Boatandboats magazine - BALI 4.5
BALI 4.5: COMPLETE SEA TRIAL
BOATS, SEA TRIAL / / Oct 20, 2016 Stampa l'articolo
Some time ago, we tested the first Bali 4.0 arrived in Italy; now, it’s the turn of new Bali 4.5. Bali boats are produced by Catana, a leading brand in the world of catamarans, even though, in this case, the focus is on a larger target involving customers usually interested into motor boats.
A successful idea if you consider that Bali number 100 has just been delivered only 25 months later the first launch.
Bali 4.5, just 14 metres long, is surprisingly comfortable and easy-to-steer, available at a very tempting price. She’s built in the establishments of Catana/Bali in Canet en Roussillon (where also larger catana boats, from 47 up tp 70 feet, are produced). But the group has three other seats: in Marans, near La Rochelle
(where Catana 42, Bali 4.3 and 4.0 are produced), Tolone (the seat of the brokerage department and the large custom-made models) and in Tunisia, where four-cabin-Bali 4.0 is produced, generally for charter companies.
Unlike Bali 4.3, this boat is available in both Flybridge and Bimini version. In the first case, the external helmsman’s seat is chair-mounted on the superstructure. In the second one (the version we tested) what you can see is also the helmsman’s head, in addition to the central saloon.
Let’s start from the bow. Here, a rigid bridge is equipped with an additional dinette, two tables for 8 people in total and a huge sunbathing surface. This latter is not only a very comfortable and relaxing area but it also guarantees a great structural stability which allows Bali to convert into the exclusive motor version (with more powerful engines, of course) with no problem.
Like in the astern cockpit, some lockers hidden under the seats offer much stowage room, while the anchor line is located at the mast foot with a subsequent great functionality. Much space to sunbathe and seat translates into a myriad of pillows and backrests: if you want to place or remove all of them, take a day off… Moreover, an additional sunbathing surface can be arranged on the fly bridge.
Large gangways and three stepladders leading to the upper deck allow passengers and crew to move easily aboard. Among these stepladders, one starts from left hull, another one from the starboard side, while the third one leads to the wheelhouse.
The astern cockpit houses a L-shaped sofa, a lunch table and a chaise longue. The astern handrail leaves room for a wonderful diving board. Unlike Bali 4.0, this boat hasn’t adopted the smart lifting astern hatch which hides under the superstructure.
Here, the main character is the huge central salon which houses a chart table, a covered lunch area and a kitchen. The captain’s corner is well-arranged, large enough and enjoying an almost 360-degree view.
We particularly liked kitchen, partially for its long U-shape balcony on the astern cockpit (glass can go down into the bulkhead), partially for its wide fridge, equipped with a freezer, which makes you immediately imagine very long cruises. Good the central salon, too, thanks to the possibility to low even the front part of the windscreen, which guarantees a perfect ventilation and a direct communication with the fore cockpit.
The boat we tested had three cabins and two bathrooms. We slept on Bali 4.5 and spent a whole day aboard. Beds are excellent: comfortable thick mattress, huge sizes, great height. Beds are accessible only from their foot but the low height of floor and some steps on the corners give a hand.
In this version, the left hull is entirely dedicated to the shipowner. In the middle, there’s an office, flanked by a huge bathroom. Almost exaggerate the volumes in the wardrobes and lockers. The right hull, on the contrary, houses a second large astern cabin and a smaller fore one. In the middle, a second bathroom, accessible from the mid-boat and not from cabins. As an alternative, you can choose a version with three cabins and two bathrooms or even four cabins and four bathrooms (this is the version usually preferred by charter companies)
Can a catamaran be a perfect holiday machine? Undoubtedly, Bali 4.5 is comfortable, large, stable, really arranged for living like at home and perfect to enjoy sea and diving.
But what about performances in case of wind and little rough sea?
We tested the boat with a 16-knot east wind, gusts up to 20 knots, cross and really annoying sea.
So, not the ideal conditions to sail off; maybe, a family man wouldn’t have left the port.
Roll is considerably low, we’d say a calm tremor. You should get used to but it’s not annoying. To take our photos, we walked up and down and comfort is good: gangways are wide and there are handholds everywhere. Just to be clear, glasses don’t fall and you can cook some pasta with no risk. Cabins, too, are very comfortable and they offer a breath-taking view on the sea.
With a 15 or 16-knot-crosswind you can sail at 7.7 knots. Like any multihull, she doesn’t like sailing close to wind and, especially with this annoying wave, going beyond 55/60° is not recommended (in this case, speed is 7.2 knots).
Good the console and the electric winch, together with the transparent bimini cover which allows to see the mainsail.
Basic version is pushed by 2 x Volvo Penta 40 HP engines for a 8.5-knot-cruising speed (2,500 revolutions/mmin). The maximum speed reaches
Not bad, even though the version equipped with 2 x 55 HP engines (€ 5,200) can represent a clever choice.
The two engine rooms are the materialization of every mechanic’s dream for their sizes and accessibility.