Best bluewater multihulls: Balance 526 and 482

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South African catamaran builders Balance launch new 482, while Balance 526 earns place in our list of best bluewater multihulls, by Toby Hodges and François Tregouet

Balance is a clever name for these catamarans, which target that elusive balance of comfort, speed and space, characterized by the Balance 526.

Founded in 2013 by Phillip Berman, Balance is headquartered in Florida and a shipyard in South Africa.

After selling hundreds of brokerage catamarans, Berman found most cruising catamarans too slow, but felt that performance cats did not have the proper quality of life for long-term travel. Thus, Libra was born.

The Libra 526 was launched four years ago. Designed to suit sailors with small crews and families looking to cover long distances, it can carry large payloads and promises easy maintenance. Looks good too – the Libra 526 was our cover star in the September issue of World of yachting, which presents our list of the best bluewater multihulls.

Berman’s Versahelm design is a key feature. Cantilever wheels, allowing the coxswain to steer from the outside with clear sight lines, or from the hardtop protection of the aft cockpit. The helm seats and platforms also adjust for optimum forward views.

The constructions involve infused or vacuumed epoxy, carbon reinforcements, composite foam partitions and foam core furniture. The Balance 526 is available with retractable daggerboards or fixed keel options.

The first Balance 482 launches this fall and features sloping wave piercing bows and fin or fixed keel options.

The new Balance 482 catamaran

She carries 1,432 square feet of canvas, with a jib and reefing station designed to facilitate the handling of sails with a small crew.

Balance 526 price

Excluding VAT : US $ 1.54 million

Read our full list of the best bluewater multihulls of all time.


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