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Old 15-02-2015, 13:42   #1
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Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

I am planning to retire soon and am looking for help in making the right selection of boat to live out a dream. From what I have looked at considering features, performance and maintenance, the Leopard 44 and the Helia 44 seem to be sound choices.
I have read pros and cons on both but still not sure which would be better for sailing the Caribbean.
The concerns on the leopard are mostly on the weight to power ratio and water accumulation in the forward cockpit area. Although the drain time is stated as being 45 sec, multiple waves could allow for enough water to gather greatly affecting the weight balance. I do love the forward cockpit feature.
I am hoping some of you have some input on this topic.

Thanks for your help

Marc
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Old 15-02-2015, 14:12   #2
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

Marc
I have a 2012 Leopard 44 and have been cruising the Caribbean for a little over two years now. I have sailed Bad Kitty as far as Aruba and will be crossing to Columbia next.
Don't know anything about the Helia 44 but don't think you would go wrong with the Leopard. I have taken lots of water in the forward cockpit and its just not a concern as far as my experience. I has a huge scupper and would think you would have to be in some pretty unusual situations to have a problem. I have never heard of any reports of the problem that concerns you.
Overall, I am very pleased with my 44 and would make the same buy decision if I had it to do over again.
Steve
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Aruba
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Old 15-02-2015, 20:32   #3
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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Originally Posted by williamarcus View Post
I am planning to retire soon and am looking for help in making the right selection of boat to live out a dream. From what I have looked at considering features, performance and maintenance, the Leopard 44 and the Helia 44 seem to be sound choices.
I have read pros and cons on both but still not sure which would be better for sailing the Caribbean.
The concerns on the leopard are mostly on the weight to power ratio and water accumulation in the forward cockpit area. Although the drain time is stated as being 45 sec, multiple waves could allow for enough water to gather greatly affecting the weight balance. I do love the forward cockpit feature.
I am hoping some of you have some input on this topic.

Thanks for your help

Marc
You should talk to owners about how often they use the front cockpit.

The loss of salon space to make the front cockpit need careful evaluation vs. the Helia with richer salon features.

IMO, or course.
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Old 16-02-2015, 14:04   #4
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

I had a great charter onboard a Helia 44, and found systems logical and well thought out. Nice furniture, although there are some sharp edges. The galley was incredible: my wife enjoyed cooking in the middle of the action. Access to engine spaces was great, although the rudder support system was a tad underbuilt, perhaps that acts as a "fuse" to protect the rudder itself. Not sure how all the equipment would do over time, but was a great charter boat. There was good access to thru hulls and lots of storage.

We regularly averaged 10kts under sails, and the helmsman had good visibility. We motored at 6.7 or 8 (one engine or two). Guitar under the stars with booze: awesome score!


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Old 16-02-2015, 14:08   #5
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

Don't overlook the Bali 4.3/4.5 made by Catana.

Very exciting design IMO, especially the 4.3 Loft which may win me over instead of a Helia.
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Old 16-02-2015, 14:23   #6
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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Don't overlook the Bali 4.3/4.5 made by Catana.

Very exciting design IMO, especially the 4.3 Loft which may win me over instead of a Helia.

Not as a world cruiser. Coastal party boat at most. IMHO.


Have you looked at the front. NO nets.
Very scary.


Rob
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Old 16-02-2015, 20:10   #7
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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Not as a world cruiser. Coastal party boat at most. IMHO.





Have you looked at the front. NO nets.

Very scary.





Rob

And all the square corners in the joinery and countertops. Not very safe in rough waters in my opinion.
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Old 24-02-2015, 09:02   #8
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

probably not dangerous as the water clearance is very very high and it brings added buyancy however the weigth/ sail surface ratio is really in favour of motors


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Old 24-02-2015, 10:34   #9
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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We regularly averaged 10kts under sails....
Did you rather mean to say you touched 10 kts once in a while on the best point of sail?

Dave
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Old 24-02-2015, 12:03   #10
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

No, we were blessed to be day hopping along in Hawks Channel from Biscaine Bay to KW so perfect for a screaming reach with relatively flat water. We saw 12.4, and regiilarly 11.6 but average was really 9-10: two 50mile days with 0900 start and anchored by cocktail hr. I was intimidated by her speed, to be honest, because we had five kids aboard, and they loved to scramble. Standard jib and main.

The steering was adequate, not much feel, but very nice Under Otto. We never really got the hang of maneuvering in tight spaces, but I'm more used to monos. Anchored it was an amazing platform for water sports and we liked the Davit system.

Two families loved all the different areas and didn't conflict because you could always find space for yourself. That was a very pleasant discovery!

Upwind we were sailing fat angles in 16-20with two reefs, avg maybe 7.2 over ground but ?3.5 made good? We ended up motor sailing to anchorage that day. The reeefing system was good, but I always tried to set the reef before we set out, so I only ever shook out a reef underway; I didn't set one because we were overpowered.

Brand new sails, bottom was sparkling clean. I have a feeling it would be a poor performer in light winds, but it was some of the most enjoyable sailing I've ever done,l. The other family we sailed with ended up selling their powerboat and buying a sailing catamaran based on that week!
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Old 26-02-2015, 03:54   #11
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

The leopard must have changed since last time I saw one, they didn't have a forward cockpit as far I was aware, just a forward lounge area. No ability to control or sail the boat from there, hardly amounts to the definition of a cockpit. And if Helia averages 10 knots under sail then it should win this years Bris to Gladstone on handicap (OMR) , easily.
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Old 26-02-2015, 13:16   #12
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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The leopard must have changed since last time I saw one, they didn't have a forward cockpit as far I was aware, just a forward lounge area. No ability to control or sail the boat from there, hardly amounts to the definition of a cockpit. And if Helia averages 10 knots under sail then it should win this years Bris to Gladstone on handicap (OMR) , easily.
Haha! Sarcasm font, no doubt. No, I didn't accidentally mistake a GB60 for a Helia just sayin that she could boogie with clean bottom ON A REACH in flat water. To say that since we had two days of awesome conditions made my impression of the boat rather skewed, you are correct. But the speed was off the GPS. YMMV
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:24   #13
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

I can not decide whether to buy helia 44 or bali 43 loft. Do you have advice for me ?
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Old 03-03-2016, 13:39   #14
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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Don't overlook the Bali 4.3/4.5 made by Catana.

Very exciting design IMO, especially the 4.3 Loft which may win me over instead of a Helia.
How can I find comparison info between those two ?
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Old 03-03-2016, 13:46   #15
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Re: Leopard 44 vs Fontain Helia 44

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Originally Posted by Tuzunatac View Post
How can I find comparison info between those two ?

Multihull dynamics


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