The Polish boatyard of Bravo Yachts has been building boats for 20 years and is now entering the U.S. with a 36' (10.97 m) express that is highly customizable. At last month's Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show the company unveiled its new B36 yacht, the first in a planned series of vessels that promise to give boat buyers an attractive alternative to current boats on the market. This boat should have appeal to those who are looking for something different or who would like to customize in a size range where such a thing rarely occurs.
- Fully customizable cockpit
- Esthec Syntehtic decking
- Two separate sleeping areas for 4 adults
- Volvo Penta/Garmin glass cockpit system 12'' with chartplotter
- Smartlock system
- Fusion Marine sound system
- Swim ladder
- Transom shower
- Vacuflush toilet
|Length Overall||36’ 4'' / 11.07 m|
Currently no test numbers
2 x 400-hp Volvo Penta D6
2 x 440-hp Volvo Penta D3-220
2 x 440-hp Volvo Penta D3-220 with Joystick
Mission of the Bravo B36
The concept is for the boat to be used for any number of missions -- entertaining, sunning and watersports, sight-seeing, long-weekend cruising, on-water picnics, and even fishing. The company wants to offer consumers a "fresh approach to boating."
Several aspects of the B36 set her far apart from existing vessels in class, the most prominent being the customizable aspect of the cockpit from the helm to the transom -- an area that is nearly 13' (3.96 m) long by over 7' (2.13 m) wide. Here, an owner can turn the boat into virtually anything imaginable.
Bravo Yachts' credo is that "Imagination lives in every one of us…let us turn that into a reality". For openers, Bravo suggests some possibilities:
1) an "open" boat much like the prototype seen in the images on this page;
2) a "hardtop: version; and,
3) a "fishing" version.
We can think of a few other possible configurations for the B36:
1) "Tender" for a megayacht;
2) Fully-enclosed "island commuter" with loads of seating;
3) "Cruising yacht" with wrap-around seating in the cockpit and a closed pilothouse;
4) "Coupe" with large sun pad aft for beach-side picnics.
5) "Cabin cruiser" for river and canal exploration with convertible accommodations on deck.
6) An "eco-friendly vessel" that relies heavily on solar panels and efficient propulsion.
7) "Dive boat" with side doors or expanded transom access.
8) "Sportboat" on steroids designed for towing watersports for a large crowd. Wakeboarders will love the sizeable wake at slow speeds thanks to the boat's 10,802 lb. (4,900 kgs.) displacement.
Of course, this is only the beginning of possibilities for the B36. Because boaters all have different applications, this boat's cockpit can be configured to suit.
The reason that traditional fiberglass boat builders cannot easily -- and cost-efficiently -- make modifications to existing boats is because of the expense of making new, one-off tooling. Making molds that might only be used once is cost-prohibitive and even making one-off fiberglass structures is labor intensive from design, engineering, and construction standpoints.
Further, production boat builders get their cost-efficiencies from just that -- production. Engaging in serious modifications on one unit after another would only lead to economic disaster or extremely high prices that few people would want to pay for most production boat builders in this size range.
The Customized Solution.
There is a reason that most large megayachts are built in aluminum, and that is the relative ease and cost-efficiency of working with the material for one-off construction. Likewise, Bravo Yachts can fabricate the customized topside structures in aluminum as the standard fiberglass hull and accommodations are being laminated and built.
By the time the hull is made and the engine and systems are installed, the aluminum structures for the cockpit area will be ready for installation. In this way, final assembly of the customized B36 can come together at roughly the same time. Obviously, timing is all a matter of the man-hours put into each side of the project.
All aluminum structures are faired with the appropriate compounds then powder-coat. The finished product should look every bit as smooth and professional as fiberglass construction.
Customization Takes Many Forms
On the B36 customization is not limited to the layout and aluminum structures. In fact, all materials and details of the cockpit design are up to the customer, working with Bravo personnel. For example, the prototype had blue, mood lighting in the cockpit. Translucent Corian counter tops can be used with exotic lighting underneath, as seen in chic bars and night clubs. Solar panels can be installed on the radar arch or on a hardtop to keep appliances running when the owner is not running the boat.
The prototype we saw was powered by 400-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels driving a DuoProp sterndrives. This power and drive combination is designed for maximum vessel versatility running both fast or at moderate speeds. A single diesel installation will be more fuel-efficiency at best cruise with a reasonable WOT speed, given the horsepower. That is a typical mission for boats built for the European market where diesel fuel is currently selling for as much as $8.00 per U.S. gallon.
An advantage of having twins is the option for joystick control. Of course, a single-engine B36 can also be fitted with a bow thruster which will do just as well for docking and be a lot less expensive.
Top Quality is Job #1
While Bravo Yachts is introducing a new boat, it is an experienced boat builder and knows that the only way to build customizable boats is with the highest-quality materials and best practices in construction. During our inspection of the B36 prototype at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show we noted that the upholstery materials were actually higher quality than what we normally see on the best-built yachts in class.
For example, carbon fiber is used in the stem of the boat. The sound-deadening regimen and materials used in the engine room were twice as much as what we normally see. The electrical wiring was installed with the same precision and care that is used in the aircraft industry and is what we expect to see in only the best-built yachts.
Obviously the price of a customized boat will depend on what is being done to her and what equipment is installed. We are told by the folks at Bravo Yachts that prospective customers for the B36 should be told that prices will generally run from $349,000 to about $449,000, depending on the project.