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Balance 451 Hits Her Stride in Florida

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As anyone who has raced beach cats knows, Phil Berman, who co-designed the Balance 451, 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 at the Miami Boat Show in February 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...

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