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Sailboat Review: New Models from Bali Catamaran

  • By Mark Pillsbury
  • November 14, 2022

Bali 4.6

When Cruising World ’s Boat of the Year judges step aboard a new sailboat, the first thing they ask the ­builder for is the boat’s design brief. Racing? Bluewater voyaging? Coastal cruising? Chartering? Daysailing? What’s the boat built to do?

In the case of two new Bali Catamarans , introduced to North America this past fall during the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, the ­manufacturer’s intent seemed perfectly clear: These cats were built for ­hanging out on the water with family and friends, or perhaps for owners interested in putting them into a charter fleet to help pay the bills. “Pampered crew” were two words that came immediately to mind when I stepped aboard.

Both cats—the Bali 4.6 and Bali Catspace—were conceived of by Olivier Poncin, ­founder of the Catana Group, and ­designed by the in-house team that has been building well-­respected performance catamarans at their yard in France for nearly four decades now. 

When I think about Catana Catamarans, features such as daggerboards, sleek hulls and powerful sail plans designed to gobble up ocean miles come immediately to mind. When I think about Bali, my mind turns to comfortable surroundings and tropical anchorages, with soothing trade winds blowing through the saloon and multiple places to lounge in the sun or shade.

The Catana Group launched the Bali brand in 2014, on the company’s 30th ­anniversary. At the time, the multihull ­market was exploding, and while ­Catana had a strong following at the performance end of the speed-comfort continuum, their boats were expensive and geared to a niche market. Balis, on the other hand, were designed and built to be “more accessible in terms of price,” the company’s online brochure notes, and “therefore aimed at a wider clientele.” It’s no accident that many of those clients chose to add their Balis to charter fleets in the Caribbean and other tropical spots around the world. As a result, the brand took off, to the point where today, it takes up the bulk of ­Catana’s production capacity.

The 4.6 and Catspace share many of the same features found across the Bali Range: solid composite foredecks rather than the trampolines found on most catamarans; ­multiple spaces to kick back and ­relax; home-style refrigerators in the galleys; large sliding windows on the cabin sides; and ­garage-style doors that open and lift overhead aft in the saloon, making it difficult to discern where the interior stops and the great outdoors begins. 

The sail-away prices of the boats we visited in ­Annapolis were $920,000 for the 4.6 and $550,000 for the Catspace. In all, Bali manufactures seven sailing models and two ­power cats, so buyers have options when it comes to size and price.

Bali hulls and decks are ­resin-infused and foam-cored, which makes them strong and stiff while saving weight. Throughout the range, Balis are built with short, fixed keels, affixed to relatively beamy hulls that have abundant load-carrying capacity. In practice, that means the boats can be loaded with gear such as air conditioning, appliances and generators—and toys and provisions for all the crew.

With a length overall of 44 feet, 6 inches, the 4.6 presents a number of interesting features and options. First, there is the flybridge, set atop the cockpit Bimini and a portion of cabin top abaft the mast. It can be reached via steps on either side deck. A helm station is to port, with a bench that seats two comfortably. Adjacent to it is a good-size table with L-shaped seating around it, and sun beds behind. The wheel itself is mounted on a pedestal, and there’s room to walk in front, between it and the winches mounted on the cabin top. With this arrangement, there’s room for the crew to jump in and help trim sails, though without helpers, it does require the skipper to rely on the autopilot when leaving the helm to tend to sheets.

Underway, I liked the setup. There was good visibility, both around the boat and also of the mainsail overhead, thanks to a window in the canvas Bimini. The main was simple to control using the double-ended sheet led to blocks on the corners of the flybridge, replacing the traveler. The arrangement is ­especially good for jibing. 

In a good breeze, 10 to 12 knots, our speed over the ground hovered right around 5 knots; we added a knot to that when we bore off to a beam reach. If I bought the boat and didn’t have plans to put it ­into charter, I’d definitely add a code zero to my sail arsenal. 

Down below, I liked the ­layout of the saloon as well. With the sliding windows and overhead door open, I had the feeling of being outside, ­sitting in the shade. The dining ­table is to port; two chairs are ­opposite. Forward of the table is an L-shaped galley to port with loads of counter space; a large fridge and freezer sits ­opposite, with a ­proper nav ­station tucked forward, surrounded by windows and ­adjacent to the centerline door leading to another lounge area on the foredeck. 

