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Old 21-09-2007, 10:57   #1
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Leopard/Moorings catamaran owners and wannabe's

I have not been able to find a forum for Leopard/Moorings catamarans to share information. I invite owners, wannabe’s, and interested parties to participate, either here, or at the Yahoo group: Leopardcats : Leopard & Moorings catamarans
A little introduction to know you better would be nice. Mine is on my website.
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Old 21-09-2007, 11:26   #2
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I've skippered a Moorings Leopard 4200 (I think this is a Moorings code rather than a builder's) in the Med for the last five summers. Great charter boat, we had 12 adults on board and all had a berth without using the saloon. Great aft deck room, good seakeepers, though they need a bit of a blow to stretch their legs. Can't offer much more advice as I haven't been aboard an owner's version, which uses the starboard hull for washing machine, workshop, etc I believe. Found aft davits to be unreliable, and once had an engine go astern when commanded ahead, but that was down to poor maintenance I'd say. Good luck with the research!!
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Old 21-09-2007, 11:26   #3
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While not by any means an expert, but have 8-13 day BVI charters aboard Moorings 4000, 4200 and 4300.
The boats were enjoyable to sail and we had no issues at all.
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Old 22-09-2007, 13:04   #4
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I don’t think there will be a Leopard/Mooring hybrid boat at the Annapolis (2007) or Miami (2008) boat shows.
My (soon to be) Leopard 40 (Changing Spots) will be the demo at the 2008 Miami boat show, after which I move aboard. It was hoped that this boat would be the first diesel electric hybrid OSSA Powerlite system from Glacier Bay. Note, this would have been a hybrid, not just diesel electric like the Moorings 4300 which was at the 2007 show. Unfortunately, but to their credit, Robertson and Caine felt they couldn’t get the system set up and adequately tested in time for the scheduled delivery date (and I didn’t want to wait the extra months they would need).
I guess there is a still lot to be said for going with the true and tested Yanmar with saildrive engines.
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Old 24-09-2007, 12:12   #5
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Hybrid vs diesel-electric

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Note, this would have been a hybrid, not just diesel electric like the Moorings 4300 which was at the 2007 show.
Is the difference that your boat would have had regeneration capability as well?
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Old 24-09-2007, 18:49   #6
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Correct. It would have. That said, battery capacity is the weak link, since you cannot store enough energy to motor for long.
However, for an ocean crossing, wouldn't it be nice to use the electricity you generate from the motor (with the sacrifice of a small amount of speed). You could use your electric hotplate, griddle, and microwave, and have a hot shower every day - and still arrive with nearly full water, propane and diesel fuel tanks. Sorry, but you wouldn't be able to run your A/C.
The downside, of course, is when something breaks in a far off place. Especially with such new technology.
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Old 08-08-2008, 21:38   #7
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Hi, I would like to join any Leopard group. I own and operate Jet Stream, a 1999 Leopard 45, as a crewed charterboat in the BVI and elsewhere in the Caribbean. I have had her since 2004, sailed her as far north as the Chesapeake and as far south as Grenada. Great boat. We have installed lots of extras.
Robert, for what it is worth, most of the electric set-ups on other cats have yet to get all the kinks out....you are probably better off with the diesels, for now. Good luck
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:57   #8
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Here is a link to a owner group LeopardCat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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Old 09-08-2008, 16:27   #9
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Tim
There is a lot to be said for the tried and true, and the last of redundancy with one power generator to run everything (except the sails) was also a concern. Another concern was that all the electrical stuff was to be changed,including the windlass & freezer.
The pro side was energy efficiency, decreased reliance on fossil fuel, improved reliability (like the new cars compared to the old models), and the fun of a new technology.
After all,we do prefer the new concept of catamarans to monohulls. (Yes, I know that catamarans were around ever since somebody realized that their floating log didn't roll over when two were tied together.)
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Old 09-08-2008, 18:33   #10
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Robert, unfortunately there have been many bugs to be worked out, at least on the Lagoon systems, not sure if they are identical to what R&C have planned. Fuel consumption turns out to be higher, not lower, and reliability has been a nightmare. I personally watched a lagoon go on a reef because the operators did not realize that their single power source, the generator, had become inoperative. They drained the last of the batteries getting the anchor up with the electric windlass, and were helpless as they had no propulsion to take them away from the nearby reef.

As it happens, I am having dinner with a staff member of one of our Tortola charter companies that shall go nameless, who have a number of hybrid cats. Every owner is trying to retrofit with diesels because of continual problems. Not a pretty situation, and too bad, because the idea sounds wonderful. But, it has not been in practice. I suppose they will get it right, eventually. And, hopefully R&C has better luck.
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Old 09-08-2008, 19:03   #11
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There is a lot to be said for the tried and true
Especially for cruising. If you had problems with any of those systems in a 3rd world country, you'd be out of business for a long time. Day sailing around your home port is something else.

It looks like Dr. West's Electric Leopard is for sale. Someone's going to get a smoking deal on that boat because he's already worked all the bugs out of the system. By my calculation that boat with 95 gallons of fuel has a range of just over 900 miles using mechanical and electric propulsion alone. The diesel electric concept is very smart. It's been in use on military and ocean liner size ships for many decades.

I'm glad you and Lee stopped by here and invited everyone to join LeopardCats. I'm really enjoying the discussions.
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Old 09-08-2008, 22:21   #12
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Thanks. I started a Leopard site on Yahoo last year, but merged it when i got too busy and learned there was another site.
BTW, I just had another good experience with R&C. They just authorized a new bottom paint job (promptly) when they realized they had a problem (isolated) with their paint job - even at the Rhode Island prices (much worse than even Ft Lauderdale).
Somebody from the paint company was out taking samples and photos to find out what the problem was.
I can't wait to see what my light wind performance will be, and a top speed. I couldn't get over 10 kts with all the barnacles. Some barnacle photos are on my website.
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Old 10-08-2008, 20:07   #13
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It's been in use on military and ocean liner size ships for many decades.
But it isn't used on Ocean Freighters because it is less efficient when motoring long distances.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:17   #14
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But it isn't used on Ocean Freighters because it is less efficient when motoring long distances.
I would guess it's more a question of the economics of construction and implementation than operation. Diesel-electric is more efficient at long term, constant speeds. It's advantage is less where speeds are variable.

An often unrecognized economic variable is one of implementation time and cost. How long from the day a ship goes from the conceptual stage to the day it turns a dollar is significant. From the day the decision is made to build a ship to meet a need, the clock starts ticking on the cost of money implemented in the completion of the project. With no income to cover these costs, this interest carry is a painful burden to the company and narrows their focus to the short term economics more than what's more efferent over the long term. Instead of adding to the expense when there is no income, they carry the added cost during the ship's operational phase. (I don't condone this thinking but I see it every day)

Diesel-electric is clearly a more expensive initial installation but is it's initial cost justifiable outside countries where there are environmental regulations and high fuel costs? Many freighters don't use highly refined #2 diesel, they use cutter oil or #4. They're not concerned about how clean it burns or even the artificially inflated costs. They have the luxury of refueling anywhere they want and burning anything they can get cheap.

Diesel-electric is a great technology that's just beginning to show up in pleasure boats. I expect in 10 years, the diesel engine will be replaced by fuel cells or something even more interesting.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:27   #15
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I would guess it's more a question of the economics of construction and implementation than operation. Diesel-electric is more efficient at long term, constant speeds. It's advantage is less where speeds are variable.
I think you have that exactly reversed. Its advantages are in variable speed situations because the electric motor has a constant powerband whereas a diesel peaks at certian RPMs and is very bad at low RPMs.
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