Yachting World video showing our test of 37ft cruising yachts: the Bavaria Cruiser 37, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379 and the Varianta 37

How do you decide which boat offers the best value? New production yachts can make this quest particularly challenging, as their base price in no way reflects the genuine cost of the boat – one which will include all the extras needed to sail safely and comfortably. To try to find the answer, we took three cruisers on a two-day liveaboard cruise.

We concentrated on one of the most competitive yachting markets. The 37ft family cruiser segment is currently awash with new production yachts. On the face of it, all offer similar benefits and layouts and are listed at comparable prices. We took three yachts from this sector – the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379, the Varianta 37 and the Bavaria Cruiser 37 – on a two-day test to find out what the differences truly are.

In the Varianta (£106,213 inc VAT as tested) we had a new and completely basic boat. The three-month-old Bavaria, fitted out to a typical family cruising spec and coded for charter (£135,000), sat in the middle, and the second-hand, two-year- old Jeanneau (£182,930) had a full suite of options aboard. So a difference of just £35,000 in the base price of the three boats became a gap of £75,000 on the water.

Why would you want to spend such a considerable amount more? The whole Yachting World team spent two days aboard the boats to find out. It was only once we had sailed and lived aboard the three boats that the differences between them became apparent.

And for a comparable market sector, the differences really were fundamental.
See Yachting World out on September 14 for the results of our findings.