New Listing – 1991 Rival Bowman 40


Grabau International is delighted to announce the new listing of the 1991 Rival Bowman 40 ‘AVEL’.

A classic example of one of the most legendary bluewater yachts of all time. Extensively refitted and highly specified for serious short-handed offshore adventures.


Fully-equipped for short-handed bluewater sailing, AVEL has been updated and refitted in recent seasons. Offered for sale with a comprehensive inventory, she is also extremely well priced to attract a quick and simple sale.

AVEL’s specification highlights include:-
• Teak decks
• 2-heads and showers
• Teak interior joinery
• Skeg-supported rudder
• 1.50 draft lead keel
• Cutter rig
• Battened mainsail system with lazyjacks/lazybag.
• Lewmar winches with electric main halyard winch
• Carbon fibre spinnaker pole
• Furling code zero
• Symmetric spinnaker and gennaker
• Solar panels
• Charger/Inverter
• Recently replaced batteries
• Bowthruster
• B&G instruments with Garmin radar/plotter
• Bimini and sprayhood


“You really couldn’t go far wrong choosing a Bowman 40 for cruising, and being so solidly constructed means she’ll hold her value in today’s second-hand market.”

The Bowman 40 is a medium-to-heavy displacement yacht designed to sail across open oceans with ease. She is deep-bilged with an overhanging bow and narrowish shoulders, so her motion through the water is that of a powerful, but sea-kindly performer.

This easy motion means life at sea on a long passage is not only possible, but positively enjoyable. On many boats, you can get utterly fed up with being thrown about down below for days on end, but that’s certainly not the case with the Bowman. There’s always a handhold within reach, both below and above decks, and there are very few sharp edges to hurt yourself on.

Equally important is the general balance of the hull and sail plan. With her ample ballast, plus the engine weight over the keel and water tanks each side, she’s stiff and easily capable of standing up to her canvas. Her steering is light, but positive and she tracks well thanks to her longish keel and skeg. The cutter rig keeps the sails small and offers greater flexibility in a gale, and the quality of the deck gear and fitting gives you confidence that she won’t fall apart when confronted with stormy conditions.

She’s no racer, but neither is she a slouch, with her momentum and ability to carve through heavy seas, often she’ll arrive at a far destination at the same time as a much lighter performance yacht might, only her crew will be far more relaxed!

What’s she like in port and at anchor?

Those more used to voluminous saloons and huge double berths might think the Bowman a little cramped, but to my mind and in the option of many long-distance blue water cruising yachtsmen, too much space can be undesirable under way.

Her shoal draught is a boon upriver and at anchor, and she’ll dry out easily alongside a wall on her long keel base, but she does lack family living space and her cockpit isn’t exactly designed for easy Mediterranean lounging. You need a ladder to climb up her transom and there’s no platform for showering after a swim.

On the entertaining stakes she easily matches a more modern design. With her massive and extensively equipped galley and large saloon table you can easily cook dinner for six adults.

Sleeping is limited to two cabins and the saloon, but in return for the lack of a second aft cabin you get a much larger heads, a useful wet locker and a full-depth cockpit locker – far more important for blue water cruising unless you’re taking a large family with you.

Would she suit you and your crew?

The Bowman 40 was primarily designed for taking serious sailors offshore in all weather and sea conditions. Very few sacrifices in seaworthiness have been made to make her more inviting for a horde of guests, but to me this feels right. And to prove it, take a look at the Scandinavian blue water cruising yachts built today – most of them don’t look a lot different to this boat, do they?

She is great for a couple who want to sail anywhere, anytime and still feel safe. There’s room for a guest couple, and even the kids, so long as they don’t expect to stay forever. I love the acres of lockers and the sensible use of any empty cavity for handy stowage, which is exactly what a cruising yacht needs.

Yachting Monthly Magazine – 2014


Modern design, classic looks and craftsmanship to last a lifetime.

Designed by Chuck Paine and built by Rival Bowman, this is a 40 footer that has everything a cruising yacht needs.

