Balance Catamarans has launched the first Balance 442 in Cape Town, South Africa – the latest performance cruising catamaran in its range.

This follows the launch of the award-winning Balance 482 in May 2021. The Balance 482 has already won three industry awards: Cruising World’s Best Performance Catamaran, Sailing World’s Boat of the Year: Best Multihull, and SAIL Magazine Best Boats Best Multihull Cruising Boat 40-50ft.

Named Umoya by her owners, the first Balance 442 was launched at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Umoya is an isi Zulu word meaning wind. It’s from the drawing boards of Du Toit Yacht Design.

The Balance 442 is built at the Balance Catamarans Cape Town factory,  headed up by second -generation boat builder Mark Delany, whose family has been building catamarans for 33 years. The seas around Cape Town – known as the ‘Cape of Storms’ – are notoriously windy and rough.  Balance Catamarans Cape Town is known for building robust vessels to withstand these seas. The factory also manufactures semi-custom Balance Catamarans over 65 feet, namely the Balance 680 and Balance 750.

The Balance 442 is co-designed by world champion catamaran racer Phillip Berman and award-winning yacht designer, Anton du Toit. The design principle of the Balance 442 is in keeping with the rest of the Balance Catamarans’ range: Her perfect balance makes her not only fast to sail but also spacious and luxurious to live on.

Every design and building element – down to the smallest detail – takes into consideration how it interacts with every other element with a Balance Catamaran. Berman and du Toit are both racers at heart yet have extensive cruising experience. For them, having a catamaran that balances powerful sailing performance with elegance and comfort is non-negotiable.

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The 442 and 482 range were both designed and launched as a result of feedback from Balance customers who wanted the innovation of a Balance in a smaller size and lower price point. Both models have had strong market demand with the Balance 442, placing 30 orders before the first vessel was launched.

“The demand for our high-performance sailing catamarans is unprecedented at the moment,” adds Berman, who notes that around the world – for the majority of builders – catamaran buyers are planning their purchases and builds three- to- four years in advance.

The Balance 442’s layout and features are similar to the 482, the recent winner of three independent juried competitions for best performance multihull. The Balance 442 is expertly crafted in sandwich construction, using E-glass with a PVC foam core and carbon fiber for local support and reinforcement structures. Her forward-raked wave piercing bows and bold contemporary lines contribute to an elegant-looking vessel with great sailing performance.

The Balance 442 has a powerful 75- square meter main sail, meaning she can sail easily even in light airs, while other catamarans are motoring. Many Balance 442 buyers plan to cruise the world, so she is designed to be sailed easily single- or double-handed. Contributing to this are the self-tacking blade jib, helm reefing station, and innovative VersaHelm® design, an important feature on all Balance Catamarans – a breakthrough that has been widely copied in the industry. The permanent up- and- down helm stations and VersaHelm make helming the boat in both fair and inclement weather easy while never losing four-corner visibility at any time.

When the wind gets strong, it is easy for a couple to furl in her headsails and reef her down and keep on sailing. All the Balance 442’s reefing and sail management takes place at the upper helm station. Furling headsails, electric winches and a mainsheet system that operates without a traveller mean that she is easily sailed by sailors lacking racing experience.

The Balance 442 can be ordered either with dual daggerboards or high-performance fixed keels. In dangerous cross seas, with the daggerboards up, the Balance 442 will side-slip to avoid the tripping effect associated with large fin-keeled catamarans. Most of the owners of the vessels on order have opted to go with the daggerboard option.

The configuration of the first Balance 442 is an owners’ version that accommodates up to six people for a long voyage. The starboard hull is the owner’s hull, containing a large cabin in the forward part of the hull together with luxurious heads and an enormous shower in the aft section of the hull. The port hull accommodates four guests in two double cabins, with a shared head and stand-alone shower. A four cabin, eight passenger version is also offered.

The 442’s innovative salon table converts into a queen-sized bed allowing owners to host a fourth couple or kids when sailing in warmer climates.

Balance Catamarans was founded in 2013 and has headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Haverford, Pennsylvania, USA. Balance Catamarans builds a range of semi-production, handcrafted performance sailing catamarans ranging from between 42 to 82 feet.

www.BalanceCatamarans.com or check out Balance Catamarans on its YouTube channel .