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Old 19-10-2017, 15:33   #1
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Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

I like the Leopard forward door & seating area at anchor but am wondering if they are good idea underway in heavy seas.

Does anyone have experience or opinion on this?
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Old 19-10-2017, 17:04   #2
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

The Leopard 40 was number 2 on my list. I have absolutely no concern about running that boat in heavy seas. There are adequate scuppers. Same for the even larger forward area on the 45.

I have not run a Leopard 40 or 45 in heavy seas, but have run other cats in tall water. By my experience it is normal to take serious spray in the area just forward of the cabin but rare to take more than occassional full green water.
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Old 19-10-2017, 18:54   #3
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

I have an opinion, but never sailed on a 44 or 48 Leopard. Once when we crossed a River / Ocean bar we took green water over the bow and saloon roof, once every 10 seconds. A salesmen once told me the Leopard front section can drain in about 30 seconds - so effectively in such conditions it would never be empty, I don't know the volume of water this area holds (the L450 / 440 also has a similar area up front but much smaller volume) - so it may be a ton or more of water up there just when you don't want it - the hulls may have been designed to cope with this, I don't know, but it would be something I would want to know. The other issue is that if this area is full of water you would want the door to be pretty resilient and water proof and preferably shut at the the time!
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Old 19-10-2017, 20:14   #4
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Personally I'm not a fan of the forward lounge area. It is really just a design trend / gimmick intended for the charter industry where it may be nice for some guests to sit here while sailing in light conditions. I also agree with the comments from Bean Counter.

The really annoying thing that I don't like about these designs though is that while standing at the helm you cannot see the bows which is a negative when sailing in larger see conditions & also a real issue during docking or refuelling & close quarter manoeuvring.

I've stood at the helms of the Leopard 40 & 45 & both have this "invisible bow" issue & I would never buy one for this reason alone. I'm just under 6 foot tall as well. Give me a well designed cat with a flat water shedding deck behind the tramps & a large cockpit at the rear. You can't cram 2 lounge areas/ cockpits into a design without sacrificing other "usual" good features.

So, I suggest you stand at the helm & see if you can see the bows.
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Old 20-10-2017, 00:13   #5
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Chris White seems to think a forward cockpit is fine. That's good enough for me.
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Old 20-10-2017, 05:22   #6
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Here's some reference material:

https://www.leopardcatamarans.com/si...ardCockpit.pdf

https://www.leopardcatamarans.com/ne...ing-leopard-44


The brochure includes data gathered on the testing of the drain function.

v/r/,
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Old 20-10-2017, 06:10   #7
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

I own one and have no serious concerns about the forward hatch (it really isn't a "door") or the ability to clear water from the area. On the L40 the forward "cockpit" is nothing more than access from the hatch to the foredeck. In the area surrounding the access on the port side is the lazarette with one of the water tanks, just forward is another which is wet storage, and to starboard is a large lazarette which contains the generator, second (larger) water tank and storage for deck lines / fenders. So, the only area that might fill with water is in the access area from the forward hatch to the foredeck. The hatch itself is very heavy (approx 1" thick) armored glass with three (3) hatch dogs to seal the hatch, just like a similar sized hatch on the large ocean-going ships I have worked on. At anchor or on a mooring the ability to open the forward hatch and the aft sliding glass makes the salon area very, very comfortable.
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Old 20-10-2017, 07:12   #8
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

1st hand account:

Posts #39 - 41:

Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...
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Old 20-10-2017, 11:45   #9
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

I also own a 44ft Leopard. I have had the opportunity to sail her in some pretty steep waves and have never had an issue with water collecting.
Still waiting to hear if she survived Irma as she was moored in Tortola at the time.
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Old 20-10-2017, 12:00   #10
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

I sailed our Leopard 48 from Cape Town to Maine and back to Florida, over a 3.5 year period. I have taken water over the helm, pitched deep into a breaking wave. The cockpit drains fine but if all 3 of the dogs on the forward windows aren't really tight, they will leak. Also, a lot of water would squirt in, around the front door...a lot of water.
The glass/plastic on the Leopards will crack due to stress. To our great shock we had a large salon side window crack on a calm day, just cracked, and the crack worked its way from bottom to top and was big enough to let rain water through. This has happened more than Leopard wants to admit. I loved living on the boat but that front window is a drag on performance. You don't buy a Leopard for performance and you can't beat the forward cockpit for hanging out.
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Old 20-10-2017, 12:35   #11
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

From LeeV's second link above:

'We had true wind speeds gusting into the lower 70s, but between 50-60 was frequent, from NW’lies to SW’lies, hence we would keep the weather on the quarter, and keep apparent wind speeds down. But usually the depressions would not last for more than 24 hours, so the seas would only pick up to 5-7 m, mostly a more or less comfortable, long period swell, which would push the boat along nicely, giving us some surf speeds up to 18 knots on the odd occasion."

Wow. If the delivery captain felt comfortable on the boat in these conditions, I don't think that the typical cruiser should have any worries.
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Old 20-10-2017, 14:32   #12
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Check out "SV Happy Together" on youtube. They have a Leopard 48 that has logged many miles of bluewater sailing without issue.

Leopards tend to be heavy for their size, have slightly lower bulkhead height in the hulls(at 6'1, I had to duck slightly), but have great design for comfort while still being capable cruisers.
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Old 20-10-2017, 15:10   #13
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

We too sailed our Leopard 48 in winds up to 60 knots and I had total confidence in the boat. And the window cracked and the fuel tanks leaked and the SD50 cone drives failed too soon, the sika flex failed and had to be replaced twice. But the boat sailed well. We've sold our boat. Most owners fear publicly discussing the issues they're having. If I were in the market for an ocean cruising cat I'd look at a used Leopard 48, for sure. If I want a fast cat I'd go light and look at a used Catana or Outremer, which have their own problems. They are all boats and all boats have issues.
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Old 20-10-2017, 18:03   #14
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Quote:
Originally Posted by YADO View Post
They are all boats and all boats have issues.

And there speaks a man with a balanced opinion
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Old 20-10-2017, 23:06   #15
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Re: Leopard Catamaran Forward Door & Seating Area

Chartered a 44 in Croatia this summer and loved the front cockpit. First time sailing on a cat, enjoyed pretty much everything about it.
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