Step aboard and you immediately know that this a yacht built by sailors for sailors. Every aspect of the boat is thought out from bow to stern.

The spacious cockpit is uncluttered and a Joy to work in at sea with the mainsheet traveller on the coachroof. If the going gets wet, a snug sprayhood gives protection. Forward are wide safe side-decks with teak capped bulwarks.

Step down the companionway into pure luxury. The galley is a cook’s dream – large fiddled work surfaces, double sink with a chopping board over. Enormous, fridge capacity and storage for crocks, pots and pans. When the meal’s ready sit down And enjoy it round the full width saloon table, which really does seat six in comfort.

The engine is sited under the galley worktop and has excellent insulation and all round access for easy maintenance.

Two heads compartments – one forward and one aft, both with showers and wash-basin — avoid queues.

When on passage, two root berths in the saloon become excellent sea berths and the wide double in the aft cabin has a central lee cloth providing two more comfortable berths.

The navigator has a large chart table to sit at with all the necessary stowage and shelves.
In harbour, in addition to the saloon and double cabin aft, a spacious double cabin forward provides privacy and comfort.
Wherever you want to go in the world this is a cruising yacht that will take you there in comfort, safety and style.


“ Peter Gregory of Victoria Yachts never tired of finding ways to attract customers. For the 1983 London Boat Show he came up with an idea of stationing his designer at a drafting table in the act of designing yachts.

I had my weather eye open for a new British customer and Rival yachts were at the top of my list. Their previous designer had passed away and the time would come when they would want a new design. I didn’t want to be an ambulance chaser so struggled with how I would introduce myself without appearing overly aggressive. I was spared the trouble.

Just in case an opportunity might arise I decided to spend my time stuck at that drafting table sketching my idea of the next Rival Yacht. The largest yacht in the Rival line was a 41 footer and the next smaller a 38 so I figured 40 feet was about right. I had the sketch just about finished on my 3rd day standing at Peter’s drafting table when 2 impeccably dressed “city types” walked over and peered down curiously at what I was doing. It turns out they both owned Rival 36s and were at Earls Court looking at larger boats. They loved their Rival 36s and would have preferred to stay with the same builder if only he had something larger. They took one look at my sketch and they had the answer. They dragged me and my sketch over to the Rival stand and introduced me to Charles Maunder, the Managing Director of Rival Yachts. They said in unison “Charles, if you build this design and add it to your line, we’ll both order one.”

The first Bowman 40 was introduced at the London Boat Show a year later. I had already seen it earlier that fall, when I flew over for sea trials. They had that first boat in the water and the first thing Charles said was “It floats 2 inches deeper than you said it would.” I said “It can’t possibly” But I took the freeboards and he was right. I had done all my laborious calculations using a VisiCalc estimate in excruciating detail – how could it possibly be that much heavier? They explained that of course they could not build the boat to the scantlings I had shown on my American style construction plans. “We can’t build boats as lightly as your drawings showed – to sell boats on Britain we have to use Lloyds scantlings” And that was the answer. Lloyds scantlings assumed the use of more fibreglass mat and less woven roving than we were used to using in America. And since mat is weaker than roving, you have to use more of it to achieve adequate strength. I even considered making some concession to Charles on the royalty to compensate for my failure to estimate the weight correctly but fortunately I held my tongue.

Then we sailed the boat. It was windy, as it always is on the Solent on the fall and the boat stood up to all that wind beautifully and went like a train on rails. Charles was overjoyed with the way it sailed – much faster than the former Brett designs. The boot-top was repainted two inches higher on the hull, the displacement figure was changed on the sales brochures and Bowman Yachts went on to build more than fifty of the yachts and came back to me for 3 more designs.”

Words by Chuck Paine and reproduced from the Rival Owner’s Association.

Rival Bowman 40 – ‘AVEL’ – Asking Euro 115,000 VAT paid – full details here

Do you have a yacht like this to sell? Grabau International are always looking for new high quality cruising yacht listings both in the UK and internationally. For further information about our tailored brokerage services, please look here or feel free to contact us

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