Bali 5.4 – the flagship from Catana
During the celebration of the latest La Grande Motte International Multihull Show in France in 2019 (2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic), the brand-new Bali 5.4 catamaran was the winner of the Multihull of the Year award for its great advances in quality and livability.
In Bali’s catamaran range this is the largest model so far, which replaced the previous model - Bali 5.2. It has been chosen as the multihull of the year 2019 by sailors and professionals, in the category between 40 and 60 feet, among a wide variety of models.
Bali is a relatively new name in the world of catamarans. The brand was established in 2014, but behind it was the thirty-year experience of one of the world's most famous multihull builders, Olivier Poncin, and his Catana Group that creates Catana catamarans. The result, by combining Catana's quality with design innovations quickly positioned Bali Catamarans as the industry's leading players. This brand can now surlily compete with other brands that have a long tradition in the charter industry like Fountaine Pajot or Lagoon.
Bali shares similar features with Catana’s typical performance catamarans, they are from the same family after all. However, Bali catamarans were designed to be cruising catamarans and their main characteristics emphasize that. Bali 5.4 brings more living space and comfort not compromising its performance. Designers made a special effort on quality materials and lightweight construction. The construction weight is especially important when you are building a cruiser catamaran that is going to be loaded with all extra equipment that may affect its performance, but the engineers from Bali did a great job.
Luxurious sea living
So, what is it that distinguishes this catamaran from other catamarans in this range and why is it so popular?
In Bali 5.4 catamaran everything is about the space which is ideal for larger families or groups that would like to charter a large catamaran. The living space is so well used that no other catamaran in this range can compete with it.
This model presents distinctive notes such as a living room fully open to stern, without bulkheads that would disrupt the communication between the two spaces, and a lounge area on the bow with direct access from the inside. This makes the entire space seem uninterrupted and integrated. There are the tilting doors, sometimes also referred to as the garage doors, which are actually an innovation with which Bali came on the market a few years ago. This type of door was initially greeted with a dose of skepticism, however, it proved to be an interesting solution and the mechanism was working smoothly. There are the doors in the front as well which, when opened, give the feeling of a floating apartment with natural air conditioning. This kind of open design also facilitates the passage from one part of the boat to another as there is no need to use the narrow side passages. For a cruising boat, one could say this makes total sense.
The huge living room enjoys a large dining table and a fully equipped kitchen that can easily accommodate up to 12 persons. It has a large working surface, many storage cabinets, a big American fridge with an ice dispenser, captain’s table, and access to the immense lounge and sunbathing area in the bow. On this boat, you will certainly not feel crowded even if you are 12. A place to enjoy is visible at every turn so everyone will easily find a corner for themselves.
The most distinctive feature of Bali catamarans that clearly differentiates them from Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot catamarans is their foredeck. Bali catamarans don’t have the usual net that we can see on similar competition models, but instead they have a large lounge area with sun mattresses, cushions, and a folding table. When the table spreads you almost get the same space as in the cockpit of a smaller 40-foot catamaran. This is usually the favorite area for the guests to hang out during the cruising time. To this, we must add a large relaxation area in the flybridge that has formidable dimensions and extraordinary panoramic views. It is spacious enough to be comfortably enjoyed by 10 people.
Bali’s hard foredeck is not just comfortable but it also plays an important role in boat’s design. This feature makes the boat stronger and it adds to the rigidness of the boat, unlike the classical net or crossbeam. The keel is located between the two hulls which reduce pitching and increases seaworthiness. Even the lateral oscillations, those annoying asymmetrical obstacles that catamarans encounter when transversely breaking a wave, are reduced by the fact that the two hulls are more tightly joined into one piece.
Maneuvering the sails is quite simple, and as it is suitable for a crewed boat, the lines are not in the way as they are connected directly with the helm. The boat is equipped with electric winches, so as to make handling simple even with a small crew, and at the same time dedicate more space to living area which includes the flybridge, where other sofas and tables are placed as well as another sink and a fridge. The visibility from the flybridge and from the inside is great.
The sealing system is certainly a challenge for a boat that has two doors, especially since the front door can be particularly exposed to water penetration during severe storms. Water drainage takes place in a very unique and clever way. There is a big scupper system connecting the living room with the foredeck which drains the cockpit in less than 15 sec. 15 seconds is the minimum that needs to be met, and the designers managed to reduce that time to 12 seconds, which is actually 20% better than prescribed.
Since this is a quite large boat, there are many options to arrange the layout. The Bali 5.4 is available with four, five, or six cabins (thus accommodating twelve to fourteen people), as well as two crew quarters in the bow. Each cabin is equipped with a private bathroom. For those who are considering the purchase of a boat for professional purposes, for example for charter, it is interesting to note that the thickness of the bow foredeck and the underlying keel allows the crew berths to be positioned transversely to the boat, making them more comfortable and spacious. The aft cabins are entered from the sides of the cockpit, and the front and center cabins from the saloon. In addition to the upper window, each cabin also has a side window, so it offers an outstanding view of the open space.
Available layout options:
• 4 cabins version: 4 Cabin/ 4 Head
• 4 cabins version: 4 Cabin + 1 Twin / 5 Head
• 5 cabins version: 5 Cabin/ 5 Head
• 6 cabins version: 6 Cabin/ 6 Head
* The boat can have one or two skippers’ cabins which are optional
The area of the flybridge can also be modified according to the wishes of the owner. The position of the two helms in the front is fixed, but the area for socializing can be altered. The owner can choose between having a table in the middle with 8 surrounding chairs and two sofas behind or a table with a large and comfortable corner sofa. Of course, if the owner wants to dedicate the whole area to the captain, the version without furniture is also available.
Since the Bali's flagship is currently their most luxurious boat, it is to assume that it will have a generator as a part of the standard equipment. The generator powers air conditioning, heating, and a dishwasher which is optional. Other systems are powered by batteries and solar panels which are quite useful as they are really effective and powerful. This boat has an impressive water tank of 1200 L, some will argue that this is not so much for such a large boat, however, the water maker is also most often part of the standard equipment. Fuel capacity is 1200 L, whether this is enough or not for a 7-day long charter depends of course on the usage of the generator. There are two possibilities of two-motor engine power, 2 x 60 hp or 2 x 80 hp.
Length overall: 55.10 ft
Beam: 28.60 ft
Draft: 4.90 ft
Ligth displacement: 22 t approx.
Maximum displacement: 28 t approx.
Sail area: 1,689 sq ft
Mainsail area: 1,065 sq ft
Solent: 624 sq ft
Fresh water: 338 US Gal
Fuel: 338 US Gal
Engines: 2 X 60 HP /80 HP