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Old 13-07-2009, 09:22   #151
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Anyone who has actually owned and surveyed a used Leopard will know that they are indeed engineered and constructed for durability in the hard use of the charter market. The result is a very well designed boat that can be nicely refitted and upgraded for private use. Of course a prospective buyer should ensure that he obtains and actively participates in a thorough survey to reveal any serious problems, as individual boats will have been subject to different experiences and maintenance practices. This applies to any used boat. A good surveyor is also of great value in dealing with the charter company during the phase-out, whether you are the owner taking her private or a prospective buyer. There is no validity in blanket criticisms of all boats built for charter, or of those sailors who motor about the BVI's on their one or two week charters. It's the easiest place to start sailing big boats. We enjoyed such for our first three charters, and then moved on to ownership and cruising more challenging areas. We are now happy to be sailing and upgrading our sound and seaworthy ex-charter Leopard 42.
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Old 13-07-2009, 09:49   #152
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We'd be interested in the types of refits you do.

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Old 13-07-2009, 10:00   #153
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Still looking for comparison

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Originally Posted by rigamarole View Post
There's been some great discussion about the pro's of the Leopards in this thread. I really like the interior layout of the boat, especially the galley. I have been looking primarily at FP cats but can't get over a couple of big hurtles with the FP Bahia. They are: poor dingy davits, poor galley, really poor nav station, non-walkthrough transom, - ok, now that I'm listing them I've got a lot of dislikes about the Bahia. But what I do like is the profile of the boat, it's sailing speed, and bridge deck clearence. They also appear to list for at least $50k less the a Leopard 47. The reason I had crossed the 47 off my list a long time ago is every time I look at pictures of the transom the bridgedeck clearence appears really-really low. I'd give up a lot to not have a boat slamming everytime I sail in rough weather.

The question was asked earlier with the answer that all cats slam in the right conditions. I'm sure this is true. But in my limited expearence, some slam easier and more often then others. I chartered a poorly designed 36' cat that constantly slammed, a 40' FP Lavezzi that didn't slam once, and a 46' Bahia which slammed once in a week. During each charter I had simular trade wind / ocean swells. So do any of you have a comparison based on expearence? Thanks.
I'm still wondering how the 47 does in trade wind / ocean swells. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 13-07-2009, 16:40   #154
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Check this http://picasaweb.google.com/JustCatamarans site for pictures on davit upgrades to a 42
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:44   #155
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Sorry, but your enthusiasm for Leopards is lost on me. I would consider renaming them Lemmings for the unwarranted support; I guess the marketing team at Leopard are doing a good job. They are very uncomfortable except at anchor or at the dock or going downwind. Still, the seating layout is ridiculous and doesn't utilize the space... bad flow and hard to get comfortable. It's big, more like a chubby fat kid who can't get out of his own way. Sure, they sail from S.A., but that's downhill. Try sailing back! I've never seen one in Horta!! They are the cheapest fit for the low-end charter market in BVI. Simple as that.
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:49   #156
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Originally Posted by Roc Chambeau View Post
Sorry, but your enthusiasm for Leopards is lost on me. I would consider renaming them Lemmings for the unwarranted support; I guess the marketing team at Leopard are doing a good job. They are very uncomfortable except at anchor or at the dock or going downwind. Still, the seating layout is ridiculous and doesn't utilize the space... bad flow and hard to get comfortable. It's big, more like a chubby fat kid who can't get out of his own way. Sure, they sail from S.A., but that's downhill. Try sailing back! I've never seen one in Horta!! They are the cheapest fit for the low-end charter market in BVI. Simple as that.
I think you missed our last post. After spending a week sailing the Leopard 38 I was over it. The helm was very uncomfortable and there no storge. My husband held out hope for the Leopard 46 but after sailing one in Florida for a week he agreed with me about the boat; no stoarage and poor layout.

