Fresh from the drawing board of Kiwi naval architect Roger Hill and multihull author and designer Phillip Berman comes the Balance 451, a blue-water performance cruising catamaran designed and built to restore balance to the catamaran universe.
If you’ve been frustrated by the sailing performance of the current crop of production charter cats, or displeased with the cramped and uninviting living spaces of the racers, the Balance 451 is the catamaran for you. She is designed to strike the ideal balance between comfort at anchor and performance underway. She’s fast, strong, safe, extremely comfortable to live on, simple to operate, and easy to maintain and sustain.
After a round of test trials on prototypes in Australia and meetings together in New Zealand in 2012, Hill and Berman set out to create the ultimate performance cruising catamaran for a liveaboard couple.
The Balance 451 is an evolution of the now discontinued Hill designed 421. She has a narrower hull fineness ratio, sharper and longer bows and sterns, and carries dual high aspect ratio dagger-boards as well as two shallow fixed mini-keels to protect her rudders and sail drives.
In order to sustain maximum performance under sail yet still clear fixed 65-foot fixed-coastal bridges, Hill and Berman worked to make the Balance 451 more easily driven under sail or power than the 421. They did not want to raise the rig, they just wanted to make the 451 that much faster. To do so, they elected to shave her weight, make her narrower and longer, and designed the most powerful mainsail possible. To avoid the difficulty of attaching and detaching a fat-head mainsail Hill and Berman designed a longer boom and mainsail. Bob Pattison at Neil Pryde Sails then went to work to redesign the new mainsail for maximum roach and power.
While the Balance 451 is nearly four feet longer she weighs, amazingly, nearly the same as the Balance 421 with fixed keels.
So how did we do it? One innovation was to design an entirely new hardtop bimini made of ultralight weight foam core composite. Another was to build all her bulkheads, and floors, in pre-preg foam core epoxy panels. Another was to use only vinylester resins and foam cores in her hulls and decks, to use carbon fibre in key areas, and to replace the fixed keels with light weight, buoyant, high aspect ratio dagger-boards. Another step was to produce all large tables in foam core, to CNC route and produce foam core drawers and cabinets. The end result is just a leaner, faster, more easily driven catamaran, under power or sail, than the Balance 421, which was already a very high-performing boat for her length and interior volume.
We’re certain we’ve created the fastest yet most spacious and commodious mid-size performance production catamaran on the market today. The quality of the Balance 451 is yacht grade in every respect and immediately evident to anyone who visits our factory or inspects one of our yachts at an upcoming boat show.
For those who really yearn to sail, who – in fact – love to sail, who care if they can sail well on all points of sail, who need to know they can count on their boat no matter how nasty the weather, the Balance 451 is the boat for you.
“Judging by the workmanship I examined the 451 is first class in every respect.”
“The Balance 451 is a boat that click off some serious 24-hour runs on passage”
“The 451’s sleek sterns and strongly forward-raked bows give her an aggressive, sports-car like appearance. Her dual daggerboards, seven foot carbon bowsprit and screecher make it clear this catamaran means business under sail.”