I haven't owned one ... but have sailed one (and some others). My first bit of advice is what a delivery
capt. once told me:
FP =~ Hyundai
There are probably a few other makers in the Leopard
category and above. Also note that Hyundai make great cars.
Now, that being said, they're all beautiful boats. But having seen some from each, I feel the FPs are more designed to be small floating condos / trailers than hardcore sailing machines.
The 4cabin/4head version has pretty small heads IMHO. I had the door fly open once while I was right in the middle of my business!
Perhaps an owner's version Orana
might be a good compromise there.
The way FP mounts all the equipment
, etc..) behind the wheel
is nuts. When you're on auto-pilot you have two options when making an adjustment: play the "try not to get my fingers snapped" game
or turn AP off and make your adjustments.
I was crazy about the Orana 44 for about a year and was also looking to buy one. Now, not so much.
I actually found the Lipari
41 (3bed/2bath) to be a better layout, but unfortunately also found the slightly shorter length to be a bit more prone to pitch
poling in medium waves. Believe it or not, I could also feel that the Lipari salon
was in fact a touch smaller.
As an aside, I had one of the wall panels
fall off the Lipari in the master cabin
while underway. I'm going to guess it had been removed a few times to do some work on something or other. Not a big deal, I put some wood plugs in the holes and screwed it back in (it wouldn't stay on its own as the holes had been stripped). But I was pretty shocked at the tiny little wood screws the factory was using to keep a decent sized wall panel in place. This was also a pretty new boat.
There has been a lot written about osmosis
. From what I've read and heard from FP owners, the factory has fixed 99% of the problem hulls. But this is something you'll find out with a good inspection
and it can of course be fixed. I'll bet FP fixes any issues you have there. In the end you might come out on the plus side with some brand new poly or other -thane coating.
I suppose it also matters where you're going to sail it. If you don't plan on much offshore
sailing, then I suspect you'll love it. Even if you do, you still might. At some point it boils down to personal preferences.
But the replacement I have in my head
now for an Orana 44 is a 45-47' Leopard. Sadly, Lagoons of the same length are still out of reach for me. Plus, I really want to sail many many more boats before I buy one now.
My dream boat is the Lagoon
560 at the moment.
My fantasy boat (which is likely impossible) is a cheap
Salina 48 where I can convert a 4cabin/4head design into a 4cabin/2head one. For me, larger heads are very important.
Perhaps more than you wanted to read here.
Let me think ...
The lounge chairs behind the helm
on the Orana were a big hit with the ladies.
It's a very pretty boat.
I was able to sail it single
She was decently quick, imho but I only had 15kts of wind
Piano hinge fridge is kinda cool. It holds a ton of stuff.
lockers up front was nice (vs one on the Lipari).
In summary, if you buy a boat (any boat) and fix it up and care for it properly (perhaps more-than-properly) then you should be fine. I don't think there are any huge deal breakers with FPs ... but that gets back to the personal preference thing. Similarly, a lot depends on how the rigging
is set up, etc...
Also, if you can get one that has the newer style portal windows in the salon
, that's good. The original design didn't have any windows you could open ... so no breeze-through.
What are your top priorities / needs in a boat?