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Old 27-02-2012, 20:51   #1
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Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

I went down to Miami Strictly Sail couple of weeks ago and I have to say, I have a new love... I thought I would be sold on the Lagoon 450 or 420 but I have to say the Leopard 44 is really interesting with the forward sitting area.... so I wanted to get the skinny on this boat..

How does it sail?
Do you get a lot of slapping (looks like less clearance than a lagoon)
What do you like or not like about the boat...

I also like the 46, but for the money the 44 looks like a really nice boat...

Thanks
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Old 27-02-2012, 21:33   #2
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

My wife and I were there and walked for a while on that boat too and it was by far our favorite one there!

Granted we have no experience, but still LOVED the boat!

Robert
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Old 28-02-2012, 00:34   #3
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

I own a Maverick 400, but have chartered a Leopard 46 three times in Croatia and this last year chartered a Leopard 44 in Turkey for two weeks. My observations are as follows
  • As a choice between the 46 and 44 I much preferred the 46
  • The 44 has quite banana shaped hulls that in my view made it hobby horse a fair amount
  • The forward cockpit is a compromise, it moves the bridgedeck further forward and with having lockers in front of the cockpit means it comes down steeply. The result is more slamming on the front of the bridgedeck and spray blowing back into the front cockpit.
  • I found the heads very small, trying to cram 4 heads into a boat that is actually only 42ft results in a compromise. (the owners version will be better in this area, ours was a charter version)
  • The rear cockpit was well laid out
  • the front cockpit was great when moored stern to in villages so you could get some privacy
  • As far as sailing goes it was pretty much in a 50% of windspeed category. With my own Cat I am used to more than that.
I guess any cat is a compromise and it ultimately depends on what you want to use her for. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me
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Old 28-02-2012, 06:53   #4
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

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Originally Posted by paulrack View Post
I
As a choice between the 46 and 44 I much preferred the 46

Thanks for your observations, interesting... I did like the 46 a lot as well... As a general observation, I really don't know why these companies feel they have to put 4 heads on a relatively small boat... I would rather have one decent size head and seperate shower and then if space allowed, a second head for backup but only one decent size shower is needed... Are you really going to charter a boat with strangers....

Thanks again
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:07   #5
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

thread drift/theft any Moorings 4600 Leopard 46 owners care to comment on their boats?
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:10   #6
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by capcook View Post
Thanks for your observations, interesting... I did like the 46 a lot as well... As a general observation, I really don't know why these companies feel they have to put 4 heads on a relatively small boat... I would rather have one decent size head and seperate shower and then if space allowed, a second head for backup but only one decent size shower is needed... Are you really going to charter a boat with strangers....

Thanks again

WHY? is easily answered because that is what the (charter) market demands
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Old 28-02-2012, 20:04   #7
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

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Originally Posted by Highland Fling View Post
thread drift/theft any Moorings 4600 Leopard 46 owners care to comment on their boats?
Thanks, I too would like to hear from folks who have the 46...



Cheers
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Old 29-02-2012, 10:54   #8
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

My wife and I have the L44 at the top our list, but with so few on the water and for such a relatively short time we've found very little feedback. We spent lots of time on the L44 during the Miami show a couple of weeks ago. A few months ago, I asked these questions about the L44:



"I realize that the Leopard 44 is such a new design that few will have any real world experience with the boat, so maybe my questions are going to be a bit premature. But here goes anyway:



1) Any assessments of the forward cockpit from the perspective of: a) its influence on sailing dynamics particularly upwind and b) how will that cockpit handle heavy seas (shipping large amounts of sea water) and how might that influence heavy weather handling?
  • I would note that other cats have forward cockpit/sitting areas like the Lagoon 440. Of course the Lagoon's forward cockpit is not covered and I doubt presents much of a windage issue, but it is very deep and probably has the potential to ship a substantial amount of water under extreme conditions.
  • Undoubtedly the forward cockpits are "designed" to shed water very quickly, but will it work when it counts?
2) The large vertical windows and door in the forward cockpit might be a potential weak point in heavy seas, but many cats have had large vertical surfaces, including sliding doors for many years with some failures, but apparently very few.
  • The fact that the vertical surfaces on the Leopard are forward facing is my concern; although, the bimini extending over the cockpit may be a benefit in providing some protection during heavy weather sailing.
Any thoughts or experience on these issues would be appreciated. I'm already well versed in balsa coring below the waterline and bridgedeck clearance debates concerning Leopards."


During the show I attended one of Phillip (The Multihull Company) Berman's lectures and asked him his general impressions of the L44. He basically said R&C makes good boats, but he had concerns about the forward cockpit in heavy seas. Each Leopard representative I spoke to told me the cockpit had been engineered in such a way that it was not a concern. I was also told it has been "well tested". My wife and I are going to wait to get some real life "test results" from those who have sailed the boat before we make any decision.
Overall, the L44 is our favorite boat, but the potential dynamics of that forward cockpit give us pause.
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Old 29-02-2012, 11:57   #9
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

Man, that is really low bridgedeck clearance on the L44. I tried to lift the pic from Leopard's website to post it here but ran into technical issues. Maybe some of you tekkies can figure it out. Look at their pics page and you'll see the one.
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Old 29-02-2012, 15:19   #10
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

The bridgedeck clearance is not as low for the L44 as it appears in photos and videos. It is definitely lower than the Lagoons'. I spent a good amount of time at the Miami boat show comparing the L44's clearance to the Lagoon 400 and 421. The steep vertical steps on the Lagoon hulls give more of an illusion of height than actual height off the water. In photos and videos a Lagoon 421 looks 8"-10" inches higher at the transom than an L44. In reality I think the difference is about 4"-5", which may nonetheless be significant.

