Balance Catamarans has launched the first Balance 482 in Cape Town, South Africa – the latest performance cruising catamaran in the Balance Catamarans range.
Named Golden Hour by her owners, she was launched at Cape Town’s prestigious Royal Cape Yacht Club. Present at the launch were Phil Berman, President of Balance Catamarans, Mark Delany, Managing Director of Balance Catamarans Cape Town, Anton du Toit and his team of designers from Du Toit Yacht Design, and the yacht’s new owners.
“It was an exciting day for everyone,” said Berman. “Golden Hour is the first of a strong new line of Balance Catamarans and we couldn’t be more pleased with her. She went right in, we stepped her rig, and bent her sails on the same day and she floated perfectly on her intended lines.”
Built-in the Balance Catamarans Cape Town factory in South Africa, the Balance 482 is expertly crafted in sandwich construction, using E-glass with a PVC foam core and carbon fiber for local support and reinforcement structures. The Balance Cape Town factory is headed up by veteran boatbuilder Mark Delany, who has been building catamarans for 30 years. Here, the Balance 482s are in production as well as the Balance 442s. In addition, the factory manufactures custom Balance Catamarans over 65 feet, namely the Balance 680, Balance 750 Flybridge and Balance 760 XP, and Balance 820.
Like the rest of the Balance Catamarans range, the Balance 482 is built to cope with the rigors of serious Southern Ocean sailing. She is co-designed by world champion catamaran racer Phillip Berman and award-winning yacht designer, Anton du Toit. When Berman and du Toit first worked together on the Balance 526, they set out to produce a catamaran that was very fast, yet practical, robust, easy to sail, and provide voyagers with real comfort. They have achieved this goal and more with the Balance 482, designed to be easily piloted by a couple or single-handed. Berman and du Toit are both racers at heart but with extensive cruising experience. For them, having a catamaran that is both fast and comfortable on-the-water home is non-negotiable.
Due to the extraordinary reception and demand for the 526, together with Balance’s innovative VersaHelm, consumers began asking for smaller models at lower price points. “With that, we sat down,” Berman explained, “and determined we must design, engineer, tool, invest and craft two entirely new models, the new 482 and the 442. With 35 cats already ordered before our first one was launched; we clearly made the right decision. Consumers are thrilled with our designs and enjoying enormously the process of working with us to create a catamaran that fully meets their needs.”
With forward-raked wave-piercing bows and bold, contemporary lines, the Balance 482 offers great sailing performance. She has a powerful 1,432 square foot sail-plan that means she can sail easily even in light airs, while other catamarans are motoring. She is designed to be sailed easily single- or double-handed. Contributing to this are the self-tacking blade jib, reefing station, and innovative VersaHelm design. The permanent up and down helm stations and VersaHelm make helming the boat in both fair and inclement weather easy. When the wind gets really strong, it is easy for a couple to furl in her headsails and reef her down, and keep on sailing. All of the Balance 482’s reefing and sail management takes place at the upper helm station. Furling headsails, electric winches and a mainsheet system that operates without a traveler means that she is easily sailed by sailors without racing experience.
The Balance 482 can be ordered either with dual daggerboards or high-performance fixed keels. The fully retractable dual daggerboards draw less than 3’ 6” inches of water so shallow waters present no impediment to the Balance 482. Upwind performance is dramatically improved with the boards in the down position, while off-wind performance is enhanced with the boards raised. In dangerous cross seas, with the daggerboards up, the Balance 482 will side-slip to avoid the tripping effect associated with large fin-keeled catamarans. Most of the owners of the vessels on order have opted to go with the daggerboard option.
Many hours were spent on the design of the interior of the Balance 482. The vessel represents the Balance ethos: she is both fast to sail as well as spacious and luxurious to live on. The interior sightlines of the 482 are expansive and serve to compliment her superb living ergonomics. Her real wood, foam core handmade interior offers state-of-the-art beds, cabinetry, and bathrooms.
The configuration of the first Balance 482 is an owners’ version that accommodates up to six people for a long voyage. The starboard hull is the owner’s hull, containing a large cabin in the forward part of the hull together with luxurious heads and an enormous shower in the aft section of the hull. The port hull accommodates four guests in two double cabins, with a shared head and stand-alone shower. A four-cabin, eight-passenger version is also offered.
The 482’s innovative salon table converts into a queen-sized bed allowing owners to host a fourth couple or kids when sailing in warmer climates. It is also the perfect place to curl up with a good book or sleep anytime!
The Balance 482 has great flow and openness between the main salon and the cockpit. The salon boasts a large U-shaped galley with more cabinetry than any comparison catamaran of the same size or class.
Wrapping (as opposed to painting) Balance Catamarans is becoming a popular choice. The owners of Golden Hour chose to wrap their vessel, and her bright hulls are a beautiful sight at sea or when berthed. The advantage of a wrap is that the hull design can change easily. That said, a full range of colors are available for those who opt to paint the hulls.
Although the Balance 482 is not a totally custom catamaran, many aspects of her design and options are customizable. Balance 482 owners choose the type of wood they desire for their cabinets, for instance, the flooring they prefer, the countertops, and the fabrics of choice for the saloon couch and bed bolsters. The owners of Golden Hour chose the Zebra wood finish option for the interior of their vessel.
Golden Hour excelled in her sea trails that took place in large swells off Cape Town. “It was amazing on our first test,” said Berman. “A Southern front had just passed, and we left with modest winds and large four-meter swells. She sailed over the worst of the jumbled waters smoothly and performed to our expectations, sailing high to windward and surfing powerfully when reaching. Our owners will see exceptional daily averages on all points of sail yet also be able to carry significant payloads – all the while living on a yacht with enormous space and comfort.”
The Balance 482 is most certainly another highly successful addition to the Balance Catamarans® range.
|Length Overall (LOA)||14.71 m||48.26 ft|
|Length Waterline (LWL)||14.71 m||48.26 ft|
|Beam Overall||7.90 m||25.92 ft|
|Hull Beam||2.30 m||7.53 ft|
|Freeboard (bow)||2.00 m||6.56 ft|
|Freeboard (stern)||1.687 m||5.53 ft|
|Draft – boards up||1.16 m||3.81 ft|
|Draft – boards down||2.20 m||7.22 ft|
|Air draft||21.92 m||71.92 ft|
|Displacement||11500 kgs||25358 lbs.|
|Mast height from deck||19.72 m2||64.70 ft|
|Sail Area – Mainsail||94.47 m2||1016.9 ft2|
|Sail Area – Jib||36.25 m2||390.2 ft2|
|I||Genoa Hoist||17.30 m||56.76 ft|
|J||Base of Foretriangle||4.97 m||16.31 ft|
|P||Mainsail Hoist||17.52 m||57.48 ft|
|E||Foot of Mainsail||7.29 m||23.92 ft|
|Yanmar 4JH45 x SD60||2 x 34 Kw||2 x 45 hp|
|Fuel Capacity||2 x 400 liter||2 x 106 gals|
|Fresh Water Capacity||2 x 390 liter||2 x 103 gals|
|Black Water Capacity||2 x 61 liter||2 x 16 gals|
For any questions about Balance, Catamarans contact Phillip Berman at phil@BalanceCatamarans.com
For more information about the design team, visit: Du Toit Yacht Design
About Balance Catamarans
Balance Catamarans was founded in 2013 and has headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Saint Augustine, Florida. Balance Catamarans builds a range of semi-production, handcrafted performance sailing catamarans of uncompromising quality, ranging from between 42 to 82 feet.
Telephone: + 1 215-508-2704