Depending on how the boat will be used, there are a few different layouts for the staterooms and heads, ranging from a three-stateroom version, where the entire starboard hull is the owner’s en suite, to four- and even five-stateroom layouts. In the latter, access to the port aft stateroom is by a companionway from the cockpit, and a stateroom with bunk beds is amidships, with a third stateroom forward. Crew berths in either forepeak are also available.

The 4.6 we tested in Annapolis was powered by a pair of 57 hp Yanmars with saildrives; 45 hp Yanmars are standard.

Bali Catspace

A t just over 37 feet length overall, the Catspace is one of the smaller ­production cats available these days. It ­also has an airy feeling in the saloon’s dining and ­lounging area, thanks to a ­similar aft door arrangement. But space doesn’t permit a second door to the foredeck. Instead, there’s a larger center window that opens to let in the breeze, and the galley (including a ­full-size fridge) is in the forward ­starboard corner of the main cabin.

Available layouts include a three-stateroom version, where the owner’s stateroom ­occupies the port hull, or a charter-­friendly four-stateroom layout, with athwartship bunks in the two forward staterooms.

As with its bigger sister, the Catspace has lounge areas on the foredeck and atop its flybridge. The helm station is up top too, to starboard, and is surrounded on the side and behind with cushions. Unlike the 4.6, the Catspace’s winches are close at hand when sitting at the wheel. A singlehander or skipper with a ­short-handed crew will appreciate this. I found access to the flybridge via stairs from either side deck to be quite good, with handholds located where I needed them.

Again, if I planned to buy and sail the Catspace, I’d ­include a code zero or some other all-round reaching sail to add a little more get-up-and-go. We went sailing in about 15 knots of wind and notched about 4 knots on the speedo closehauled. In a higher puff, I saw just under 6 knots reaching. But was it a comfortable ride? You bet.

As stated at the outset, ­sailboats are built to suit a ­purpose. During a Boat of the Year debrief this past fall, judge Tim Murphy told his colleagues that overall, he thought that the open-air concept incorporated into the design of the 4.6 and Catspace works quite well. Recalling a weeklong vacation spent with five friends aboard an earlier Bali model, he said, “On the ­charter, it was actually delightful.” 

Specifications

Mark Pillsbury is a CW  editor-at-large.

  • More: bali catamarans , catamaran , catspace , print 2022 august , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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Bali 4.1

  • Model Range

The BALI 4.1 picks up on all the innovations which have been so successful with the BALI 4.0: - The vast cockpit / saloon area, which completely opens up with a huge pivoting glazed door. - The very seaworthy integral foredeck area that provides rigidity and protection from spray with a very large sunbathing area and a forward cockpit which can comfortably accommodate the whole crew. - The raised helm station and very convivial fly bridge. - Retracting or sliding windows for optimal ventilation both at sea and at anchor. - Water and diesel tankage, and cool capacity superior to those of all their competitors. The BALI 4.1 additionally offers: - A new integral aft platform linking the two hulls. - New bench seating in the aft cockpit. - Large side lockers which can house a grill or scuba equipment.

Innovation  :   An integral aft platform joining the two hulls The Bali 4.1 offers new bench seating in the aft cockpit and large side lockers which can house a grill or scuba equipment.

Relaxation  :   Sailing and fun in Lounge mode

  • A forward cockpit with dining area as well as an immense sunbathing area in place of the traditional trampoline
  • Extra living space with sunbathing area on the coachroof
  • New bench seating in the aft cockpit

Comfort  :   The Bali 4.1 offers L-shaped dining area and a new interior design The BALI 4.1’s nacelle, completely free from bulkheads, comprises a very comfortable L-shaped dining area which faces across to an extendable lounger. The galley unit creates unrivalled storage volume and worktop area. The interior décor, by Lasta Design Studio, puts the emphasis on light, ergonomics, fluid shapes and the finest materials.

Practical  :   The BALI 4.1 picks up on all the innovations which have been so successful with the BALI 4.0:

  • The vast cockpit / saloon area, which completely opens up with a huge pivoting glazed door.
  • The very seaworthy integral foredeck area that provides rigidity and protection from spray with a very large sunbathing area and a forward cockpit which can comfortably accommodate the whole crew.
  • The raised helm station and very convivial flybridge.
  • Retracting or sliding windows for optimal ventilation both at sea and at anchor.
  • Water and diesel tankage, and cool capacity superior to those of all their competitors.

