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Old 09-06-2011, 00:05   #1
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Leopard 43???

I am looking for a leopard at the moment and noticed that the 43 s are not really moving, what gives? Is it the price? Or is there something to be known about the build quality? Just interested to know if there is any info out there regarding them.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:42   #2
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Re: Leopard 43???

Maybe it's the balsa cored hulls? I've crossed Leopards off my shopping list for this reason.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:42   #3
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Re: Leopard 43???

I'm not a big fan of balsa but it is the most prevalent core material used. I bet that more than 50% of the production cats use balsa. I also bet that most cat buyers aren't savvy on the pros and cons. I believe that balsa is fine as a core material provided it's done right and the boat has been properly maintained. I also believe that the reason Leapords might not be selling is the economy and owners may be ditching their boats. Would I buy a balsa cored boat? Maybe, because that is most of what is out there. BOB
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:02   #4
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Re: Leopard 43???

Balsa core is fine on any boat as long as it is not below the water line.

Leopards use balsa core below the water line.
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:01   #5
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Re: Leopard 43???

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Balsa core is fine on any boat as long as it is not below the water line.

Leopards use balsa core below the water line.
Just curious, have there been any problems with them? Also, are any of the other major production cats builders doing this?
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:26   #6
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Re: Leopard 43???

Doodles,

It has not been a problem for Leopard using balsa below the water line so far. I suspect they are just not old enough yet. The three largest production catamaran companies, FP Lagoon & Gemini do not use balsa below the water line.
A large number of older boats with balsa core below the water line do have wet balsa problems. I almost purchased a J boat until the survey showed old hull repairs and a lot of soft spots.
The tragedy here is that balsa core is designed in to make the boat lighter, but in the Leopards case the boats still are very heavy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:28   #7
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Re: Leopard 43???

I would be interested to know which production cats are balsa and which aren't.

As far as I know from my uneducatedness, FP, Lagoon and Gemini are GRP so that is possibly 70+ percent of market share for production cats alone???

Seems most of the South African cats are balsa.

I can't see why you would want the issues of ozmosis AND demlamination and rot etc.

If it's not made of Balsa, it won't suffer from rot and it won't de-laminate. That's crossed off 2 of the main 3 issues, rot, de-lamination & ozmosis.

I get frustrated by builders that don't make it obvious in the specifications that the construction is balsa core.

I visited a boat yard recently. He exclusively repaired rot in old cats and was making a nice living from it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:42   #8
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Re: Leopard 43???

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Doodles,

It has not been a problem for Leopard using balsa below the water line so far. I suspect they are just not old enough yet. The three largest production catamaran companies, FP Lagoon & Gemini do not use balsa below the water line.
A large number of older boats with balsa core below the water line do have wet balsa problems. I almost purchased a J boat until the survey showed old hull repairs and a lot of soft spots.
The tragedy here is that balsa core is designed in to make the boat lighter, but in the Leopards case the boats still are very heavy.
Anybody know about Catana and Privilege? Do they?

I understand the issue. I use to own a Niagara by Hinterhoeller and it was balsa cored. So were the C&C's I understand. Fortunately, the de-lamination problem I had was in the deck not the hull. I was lucky, but I wouldn't own one again I don't think.
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Old 09-06-2011, 18:14   #9
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Re: Leopard 43???

Here is a Catana with a Balsa core. I cannot confirm if they all are.

Used Catana 44 for Sale | Yachthub

Privelages are built using vacuum bagged, closed cell PVC foam.
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Old 09-06-2011, 18:39   #10
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Re: Leopard 43???

I also would like to know about balsa below the waterline. In which boats and through what years? This is something I wasn't aware of. Also I thought osmosis could be dealt with by preventive maintenance. FWIW, I think Outremers were built with solid fiberglass hulls. And Mantas are foam hulls. I started a thread today Bridgedeck Clearence video and in that video he talks about Leapords and pounding.....BOB
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Old 09-06-2011, 19:26   #11
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Re: Leopard 43???

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Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
I am looking for a leopard...Just interested to know if there is any info out there regarding them.
Dimitri,

I chartered a Leopard 43 in the BVI in February 2009. Most of them have "aged out" of the fleet--Moorings only keeps them for 5 years and Footloose for another three.

While they may be correct, I don't know where the forum members get their facts regarding Leopard catamarans. I never read that information, but I never really shopped for a Leopard 43, either!

My suggestion is to contact Peter Wiersema at Moorings brokerage. He is probably the most knowledgeable person I know regarding Leopard catamarans. He is also a forum member on multihulls4us dot com and uses the name catabroker.

Good luck.

Marshall
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:05   #12
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Re: Leopard 43???

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Anybody know about Catana and Privilege? Do they?
Privilege use a foam core. Divinycell I think (Divinycell HP - The High Performance, Prepreg Compatible Core)

Used below the waterline but with solid layup around the through-hulls.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:38   #13
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Re: Leopard 43???

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Originally Posted by SearenitySail View Post
Dimitri,

I chartered a Leopard 43 in the BVI in February 2009. Most of them have "aged out" of the fleet--Moorings only keeps them for 5 years and Footloose for another three.

While they may be correct, I don't know where the forum members get their facts regarding Leopard catamarans. I never read that information, but I never really shopped for a Leopard 43, either!

My suggestion is to contact Peter Wiersema at Moorings brokerage. He is probably the most knowledgeable person I know regarding Leopard catamarans. He is also a forum member on multihulls4us dot com and uses the name catabroker.

Good luck.

Marshall
Thanks Marshal. Thank you for all the feedback. I personally think they are overpriced and thats the reason they are not moving.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:44   #14
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Re: Leopard 43???

I don't think that balsa coring is that common any more. And of those manufacturers still using it (for many good reasons) few would use it below the waterline. The problems with balsa coring are not new, and the general trend of buyers in recent years is to avoid it. That may make many good old boats better buys for a knowledgeable shopper. Even below the waterline, coring repairs are possible and not exceptionally expensive, but they must be done early.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:56   #15
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Re: Leopard 43???

I used to be dubious re balsa below, but having worked with cats, mainly Leopards, that are balsa below, my opinion has changed.
We have had a number of boats that have been damaged below the waterline, two in particular, one hit a whale just outside of Cape Town on its way here, the other was on a reef for three days in Cuba And then another month in the water down there while we sent a crew down to patch and retireve her, both had obvious damage through the outer skin into the core, neither had any water migrating more than 6" from damaged area.
As an FYI, all the through hulls etc do not go through coring, they are solid in those areas.
Kent Grimbeek
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