Bali Catspace debuts in Asia
One of three Bali sailing catamarans introduced in 2020, the 40ft Catspace features brand signatures like the retractable cockpit door and solid foredeck, plus a fun flybridge and up to 10 berths. By Richard Martin.
Conceived by entrepreneur Olivier Poncin, founder of France’s Catana Group, and designed by Lasta Design Studio, the new 40ft Catspace is the result of rapid progression within Bali since the catamaran brand was established in 2014.
Inheriting the elegant style and racy profile of other models in Bali’s fast-expanding range, which currently extends to the flagship 5.4 (55ft), the Catspace has a refined exterior, with soft lines and inverted bows flaring upwards.
Yet more notable is that Bali’s new ace in the pack achieves the remarkable feat of offering a flybridge and up to four double cabins and 10 berths, despite being the brand’s smallest sailing yacht.
The first unit into Asia is set to be unveiled in Hong Kong by local dealer Asiamarine, the model having made her world debut indoors at Boot Dusseldorf in January 2020. So far, the sail cat has met the expectations of new owners and charter clients, says Boris Compagnon, the brand’s Sales Director.
“Our customers are looking for space, to live normally, without a feeling of compromise, comfort that includes autonomy in terms of air-conditioning, fuel and water, and a certain intimacy thanks to the multiplication of different living areas: lazing around, swimming or eating places,” he says. “The Bali Catspace answers all these requests in a 40ft package.”
A rare feature on a 40ft sailing catamaran, the flybridge is accessed by stairways on both starboard and port, the former leading to the helm station. Offset to starboard, the helm offers a 360-degree view of the sea, with the wheel, winches and engine controls within easy reach.
The flybridge has a portside bench seat offering great views for the skipper
The helm features a wide bench seat, suitable for a couple and fitting two friends at a squeeze, while there’s also a bimini for the skipper’s area.
The helm seating is mirrored to port by another bench seat, which offers a nice spot for forward views while cruising and to provide company for the skipper. Both bench seats have drinks holders in the inside armrest.
Behind, the rectangular, full-width sunbathing area is almost entirely ringed by padded backrests and big enough to fit a few people sitting up, or two adults lying down for a nap or to catch some rays. Aft of the sunbathing area is room for large solar panels, one of several options.
The flybridge has two double bench seats and lots of lounging space
In sailing mode, the Catspace is easy to handle with a small crew and is well balanced for sailing in the breeze. And even if speed is not its priority, it can be equipped with an optional asymmetrical spinnaker for better performance.
The Catspace is delivered with two 20hp Yanmars as standard, although the engines can be upgraded to 30hp saildrive transmission with fixed twin-blade propellers.
Bali’s signature solid foredeck offers another open lounging area, which surprises with its space. As well as four sunpads arranged in front of the windscreen, there’s also a wide, sunken forward lounge
with C-shaped seating. Furthermore, sunpads line the bow, allowing for more people to join the party.
Bali’s signature features include a solid foredeck
Aft, the outdoor cockpit features a wide, forward-facing sofa along with the option of a gas grill or plancha in the starboard locker.
Bali doesn’t separate the cockpit and interior like most builders do, due to arguably the brand’s most iconic feature, the ‘tilt-and-turn’ cockpit door, which basically slides up into the ceiling like a garage
In good weather – essentially when it’s warm and dry enough – the door can remain hidden in the ceiling and allow the entire main-deck interior benefit from the sea breeze and open views. Air circulation also benefits from the sliding windows on each side of the saloon, which is remarkably spacious for a 40-footer while cleverly making the most of the ‘open’ design.
An aft-facing L-shaped sofa and a long dining table dominate the port side, and loose chairs can be added for meals. There’s also a sofa to starboard, which means a large group of people can sit on all four sides of the seating area, a nice option for drinks after dinner.
The lounge also has immediate access to another of the Catspace’s popular features, the towering 265-litre refrigerator/freezer on the starboard side. This leads forward to a spacious, open L-shaped galley with great views out of the panoramic windows, which also ensure the whole interior benefits from natural light.
To port is a forward-facing chart table and navigation station. While there’s no forward door to the foredeck, as there is in bigger Bali models, the middle of three forward windows can open, which allows for a through breeze and also communication between people ‘inside’ and those lounging in the foredeck.
FOUR CABINS AND 10 BERTHS
The Catspace lives up to its spacious moniker by offering up to 10 guest berths in four ensuite cabins, typically only found in sailing cats from 42ft or 45ft upwards. Beautifully decorated, modern and using high-quality materials, each cabin has its own bathroom with shower and toilet.
In the four-cabin option, both hulls have matching layouts, with the aft cabin featuring a forward-facing double bed and a bathroom beside the door.
The larger forward cabins each feature a raised, window-facing double bed that’s accessible on both sides up a couple of steps and has bedside ledges for your books, phone and anything else you need at hand. There’s also a fold-out bunk under the hull window – so providing three berths in each of the forward cabins – and a bathroom identical to those in the aft cabins.
A three-cabin version is also available, with the owner’s suite occupying the port hull. The double bed is aft and there’s a sofa, a desk or dressing table, a walk-in dressing room and a large bathroom in the bow with an enclosed shower.
The Catspace has another of Bali’s signature features in the stern, a platform connecting the two skirts that can carry a small tender or toys, then double as a swim platform once it’s clear. A watermaker, folding propellers and solar panels are among the yacht’s many options.
Each forward cabin has the option of a foldout single bed
Well-built and good value, this 40-footer is a real head-turner due to Bali’s user-friendly features, large interior volumes, fun flybridge and remarkable 10 berths, which increases potential charter business even for private owners, who can plump for three cabins if they wish.
The original article appears in Issue 56 of Yacht Style