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Old 22-02-2006, 13:00   #1
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Leopard 40

I am new to this board but have already found it very helpful. We are considering a catamaran for liveaboard for a couple of years. We like the Leopard 40 because of the sail-drive and the engines are not located under the berths. Are there other catamarans with a similar configuration?
Also, we will be purchasing a new boat. Is there much leeway in price when dealing with the brokers (5%, 10%, etc)?
Thanks for any help.

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Old 22-02-2006, 18:22   #2
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I too am currently going through the process of deciding on a liveaboard cat as well. I like the Leopard 40 layout but the one thing that has me looking elsewhere is the engine location.

The time I want to have access to the engine compartments is if there is a problem while making a passage in heavy weather. I can only imagine that its not just dangerous, but impossible to open a stern located engine compartment in heavy weather. One large stern wave and the engine compartment is full of water.

I plan on having a generator installed on my boat and that is the item I am most concerned about location. Since the generator will more than likely be used more at anchor where it is quiet I want to make sure that is is located someplace isolated from the main sleeping and living compartments. This is a reason I have moved the Broadblue 385 down my list. The generator on the 385 is located under the berth.

As the search gets narrowed down, I have realized (at least for me) that the perfect liveaboard cat might not exist and the final decision becomes a set of compromises. This is where it gets personal as to what are the most important features that will meet your needs.

I returned from the Miami boat show a couple of days ago and will post my notes on my Catamaran's for tall people discussion later this weekend.

Good Luck with your search!

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Old 23-02-2006, 04:16   #3
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leopard 40

I am just returning from the Miami show.I was kind impressed with FP Lavezzy 40'. the engines compartment are accessed from the stern,to me it is a plus,I had some pretty bad experiecence with engines located under the bunks,if you look at the price also it is appealling.
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Old 26-02-2006, 02:21   #4
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Having rented a Moorings 40 (Leopard) last year, three things I did not like:
- Fiberglass davits already broken (2 months old boat)
- Raising mainsail was at mast using 2:1 block as it is so heavy. Or use anchor windlass, but see below.
- to lower anchor you needed to open doors to front hatches which are big, heavy and nearly took my hand off.
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Old 26-02-2006, 03:31   #5
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Incidently, I do not believe the location of the generator stated above is correct: the BB USA website says it is located under the guest berth (not owner stateroom) and I think there are other options too.
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Old 02-03-2006, 14:43   #6
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Thank you all for your help. There is much info to sort through. I do agree that there is no perfect boat. You just have to focus on your particular needs and "hot" buttons. We will look at the FP Lavezzy 40.
Someone told me that the Lagoon 38 has engines in the aft like the Leopard. Does anyone know if thats true?
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Old 02-03-2006, 17:22   #7
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Leopard 40

Impressions from visiting the Miami boat show, in the 38-40ft range we liked the Leopard 40 but were also impressed by the Island Spirit 401 and left the show favoring her, a test sail will be necessary to put to bed questions as to under deck clearance and weight at stern but for a liverboard she was our favorite, opinions please.
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Old 03-03-2006, 05:23   #8
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Lagoon 380


Yes, the Lagoon 380 has the engines in the stern and are accessed via external hatches, which is great to keep the engine grime out of the living space. We looked at the 380 several times and loved everything about them except for the small galley. We ended up settling on the 430 Voyage. Good luck on your search.

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Old 03-03-2006, 09:03   #9
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Hi Cameron,

I have a 2000 Island Spirit 37, which I bought three years ago. Like all the S. African cats, the bridge deck clearance is low on the IS's, but I haven't found it to be a major problem. I do get occasional "cat slap" in short choppy seas, but in 10' - 12' swells it hasn't been a problem.

And the layout of the IS's, IMHO, is superior to the other cats in that size range. Much more usable cockpit space then Lagoons, for example. I do like the Leopards, though - very nice boats.

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Old 03-03-2006, 12:33   #10
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Not only has the Lagoon 380 got the engines 'at the back' they are mounted behind (astern of) the rudders, which is a bit unusual.
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:51   #11
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Aft of the engines.

Man Moby. You're not kidding about that being odd!!

First time I ever heard of the engines being that far astern (aft)?