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Old 26-05-2010, 07:52   #157
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Old 26-05-2010, 17:31   #158
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I was on a 2003 Leopard 43 for a week in the BVI a few months back. Sailed at half the wind speed and pointed better than 45 degrees. You had to gun the engines in docking exercises in the wind, and they overheated after about 20 minutes abuse. We lost a pump, a toilet, and really fought with one starter switch. The throttles and steering were sticky. No screens and we got eaten up in Red Hook. The davit system was warped and poorly rigged, the mainsail was a real job to hoist. Unsetting the anchor was difficult, especially in tight conditions. I would appreciate the extra space in the outside seating area of the 45 or 47. I found the accomodations (sleeping and galley) better than anticipated. Also the main was hitting the lazy jack lines for most of the first day. We had winds up to 20 knots but smooth sailing and no slamming. I dont really disagree with any of the pros and cons anyone has said - I loved it and felt it was an overall better value than the FPs and Lagoons of the same era. Hopefully I will own a Catana or Gunboat someday, but meanwhile - with an elecric winch and a little TLC - my libations will taste just as good...
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Old 27-05-2010, 06:49   #159
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I was on a 2003 Leopard 43 for a week in the BVI a few months back. Sailed at half the wind speed and pointed better than 45 degrees. You had to gun the engines in docking exercises in the wind, and they overheated after about 20 minutes abuse. We lost a pump, a toilet, and really fought with one starter switch. The throttles and steering were sticky. No screens and we got eaten up in Red Hook. The davit system was warped and poorly rigged, the mainsail was a real job to hoist. Unsetting the anchor was difficult, especially in tight conditions. I would appreciate the extra space in the outside seating area of the 45 or 47. I found the accomodations (sleeping and galley) better than anticipated. Also the main was hitting the lazy jack lines for most of the first day. We had winds up to 20 knots but smooth sailing and no slamming. I dont really disagree with any of the pros and cons anyone has said - I loved it and felt it was an overall better value than the FPs and Lagoons of the same era. Hopefully I will own a Catana or Gunboat someday, but meanwhile - with an elecric winch and a little TLC - my libations will taste just as good...
wow, a whole 20kts and no slamming in the BVI's! Dang, you're about ready to write a book Three days ago I brought one from Miami to Nassau with 25kt headwinds. Very uncomfortable due to the design. Slamming was the least of the issues next to the props leaving the water! The owner called it a "character builder"... ha! The BVI's are lake conditions and for newbies to try out boats in optimum conditions. You risk scraping the hull paint more than losing bottom paint! As far as the maintenance, well that's a reflection of the charter operator. How long does it take to dock a boat anyway? Gun my engine for 20 minutes and you'll be walking the plank! Seamanship comes into play here.
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Old 27-05-2010, 08:11   #160
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Lighten Up Roc, when I read your posts I'm reminded of Dirty Harry, "Your a Legend in Your Own Mind"
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Old 27-05-2010, 08:19   #161
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I certainly appreciate your more experienced input. In the 42 to 47 ft. range (comfortable to entertain another couple or rarely two), say 2001 to 2005, to live on (85% in port and picking your weather windows for travel) on the coconut run - not "round the world" passage-making... What would you purchase? I cant afford double for a PDQ or St. Francis... I am an experienced boater, and pretty handy, but not expert enough in non routine marine maintenaince to want to risk doing it myself. Would you risk purchasing a privately built cat after a good survey? What about resale? I hear the FP's arent as strongly constructed and dont point or sale particularly well, the Lagoons are probably the slowest. People like Priveleges but they are supposed to be slow, not point, and hard to tack... The Manta feels very small inside and is no performance whiz. Even catanas and outremers, and I imagine gunboats, have very spartan sleeping quarters below 50 ft. I want to be able to entertain a non-nautical couple for a week without them feeling claustrophobic. I like the large open walk through sliding doors between the salon and cockpit. I need to be comfortable to live on the thing and I will buy as much performance as I can afford. I defer to briny old monohullers who want to lash themselves to the mast and dare the ocean to do her worst. Just not me.
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Old 27-05-2010, 17:36   #162
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Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
My husband held out hope for the Leopard 46 but after sailing one in Florida for a week he agreed with me about the boat; no stoarage and poor layout.

Maje
Ok, now that's an intriguing statement. What did you find that had a better layout than the Leopard 46? I would be interested to know what you were specifically looking for.

If you are planning to use this boat as a cruiser, IMHO, you should charter off shore and investigate before you make any decisions. My wife and I went aboard the models at the boat shows to eliminate the clearly weaker designs. We then sailed everything we could charter in the Virgins and in the windwards and in more than one case went aboard a cruiser's boat. Talk about real experiences with space utilization!

