The Bali catamaran, designed and built specifically with chartering in mind, has become so popular that it’s been hard to keep up with all the new models, hard to spot which one has just the right size and amenities to perfectly fit your group's sailing holiday charter needs.
So we decided to write a short article for our blog. It’s not exhaustive, and it’s not intended to place the Bali above the rest of the cruising catamaran brands in charter. Quite the opposite. The table below forms a snapshot of one popular brand typical of all those out there. We hope it helps you cut through the noise as your selection process begins.
Beginnings of the Bali Catamaran
Bali charter catamarans come from the French boatbuilder Catana Group. Prior to the Bali’s appearance, Catana had carved a name for their true blue-water cruiser, boats with dagger boards and large sail plans.
Recognising these boats were not ideal for holiday chartering, and to meet the growing demand in this new leisure travel sector, Catana set its designers to work on a craft that was specifically designed an built with chartering in mind. The Bali is the result - a new sort of cat, one that emphasised living space and ease of helming for the modern leisure sailor with family and friends along on vacation.
That's not to say the other catamaran manufacturers were not already offering new charter boat options. The likes of Lagoon, Leopard and Fountaine Pajot were equally developing ranges to meet market demand, and through the 2000s some fabulous cruising cats suitable for charter began coming into service.
So many Bali cats in an expanding market
Bali's innovations gave them a footing in the fast-growing sailing vacation market of the early 2010s and success has bred success. Catana have launched so many Bali models in the ensuing decade that it is often quite challenging to convey differences in models, differences often subtle but important in our drive to ensure our boat recommendations are the right ones.
In 2014 The first Bali model hit the water - the four-cabin 4.5, appearing on the books of charter operators in the Mediterranean and Caribbean before spreading elsewhere. There was a new name in our vocabulary, and it fast became a frequently used one.
In the years since, we have added all Bali models to our charter offerings as they have progressively been introduced to the market. Our collection now stands at nine current and five older models ranging from 11 metres (37ft) to 16.4 metres (54 feet), from versions with two double cabins to six, and with a motor boat for those who prefer power to sail. All are available for bareboat charter with or without skipper, and there are a number of 5.4s in charter fully crewed.
The original Bali, the 4.5
An early Bali at the Boat Show
A summary of Bali catamarans for charter
With boats dating back to 2014 and three completely new models in the 2020’s, our Bali selection now appears as follows:
|Bali Model||Still in production||In charter since||Accommodation (subject to variation)||Notes|
|Catsmart||Yes||2022||4 doubles with bathrooms||37 footer. Twin aft helms open up the living space|
|Catspace||Yes||2020||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bunk||With flybridge helm. Replaced the 40-foot 4.0|
|Catspace Motor Yacht||Yes||2020||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bunk|
|4.0||No||2015||4 doubles with bathrooms, 2 bow (external)||Most recent models 2016 - 2019 available|
|4.1||No||2018||4 doubles with bathrooms, 2 bow (external)||Most recent models 2018 - 2020 available|
|4.2||Yes||2021||4 doubles with bathrooms||Replaced the 4.1 & 4.3 Loft to merge saloon & cockpit into one space with the 'Bali door". Same layout as the 4.4|
|4.2 Loft||Yes||2014||4 doubles with bathrooms||Launched as the 4.3|
|4.3 Loft||No||2015||4 doubles with bathrooms||Few if any left in charter|
|4.3 Motor Yacht||No||2019||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bow (external)||Most recent models 2019-2020 available|
|4.4||Yes||2022||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bow (external)||Replaced the 4.5 at same length. First and smallest with door from forward saloon to foredeck|
|4.5||No||2014||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bow (external)||Models from 2018 have option of raised helm or flybridge. Most recent models 2019-2020 available|
|4.6||Yes||2020||4 doubles with bathrooms, 1 bunk. 2 singles if reqd. in bow (external)||Introduced to match the 5 cabins of the popular FP Saona 47 5-cabin version|
|4.8||Yes||2020||6 doubles all with bathrooms. 2 singles if reqd. in bow (external)||The most compact cat with up to 6 interior cabins sleeping 12|
|5.4||Yes||2018||4 - 5 doubles + 1 twin, all with bathrooms. 2 singles if reqd. in bow (external)||Range of cabin options including singles. All doubles/twins have ensuites.|
Notes re cabin numbers:
Most Bali models include the option of fewer cabins than itemised above. Those boats are Owner’s Versions, with one large cabin fully occupying a hull. In charter, the higher number of cabins listed for each model, as above, is the standard and are a significant majority of the options available at any given time.
Bow cabins are small singles, normally used by crew if engaged.
View all our Bali Catamaran listings by going to our Homepage and simply typing Bali in the Keyword Search field.
Six-cabin layout on the 5.4, Bali's largest
Bali's newest and smallest model, the Catsmart
Making your choice of catamarans for charter
All of these Bali catamarans are listed on our website in the destinations they operate. There are many factors in setting prices and older does not necessarily mean cheaper. Furthermore, there are many cats in charter from other boatyards that can undoubtedly be considered alongside the Bali boats.
If you are considering a great all-round catamaran with modern innovations for charter in any of our destinations, we hope this guide provides a practical overview of one popular brand. The next step is to talk to us for full details of the options that best suit your group, and informed comparisons for making your choice. Book your ideal sailing holiday charter catamaran, and then just go sailing!