Hi alexxxxxx. I looked at a lot of cats over a few years before finding one I was happy with (some were snapped up before I could sign paperwork). I have a 2006 Leopard 40, bought three years ago from an older couple in FL. They kept the visible stuff very clean but did little upkeep as far as other stuff. So I have been immersed in taking care of all the oddball things and have burrowed deep into the innards. Much of it could fall under normal maintenance
but I have also done some improvements.
It handles very well and plans are to retire aboard this fall. The manuals
are very good and have excellent system diagrams. I've not needed to contact R&C much but the few times had good results. There is a very helpful users forum on Yahoo.
Along the way I have found a few things that I just shake my head
at. But then again, my background is engineering/boat building for some very nice companies so maybe I am spoiled.
The only few that really stand out are 1) they used a poor choice sealant
for bedding the salon
windows 2) why in the world would you put balsa core
inside of a rudder
3) thru-hulls were of in my opinion inferior material and all needed replacement due to dezincification failure and 4) why would you built crap tanks
out of aluminum
? They corroded, leaked (yeah, I'm still trying to get the stink out of the bilges) and have been replaced with polymer tanks
A few years have passed since mine was built so it is likely most of these gripes have been addressed in new builds.
Would I buy another Leopard? Without hesitation, yes, and I recommend the same for others. Generally, I am very pleased with the Leopard. All boats are compromises and I am happy with this compromise. Go for it.
Oh, I do wish there was a big, overstuffed chair to fall into.