Technical Specification

Bali 4.1

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Looking for the easiest way to your own boat? Choose our Bali Yachting World charter management program that has already been recognized by many boat owners. Become a Bali Catamaran owner with minimal investment and enjoy the yacht's ownership without worrying about its maintenance.

If you are interested in buying yacht or need help planning your perfect vacation, contact us and our experts will gladly answer to all of your questions.

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Feel free to ask us anything – our team is on your side!

For any yacht sales questions during the office hours please call our booking team in our Split headquarters on +385 21 332 348 or send us an e-mail on the address croatia-yachting.hr .

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Mobile: +385 91 332 3320

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Mobile: +385 91 332 3330

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bali catamaran

Presentation of the group

CATANA GROUP enjoys the benefit of nearly 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of CATANA CATAMARANS and BALI CATAMARANS. The men and women of CATANA GROUP all share the same passion for the sea, for technology at the service of boating, and for the professions of the boatbuilding world. The passion for top-of-the-range yachting is the driving force behind the group, which, combined with know-how and a constant strive for quality, has led to the creation of an unrivalled industrial tool at the service of innovation.

A SOLID GROUP

CATANA GROUP is a group totally focused on the manufacture and sale of catamarans. With 4 production sites (Three in France, one in Tunisia and one in Portugal) as well as a service base, the Group today employs more than 1,300 people, all of whom are united around the company's project. With strong growth since 2014, and constantly seeking innovative and eco-responsible concepts, CATANA GROUP has one of the best profitability rates in its sector and a very solid financial structure.

In 2003, Olivier Poncin sensed the demand for catamaran boats and took an interest in the legendary Catana brand, which went on to buy. A few years later, he realised that the “blue water” catamaran market was too small and did not provide the desired financial visibility. The decision was taken to attack the most significant part of the sailing multihull market, in the face of significant and legitimate competition. To meet the challenge, Olivier Poncin's solution was to innovate in an audacious manner. He imagined disruptive concepts that revolutionised the codes of sailing: a common space between the saloon and the aft cockpit, a tilting door and an integrated foredeck. In September 2014, the first BALI CATAMARAN was launched, the BALI 4.5, followed just a few weeks later by the BALI 4.3. Today, the Catana-BALI Catamarans shipyard builds over 300 boats a year. The gamble has paid off, the concept has gained worldwide legitimacy and meets the needs of a very large section of the clientele.

CATANA CATAMARANS

The CATANA brand benefit from 40 years of experience. Known for their reliability and performance, CATANA’s boats are perfectly balanced, fast and light in weight, ensuring low drag. Their slender, inverted bows allow them to achieve even higher speeds. The interior is fitted out with equipment designed for lightness: the ultimate in comfort and energy savings. With exceptional safety, CATANA CATAMARANS are easy to handle and their high-end level of comfort will carry you to all the seas of the world. Everything you need for fast and sustainable sailing across the oceans.

BALI CATAMARANS

BALI Catamarans offers an innovative, unique concept that has revolutionised the world of catamarans. Thanks to the pivoting aft door and the rigid foredeck platform, BALI Catamarans embody openness: openness to life, openness to the four elements and the five senses. The large windows and the door to the forward cockpit offer a natural 360° panorama. Space is given utmost importance at BALI Catamarans: the forward cockpit and the increased area (achieved by the BALI door) are key assets that distinguish BALI among all the players in the market. At a glance, a BALI is instantly recognisable among its peers.  

THE PRODUCTION SITES

Today, Catana Group counts 1,300 employees working on four boat production sites based in Canet-en-Roussillon in the South of France, the company's historic headquarters; in Marans, near La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast; and in El Haouaria (Cap Bon, Tunisia) and in Portugal. The Group is also equipped with an industrial joinery shop in Rivesaltes (on the Mediterranean coast), which allows the Group to be fully self-sufficient in the manufacture of its furniture. The Group also has a “Services” base, Port Pin Rolland, located in the marina at Saint Mandrier, near Toulon, also in the South of France.

