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Old 04-09-2013, 21:50   #61
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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At a certain point it's going to depend on the specific boat. Any well cared for machine ages well. A poorly cared for one doesn't.
Well said! I've been cruising for 8 years and have seen all sort of boats being repaired in exotic conditions. Most of the time it's those whose owners aren't the best (or don't care) about maintenance. Fortunately my husband is super man when it comes to boat maintenance and having about every spare part that one might need.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:10   #62
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Hi Contrail,
Very interesting about the Leopard 45/47. We are looking to go a bit up in size and were considering a 47. Can you tell me how they perform?
Speed under power, under sail?
Thanks,
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:41   #63
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
Statistics are wonderfull things, you can make them prove anything. It is all in the qualfying question.

So "how many cats sold per model", has less traction than "how many cats per model are sold to owner sailors who intend to keep their boats for at least a decade".

The first numbers will be hopelessly distorted by the charter market, whereas the second will be for the somewhat more discerning owner with an eye to how the quality will affect the eventual value.

That's a very good point. Asking the right question in the right context more often yields the answer you're seeking.

Along those same lines, let me ask you this. In the US used car market, price is a direct reflection of build quality/reliability. An older Ford Taurus sells for virtually nothing, a 13 yr old Honda Accord sells for quite a bit considering it's reasonable original price. A 1998 BMW 750iL cost $114K new, but only fetched $30K 2 yrs later, and sells for $4K now. It's still a luxurious, silent 4 seater with a V12, but the reliability is so poor and it's so expensive to repair, the value dropped immensely.

Do you think the same holds true for catamarans? Or do prices vary more based on individual factors like how well that specific vessel was maintained, condition/number of sails, and how well it's outfitted with items like SSB, watermaker, generator, A/C, etc?
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:51   #64
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Very interesting discussion -I am looking to buy a used 12m cat in next couple of years - I want the space a cat offers. I agree that so much is down to prev owner. My next task is to actually get on a few types - Lagoon / FP etc. Any ideas - Solent? Would pay!

New to this -I see adding final quotes is popular - I would suggest my favourite Shakespear put down

"I would challange you to a dual of wit, but I see you come unarmed!"

A couple of problems there.

The correct spelling is "challenge", and "duel".

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Old 07-09-2013, 16:41   #65
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by davecalvert View Post
Hi Contrail,
Very interesting about the Leopard 45/47. We are looking to go a bit up in size and were considering a 47. Can you tell me how they perform?
Speed under power, under sail?
Thanks,
Dave
HI Dave,
If you check my posts, you will find lots on the L45/47. I have also posted a lot under my real name, Tim Schaaf. You are welcome to PM me, too. In answering your question, the boats both sail and power well. Using Jet Stream, my L45, as an example, let me start by saying that I have a few secret weapons, because I always want a boat to perform well. Jet Stream has Max Props, which feather. I am not sure there is that much of an advantage, but there certainly is supposed to be. My sails are by Doyle Offshore, and my jib is a 120% jib. Some of the others have 110% jibs. A sistership has a main with a much bigger roach. So, there are a few differences. I have resisted getting a hard top, as I try to keep weight down (but since Jet Stream is my home and a charter boat with lots and lots of toys aboard, this is a hard battle to fight!) My dinghy is a lightweight AB 12 footer, with a 25 HP Two stroke. That is a big dinghy for a cruiser, but about the smallest and lightest (at 300 lbs, all up) that will suffice on a crewed charter yacht. Jet Stream was originally a crewed yacht at the Moorings, so she has a few extra items including a third water tank, and larger fuel tanks. If they are all full, they carry 700 lbs more than a bareboat. I also carry four anchors and 300 feet of chain on the main rode and about 80 more feet on other rodes. So, while I make up weight in some departments, I am way overweight on others. I would say that Jet Stream generally sails on the heavy side, despite my best efforts.

With that background, Jet Stream and her captain are always looking for "speed trials", against all the other boats sailing around these waters, and that includes lots and lots of different makes and models, with skippers varying from the horrifying to the extremely capable and professional, Jet Stream has yet to be bested by a Voyage or a Lagoon of 50 feet or under, with the exception of a Lagoon 500, which can sail pretty quickly under the right helmsman and conditions. That said, I think they may actually be a bit longer than 50 feet. They are certainly a much bigger boat. We have had some pretty good battles with the Bahia 46, but generally come out pretty well, but there aren't many of them that are professionally crewed, so we may have an edge in that department. We have lost (barely) to an L46 on one long upwind slog from one end of the Francis Drake Channel to the other. She was privately owned, professionally skippered, and relatively light. It is the only L46 that has taken us. The L47 is, in theory, faster than us, but the difference is probably not enough that it can't be overcome. They pitch a bit less, though. We have done pretty well against them, but of course, we have those feathering props, and that may explain it. Jet Stream has yet to be tested against an L44 or L48 but I am sure we will run up against a few this season. A recent accomplishment was to beat an almost new Nautitech 54 footer, on a long close reach/beat from Virgin Gorda to Anagada. Wind was in the low to mid 20's. This result was totally unexpected by either myself or the other skipper, a professional friend. Can't explain it, since that was a much bigger boat, but we did take them. Those are the comparisons. Forget monohulls, unless they are racers.

