The Balance 526 Winner of Cruising World Magazine's 2017 Import Boat of the Year and best multi-hull over 50 feet.
The initial inspiration for the Balance 526 came from our passion to design and build – from the ground up – the finest performance voyaging catamaran for a couple or small family who really want to go places in speed and comfort yet carry significant cruising payloads.
Prices for the 526 start at $1,450,000. All prices are FOB Cape Town, South Africa.
Note: 526 hulls number 7, 8 and 9 are sold and under fabrication. To learn more about our next available hull and when she can commence and complete, please contact us.
SAILING MADE EASY
With the Balance 526 there is never a need to wait for crew. We’ve designed her to be easily piloted single-handed. Our self tending blade jib, reefing station, and innovative Versa-helm Trademarked design now make it possible for almost anyone to single-hand our catamaran safely in any sort of weather.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
We designed the Balance 526 to be as simple to operate and maintain as possible. You want to go sailing, not hang around marina’s cajoling contractors to repair your overly complex systems. We have worked overtime to design the simplest, most bullet- proof wiring, plumbing, and mechanical systems possible. We’ve chosen the vendors who produce the best and most reliable products because nothing second best is good enough for us.
The 526 sports fully retractable dual dagger-boards, drawing less than 3’ 6” inches of water when retracted. Shallow waters are no longer off limits. Upwind performance is dramatically improved with the boards in the down position, while off wind performance is enhanced with the boards raised. In dangerous cross seas, with the “boards up,” the 526 will side-slip to avoid the tripping effect associated with large fin keeled cats.
VERSA HELM DESIGN
The first of its kind in catamaran design, our all-weather Versahelm design blends the best of both worlds for serious voyagers. In fair weather you open up the sliding hard top and sail upstairs in open air. In inclement weather you close the hardtop and drop our cantilevered wheel into the aft cockpit. From here you pilot in total protection looking through our large vertical salon windows. The down position enables you to see all four corners of the yacht for docking and offers a safe, warm and comfortable place to sit watch and pilot the 526 in any sort of weather. Sailing must be fun whenever it can be but warm and safe went it cannot. To see how it works, visit balancecatamarans.com
Fatigue is the start of every crisis when voyaging and at Balance Catamarans we design our yachts to fight this threat at every turn.
LIGHT, STRONG AND SAFE
Speed is safety provided your yacht is engineered and built to stand up to the worst weather nature delivers. The Balance 526 is strong, but also light. She 526 weighs less than 13.5 tons equipped for voyaging. She is built using a combination of E-glass, Carbon, Closed Cell Foam, Composite Bulkheads and the entire laminate structure is Epoxy. If there is a need to run from weather, or position away from it, the Balance 526 will take you safely where you need to go with alacrity. Fast, rugged, unsinkable.
The 526 will obtain top speeds in excess of 27 knots (One of our owners has already proven this to us!). Our primary aim, however, was to design catamarans which will sustain high average speeds, fully laden, without being hard-pressed. The 526 was designed to sustain speeds between 10 and 12 knots over 24-hour periods. With several of them now already sailing this has been proven, including one 526 owner who averaged over 11 knots in a four day period.
SEA KINDLY, HIGH CLEARANCE, HEAVY PAYLOAD CARRYING HULLS
The 526 was designed carefully to center the weights as much as possible to dampen fore and aft pitching. She carries a sharp, high bow to pierce the seas and high under-wing clearance to avoid slapping and pounding. No protrusions or chines are found in our hulls. They are “pure-form” shapes that inhibit drag, increase speed, and reduce sea-induced motion. Our hulls also minimize drag regardless of the payloads you carry. As payloads grow so too does the beam of our hulls, increasing hydrodynamic drag incrementally for the loads you need to carry. Unlike so many flat sided performance cats that sail smartly when empty but slow dramatically with loads, the 526 will only see marginal speed degradation when loaded for cruising.
360 DEGREE INSIDE-OUTSIDE VISION
In keeping with modern design the 526 aft cockpit and salon floors are on the same level, increasing the openness of the salon to the aft cockpit to provide amazing visibility in all directions whether inside or outside. Our salon carries over 6 feet 8 inches of headroom and high, vertical windows to present a panoramic vision of the world outside. No matter whether you are standing or sitting in the salon, or the aft cockpit, you will be connected to the sea. This not only makes piloting the boat safer, but living more pleasant.
REEFING AND LINE HANDLING MADE EASY
The Balance 526 reefing station enables a single handed sailor to hoist, reef, and trim the mainsail and genoa with ease. At Balance we believe reefing and sail handling should be managed as near as possible to the primary helm station in a dedicated work area. Our design places all of the winches and stoppers in the ideal location for ease of use. Raising the mainsail, reefing, and adjusting the sheets has never been easier. No more reaching up or over winches in contorted postures to lift or close a stopper. No more spaghetti piling up on the floor or tripping over throttles or instruments. Our line storage systems are the best ever devised. Nobody has thought through these issues with the intensity of our design and build team to finally achieve a solution to these persistent design flaws found on dated bulkhead helm designs.
HEAT RESISTANT DESIGN WITH MASSIVE NATURAL VENTILATION
The 526 salon roof carries a brow over her large vertical windows to reduce heat buildup inside the salon. In hot tropical locations you no longer need to cover your salon windows with UV covers or constantly run the air conditioning. We’ve set a new bar in natural air flow with our unique “Forced-Air-Dorade” hatches that power air from the forward cabins aft in the most efficient and cleverly designed manner yet devised. We’ve also designed as many of our hatches and port-lights to be left open in a tropical downpour.
Balance Catamarans, and VersaHelm, are protected trademarks of Balance Catamarans LLC.
Visit us at balancecatamarans.com
Founded by World Champion catamaran racer and author Phillip Berman, Balance Catamarans are the finest high-performance adventure catamarans on the planet.
After managing the sale of hundreds of catamarans over the past decade – new and used – we’ve learned how catamarans are built, how they break and fall apart, how they sail in the most dangerous conditions, which systems tend to work and fail, and how they are “really” used by sailors.
We’ve concluded that none of the catamarans currently offered by the major production builders are ideally suited to the needs, budgets, and performance expectations of today’s committed liveaboard voyagers. The catamaran market has simply focused too much on the charter trade and lost the ideal balance of performance, comfort, quality, and practical seamanlike features required by serious sailors.
Balance Catamarans result directly from the enormous fund of experience we have gained through sea trials, numerous builds and designs, owner feedback and the collective result of millions of blue water miles. There really is no substitute for experience and the direct relationships we have had, both individually, and with hundreds of catamaran sailors, has given us the invaluable feedback we’ve relied upon in the design of each Balance Catamaran that we build.
Balance Catamarans was founded in 2012 and has launched four 60 footers, nine 45 footers, six 52 footers, and one 76 footer. Our catamarans are sailing on every major ocean in the world and have met with critical praise by every major yachting publication. The Balance 526 was the winner of Cruising World Magazines 2017 Import Yacht of the Year (the grand prize) as well Best Multihull Over 50 feet. To learn all about these truly exceptional yachts, we encourage you to visit our website: balancecatamarans.com
The interior of the 526 is customer choice. We currently offer five specific design ethics a customer may choose from or they can hire their own interior designer and will build to suit. To see the five interior design ethics Balance offers, please visit balancecatamarans.com
Contact - Phillip Berman
The Multihull Company Philadelphia Office