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Old 20-03-2019, 04:35   #1
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Bali 4.0 / 4.1

My wife and i are looking for a retirement cat to spend considerable time aboard soon, mostly island hopping in the Caribbean. We have boated all our lives, but this will be our first blue water boat. Putting aside your thoughts on whether this is a good idea for us (I know many are tempted to weigh in on whether this is smart without knowing much about us), we are particularly interested in the Bali 4.1. I am surprised at how few reviews are online - here or elsewhere - by those who actually own them, or at least have spent considerable time aboard. I have seen the walkaround videos from boat shows, and videos by brokers trying to sell these boats, but I am particularly interested in reviews by those who can point to the pros and the cons. Anyone own a 4.0 or 4.1 who can tell me what they like and dislike about it? Is the garage door a plus, or a disappointment? Is the boom really too high, or a non-issue? Does the fridge consume too much energy? Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 20-03-2019, 10:15   #2
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Overall their build quality leaves quite a bit be desired.
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Old 20-03-2019, 11:00   #3
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Wiley,
Thank you for the reply. Can you elaborate on the build quality deficiencies? Also, have you sailed one, and can you address the other questions I posed, such as the utility of the loft door, etc.?
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Old 20-03-2019, 13:13   #4
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

I had a look on the 4.0 and 4.3 last year and the garage door mechanism looked very cheap and of very poor quality, in fact there were huge gaps at the top right and top left of the door and it was very flimsy when opening and closing, and not a very smooth mechanism.

The boom is Indeed very high and that perhaps removes some of the blue water capability or at least adds risk.

The fore deck is simply brilliant in my view and has loads of usable space and adds a nice space to be.

Wanting a second look we went to boot in Dusseldorf in Jan this year, the lady manning the front desk asked if we had an appointment, we did not (the uk broker was not there) but since we could only see 5 people looking on the boat we did not think it was a problem, but we were wrong. We were sharply told that there was no chance we could look at the boat at any of the two days we were there for. Customer service is worse than terrible, I don't think they give two cares for potential customer service, and I've been left thinking that they certainly don't have the quality product in order to be stuck up and treat people like dirt.
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Old 20-03-2019, 18:19   #5
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

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Originally Posted by BlueSkyOne View Post
I had a look on the 4.0 and 4.3 last year and the garage door mechanism looked very cheap and of very poor quality, in fact there were huge gaps at the top right and top left of the door and it was very flimsy when opening and closing, and not a very smooth mechanism.

The boom is Indeed very high and that perhaps removes some of the blue water capability or at least adds risk.

The fore deck is simply brilliant in my view and has loads of usable space and adds a nice space to be.

Wanting a second look we went to boot in Dusseldorf in Jan this year, the lady manning the front desk asked if we had an appointment, we did not (the uk broker was not there) but since we could only see 5 people looking on the boat we did not think it was a problem, but we were wrong. We were sharply told that there was no chance we could look at the boat at any of the two days we were there for. Customer service is worse than terrible, I don't think they give two cares for potential customer service, and I've been left thinking that they certainly don't have the quality product in order to be stuck up and treat people like dirt.


Düsseldorf is in Germany. Some Germans are as sweet and fun while others have the potential to live up to the stereotype at any moment.
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Old 21-03-2019, 08:38   #6
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Dream Yacht Charters rents these for bareboat. Try before you buy.
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Old 21-03-2019, 08:50   #7
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

We just bought a catamaran after a year of doing most of the major shows in the USA and Europe. The Bali 4.0/4.1 was on the list, although we ended up choosing a Nautitech for our program. You will only find about deficiencies from people who actually own one, and everybody at every show was more than willing for us to visit extensively (although Dream Yacht being the Bali booth in Annapolis and Miami... They try to sell you a charter catamaran instead of an owner's boat). After extensive research, I can attest to the fact that the quality is relatively equivalent for all mainstream cruising catamaran (Leopard, Fountaine Pajot, Bali, Lagoon, Bali, etc.). They all have their pluses and minuses, the choice comes down to choosing the right boat for your program. On our side, the reasons for excluding Bali was because our program is going to take us across oceans and to remote places, in which case we could not live with the helm station and a power hungry fridges. But our program was only in the caribbean, it would have stayed on the list until the end. I certainly don't want to pretend that the right choice for us will be the right choice for you, and Bali are really nice boats, but if you want to read about what went through my mind as we were going through the process, you'll find it here: https://oxalisborealis.com/choosing-...itech-open-40/
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Old 21-03-2019, 13:39   #8
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

