Our Boat

The Basics

SY Liberation is a Bavaria Cruiser 40, built in 2013, and delivered from the factory as a special edition “Avantgarde” offered by Bavaria in an attempt to boost new boat sales during the recession and in advance of the release of their new model.  This gave us a very long list of extras as part of the standard package, many of which (as novice sailors at the time!) we would probably not have purchased.  We chose to go for the two cabin version – as this gave us a massive head/shower room as well as a large lazarette which is accessed from the cockpit in which we could install all our “essential” gadgets!

Before we describe what we have on the boat, we will start by saying that we ADORE sailing and living aboard – BUT we don’t see there is any reason whatsoever to “make do” and to be short of power, water or any of the other little luxuries we have at home.  We set out to create our liveaboard yacht as a real home from home – despite this being part of our RYA Day Skipper course ….. we DO NOT turn the fridge off at night!  Coming from a motor boat background, power has never been an issue so we didn’t see any reason to start now.  Some will say we are mad – and indeed we do get a lot of strange looks from some people – especially when I climb out of the “locker” (lazarette) with a full 4kg load of washing done in the washing machine, but for those who want to make their relatively small cruising yacht a home, what we have done may interest you.

Standard Specification and Layout (Avantgarde Special Edition)

  • LOA : 12.35m
  • LWL : 10.75m
  • Hull : 11.99m
  • Beam : 3.96m
  • Engine : Volvo Penta D1-30 (we upgraded to 40)
  • Fuel Tank : 210l
  • Water Tank : 210l

To view the full technical specifications of the base boat on the dealer’s website please click here

The “Avantgarde” extras which came with our boat were:

  • Warm water system
  • Shower in head
  • Silk grey hull
  • Bow thruster
  • Composite sports steering wheels
  • In mast mainsail with high tech offshore sails
  • Gas rod kicker
  • Ocean line wood interior floor
  • Cockpit table upgrade with foldable wings and storage box
  • Electric anchor windlass
  • Anchor and 50m zinc coated chain (we threw this away and replaced it – see below)
  • 4 x self tailing winches
  • Upholstery upgrade – champagne artificial leather
  • Garmin GPS Map 4008 Colour plotter 8″ screen (we took this out – see below)
  • Garmin GMI speed, depth and wind systems
  • LFS safety package – s/s jackstays and harness points
  • Side rail openings on both sides
  • 6 x stainless steel cleats
  • Faux leather covered panel headlining
  • Life saving collar with fastener
  • High class work surface in galley – black corian
  • Multimedia package – CD player, speakers in saloon and cockpit, TV aerial

Factory Options

In addition, we chose a number of factory fitted options from the Bavaria list which were already fitted when Liberation arrived in Slovenia:

  • Duradeck on cockpit floor, cockpit seats, swim platform and side decks
  • Microwave
  • 2nd water tank (150 litres)
  • UV strip to Genoa
  • Automatic chain counter
  • 2 x electric genoa winches with control switches at both wheels
  • Sprayhood and bimini
  • Volvo engine upgrade to 40hp
  • Garmin sailpilot
  • 2 x larger halyard winches

Click Here – for Liberation Early Image Gallery – March 2013

After-Sales Upgrades

After delivery of the yacht in Slovenia/Croatia, we did some major upgrades – the majority of this work was done ourselves however some of the technical installations were done by Keto Marine – who have highly skilled and experienced people, based on the south coast of England but who regularly travel to the Mediterranean to carry out large commissioning projects.  The owner, Toby Hague, has worked with us on the entire Liberation project and despite his initial misgivings about some of our ideas (he didn’t think we would use a fraction of what we wanted!), he and his No 2, Daniel Hawkes, now have a very good understanding of how we use the boat and the reasons for our long wish-list.  They have learnt along with us – and indeed have now installed some of our ideas on other boats – although to our knowledge, no other boat has it all in one place!