An international presence

The CATANA Group's brands are present on every continent through sales and a network of dealers recognised for their professionalism. As representatives of our models, they carry the colours of our brands high on all the seas of the world, meeting all the needs of our customers in each market. CATANA WEBSITE BALI WEBSITE -->

Bali 4.0 Lounge

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You can check the share price of the CATANA Group  (ISIN code : FR0010193052 - CATG) by clicking on  Boursier.com •   CATANA GROUP specialises in the design, construction and marketing of pleasure craft •   CATANA GROUP is listed in Section C of Euronext Paris Code ISIN  : FR0010193052 – Code Reuters : CATG.PA – Code Bloomberg : CATG FP Brokerage company  : KEPLER

•    Market : Euronext •    Listed on : Euronext Paris •    ISN & Euronext code : FR0010193052 •    Nnémo : CATG •    Number of shares : 30 706 178 •    Free float : 70%

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Westside Sailing

Ab April 2020 zu Besichtigen in Lemmer

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Evolution of the revolutionary BALI 4.0, the BALI 4.1 innovates once again. The BALI 4.1 is the first sailing catamaran, totally bridged from its bows to its back boards, offering a fully open and ergonomic living space. It also offers a large front cockpit with sunbeds, a relaxation area on the breathtaking roof, a platform connecting the two rear skirts with a large bench and a general comfort worthy of a large catamaran.

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I’ve Never Checked a Bag in My 16 Years of Cruising — Shop My 15 Fool-proof Carry-on Essentials

From Mexico to the Mediterranean, I never leave port without these sure-fire items.

bali catamaran

Travel + Leisure / Francesca Fasciglione

Even as a longtime cruiser, one of my travel nightmares is meticulously planning outfits for a cruise — and spending the entire trip without my luggage. This can actually happen if your checked bag doesn’t arrive with you because options for delivering it to you are, well, slim. What sort of airline delivery service brings it to you on a sea day in the middle of the ocean, after all? Another logistical issue is that the ship’s only in port for a few hours and timing a luggage delivery to the closest airport would be impossible . 

Long story short: Your bag could follow you from airport to airport for an entire week and you’ll never see it. Instead of spending your trip in the clothes you traveled in (or dropping serious cash on a new wardrobe), take my advice and condense your gear to a simple carry-on so you can ensure that your belongings are always with you. 

Haven't mastered the art of carry-on-only packing yet?  Here are the 15 clothing and accessories I bring on every cruise, whether I’m going to Alaska, the Mediterranean in the shoulder season, the Caribbean, or Mexico during winter. Even better, each pick is available at Amazon and prices start at $14.

Havaianas Twist T-bar Sandals 

Choose sandals with ankle straps because, trust me, you do not want to wear thong-style flip-flops for the many hours you’ll explore the ship on a sea day. I used to own a pair of these and wore them until the soles wore out. I am already shopping for my next pair. With the sand gray pair, you could wear it with a flowy, long dress for casual dinners.

Merrell Alverstone 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

However, for shore excursion hikes to natural wonders like Denali National Park or Virgin Islands National Park, you need a pair of comfortable athletic shoes that won’t get ruined if it rains — and you won't want to wear open-toe shoes on these activities as sandals make you more susceptible to ticks and bug bites. My Merrell hiking shoes are sturdy enough that I won’t twist an ankle. I wear these on the plane as they’re my bulkiest shoes, and they come in handy if I have to sprint to my gate on a tight layover.

Lucky Brand Wimmie Ballet Flats

On the topic of shoes, it took me a long time to find a pair of comfy black flats without thick rubber soles (skewing into casual, ugh). Heels take up more space in your luggage and stretchy ballet flats don’t provide arch support. So, what's a cruisegoer to do? I own a pair of these Lucky Brand flats and wear them with dressy slacks, skirts, and dresses for when I’ll be walking a great distance. I can’t wait to pack these for my next cruise.

Dokoto Elegant Casual Button-down Cover-up 

If you’re just bringing a carry-on, I recommend packing only one cover-up — and choosing it wisely. Polyester and rayon materials are only going to cause you to sweat on the Lido Deck. Cotton is preferred as it’s a more breathable fabric. Make sure to opt for a cover-up that can also double as a dress, like this one that's available in 15 solid shades. With the longer length, it'll provide excellent coverage to protect you from the sun and keep you looking put together when you're headed to lunch.

Cupshe Ruffled One-piece Swimsuit 

If you’re only packing one swimsuit, you can't go wrong with a one-piece. This way you can also swim with comfort, whether it’s laps at the pool or snorkeling in the ocean. At Amazon, this Cupshe bathing suit is super cute with supportive ruffled straps and flattering ruching. Its stylish design also allows it to double as a bodysuit under shorts, skirts, trousers, or jeans when you want to switch up your evening wear.

