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Old 25-11-2014, 19:20   #16
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Certainly we know FP has a history of osmosis/blisters that is well known but I have never heard of balsa issues with Leopard. Have you??

Australian builders have built most Schonnings, Spirited catamarans and Oram's using all balsa construction. I have not heard of any issues with them also.

Clearly there are issues with balsa in quite a number of USA built vessels but mostly it seems to be poor construction and improperly fitted fittings. All well known issues.
Yes, we saw a number of FP cats hauled around the world getting all the gel taken off them and re-applied. I spoke with the technical guy from FP in Raiatea and he was explaining the issue around a new process in manufacture they were not quite ready for.

I must say I admired the fact that FP was not trying to find reasons NOT to back its product ... they seriously were working hard at hauling boats and setting the issues straight!

Of course I was noit one of the owners ... would be nice to hear what they have to say about it, but from where I was standing ... it seemed they were really doing everything necessary to rectify the problem ... and that is after all what we need from our boat builders!
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Old 27-11-2014, 06:17   #17
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Dotdum , i am not an agent or peddler , i am just passionate about Catamarans. I see you have an FP. They have had many troublesome issues with regards to blisters osmosis and delamination.
I dont work for FP either. I do though , surf the net and i am on various yacht forums.If there were any leopard/Balsa issues , these would have been brought to the fore and one could read about various warranty repairs , gripes etc .

One can just google FP and read the multitude of issues regarding the above. Do the same for leopard......O
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:15   #18
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

The OP asking for comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mavasu View Post
I have been a trimaran sailor for 18 years now and am considering a switch to catamarans for cruising.Do any of you have experience with Leopard catamarans specifically the Leopard 40?
mavasu
One person's opinion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keegan View Post
....... They do have balsa core below the waterline and that is a concern for me.
Your authoritative response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
Get over the balsa core man !!!! Built over 1200 leopards so far and you can count the total balsa issues on one flaming hand.
I question the authority and responses are attacking FP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
Dotdum , i am not an agent or peddler , i am just passionate about Catamarans. I see you have an FP. They have had many troublesome issues with regards to blisters osmosis and delamination.
I dont work for FP either. I do though , surf the net and i am on various yacht forums.If there were any leopard/Balsa issues , these would have been brought to the fore and one could read about various warranty repairs , gripes etc .

One can just google FP and read the multitude of issues regarding the above. Do the same for leopard......O
Ah yes, of course, reading the Internet makes one an instant authority.

The bottom line, balsa core is a concern. If core penetrations are not performed properly, it causes problems. I would be concerned also if I owned a boat with balsa core. If I owned the only boat with wet balsa out of 1,000,000 it doesn't matter, I'm the one that has to deal with it. Also, in comparison, balsa coring is heavier than alternatives.

But the real reason for my post: one should not be chastised for expressing their opinion. He said it is a concern of his, unlike you, he didn't forbid you from having a differing opinion.
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Old 28-11-2014, 14:49   #19
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Point taken. I'm just a bit tired of listening to folks spout their thoughts and concerns that are not warranted . If there was a history of leopards with balsa core issues , then fair enough....but there have not been any . I have owned 2 leopard cats and will be buying my third. I have 6 years live aboard experience and have spent many hours at their factory in Cape Town.
Robertson and Caine pride themselves with their hand made products.
Remember that comments you make like the one you did , can break down and put some people off a leopard cat. It's so easy to break down and so hard to build up a good reputation.
Yes , if there is any dirt on anything , you will find it on google. You know that , just being a twit
Good luck with your FP
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Old 28-11-2014, 15:18   #20
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
Point taken. I'm just a bit tired of listening to folks spout their thoughts and concerns that are not warranted . If there was a history of leopards with balsa core issues , then fair enough....but there have not been any . I have owned 2 leopard cats and will be buying my third. I have 6 years live aboard experience and have spent many hours at their factory in Cape Town.
Robertson and Caine pride themselves with their hand made products.
Remember that comments you make like the one you did , can break down and put some people off a leopard cat. It's so easy to break down and so hard to build up a good reputation.
Yes , if there is any dirt on anything , you will find it on google. You know that , just being a twit
Good luck with your FP
I have no problem Leopard, I have 2 close friends with Leopards. I've worked on/cruised/sailed on both boats. They are fine boats. The difference between the big 3 productions cats come down to personal preference, just like choosing between Honda or Toyota.

But, if all things are equal between a boat with balsa core and the other foam core, I'd chose foam. Foam is lighter and won't melt at the first touch of water like balsa.

Yes, I understand that Leopard has 10-12" of solid glass on the bottom of the hull, which is where the thru-hulls are mounted. But what about the professional you hire to add something above the waterline? Will he seal it properly? Will he care about a soft spot on the deck a year or two from now?