Below we have listed under each category the equipment we have installed and a basic description of what we did.  You can click on each section for further information and detailed descriptions.  Every item was extensively researched and there is nothing on our boat which is not used to the full …. with the exception of an electric cook plate we purchased just in case we ran out of gas!

Navigation and Electronics

We installed all of the navigation and electronics equipment ourselves – with the exception of the standard stuff which came with the boat or as a standard upgrade option.  This was a major project for us – however, we were unable to find any electronics installer who was prepared to take on the complexity of the system we wanted given that it uses a mixture of manufacturers, taking the best option for each individual item.  Most we spoke to said it was impossible to make it work as we wanted – but of course, it does work and we love it every time we sail or lay at anchor as we have everything at our fingertips.  The benefit of doing this work ourselves is that we now know every cable in the boat, every little cubby hole where cables have been pulled and every fuse and switch.

  • Furuno TZT14 MFD and Scanstrut Pod
  • Intense PC with MaxSea TimeZero Navigator – mini 12v i7 PC with 22″ PC monitor running on 12v (we actually now have TWO iPC3’s – to keep navigation separate from normal office stuff)
  • Actisense NMEA2000 PC USB Gateway
  • PC integrated Furuno digital radar with Scanstrut levelling mast mount
  • Digital Yacht AIS transponder
  • EchoPilot Platinum Forward Looking Sonar (FLS)
  • Echomax Active XS Radar Reflector
  • Autopilot upgrade with controls at both wheels
  • iKommunicate NMEA2000 convertor – for output to iPad at companionway for sail trim data
  • Added Garmin GMi10 units for maximum information display
  • Hand-held depth meter
  • Garmin VHF DSC radio with additional handset at helm

Power and Electrical

The power set-up was one of the most important factors for us – we wanted to be able to live at anchor (as we almost never use marinas or harbours) without having to compromise on power usage – the PC’s run 24/7 as we use the navigation system for anchor alarm, and the fridge and freezer allows us to provision for long periods so needs to be reliable.  The original Bavaria battery bank was immediately replaced on delivery in 2013 – but it has now been replaced in 2017 with a new lithium system.

  • Paguro 4000 Generator with over-engine mounting frame
  • 1.6kw invertor with automatic kick-in on loss of mains power
  • Batteries – started with Rolls AGM 1100Ah (50% usable) … replaced in 2017 with lithium iron phospate (LiFePO4) Winston banks 800Ah (100% usable)
  • Battery control and monitoring systems – has evolved to a custom built Active BMS system from REC for the lithium batteries
  • Chargers – 3 x Sterling Pro Ultra 60A, 1 x Sterling alternator to battery charger and 1 x Sterling 3A standard charger for starter battery
  • LED lights with red/white switching and dimmers throughout

Water and Waste

The unlimited availability of fresh water was also a basic requirement – and although the water maker we selected was generally considered over-kill, and had never been installed in a sailboat before, we wanted high capacity and ability to refill the tanks every few days without having to run the generator for hours.  The water maker has presented us with a few challenges in the first couple of years but it is one of the most valued items on the boat, and now we never bother to use dock water … ever …. as our own is always much better.  The black water tank of Bavaria is renowned to be a very bad design and prone to blockage …. as we found out in the first year!  We now have a fail-safe pump out system, and also seacocks to isolate a full tank to allow pump maintenance without emptying the tank into the bilges ( ….. guess what …. we had to do this in the first season!!!!).  The new fresh-water full sized toilet was also a godsend – no more nooks and crannies to get dirty and fresh water flush is amazing, when you have no limit on your fresh water availability.  This was installed in Finike at the end of our 2nd season.

