MultiHulls World, the essentials for catamarans and trimarans
MultiHulls World, the essentials for catamarans and trimarans
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REVIEWS Balance 451


Shipyard : BALANCE CATAMARANS / Length : 13.6m

Balance 451 catamaran Hits Her Stride in Florida

As anyone who has raced beach cats knows, Phil Berman, who co-designed the Balance 451 catamaran, is a Hobie Cat World Champion and one of the most prolific writers on the sport. Over the past thirty years he has been involved in the sale of hundreds of cruising catamarans through his catamaran brokerage firm, The Multihull Company. When I learned Berman had decided to design and build his own catamaran brand, I was curious to see what he came up with due to his extensive experience in the industry.

I therefore drove from my home in the Florida Keys to inspect the Balance 451 catamaran at the Miami Boat Show in February 2015 and later sailed hull#3 in Fort Lauderdale this past April.
Immediately upon seeing this catamaran you recognize how truly new and innovative she is, both in design and appearance. The 451's sleek sterns and strongly forward-raked bows give her an aggressive, sports-car like appearance. And her dual dagger-boards, seven foot carbon bowsprit and screecher make it clear this catamaran means business under sail.
According to their website, Phillip Berman and Kiwi Architect Roger Hill set about designing the Balance 451 to achieve the following five objectives:
(1) To design a catamaran that would easily average speeds in the 9 to 11 knot range even when well laden with cruising payloads; 
(2) To create an open and inviting interior that would offer excellent sleeping spaces, high end cabinetry, and a galley-up design that would allow for serious meal preparation;
(3) To make the boat easily single-handed;
(4) To engineer and construct the catamaran for serious blue water voyaging, even in the Southern Ocean where so many ofco-designer Roger Hill’s customers often sail, and finally;
(5) To design a catamaran with simple systems to operate and maintain.

Has the Balance 451 catamaran achieved these objectives?


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Specification sheet Balance 451

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