Best Boats 2016: Bali 4.3

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Cruising Multihull 41-50ft

04-101315BTSC-6520

Bali 4.3

Not so long ago, cruising catamarans were unique simply by their existence, but no more. With such a selection of cats available, we now look for innovative features, efficient hulls, good use of space and easily handled rigs. The Bali 4.3, a production model from the La Rochelle factory of custom builder Catana, has them all.

With a mast set well aft at the 40 percent point, the jib is both sizable and self-tacking, and the mainsail is easy to handle. A big Code 0 sail can fly from the short bowsprit. The hull chines allow for plenty of interior space while at the same time keeping the underwater profile of the boat slim and efficient.

Space overall is remarkable. With a flybridge lounge, a main deck lounge and a solid foredeck lounge, it’s pretty clear that the function of this boat is the opposite of work. The interior living space rivals some modern homes, even boasting a full-size kitchen. The builder calls this its “Loft” concept, presumably with a loft apartment in mind.

When the weather turns sour, a huge garage-type powered door rolls down to enclose the saloon, and a large window forward rises on air lifts to close off the bow, so the area can go from an open porch to a comfy pilothouse in less than a minute. The two sleeping cabins in the hulls are also both exceptionally large.

Naturally, all these powered things require a sizable generator, and the Bali 4.3 at the Annapolis sailboat show came with a nice big one in its starboard engine room. Mechanical access is excellent.

Unlike the Catana line, the Bali has fixed keels instead of daggerboards and a hull of conventional hand-laid glass, without the extensive carbon fiber of the company’s more expensive cats. Nonetheless, for a boat aboard which the focus has clearly been put on comfort, the Bali 4.3 showed a surprisingly good turn of speed. We think it will find an enthusiastic reception in America. bali-catamarans.com
[brightcove videoid="4616442631001" playerid="4343385270001" height="355" width="600" featured="true"]

Related

02-'17-Trans-Atlantic_Downwind-Schralpin

At The Helm: Man Overboard!

Imagine this simple scenario: the boat’s powered up, sailing close-hauled in a building breeze under full sail. I come on deck as the skipper during the watch change to make sure the new crew is comfortable and the boat is properly set up for both the current conditions and ...read more

Promo-01-LEAD-MGR00321

Contrasting X-Yachts & Moody Cruisers

One of the most fascinating things about sailboats is the different ways that sailors, naval architects and builders will approach a single design problem. The result has been a bewildering array of rigs and hull forms over the years, and in the case of the two boats we’ll be ...read more

04-Yacht-anchored-in-front-of-one-of-Lastovo's-gunboat-tunnels-(3)

Cruising Charter to Croatia

As is the case with so much of the Mediterranean, to sail in Croatia is to take a journey through time. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greeks traded amphoras of oil, wine and grain across these waters. During the first millennium, the Romans built lavish palaces and ...read more

m123728_13_01_171012_PMA_02901_9999

Alicante Announced as an Ocean Race Europe Stop

The Ocean Race Europe, a new event in offshore sailing, will include Alicante as one of four stopover cities. This European offshoot of the former Volvo Ocean Race will include the biggest change to the racing rules under the new title—fully crewed IMOCA 60s will join the ...read more

01-LEAD-doublehanded2

Preparing for a Doublehanded Race

A few months ago we took a look at the development and attraction of doublehanded racing (Two to Tango, June/July 2020). Hopefully, that served to whet your appetite. If so, the question becomes: “How do I get started? The good news, as we explained in Part 1, is that if you are ...read more

01-LEAD-Day-three---dolphins.-300-dpi

A Key Approach to Passagemaking

How you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. In addition, some of the most valuable, even crucial attitudes and skills may not be either learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and ...read more

OceanVoyagesInstitute-2048

Point of SAIL: Mary Crowley of the Ocean Voyages Institute

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of the Ocean Voyages Institute, a not-for-profit based in California that has been both educating sailors and working to preserve the health of the world’s ocean ...read more

01-Ocean-Voyages-Institute_PHOTO-READY_1_pg

Tracking and Catching Plastic Waste

Plastic waste—in the form of everything from plastic soda bottles to abandoned fishing nets—constitutes a major threat to the health of the world’s oceans. Giving the immense size of an ocean, though, actually finding all the plastic floating around out there in a time-efficient ...read more