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Old 13-12-2014, 04:46   #31
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by Allotrope View Post
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.
If you believe you can hit a reef with a GRP boat and not penetrate to/thru the core, please share whatever it is you are smoking. Unlike a sand bar, a reef doesn't lift the boat out of the water, it cuts the boat into pieces. Ask Captain Schettino.
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Old 13-12-2014, 05:01   #32
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
........

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?
On the Lagoons I've looked at, the keel is open, hence in a savage grounding if the keel is getting hammered, you have a hull full of water. That won't happen on Leopard/FP. The "sacrificial" keel offers a buffer of ~30" between a flooded hull and a dry hull. Hitting a reef at 3.5' depth in a Lagoon = wet hull, Leopard/FP = dry hull. I'll take the dry hull.
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Old 13-12-2014, 06:49   #33
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Hitting a reef at 3.5' depth in a Lagoon = wet hull, Leopard/FP = dry hull.
So it follows you have to be a better sailor to own a Lagoon.

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Old 13-12-2014, 16:16   #34
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
On the Lagoons I've looked at, the keel is open, hence in a savage grounding if the keel is getting hammered, you have a hull full of water. That won't happen on Leopard/FP. The "sacrificial" keel offers a buffer of ~30" between a flooded hull and a dry hull. Hitting a reef at 3.5' depth in a Lagoon = wet hull, Leopard/FP = dry hull. I'll take the dry hull.
You should spend more time in the bilges of Lagoons. Some earlier models had deep bilges in their keels. Most owners filled these keels to within 6 inches of the hull bottom. Newer models have solid keels from the factory.

I agree that this whole subject of speculating how long a fibreglass boat will survive a grounding on a reef is pure BS. In savage conditions the difference in survival time between a cored and a solid layup could be measured in seconds! Best to avoid the reef in the first place.

But to continue the silly thread, what makes you so sure that your sacrificial keel would stay attached to the hull in order to protect it?
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Old 13-12-2014, 16:43   #35
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

With regard to the OP's question, I have had my L45 for over ten years. It has held up very well and is now fifteen year old, fourteen of which have been spent in crewed charter, the first five year with the Moorings, and the last nine with me. It' a great boat. That generation of Leopards (38, 42, 43, 45, 47) had straight shafts and sacrificial keels. The next generation, designed by MM, had saildrives. I believe that some of the current ones have straight drives again, with a V-drive, but I don't think it's true of all of them.....don't know for sure.

Living and working in the charter community in the BVI one gets a very good idea of the strengths and weaknesses and maintenance requirements of most all of the production cats, and quite a few of the less common ones that are in crewed charter. Pretty much everyone knows and helps everyone else...it's a great laboratory. I can tell you that Leopard cores are not a concern to anyone. The hulls are so strong and stiff that they can take a huge beating. That said, I do know of three Leopards that had some core damage as the result of bad accidents and groundings. I know of several Lagoons that suffered the same indignity. In all cases, a proper repair was pretty easy to get done. But I don't know of any Leopards whose hulls delaminated simply through age and wear and tear....and wear and tear here is far from normal! Modern building methods, when done right, have pretty much solved the problems of the 70's. It's worth realizing that there are lots of areas on Leopards that are solid and not cored, including the stems and the strips down the centerlines. IF there is a charter maintenance person in the BVI who does not think that the Leopards are very strong and more durable than the other brands, I haven't met him!

One does see a fair number of F/P's getting osmosis treatment. Haven't seen many blisters on all the Leopards, put together.

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Old 13-12-2014, 16:51   #36
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

I got a Brand new LP 40 in the boatyard hull breached and sterns gone due Hurricane Gonzalo, as far i see, they are close cell foam core in the topsides, and balsa in the deck, but im not 100 sure , i can take pictures if any is interested....
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Old 13-12-2014, 16:55   #37
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Living and working in the charter community in the BVI one gets a very good idea of the strengths and weaknesses and maintenance requirements of most all of the production cats, and quite a few of the less common ones that are in crewed charter.
Except that the BVI is not a very challenging environment. Recommend you cite more voyaging and open water experience. This doesn't mean the boats aren't capable, just that you need a bigger boast, unless you're striving for a "best coastal cruiser" award....