We found the 46 to have the best layout of all boats in her class, a vast improvement over the much "stiffer" Leopard 47. We liked the fit out of the Lagoon quite a bit, but the layout? And what about the "hot tub" behind the tramp on the 440? Same layout issue with the Catana. Now an Owner's version would be nice for cruising, because one less head and even more room, but they are rare and expensive.

So, we bought a 46, and we have never had more storage on any cat. There are clearly things we will change, but not to improve storage.
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Old 27-05-2010, 17:53   #163
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I want to be able to entertain a non-nautical couple for a week without them feeling claustrophobic. I like the large open walk through sliding doors between the salon and cockpit. I need to be comfortable to live on the thing and I will buy as much performance as I can afford. I defer to briny old monohullers who want to lash themselves to the mast and dare the ocean to do her worst. Just not me.
LOL, good for you! Try the Leopard 46. We bring aboard people who tremble at the mention of real sailing and they love it. The layout and height off the water, etc.

If you buy a used charter boat from a company like the Moorings, count on spending a month to 6 weeks (inspecting and driving Moorings work) in a place like the BVI after hiring a good local surveyor to go through the boat on the hard and sailing. You can get them to loan you a boat to live on while you are waiting (and wait you will). You will end up with $25k or more of their money tied up in it and a good boat when you sail away. For offshore cruising, count on adding a watermaker, better charging systems (panels and controllers) , radar, EPIRB, and sails (Spinny, asymetrical, etc) and a drogue. Those (IMHO) can be had in the states or St. Martin at reasonable prices and shipped to St. Thomas or the BVI.
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Old 27-05-2010, 21:53   #164
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Leopard alternatives?

Right now on yacht world there are some inexpensive daggerboard boats, some with rotating masts. A 1999 (?)hughes (custom) 50 in Thailand, a 2001 Edel 42 in GuADELOUPE, and a 1996 Catana 43 (?) in Florida. All under $300K. Maybe these are comfortable enough and can "get out of their own way"?? Better have a lot of extra cash and a great surveyor!!
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Old 31-05-2010, 06:23   #165
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Unwarranted Criticism

Yes, that is the correct usage for the word "unwarranted" Mr. Chambeau, not as in your "unwarranted support". As an actual long-term owner of a Leopard 42 who has sailed her and sister ships in a wide variety of locations (Australia, Seychelles, Eastern and Western Caribbean) and conditions, I certainly differ with your opinions.

This winter I sailed from Honduras to Panama and transited the canal on a friends 46' Morgan Ketch. I then returned to Honduras to cruise my Leopard 42 (purchased new in 2003 and phased-out from charter in 2008) north through the Bay Islands, Belize and Mexico. Once again, I found my Leopard to be much more comfortable in virtually all conditions, and that includes upwind in 30 kts and 6-8' seas. Of course there is some slamming on a multihull in such conditions, but that was nothing compared to the miserable rolling of the ketch in light winds or at anchor in unsettled seas. Speed, space, livability, comfort, stability and seaworthiness are what I love about this particular model Leopard.

This was our second season of cruising in the Western Caribbean after our post-charter upgrades. The new watermaker, wind turbine, radar, SSB, upgraded ground tackle, washing machine, electric head, reinforced dinghy davits and numerous safety items (all self-installed) have made our boat even more comfortable and seaworthy. I have just hauled her again for hurricane season storage, and a thorough inspection show no structural or fiberglass issues whatsoever. The repairs done at phase-out to correct charter abuse have held up quite well.

Cruising provides one with the opportunity to see a wide variety of boats in use and talk with many experienced owners. All boats have their strong and weak points, and all sailors have their opinions. I return to this forum for information and informed advice, and will take issue with unwarranted criticism when it hits close to home.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Chambeau View Post
Sorry, but your enthusiasm for Leopards is lost on me. I would consider renaming them Lemmings for the unwarranted support; I guess the marketing team at Leopard are doing a good job. They are very uncomfortable except at anchor or at the dock or going downwind. Still, the seating layout is ridiculous and doesn't utilize the space... bad flow and hard to get comfortable. It's big, more like a chubby fat kid who can't get out of his own way. Sure, they sail from S.A., but that's downhill. Try sailing back! I've never seen one in Horta!! They are the cheapest fit for the low-end charter market in BVI. Simple as that.
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