  • Parker Village Marine STW600 Water Maker
  • Upgraded fresh water pump – 4.3 gallons per minute
  • Power shower
  • Electric, full size fresh-water toilet with macerator pump
  • Black water tank isolotor
  • Black water tank pump out system
  • Black water tank sea-water flush system
  • Automatic bilge pump (replaced original manual one)

Sailing and Boat Equipment

Our davits and our dinghy are unique and eye-catching – they attract a lot of attention when we are in marinas, although we must say they are a bit pain in the a****!!!!  The only solution for what we wanted – and WHATEVER you do with a dinghy is a pain – we wanted a dinghy which was fast and went into plane, and we didn’t want to have to remove the engine.  We have various other bits of necessary equipment – a passerelle which is a must for the Med, our own ladder for when we’re on the hard (as I’m dodgy on ladders at the best of times and the tiny run ones provided by marinas scare the hell out of me!), Coppercoat anti-fouling which is supposed to have 10 year life (5 years now and still going strong) – as well as some brilliant gadgets which just make our lives a lot more pleasant.

  • Coppercoat anti-fouling
  • Davits
  • Dinghy with 20hp Yamaha Engine – including custom made bimini
  • Parasailor and permanent rigging for it with modification to the bow roller
  • Passerelle
  • Telescopic ladder
  • Built in Karcher jet-wash
  • Winch-rite
  • Genoa car control lines run back to the cockpit
  • Anchor – 30kg Jambo … replaced in 2017 with 33kg Rocna with 100m of 8mm chain (we can’t get bigger in our anchor locker) …. anchor now under review again following some issues with the Rocna
  • Rebuilt custom made bow-roller
  • Custom stainless steel striker plate on bow
  • Seago rescue system
  • Seago life raft
  • Crewsaver bosun’s chair and harness
  • 12v Hooka type dive compressor with expansion tank
  • Fully varnished teak tables, fittings and door frames
  • Additional windlass controller/chain counter handset at helm


When it came to building our “home from home”, we simply listed all the things we used at home and found a way of getting them on the boat.  In the lazarette there is a standard domestic 4kg washing machine and the galley has all the electrical appliances we are used to at home.  We added  custom-made cushions and mattresses – after all, we are sleeping and sitting on this bathtub for half the year!

  • Full size domestic 4kg washing machine
  • Air conditioning – 2 x Webasto Reversair units – 16,000 BTU in the saloon and 12,000 BTU in the master cabin
  • Power sockets all over the place including the cockpit table
  • Bread maker
  • Tassimo coffee machine
  • Sandwich toastie maker
  • Acti-Fry
  • Ice maker
  • Freezer
  • Custom made v-berth memory foam mattress
  • Custom bed linen
  • Remove saloon bench seat and rebuild saloon table to give more space for our “large” bodies 🙂
  • Replace hanging lockers with shelved lockers – who on earth needs to hang things up when sailing!!!!!
  • Cockpit cushions – original Bavaria ones then replaced with double thickness ones after the first year
  • Drop down cockpit netting in sections for selective shade as well as zip in canvas panels for when it’s raining
  • Custom made helm seat cushions to make proper seating area at the helm

Entertainment, Communication and Internet

As we mentioned in our About Us page, we have to run our business during the summer remotely while we are sailing and although this isn’t a full time job, we need to be constantly available and connected to all our business systems.  The boat is set up to have a permanent internet connection at all times with it’s own WiFi network to support all our personal devices.  For convenience, we can use these devices from anywhere on the boat and have access to our navigation (NMEA2000) data as well as our business data.

  • Intense iPC3 for Office Applications – mini 12v i7 7th Generation PC
  • IslandTime Bullet WiFi Access Point
  • 3G/4G Mast Top booster
  • Proroute GEM 4G Router
  • Flat screen TV’s – via a multi-way HDMI splitter boxes which allow TV, video, navigation or the desktops of either of the two PC’s to be transmitted to the saloon or master cabin TV screens
  • Fixed VoIP telephone
  • Laser printer
  • Kodi CU-Box Pro i4 for TV and YouTube viewing
  • “My Team Talks” Sienna bluetooth crew headsets
  • MarineTraffic mobile AIS transmission station – our AIS data, as well as that of all the boats around us, is sent via our internet connection to MarineTraffic ensuring we have an almost permanent location online so family can keep track of where we are