Thanks for the feedback. I'll take a look at the Freeflow 46.
I'm stuck in Rio for a few days...if one can be "stuck" in Rio
. so have plenty of time to surf the internet!
The Leopard 47 was a wonderful boat. It was an owners version that I purchased from the original owner. It was a strong sailor and a very solid boat. I just bought her too early for me...kids we're too young and ex-wife wasn't interested in my taking them on a world cruise
by myself...imagine that!! ...so I could either keep my boat until they were old enough, and do all of the 10 year maintenance
projects...which we're adding up, or sell her and reattack my boating
dreams later. I chose the later but I don't regret my original decision to purchase
as I learned many valuable lessons.
Here's a few: if you're going to own a big cat be prepared to spend lots of time looking for places to park her...this became a job in itself. Of course if you're cruising and on anchor
, no problem.
Big boats equals large lines equals more money
. Same w fenders.
Complex systems doesn't necessarily mean more maintenance
, but does necessitate carrying spares..which equates to storage/access issues...more later.
The L47 low deck
clearance (I don't recall
the number) did cause some bone rattling hull
slaps...I was probably out in conditions I shouldn't have been
. Mind you this was on the Chesapeake bay
with short period between waves...yuk.
If you've never owned a cat...be prepared to do maintenance on three engines. I do my own routine maintenance and had to set aside lots of time and more cash for three primary and three secondary fuel
filters, three oil
filters, three zincs (and two for the props), two alternator
belts, three raw water
oil for three and transmission
oil for two. Not a huge consideration, but many seem to get wrapped up in creature comforts and forget some of the mundane but critical issues such as routine maintenance.
This leads me to engine access. I personally don't like access to the engines from the outside only. The L47 had great access to the starboard engine under the owners berth. I modified my boat to give the same access to the port side engine from under the port berth. I also had to add a boost pump to my generator
. The small internal fuel pump
in the Westerbeke
gen set wasn't strong enough for the distance from the fuel tank
. A small automotive pump/filter closer to the gen set solved
As I previously mentioned, storage
space will always be an issue...but not only space, but space you can get to easily. Storage under floorboards is storage but becomes a PITA over time. The L47 owners version had great storage w easy access. I don't see the same on many of the new production boats. I did, however, get real tired of having to get on the floor to find things in my college room sized refer. This is definitely an issue for me on my next boat!!
There are soooo many other little things that you only learn by actually living on board...I don't think week-long charters bring these lessons out. Items such as keeping your home clean and bug and bird crap free, maintenance and upkeep issues I've mentioned. Ok... Now I'm rambling. Sorry.
A couple last thoughts. Access to some of the thru hulls on my L47 was terrible...mainly behind the port side forward head
. I needed to be an acrobat to get to the AC and head
thru hulls and strainers. This is something I'm definitely looking at on my next boat...BTW, I didn't hear many potential future boat owners ask about this in Annapolis. my opinion only...it's an important consideration.
I lived on my boat in Annapolis so had very hot/humid summers and a few weeks of sub-freezing temperatures in the winter. My solutions to those on a different thread if asked. Finally, my boat was 220v but I lived in a 110v world...caused some issues but I found workarounds...too much for this thread.
If you're looking at used...keep the L45 or 47 in mind...overall good boat!
Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving and Safe sailing to all.
P.S. Do you know what they call a male live aboard without a girlfriend? ...Homeless.