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Old 05-05-2011, 02:46   #1
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Bridgedeck Clearance on 43' - 47' Leopard

Hi All

Still Looking at liveaboard for a possible circumnavigation with family, although the date has been put back now due to our c***py weak currency in the UK meaning I can only afford a small bathtub right now. Interested in the Leopards, 6 berth, 43-47ft versions, made 2001 onwards. Cannot find out what the bridgedeck clearance is on these, but from pics it doesn't look great. Anyone know? Other boats we're looking at have 2ft + which seems to be sufficient.
I know these boats are delivered on their own hulls from South Africa so I'm sure they can do it, but I wonder about comfort and whether these are only really OK for Caribbean charter. They're obviously aimed at charter market, but other than the own-builds (schionning, Oram etc) which is a whole different level of commitment, the boats supposed to be for private owners are often 40%+ more expensive.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:24   #2
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Re: Bridgedeck clearance on Leopards 43-47ft?

They are good boats, apart from one thing... bridgedeck clearance! Very low.

They are solidly built and will take you round the world but they do slap regularly.

If you are seriously considering one then try chartering one for a week. There are loads of ex-Moorings boats in the fleets of some of the smaller BVI fleets (Conch Charters, TMM etc) Then you can see what they are like. Yes I know the BVI is easy sailing but you only have to go a few miles outside of the Sir Francis Drake channel and you can experience real ocean conditions.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:46   #3
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I believe the leopard 47 is around 300-350 mm clearance as i measured it when we were looking,but what must be considered is the displacement of the hulls as narrow hulls will dive deeper in swells v's fat wide hulls causing slapping more than it should so a boat with narrow hulls but with 500-600 mm bridgedeck may still slap hard compared to a wide fat boat with the same bridgedeck.
In saying that he clearance was a dealbreaker for us as he 2 owners of leopard 47 that we looked at did say somedays the slap sounded like it was going to break the boat, given tnat they are a solid build it did not happen but it comes back o comort.
Our lagoon 440 measures 650 mm and the nacelle in the middle does a good job of spreading the force of any waves.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:12   #4
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Re: Bridgedeck clearance on Leopards 43-47ft?

toby24b,

Leopards do get delivered on their own bottoms, but from Cape Town South Africa to the Caribbean is what they call a "Sleigh Ride". Meaning a good current and favorable winds. At 300-350 mm (11.8 to 13.7 inches) bridge deck clearance you may get very worn down on a circumnavigation.

Just to give you a comparison, my FP Mahe 36 cat came from France across the Atlantic to Newport, Rhode Island USA on its own bottom with a bridge deck clearance of 711mm (28 inches). My captain and crew never mention or complained about bridge deck slapping.
Most circumnavigation cats have 762mm (30 inches) or more.
Leopards are great boats, but I am not sure that it's a circumnavigationer.

Mark
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Old 05-05-2011, 16:36   #5
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Thank you all. I think my question is answered.
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Old 05-05-2011, 16:48   #6
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Toby - you asked a question about a catamaran - they never end that quickly

Good luck planning your adventure.
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Old 05-05-2011, 17:06   #7
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Hi Palarran - you're no doubt right...but I reckon we've pretty much nailed the bridgedeck on the Leopard issue...!
Small steps...
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Old 05-05-2011, 17:10   #8
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

As with so many things, I don't think it is so simple as one variable would suggest. For one of the best summaries I've seen on this topic, see:
Multihull Dynamics, Inc. - News Article

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Old 05-05-2011, 17:58   #9
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Good post, ID. Nice to see data. I would like to point out to others that you can download boat specs on Multihull Dynamics for $5.99 including the all important bridgedeck clearance number. BOB
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Old 05-05-2011, 19:12   #10
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkdig View Post
Our lagoon 440 measures 650 mm and the nacelle in the middle does a good job of spreading the force of any waves.
I've always argued if you didn't have that nacelle in the first place, perhaps you wouldn't get wave slap as there would be nothing for the wave to hit

I have 850mm on my boat to DWL
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:54   #11
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

That's a good article from Multihull Dynamics, but I was surprised to learn that Westlawn recommends a BD clearance of 30 feet for my boat (66% of 46'). I'm going to need a bigger swim ladder!
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:18   #12
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

Mike, you can never have too much bridgedeck clearance.
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Old 07-05-2011, 15:41   #13
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

My Leopard 46 has a bit more than 3 ft clearance besides the very back which is about 2'8" and the only time it slapped and slapped bad was when sailing through a Typhoon with 30 ft waves.
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Old 07-05-2011, 16:28   #14
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

I have always been of the view that if a manufacturer doesn't list bridgedeck clearance in their specs, then its probably too low.
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Old 07-05-2011, 19:02   #15
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Re: Bridgedeck Clearance on 43'-47' Leopard

I told you Toby

Tropical Home, the 46 does have a ton of clearance. There are a lot of them at my dock and I really like the layout. Have some fun with her!
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