The Balance 526 was the star of the Miami Boat Show this past February, turning heads and eliciting praise from all quarters of the industry. She’s a stunning high-performance catamaran that represents the exciting rebirth in South Africa of the high-end, labor-intensive, epoxy/ carbon build techniques first employed by Gunboat in Cape Town in the mid-2000s.
In addition to being a yacht of the finest quality, the Balance 526 helm station design breaks significant new ground. The new ‘Versahelm’ design of the Balance 526 is so elegant, wise and functional one wonders why nobody thought to do it before on a catamaran. This helm station concept will surely be copied over and over again in the next generation of blue water catamarans. It makes it possible to sail in total comfort and protection no matter how nasty the weather gets, yet offers all the joys and pleasures of sailing when the weather is inviting.
The initial inspiration for the Versahelm came from multihull racer, author, and yacht broker Phil Berman, owner of The Multihull Company. The fine points of the design were drafted in a close partnership with Cape Town naval architect Anton du Toit and esteemed South African catamaran builder Jonathan Paarman.