Best of the rest
Privilege Serie 5
Craftsmanship and semi-custom build are the calling cards of French brand Privilege Marine. The yard may have increased its efficiency under the ownership of the Hanse Group, but don’t expect anonymous production line boats. The team will incorporate whatever finish and features you desire.
First out of the shed under Hanse’s watch is the Serie 5 – the brand’s entry-level cat. She offers a big hull with plenty of volume, but with lines by racing veteran Marc Lombard she won’t be slow. The accent is on stability for a rounded bluewater performance.
The bulkhead helm station helps keep the weight lower and is well-connected to the social space of the cockpit. The distinguishing feature is the ‘nacelle’ structure between the bows, which creates a huge volume entirely devoted to the master cabin.
Price: from €995,000
Contact: Privilege Marine
The latest in Bali’s range picks up on many of the attributes that made a success of the smaller Bali 4.0. Cruising comfort remains the key characteristic of this catamaran, with lots of social space and comfortable cabins.
Bali, owned by the Catana Group, is unique in the cat market for connecting its two hulls fore and aft with a rigid deck, rather than dropping a deck on top of deck beams. The skirts of the two transoms are bridged by a solid piece of GRP, and the area where the trampoline would usually be is half turned over to a foredeck lounging and eating area.
There are no centreboards to worry about – the boat relies on stub keels to keep her sliding forwards rather than sideways. This means less performance to windward, but easier handling. A forgiving package, offered with either three or four en-suite cabins.
Price: from €294,800
Contact: Bali Catamarans
Unveiled in 2017, the Lagoon 50 plugs the gap between the 52 and the 450. It has been given a new look on deck, with a slight bevel to the top of each hull, huge portlights and even more glass around the saloon. There’s an easier-to-handle rig with shorter boom, high-aspect main, self-tacking jib, and all lines lead back to the flybridge helm station. Designer VPLP has also moved the mast a little aft to reduce pitching.
As with all Lagoons, comfort, simplicity and ease are the keywords. The flybridge features comprehensive lounging space, and there’s a large cockpit with modular dining options. Another seating area exists between the saloon windows and the foredeck trampoline.
The saloon is on two levels, with a retractable windscreen, and the hulls can be configured with anything from three to six double cabins.
Price: from €550,800
Is it a catamaran or a monohull? Meet Futura 49
Buy a catamaran, but pay the berthing costs of a monohull. This is the idea behind the variable width Futura 49, launched a few months ago at La Grande Motte. But between the theory and the practice is a huge gulf, and it has taken designers Uli Bullmer and Gerhard Euchenhofer more than four years to bridge that.
The result of their labours with naval architects at Judel/Vrolijk is a craft with a beam of 7.98m in sailing mode, shrinking to 4.93m in ‘parking’ mode. The key to the system is the twin carbon cross beams that provide the stability for the electric motors to pull the two hulls together.
It has something of the true catamaran to it: the two hulls serve solely as floats, with no accommodation inside, while all the living is done on the platform that connects them. The Polynesians would have approved. Removing the living space from the hulls has allowed them to be more hydrodynamic.
Futura has created a large superstructure that runs much further forward than it does on fixed cats. The dark wraparound windows contain a space that is divided up to form cabins at the forward end, with a galley and dining space at the stern opening onto the aft deck. The helm station is set into the coachroof, to starboard, with the winches mounted between seats, plus a big sunpad.
Anything from one to four cabins are optional. Note that the chart table is just a fold-down surface in the saloon, with no forward view and very limited side visibility. If the 49 proves successful – there is already a charter unit available in Croatia with Pitter Yachting – Futura plans to expand the range.
Price: from €629,000
Contact: Futura Yacht Systems
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