Multihulls Special 2021: Bali’s rapid expansion
Bali is continuing to disrupt the cruising catamaran industry as features like the ‘Bali door’ and solid foredeck make the French brand increasingly popular in Asia and around the world.
A customised version of the 4.8 will arrive in Asia this year
In comparison to fellow French builders like Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot, Bali is the ‘new kid on the block’, although parent company Catana Group has well over three decades of experience in building fast sailing cats in Canet-en-Roussillon, having launched its first model in 1984.
Owner Olivier Poncin launched the Bali brand of cruising catamarans in 2014 and it has quickly made an impact through its distinctive design innovations. The most notable is the wide, ‘tilt-and-lift’ aft door – or ‘Bali door’ – that slides into the ceiling and converts the cockpit and interior social space into one connected area.
The open saloon on the Bali 4.6 shows the benefits of the ‘Bali door’
Others include the solid foredeck, which notably increases living space and is complemented by a foredeck door on all but the smallest models. Sliding saloon windows, flybridges and huge fridges are other recognisable traits.
Bali’s annual production has steadily risen over the years and having built in the region of 150 units last year, it expects to top that number in 2021, putting it firmly in the top ranks of cruising catamaran builders alongside its more established competitors.
The 4.6 is the newest of the three new Bali models in 2020
However, just as remarkable is how new the range is. Having debuted both the 4.1 and flagship 5.4 in 2018, Bali launched its first-ever powercat, the 4.3 MY, in 2019 before embarking on a head-spinning
roll-out of six new models debuting in 2020 and 2021.
It started at Boot Dusseldorf last year with the world premiere of the Catspace Sail, the brand’s new 40ft entry-level sailing cat. The first Catspace in Asia has already been delivered to her owner in Hong Kong through local dealer Asiamarine and two more units are scheduled to arrive in the city in July.
Hong Kong will welcome more units of the 40ft Catspace Sail
Bali’s new models last year also included the 4.8 (see REVIEW, Issue 59), the brand’s second-biggest catamaran and whose layout options include a remarkable version with six ensuite cabins. Asiamarine has since worked with Bali to develop a specially customised, luxury version that will arrive in this region later this year.
The 4.6, the brand’s third-biggest cat, then rounded out Bali’s new models for 2020, but there was much more to come.
The Bali 4.2 is the brand’s newest sailing cat
This year the brand has continued pushing out new product by launching both the 4.2 and the Catspace MY, the brand’s second powercat model and a slightly smaller, more budget-conscious alternative to the 4.3 MY but with a notably large flybridge. And this autumn, Bali will launch its 4.4, continuing a remarkable period for a company that’s among the disruptors in the sector.
“Bali designs are a new concept in the market, not traditional. Our aim is to focus on producing the best boats we can, produce as comprehensive range as possible and fulfil our owners’ dreams,” says Boris Compagnon, Bali’s Sales Director.
The Bali 4.4 will be the brand’s third new model in 2021
“In Asia, we’re young compared to other catamaran builders, but we already have a good network of dealers. We’re going step by step and we’re happy with sales so far.”
Bali’s Olivier Poncin: Catman
Since launching Bali Catamarans in 2014, Catana Group CEO Olivier Poncin has shaken up the world of cruising catamarans, building a brand that’s challenging the long-established leaders.