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 04-03-2006, 18:26   #12
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I also just heard about the Lagoon 38 engines being aft of the rudders.Wouldn't this affect the ability to maneuver in a channel or mooring field.
Who builds the Voyage cat. I can not seem to get much info on them. Do they have a web site?
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:50   #13
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Voyage cats

Built in South Aftrica. Here is the web site It doesn't always work though.
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Old 05-03-2006, 06:26   #14
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In the process of researching boats deciding on a purchase, I have spent 2 weeks sailing a Lagoon 380, 4 weeks sailing an Island Spirit 37 and 2 years owning a Manta 40, so here are my impressions of the three boats.

The Lagoon was brand new, recently launched. It is a nice boat with decent workmanship, and the owners version is immensly more livable than the charter version. Many of the systems were odd, however I find that true for most French boats so it might just be a personal thing. Some of the trim and interior hardware were cheap and easily broken. The engines located in a separate compartment has pros and cons. The pro is that they are separate from the interior and very easy to work on and around. The space in the compartments is surprisingly large. However, I would not want to work back there in inclement weather or heavy seas. The saildrives located aft of the rudder is a mistake IMO. The rudder is hopeless, and steering at low speed needs to be done entirely with the engines - particularly in reverse. The boat manuevers sluggishly under power, and using the engines around docks requires a lot of thought. I never got used to their position and don't like it. This wasn't enough to dissuade me from purchasing it - that decision was made after sailing it. The L380 fell off my list because of its sailing performance. Quite frankly, the boat is a dog. Like I mentioned earlier, the boat was just launched with clean bottom and new sails. However, bringing it above a beam reach would slow it down dramatically, and it just would not point well, even for a cat. On a beam reach in 20kt tradewinds, we would struggle to get and hold 7kt speeds (for comparison the IS37 and Manta will easily sail at 8-11 kts in these conditions). Now, the problem may have been mine, but I have been sailing cats for awhile and spent a lot of time adjusting and experimenting to find this boat's groove. I wanted to like the L380 very much, but it just wouldn't let me. Strangely, I have sailed a L410 for a couple of hours and has MUCH better performance, even though the design looks very similar.

I was impressed with the Island Spirit 37. It is a nicely laid out boat with good systems and a very livable design with good storage and access. Of the three boats, this one is the heaviest. However it sails much better than the L380 and not as good as the Manta. It does not have a good reefer/freezer solution for liveaboard, and no easy way to add one. The 4-cabin version I was on had very small heads. The 3-cabin owner's version would be a very nice, livable boat (except for that reefer issue). The cockpit and transom access are brilliant. The traveler and mainsail control system is well-designed, but having the furler winch mounted under a transom seat and blocked by a stanchion should earn the guy who made that decision a hundred lashes. Also, the bridgedeck is very low on this boat, and the waveslap and pounding were much more pronounced compared to the L380 and M40. I think I might have bought this boat if I hadn't looked at the Manta.

I won't go into why I like the Manta much because it won't be as objective and kind of redundant. To sum: it sails the best of the three (although none of these are pointing, speed demons). It is specifically designed for a liveaboard cruising couple with occasional guests. This means that all sail handling and control can be easily done by one person, and space is utilized for storage and owner comfort instead of having lots of bunks, baths and 12-seater buffet tables.

One thing I would like to address is living with the engines inside the boat. I don't find this to be a problem. The compartments are well-insulated, so the noise is not loud, and the cabins do not heat up appreciably. I get no engine smells. In fact, I think people fret too much about this. Modern diesels should not smell, and if they do, you need to find the problem and fix it. When doing maintanence, I simply wipe up any small amount of fuel or oil that I spill. As far as access goes, this is only a minor issue. All routine checks (oil, transmission, throughhulls, impeller, etc) can be done without removing the mattresses. Manta now designs the access so the mattress doesn't need to be removed at all for any access (see pic in link).
This is an easy modification, and I am doing that to mine now. I am always grateful when it is crappy weather and I want to do some engine mainenance. Best thing about engines inside is if you need a different tool or want to answer the phone, change the music, etc, you simply do it - no need to crawl out of a compartment and back inside the boat. Even easier: you can simply ask the mate to get you something without shouting from the outside!

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Old 05-03-2006, 11:36   #15
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As one who has been researching the 37' to 38' cats for some time, and have asked questions in previous threads about the Athena's and Lagoons, THANK YOU for sharing your experience with the three cats you sailed.


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