German builder plans North American expansion


Bavaria Motorboats, or Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH, is launching an expansion into North America.

The Giebelstadt, Germany-based yacht builder will import its first three yachts to the United States for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

Heading the North American effort is U.S. general manager Blane Aarup, whose long history in the boating industry includes executive posts at Baja Marine, Donzi Marine and Chris-Craft. Industry veteran Craig Barrie is aiding the marketing effort.

The company will display the Virtess 420 Fly Bridge, which was named Europe’s Powerboat of the Year in the flybridge category up to 55 feet. It also earned the Italian Nautical Design Award. The boat is 40.65 feet and has a beam of 13.8 feet.

The Virtess is “a combination of German know-how and Italian design,” Aarup said in a statement. “German research, workmanship, precision and engineering is combined with the beauty and styling that comes from the Italian drawing boards.”

Also making North American debuts at Fort Lauderdale are the 44 and 39 hardtop models. All boats coming to North America are equipped with Volvo IPS systems.

The line has six boats that range from 29 to 44 feet. Bavaria Yachts, founded in 1978, has about 600 employees and produces 2,500 yachts a year. Bavaria Motorboats is the sister of the Bavaria sailboat company, which Aarup said is well established in the United States and Canada.

Bob Black & Co., of Sun City Center, Fla., was retained as public relations and marketing counsel.