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Old 13-12-2011, 13:51   #1
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Bulkhead Compression on Leopard 40

I'm under contract to purchase a 2006 Leopard 40. During the recent survey, the surveyor pointed out some moderate compression and cracking around the bulkheads. Some of wood trim was bulging out above the doors and the paneling was displaced by out 1/2 inch in places. Also, there are some places in the bilges and below the galley sink where the fiberglass tabbing shows minor cracks in key stress points.

He explained that this is not uncommon in L40s, but that it was a potentially serious issue. He also mentioned that R&C has a recommended fix for this which involves removing all of the paneling in the bulkheads and beefing them up with additional fiberglass.

Otherwise the boat is in good shape.

I'm looking for comments on this. Should I walk away from this boat now? Has anyone had the repair and is it holding up?
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Old 13-12-2011, 14:44   #2
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

I would agree with the surveyor ("potentially serious issue") and walk away. This boat may have been dropped or suffered a serious collision or grounding. I would also be concerned about the defects that are not visible, such as those that might be concealed under bottom paint. I have a 1993 Privilege, which I have owned since 1994 that still has original interiour bulkhead seam caulking intact, in spite of a dozen haulouts - including several using the on-deck lifting rings (pad eyes).
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Old 14-12-2011, 06:15   #3
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

I agree with emcmia - my 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40 has zero stress cracks in the hull, bridgedeck, around bulkheads, etc.; in fact, the only stress cracks are on the lid to the propane locker from the lid being allowed to slam when gasketing material fell off. Even if it is a 'common problem' on Leopard 40's, it is not a very good sign.

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Old 14-12-2011, 06:16   #4
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

PS, welcome to CF chrislacy!

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Old 14-12-2011, 06:26   #5
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

It is my understanding that the Leopards are delivered by sailing them from South Africa to the US on a time schedule...

Lots of opportunity for the delivery crew to abuse the boat on that trip!
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star
I agree with emcmia - my 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40 has zero stress cracks in the hull, bridgedeck, around bulkheads, etc.; in fact, the only stress cracks are on the lid to the propane locker from the lid being allowed to slam when gasketing material fell off. Even if it is a 'common problem' on Leopard 40's, it is not a very good sign.

Brad
Perhaps you should take the boat sailing some time

..only kidding ... Know a lot of the delivery skippers doing deliveries on leopards ... Very good sailors and mostly people who care a lot for the boats and their profession
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Old 14-12-2011, 11:48   #7
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

'Otherwise the boat is in good shape.' I like that line... that sounds like a USD 20+k repair with the risk of (much) more behind (water might have gone inside cracks etc etc). Walk away or negotiate a BIIG escrow account.
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Old 14-12-2011, 13:11   #8
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

Hi, chrislacy, and welcome to CF!

Boats, and even more so, cats, flex quite a bit -- probably more than we ever suspect -- when the seas get up. But what you are describing is not, definitely not, normal. Cracks around the bulkheads, internal paneling pushed .5 inch out, bulging trim -- those are bad signs. Maybe your surveyor was being politely understated when he said "potentially serious", but I'd take that as a big, waving red flag. Sounds like the boat has sustained some severe vertically oriented shocks with a lot of force involved to do that.

Was this boat perhaps in a charter fleet? Lots of L40's were. Sometimes things happen that are never revealed, or they think they've covered it, at least well enough.

I've got to agree with the others. Personally, I'd pass on this one, even if it did have a big discount. Even with a repair, could I ever feel confident in the boat when things start to get dicey? Or, would I always be having the creepy-crawly thought about whether she was holding together?

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Old 14-12-2011, 15:45   #9
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

Welcome to CF Chris

Currently Iím on the hunt for a replacement vessel and the L40 was at the top of my list, there are many things I like about the 40 but a lot of research has turned up numerous reports of what you have found. R&C do have a recommended modification, and several boats have been modified by the factory. They took great pride in announcing that the 40 was 2000lbs lighter than the original 38 it replaced, I think what we are no seeing is that they are too light in a couple of key areas.

Personally - If I found a straight one and had the modifications done it would be a great boat, but I would never have the confidence in their modification on a boat that is already showing obvious signs of deformations. Issues would definitely be deeper than the eye can seeÖ. Walk away.
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Old 14-12-2011, 21:35   #10
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

I just went on a cruise ship for the first time recently. That thing was massive with 3000+ passengers and it was flexing all over the place, enough to keep you awake at night AND it's a monohull; hate to think what a cat does in the internals.
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Old 14-12-2011, 22:07   #11
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

be carefull,be very carefull
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Old 14-12-2011, 23:07   #12
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

Small gelcoat stress cracks are comon on a cats deck sence they do flex in big waves but the interior bulkheads out of position is a real problem. Sounds like it was taken out in really big seas and abused by pounding too much to windward. There's lots more boats to look at I'm sure, get out of the deal .
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:53   #13
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

Impi, my boat has been sailed from England across the Atlantic to Florida, cruised the caribbean for 3 years, was sailed back up to the Great Lakes and is being readied for a return trip offshore from the Chesepeake to Bermuda and then to Isla Margarita in September 2014. So no, not all cats are plagued with stress cracks. I will ackowledge, however, that I forgot one other area - I do have stress cracks at the base of one of the stanchions that took a blow. But that is it.

Cheers!

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Old 15-12-2011, 08:23   #14
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

P.S. Impi, apart from my boat, you may also want to check out various other older British cats - there are numerous Catalacs that are now over 30 years old that also have zero stress cracks in the hulls, bridgedeck and structural bulkheads.

While you seem to think that this is impossible to avoid in any catamaran, once again, I can assure you that it is not. Somehow I suspect that your post reflects your own willingness to accept stress cracks in structural areas of the boat - does your Lagoon 440 already have some?

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Old 15-12-2011, 11:56   #15
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Re: Bulkhead compression on Leopard 40

Thanks for the input everyone.

I would still love to hear from anyone who has had the repair made or has first hand knowledge on the repair.
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