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Old 27-11-2008, 12:47   #1
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Lagoon 380 vs Leopard 38

Hi all, I'm currently in the market for a slightly larger cat having just sold a PDQ-36. I've narrowed the search down to either a Leopard 38 or a Lagoon 38. There are positives that I like about both of them namely, the deck clearance on the Lagoon and on the Leopard the cockpit layout. I would appreciate any input or guidance from you owners out there. Thanks in advance, Jim
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Old 27-11-2008, 13:37   #2
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Might I suggest a Maxim 38? I might be selling mine next year...
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Old 27-11-2008, 14:53   #3
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Hey Mr. B, thanks for the reply, although I'm pretty well set on either the Leopard or Lagoon. Hope all is well in Bonaire. Jim
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Old 01-12-2008, 19:18   #4
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Having spent a significant amount of time around chartercats and other boats in incarnations as varied as a refit engineer,captain and base manager my humble opinion is this:
Stay very very far away from anything with a saildrive. It takes a special kind of bravery to put to sea in a boat whose gearbox is situated in a vulnerable aluminium housing ( through a large hole in the hull) 18 inches below the boat immersed in seawater.
When it fails you normally have to haul the boat...and they fail exponentially more often than the standard propshaft/prop configuration.
The South Africans at Robertson and Caine seem (to me) to build far more robust boats than ther French counterparts. Having probably built over 1000 leopards which have all been delivered from 34 deg south across the Atlantic...R and C have no structural failures on record ( and I am willing to be wrong). They probably don't go as fast as the Lagoons though....
Sadly, the new Leopards have saildrives...I am sure the folks at R and C will regret it one day.
Sure they are easier to build, give more room inside without a noisy engine under an aft bunk....however those are things that one can live with given the alternatives!
Again...just my humble opinion...I'm sure there are many happy saildrive owners out there.....
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Old 01-12-2008, 19:33   #5
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As a cruiserI have been around and sailed with both. And I personnally like the looks of the Leopard. THey both are good sailing boats.
As for saildrives, I must agree with "littleships". I have heard many many more grumbles about saildrives than a simple shaft driven boat. And IMHO the craftmanship in the SA boats is better than the new Lagoons
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Old 01-12-2008, 19:50   #6
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The Leopards also have a davit systerm that actually works. Water and fuel tanks that come out easily when they have to, a nifty chain brake to stop the windlass from being destroyed,( and you can't shut the windlass locker until you have set it!) lovely slats that keep the saloon cool without destoying visibilty too much, sacraficial keels, engine room capacity to throw a party in.....all in all a very "captain proof" boat!
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Old 14-01-2009, 20:07   #7
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Jim, we're in a similar position in that we're looking for a cruising cat in the 38-ish size range. We chartered an older Leopard 38 out of Hervey Bay for a week last year and have done a couple of small 'test sails' on a new Lagoon 38. We enjoyed the time on the Leopard and would certainly echo littleships' compliments on her anchor systems (the best of any in my experience, very simple and convenient) but we found her use of space to be relatively poor, certainly by comparison to the Lagoon...although no doubt the newer Leopard would be constantly improving. The Lagoon sailed well in light air (surprisingly so given her weight) and was very spacious, surpassing the Leopard in both categories.

We're still looking and haven't taken either builder off our list; that list, by the way, is quite a bit longer than just two...a good thing in some respects as it keeps us open, but not such a good thing in that it seems our progress is slow! Our timetable suits 'slow' though as we're looking to be on the water inprobably 12 months or so.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 14-01-2009, 20:19   #8
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PS I should also add, regarding the Lagoon, that the boat we test sailed was really very new such that I suspect she was without much of the wieght -- The storage lockers were all empty...and we were unsure unsure about water tanks? -- one would expect when fully set for cruising. So she may not be so quick in light air when fully loaded. The fetaure we loved about the Lagoon, however, was her solo-sailing setup with all sheets to the helm and with a foot-switch-operated power winch also at the helm; all that made it an absolutre breeze to maneuvre single-handed.

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Old 14-01-2009, 20:27   #9
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Sadly, the new Leopards have saildrives.
Not all of them. I'm going to look at one on Monday that is shaft-driven.
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Old 15-01-2009, 04:00   #10
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Not all of them. I'm going to look at one on Monday that is shaft-driven.
All new Leopard 40's and 46's have sail drives.
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Old 15-01-2009, 07:43   #11
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All new Leopard 40's and 46's have sail drives.
The thread topic concerns the Leopard 38, though.

Another difference could be "new". The Leopard 38 I'm going to look at on Monday is a 1999 model.

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Old 16-01-2009, 02:44   #12
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Leopard 38 limited bridgedeck means slamming.
Lagoon better bridgedeck and more internal volume, but maybe a slower boat.
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Old 16-01-2009, 07:28   #13
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"Leopard 38 limited bridgedeck means slamming."

I just sold my 38 - the bridge deck clearance is actually pretty good on the Leopard - not as high as the Lagoon but better than a lot of others that size - I did not find bridge deck slamming to be much of an issue.
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Old 16-01-2009, 07:45   #14
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There are many Lagoons 380 with driveshafts instead of saildrives.
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Old 16-01-2009, 08:09   #15
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There are many Lagoons 380 with driveshafts instead of saildrives.
There are? none that I know of. I think they are all sail drives. I've seen them with both Yanmar and Volvo with the engines installed aft of the rudders.
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