Automat Two-piece Matching Set 

If you’re like me, sea days are for roaming the ship, and logging a lot of steps at that. Instead of yoga pants and a T-shirt, a two-piece lounge set keeps the comfy vacation vibe going strong without looking too sloppy. Plus, the shirt doubles as an extra layer in air-conditioned dining rooms or when you need extra sun protection at the pool.

Zaful V-neck Ribbed Button-up Cardigan

The day before I was to board a river cruise in Burgundy, France, I realized I’d need a sweater for a temperature drop over the next few days. I popped into an H&M on the Champs-Elysées in Paris and bought a chunky-knit, cropped beige cardigan. It’s a near twin to this one from Zaful, which is $36 right now at Amazon. I pack this on cruises as cabins can get chilly. A knee-length cardigan takes up way too much room in your luggage, unless you wear it on the plane.

Zomake Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

When I plan to walk while in port, I pack a bright-orange packable backpack (one that condenses to a small size) that’s different than my personal-item backpack I wore on the flight. This one is very similar to the one I own. It's stocked with plenty of pockets to hold your essentials while you explore, and it’s water-resistant in case you spill a bottle of water inside or it’s raining outside.

Kalidi Beach Mesh Tote Bag

As cute as they are, unless you plan to bring a woven straw beach bag as your purse or carry-on for the flight, it’s better to use a canvas tote bag or foldable beach bag like this one for taking a book, sunblock, sunglasses, and other items to the Lido Deck. Luckily, it's cute and functional enough to double as a beach bag once you're bag home, and you can even get away with using it as a purse while you're cruising.

Tronjori High-waist Wide-Leg Palazzo Pants

It’s nice to have a pair of black. loose-fitting, wide-leg dress slacks to wear to dinner with a tucked-in blouse or cropped top. Without drawstrings or spandex, the pants no longer look like slouchy yoga pants or loungewear. Here, the expandable waistline helps if you swell due to the heat or are indulging at the buffet. Bonus: these are wrinkle-free and easily roll up in your carry-on (but they're comfy enough to wear on the flight if you need to).

Sueani Loose V-neck Bell-sleeve Blouse

Two or three dressy tops are enough for me to mix and match with my not-so-formal pants and skirts. Instead of deciding between my short-sleeved and long-sleeved options, I like to bring three-quarter-length sleeved tops to get the best of both worlds. This top, which comes in 31 solid hues, won over Amazon shoppers with its flattering fit and versatile look. Remember: it's always solid, not patterned when only bringing a carry-on. Trust me, they'll go a long way with the rest of your cruise wardrobe. 

Lilbetter Short-sleeve V-neck Dress With Pockets

For cruises, I pack knee-length over floor-length dresses, even if they’re casual, as that extra fabric multiplied by however many dresses you bring takes up more packing room. This one — with its pockets, short sleeves, and V-neck — could easily segue from strolling in port to sitting down for dinner in a specialty restaurant on the ship. Navy blue would be a fun color to match the nautical surroundings, but it's also available in 29 other colors.

Bloggerlove Rain Jacket Hooded Trench Coat

You’re going to need a lightweight windbreaker for more than a rainstorm. The ship’s top deck can get windy at night, for example. Also, for excursions like viewing the Kenai Fjords in Seward, Alaska, it’s chilly while out on the water. Sadly, my beloved J.Crew windbreaker trench coat is now from several seasons ago, but I found one just like it on Amazon, with an elastic waist for a similar tailored look a hood, and lots of pockets. Plus, it's packable, so you don't have to wear it on the plane or worry about it hogging up space in your carry-on.

Back from Bali Women’s Sheer Shrug Cardigan

Air-conditioned dining rooms on cruise ships can get chilly, so it’s helpful to have a shrug or wrap that doesn’t bulk up your dressy outfit (or take away precious carry-on space). This lightweight cropped cardigan — particularly in the elegant beige hue — can adapt to formal and casual, while also matching with floral and neutral, dark-colored dresses.

Sungait Vintage Round Sunglasses

Don’t pack huge Jackie O-like sunglasses that require a case the size of a small lunchbox. Go for a slim, lightweight pair instead. These tortoise-shell frames would look good on anybody and are affordable enough that if you lose them while on a bumpy catamaran ride, you won’t be out a lot of money. What's more, they're polarized and block 100 percent of the sun's UVB and UVA rays.

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