One thing a long-time (catamaran) cruising couple pointed out to me and my wife was that the hull steps are used many times each day and steeper may not be better. I think the pontoon step and the wide, second step to cockpit level on the L44 will be very user friendly on a day-in-day-out basis. Still the issue of adequate bridgedeck clearance remains for the L44.

When looking between the hulls bow to stern the clearance for the L44 looks more than adequate. As one moves aft clearance appears to decrease. Most wave slap occurs below the cockpit so clearance getting progressively lower near the stern isn't good, but perhaps it isn't enough to be bad either.. The Lagoons use a nacelle to mitigate wave slap, but it slows the boat down. The 421 has a very prominent nacelle. The hull chine on the L44 is suppose to help mitigate wave slap. It adds interior volume and buoyancy in each hull. I've sailed Leopards, but I don't have enough experience to know if it really works as advertised.

Bridgedeck clearance is an issue on the L44. I think we will learn that it is adequate once feedback is received from owners and charterers. I definitely think it is a bit distorted in photos. I was pleased when I actually saw the clearance in person. Of course, the boats weren't loaded down with gear at the boat show, but they were loaded down with people!
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Old 29-02-2012, 15:50   #11
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

When considering the pros and cons of these forward cockpits, no matter whether Lagoon or Leopard, I think it best to also keep in mind your intended use of the boat. If you're going to be in protected waters where you're not likely to get much green water over the decks, then it would be less of a concern, at least most of the time. However, if you're going to be offshore much, then perhaps that's not so great a feature.

A good solid wave coming over the foredeck can easily carry a cubic yard (or two, or even three) of water. A cubic yard of water weighs 1700 pounds. Imagine that coming onto your boat every 10 or 20 seconds. How quickly can the scuppers get rid of it? A 6" round (straight!) pipe will let out 550 gallons per minute (with just atmospheric pressure). There are 202 gallons of water in a cubic yard. Of course, it's also going to take some time for that water to flow through the scuppers, while more is getting added and all that time the weight is on your boat.

Personally, before I would seriously consider taking a forward cockpit boat like these offshore, I'd want to see huge scuppers that drop as straight as possible. If you're island hopping in good weather with little likelihood of getting stuck in nasty conditions, then that would be far less a concern and may well be outweighed by the convenience of the amenity.

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Old 29-02-2012, 16:07   #12
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

Wow, thanks for those stats concerning water volume and weight. The scuppers are under a removable slotted floor panel just outside the door leading to the forward cockpit. I saw two scuppers under the panel, each is an elongated oval and very large. I didn't have a tape measure, but I'd guess about 10" x 4". I know they will shed a lot of water very quickly, but still they might be overwhelmed in heavy seas. It seems this would have been an issue on the Lagoon 440's, because they have forwarding seating in a large well. I've never heard of it being a problem on the 440's has anyone else?
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Old 29-02-2012, 16:10   #13
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

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Wow, thanks for those stats concerning water volume and weight. The scuppers are under a removable slotted floor panel just outside the door leading to the forward cockpit. I saw two scuppers under the panel, each is an elongated oval and very large. I didn't have a tape measure, but I'd guess about 10" x 4". I know they will shed a lot of water very quickly, but still they might be overwhelmed in heavy seas. It seems this would have been an issue on the Lagoon 440's, because they have forwarding seating in a large well. I've never heard of it being a problem on the 440's has anyone else?

I would think the 440 could handle the weight easily and it not likely to blow out windows or doors either.
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Old 29-02-2012, 17:13   #14
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Re: Any Leopard 44 owners out there...

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Originally Posted by capcook View Post
Thanks, I too would like to hear from folks who have the 46...



Cheers

Just throwing another possibility into the mix - have you considered a Leopard 47? You would save yourself a heap of $ when compared to a new L44.

I really prefer the lines of the L47 compared to the trend to the elevated steering stations sticking out of the cockpit hardtops "like a mushroom" on the L44 & 46 which in my opinion destroys the clean lines of the boat.

The steering station on the L47 still gives you excellent visibility and protection from the elements and is stepped up from the cockpit floor and maintains the clean lines of the boat while also giving the added benefit of maintaining a lower centre of gravity. I also prefer the large cockpit on the L47 and the much larger nets on the bow for better seagoing performance.

Putting a forward cockpit on a 44 foot boat is really just a gimmick IMO primarily aimed at the charter market.

Here is a clip of a L47 that I really had humming along & it's performance was impressive to say the least.

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Old 03-03-2012, 18:48   #15
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

Stay away from the 44 till more are built and owners can give feedback. The 46 used would be a better choice. Even owners feedback will often be skewered as they don't want to devalue the boat or sound stupid for buying the boat so be careful. Just count how many people on this forum talk badly about their own boats and I can assure you we all have a long list of issues with our boats. Some more than others.

If you do decide to buy, make sure to bring someone who knows about sailing and rigging. Someone who has a fair amount of sailing experience will pick up on small things that may not seem right. Then try pointing the boat to wind and see how well it goes. About 2.5' or more bridge deck clearance is not bad. The more the better just as a general rule so take your measure.

If you are thinking bluewater then forget about it, but if just coastal cruising then maybe fine. I know they bring them on their own hulls but many delivery crew have a lot of complaints along the way about many of the boats they deliver. Try talking to delivery crew a pretend that you are not interested in buying the boat as it's not good for bluewater, then see what they have to tell you. You can cross an ocean in a kayak if you want but doesn't mean that it was designed well to do so.

Check around for stress cracks in the gel. Look at structural bulkheads and in the bilge. Crossbeam and caulking where woodwork meets fibre.

This will give you some idea on what to expect but is by no means comprehensive
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