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Old 16-06-2009, 06:20   #1
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Leopard 42 - Easy to Sail?

Who knows the Leopard 42 for a 18 month sabbatical time with 5 onboard (2+3). Sailing, comfort, manoeuver, thinks to watch (used one), defaults. Thanks to tell us your experience

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Old 16-06-2009, 06:33   #2
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I have not sailed the Leopard 42, I have sailed a leopard 46 with my three small children and my wife and managed basically singlehaned no problem. As long as you plan in advance should be easier. I found it easier to handle single handed than I do my L34 monohull.

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Old 16-06-2009, 08:02   #3
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I have sailed the Leopard 38. That boat was not easy to sail, tacking sometimes involved back winding the jib. The new Leopard 46 is a new modern design and sails very well. From an ease of sailing perspective you can not beat the Manta 42.
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Old 17-06-2009, 12:47   #4
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We are looking at purchasing a Leopard 42. The yacht broker said the only negative is the mast is 65' and not intracoastal friendly.
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Old 21-06-2009, 05:51   #5
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Leopard 42s slam a lot

Below is a copy and paste of a thread I started a few months ago about slamming, following a charter in Tonga on a Leopard 42 (Moorings 4200). It slammed so badly, even in the protected waters of Vava'u, that we took it off our wishlist. Sailing-wise, I confirm that tacking may require attention: we often had to start an engine to assist. Apart from that, it is roomy and comfortable, albeit heavy and slow.
The Leopard 42 is a good charter boat for island-hopping in the Bahamas or Carribean, but I wouldn't consider it for blue-water cruising because of its low bridge-deck clearance.

Unbearable slamming
Originally Posted by svBeBe
Whichever cat you choose, try to sail it offshore in rough seas before buying it. Most frequent complaint from those we have met (all having sailed at least 7000 NM in their cat -- various brands) is that the hull water noise on long passages is almost unbearable.
S/V BeBeOriginally Posted by Adaero

I'm surprised hull water noise is not more often discussed on this forum. The quote above reflects my concerns. "Unbearable", that's also the word I used in a different thread to describe how we felt about slamming on a Leopard 42, that we chartered in Tonga last month. We were then sailing with whales metres from the boat, so there was plenty of excitement on board, we shouldn't have paid so much notice to pounding. And no, the pounding wasn't caused by disoriented humpback whales hitting our hulls... I can only imagine what it must be like during passages, without much to distract you from pounding and slamming for days on end.

This charter in the protected waters of Vava'u further convinced me that bridge deck clearance should be the number one parameter when it comes to choosing a bluewater cat. In particular, it surprises me that Leopards still make it on the shortlist of many of you for bluewater cruising, for that reason alone. Don't take me wrong: we liked this cat, who is comfortable and well adapted to charter in calm waters, and faster than I thought (we hit 13 knots). Beyond bridge deck clearance, it seems that the shape of the hull plays a big role. In particular, in spite of low bridge-deck clearance, the Lagoon 420 (maybe also because of its weight) seems to be surprisingly comfortable, even in gale conditions (see in particular the posts by "Octopus")

At the moment, the Fountaine Pajots top our wish-list: a lot of buoyancy at the front, and a very high bridge-deck clearance. For instance, thanks to its hull design, the FP Bahia 46 seems to be, from what I've read on this site and others, one of the most comfortable and easy cats on the market (second-hand market now). We tried both Lavezzi (Jan 2008) and Orana (June 2008), on calm seas and 10-15 knots of wind, so we couldn't get an idea of how they would fare as far as slamming is concerned.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 26-06-2009, 14:34   #6
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Originally Posted by Babar View Post
Who knows the Leopard 42 for a 18 month sabbatical time with 5 onboard (2+3). Sailing, comfort, manoeuver, thinks to watch (used one), defaults. Thanks to tell us your experience
I must differ from the preceding comments regarding slamming and tacking on a Leopard 42. I've owned my Leopard 42 JAMU since 2003, with 5 1/2 years in charter service in Croatia and Belize, and now one year in private use and cruising offshore Honduras. I've also sailed the Leopard 43, which is essentially the same boat, in Australia and the Seychelles. We've sailed in 8-10 ft seas and rarely experienced objectionable "slamming". That's not to say that the bridge deck never slaps a bit. Such can generally be managed by adjusting the boat speed and angle of attack. Every Leopard is delivered from South Africa on their own bottoms, so I find the comments from Wellington "not a blue water boat" a bit odd. As far as tacking the boat, I've singlehanded (I normally sail with just my First Mate) extensively in rough water and very rarely missed a tack. I also wouldn't call reaching at 7-8 kts in an 18 kt breeze particularly slow, given the space and comfort level of this boat.

Safe Sailing,
JamuJoe - Durango, CO
S/V JAMU - Western Caribbean
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