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Originally Posted by jmondl View Post
Wiley,
Thank you for the reply. Can you elaborate on the build quality deficiencies? Also, have you sailed one, and can you address the other questions I posed, such as the utility of the loft door, etc.?
I had one listed for a period in time, and it was lost during hurricane Irma. To be honest, I was somewhat relieved when I lost the listing.

I did get the boat out sailing for a video shoot, and the sailing was nothing to write home about. Although, that didn't surprise me due to the high boom and relatively small sail area.

- It seemed like every time I showed the boat there was an issue with the garage door, and I needed to get one of the guys from Dream to help me.

- The woodwork was ok at best, and sloppy in the worst parts. The steps going up to either weather deck was an example of how bad it could be.

- The self tacking jib is great in theory, but because of poor deck layout the tack of the head sail/sheet beat the front of the boat up.

- The fixtures and the fridge were not marine grade, and badly pitting in less than 1.5 years.

I've had the opportunity to list a few Bali's since listing the 4.3, and I've declined the opportunity. As a commission only yacht broker I think that should tell you something... Putting this out there will probably not help me list or sell any Bali's, I'm ok with that.
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Old 22-03-2019, 00:55   #9
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Like many other replies on this forum, this is my opinion and experience with the Bali 4.0. We have been chartering and sailing Cats for the last 10 years from St Thomas to Grenada. Eastern Carrebean only. I have only lived on Cats for one to two weeks at a time. We have sailed 38-46 foot cats from Leopards, Lagoons, Fontaine Pajot, Catanas. We sailed a Bali 4.0 in Dec 2018 out of Martinique for the 1st time. We loved the garage door concept at first. We kept it open (against manufacturers recommendation) for our passages . I enjoyed the cat but not the height of the boom. Way too high to safely deal with in open water. Nice lounging area up front but some slapping while under way. The fridge I understand was a power hog but not a concern on a rental.
-I just secured another Bali 4.0 for December 2019 charter out of St Martin. I am looking to purchase a Catamaran in 2020 but it will not be the Bali.
Cons: No trampoline causes some slapping. Horrible layout for the Windlass and bridle. Boom too high ( for me). Garage Door takes away from the cockpit ambiance and the separation from the galley/salon. Power consumption on fridge I am told is a hog.
Pros: great boat for a short stay with friends. Great boat to charter but not to live on in my opinion.
Good luck with your search. I would recommend you look at a Maestro Version Fontaine Pajot or I also like the Leopards. I can’t wait to officially be ready to make offers next year.
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Old 22-03-2019, 09:21   #10
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Bali 4.5 was on my short list too but I went for a Leopard 45. At a sea trial a Bali was out at the same time and was no match for the Leo. I think it’s a nice vessel while on anchor but you have to get there. Finally a friend insisted not to go for a Bali, he is a cat professional and his points were convincing that the bow construction is no good choice for blue water sailing. So I am happy with my decision.

I have checked the garage solution too (not on the 4.5) but it seems to be cheap and not a smart solution for long distance sailing. What if it jams in remote places, can’t close the vessel? I did not like it at all.
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Old 22-03-2019, 19:34   #11
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

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We kept it open (against manufacturers recommendation) for our passages.
If the manufacturer is advising against using their gimmick the way it was intended to be used, you know it's a bad gimmick.
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Old 22-03-2019, 21:02   #12
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Re: Bali 4.0 / 4.1

Yes the Garage Door is a gimmick for all the seasoned livablards. If you are chartering for a week or two, it makes a nice social open concept. In my search for a yacht to purchase for long term cruising/ownership it doesn’t fit my lifestyle.
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