Below is a copy and paste of a thread I started a few months ago about slamming, following a charter
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.
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.
Originally 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
Thanks for your feedback.