Balsa is OK, one just has to be aware of it and make sure all core penetrations are done properly.
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Old 28-11-2014, 23:30   #21
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I have no problem Leopard, I have 2 close friends with Leopards. I've worked on/cruised/sailed on both boats. They are fine boats. The difference between the big 3 productions cats come down to personal preference, just like choosing between Honda or Toyota.

But, if all things are equal between a boat with balsa core and the other foam core, I'd chose foam. Foam is lighter and won't melt at the first touch of water like balsa.

Yes, I understand that Leopard has 10-12" of solid glass on the bottom of the hull, which is where the thru-hulls are mounted. But what about the professional you hire to add something above the waterline? Will he seal it properly? Will he care about a soft spot on the deck a year or two from now?

Balsa is OK, one just has to be aware of it and make sure all core penetrations are done properly.
Thats it with balsa. Thesedays we should all be aware that you don't just drill or screw balsa. Used correctly there is not an issue.
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Old 28-11-2014, 23:55   #22
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Didn't want to bring it up but seems no one else is ...there is a thread on another website ( not naming) detailing major issues with a new 40 by both the owner and delivery skipper and how the company handled it ...
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Old 29-11-2014, 00:07   #23
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Yes there is, but that has absolutely nothing to do with a Leopard catamaran or core material, so is totally irrelevant to this thread! Stick to the topic!
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Old 29-11-2014, 00:35   #24
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Sorry - I stand corrected - it was a different brand...wondered why it hadn't surfaced....my bad ...!
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Old 29-11-2014, 01:28   #25
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by Nordic cat View Post
Hi
Have a look at the multihull forum here, plenty of threads on Leopards, or else use the search button ..

Regards

Alan
a forum would die if people could not post about things that have already been posted, just my two cents no disrespect intended
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Old 12-12-2014, 17:21   #26
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

I was initially concerned about the "Balsa" issue too, but I have come to the conclusion that is is a straw man, I had a long conversation with a well respected surveyor and his opinion was in a nutshell that Balsa was a huge plus, making the Leopard substantially stronger than many other cats with a much stronger thicker hull especially below the water line. He gave as an example a Leopard and a Lagoon that had both hit reefs, the Lagoon had had pretty much its entire button ripped of, the Leopard had some damage but still managed to bet back to a marina.
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Old 12-12-2014, 17:44   #27
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Using balsa as a core is a great method of construction as long as it is done correctly and maintained correctly . If not done correctly or maintained correctly it can be a disaster.


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Old 12-12-2014, 20:23   #28
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allotrope View Post
I was initially concerned about the "Balsa" issue too, but I have come to the conclusion that is is a straw man, I had a long conversation with a well respected surveyor and his opinion was in a nutshell that Balsa was a huge plus, making the Leopard substantially stronger than many other cats with a much stronger thicker hull especially below the water line. He gave as an example a Leopard and a Lagoon that had both hit reefs, the Lagoon had had pretty much its entire button ripped of, the Leopard had some damage but still managed to bet back to a marina.
Your thesis is gravely flawed. With GRP, it doesn't matter what the core is, balsa or foam, neither can stand up to a collision with a reef.
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Old 12-12-2014, 23:13   #29
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

No I do not believe the thesis is flawed, yes there will be damage in both cases, but a thick balsa core beats a thin foam core every time for structural strength.

What I believe is that the Leopard is the strongest production cat below the water line due to the way it is built.

Balsa only becomes an issue if there is a leak into the hull that goes undetected for a considerable period of time.
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Old 13-12-2014, 02:23   #30
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allotrope View Post
He gave as an example a Leopard and a Lagoon that had both hit reefs, the Lagoon had had pretty much its entire button ripped of, the Leopard had some damage but still managed to bet back to a marina.
Was it the SAME reef at the SAME time? Otherwise this is just another BS salesman story. I'll bet it wasn't!

No one with any, tiny, minuscule understanding of boat building would contend that a thick solid GRP laminate bottom is inferior in a grounding situation to ANY cored laminate, balsa or foam. Other than steel or plate alloy, solid thick glass stands up best to a grounding. As everyone knows, this may be short lived in any case depending on prevailing conditions!

Leopard catamarans have a thick GRP skin over the balsa core, but it is nowhere as thick as a solid GRP layup, as Lagoons have.

On a more serious note: Leopards and Fountaine Pajots have detachable "sacrificial" keels, whereas Lagoons have a moulded integral keel. In a savage grounding on hard bottom which would offer the best protection? A keel that falls off and floats away or one that stays there and takes punishment instead of the hull bottom?
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