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Old 13-12-2014, 17:39   #38
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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But to continue the silly thread, what makes you so sure that your sacrificial keel would stay attached to the hull in order to protect it?
What makes you think I'll hit a reef that's shallow enough to hit the hull?

A reef deeper than ~18-20" won't cause a wet hull.

Can you guarantee that on a Lagoon?
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:09   #39
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Except that the BVI is not a very challenging environment. Recommend you cite more voyaging and open water experience. This doesn't mean the boats aren't capable, just that you need a bigger boast, unless you're striving for a "best coastal cruiser" award....

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Voyaging and open water aren't where hulls get damaged in the main. It's places like the Caribbean, GBR, PNG, SE Asia that are challenging in this context.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:16   #40
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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What makes you think I'll hit a reef that's shallow enough to hit the hull?

A reef deeper than ~18-20" won't cause a wet hull.

Can you guarantee that on a Lagoon?
I sincerely hope you don't hit any reef of any depth. Hypothetically, if you grounded in, say 36 inches, you would be stuck and at the mercy of surge and perhaps a falling tide. That's a situation that a solid keel, if attached, may protect the hulls. For how long? That's depends on many factors and each situation is different. That's why the comparison of 2 grounded boats, one suffering far less damage is ridiculous. Salesman BS.

If your sacrificial keel detached in the same hypothetical situation then you may be free of the grounding. This happened a few years ago to a newly launched Fusion 40 catamaran on a Queensland coastal river bar. The vessel ran aground, the keels detached and the vessel motored to deeper water, minus it's keels. As an aside, I heard that the keels were not correctly bonded to the hull!

In another situation, a keel detachment may allow the boat to be carried into even shallower waters. Best not to go there!

No, I won't guarantee a a Lagoon to survive a grounding on reef, nor any other boat for that matter.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:35   #41
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Voyaging and open water aren't where hulls get damaged in the main. It's places like the Caribbean, GBR, PNG, SE Asia that are challenging in this context.
The claim was, "strengths and weaknesses and maintenance requirements of most all of the production cats."

That context is more than running aground. Certainly you don't argue that cruising in the BVI is the standard for proving strengths and weaknesses, right?

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Old 13-12-2014, 19:05   #42
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by tuskie View Post

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 "sacrific A keel that falls off and floats away or one that stays there and takes punishment instead of the hull bottom?
Ahh you may want to check some things before making these kinds of comments.
The difference in keels is you rip open a lagoon keel you flood the boat. Leopard keels could get ripped wide open half ground off whatever , (they don't pop off and float away like a lego log cabin) and you wont flood your cat,
Also pretty incorrect. On the difference of glass thickness, I've seen pictures measured of the lagoons glass thickness below wl and it is a few mm Thinner than the outer skin layer on the leopards and roughly equal to the inner skin layer. As for impact resistance a thick cored hull beats out thin solid glass everytime. I'm not saying either boat can withstand a reef impact at full speed, but a lagoon will get completely punctured far easier and offshore that can be really bad.
Your still gonna get hurt wearing a bullet proof chest, but at least you have a better chance your gonna live.....




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Old 13-12-2014, 19:12   #43
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

Stay off the friggin reefs!!!


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Old 13-12-2014, 22:46   #44
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
The claim was, "strengths and weaknesses and maintenance requirements of most all of the production cats."

That context is more than running aground. Certainly you don't argue that cruising in the BVI is the standard for proving strengths and weaknesses, right?

2 Hulls Dave
Actually, boats in constant charter service ARE a pretty good test for how a boat and its systems are built and maintained. But, aside from that, lots of the BVI charter boats range way farther afield than the BVI, including ocean crossings. Many crossed an ocean to get here, in the first place.

And there are the 5 million miles Leopards have racked up in deliveries from Capetown to all over the world, in all sorts of weather, without losing a boat. Surely you see the merit in that?
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Old 13-12-2014, 22:47   #45
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Re: Leopard Catamarans from South Africa

By the way, I am pretty sure the OP did, in fact, get a Leopard, which is what he was seeking information about.
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