is a pain, so we’d live in this comfortable mid-cabin. There’s enough stowage for short cruises, a bench seat and cross-ventilation from ports in the hullsides and cockpit.
We haven't tested this boat, and have found no performance data elsewhere. But the Sport 30 HT tips the scales at 5,100 kg. (11,244 lbs.), 300 kg. (661 lbs.) more than the soft top version. For comparison, the Sea Ray 310 Sundancer, about the same size boat with a similar hull form, weighs 5,275 kg. (11,630 lbs.). With twin 260-hp 5.0L MerCruiser MAG DTS/Bravo 3s, the Sundancer will run nearly 40 knots, according to reputable independent tests. We'd expect similar results with either version of the Sport 30. But that's just an approximation based on power-to-weight ratio, not hard data.
We like the way both the Sport 30 and the 30 HT are built, we like their pugnacious profiles and no-nonsense styling, and we like the Sport 30 HT's three-season potential. We'd want the twin 190-hp diesels, which might produce similar cruise speed to the more powerful gas engines, since we could run the diesels at a higher percentage of max rpm. We think either boat is worth a look.
We like the squared-off bow seating area, which is a detail of design that we have not seen in other boats.
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!