Absolute numbers: With both engines on and at around 2750 RPM, we do a bit better than eight knots. Crank it up a bit more and we may get to the middle eights or higher, but it isn't worth it. On one engine at around 2800, we can do seven knots, which is a much more practical thing to do. On just the port engine, Jet Stream tracks straight, the prop walk and assymetry cancelling each other out. On just the starboard engine, she needs some right rudder to go straight. Oddly, there is a maximum of about .1 knot difference between the two. I would have expected the rudder to slow us down more, but it doesn't. The L45 and L47 have 56 HP Yanmars, which is somewhat overpowered, but very convenient. It allows running on one, and there are many other cats that are way two slow on one engine. It is also possible to have the full sail up and strapped in, while pivoting in a bit over 20 knots of wind, which is handy as it means you can almost always raise the main, while still on a mooring ball, and then maneuver through the mooring field without loosing control. Not all cats can do that. Obviously, the extra power (and less windage than many others) makes the L45/47 quite handy when it comes to getting into awkward slips. All in all, I love the extra margin of power, but not necessarily because I have a higher top speed, which I am not at all sure I do. It is the maneuvering and running on one engine that are nice.

Under sail, with decent winds, lets say 16 and above, we will do eight knots plus. With less wind, we will do 50% or more of the wind speed. Less wind, to a point, yields a higher percentage. To cruise at nine knots needs a lot of wind and not much wave action. For purposes of planning, I usually think in terms of around 7 knots, and usually beat that. I would call the L45 a very capable 7 - 9 knot boat, looked at realistically over many thousands of miles in lots of different conditions. Yes, we have hit 15 knots (I know of someone who has done 20 in one short burst on a 47), and we sometime go quite a way at 10 - 12, but these are unusual circumstances. The numbers I have given you are realistic and accurate. Jet Stream is quite maneuverable under sail. I frequently sail onto the anchor, go through narrow gaps, sail off moorings, and now an again, onto moorings. Then again, I instruct aboard Jet Stream and, having had her for nine years, am pretty confident aboard her. She does not need her jib backed to tack, and goes through stays quite well. Having said that, I do often back the jib for a fraction of a second, but this has nothing to do with tacking and everything to do with keeping the jib sheets from fouling the winches. It is my own little work around. The L45 can be hove to, and it can be singlehanded.

Hope this helps. They are great boats, and they are relatively easy to maintain.

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 07-09-2013, 18:12   #66
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

G'DAy Contrail (or Tim),

I'm a devoted mono guy for various reasons, but have no animosity with multi's...

And I thought that your post above was one of the most honest evaluations of a boat that I have ever read. Nicely done, mate, and if I was in the market for a cat I would be carefully thinking about what you have revealed and having a look at a Leopard.

Thanks for the posting.

Jim
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:36   #67
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
A couple of problems there.

The correct spelling is "challenge", and "duel".

The bard's surname ended with an "e".
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:53   #68
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by contrail View Post
HI Dave,
If you check my posts, you will find lots on the L45/47. I have also posted a lot under my real name, Tim Schaaf. You are welcome to PM me, too. In answering your question, the boats both sail and power well. Using Jet Stream, my L45, as an example, let me start by saying that I have a few secret weapons, because I always want a boat to perform well. Jet Stream has Max Props, which feather. I am not sure there is that much of an advantage, but there certainly is supposed to be. My sails are by Doyle Offshore, and my jib is a 120% jib. Some of the others have 110% jibs. A sistership has a main with a much bigger roach. So, there are a few differences. I have resisted getting a hard top, as I try to keep weight down (but since Jet Stream is my home and a charter boat with lots and lots of toys aboard, this is a hard battle to fight!) My dinghy is a lightweight AB 12 footer, with a 25 HP Two stroke. That is a big dinghy for a cruiser, but about the smallest and lightest (at 300 lbs, all up) that will suffice on a crewed charter yacht. Jet Stream was originally a crewed yacht at the Moorings, so she has a few extra items including a third water tank, and larger fuel tanks. If they are all full, they carry 700 lbs more than a bareboat. I also carry four anchors and 300 feet of chain on the main rode and about 80 more feet on other rodes. So, while I make up weight in some departments, I am way overweight on others. I would say that Jet Stream generally sails on the heavy side, despite my best efforts.

With that background, Jet Stream and her captain are always looking for "speed trials", against all the other boats sailing around these waters, and that includes lots and lots of different makes and models, with skippers varying from the horrifying to the extremely capable and professional, Jet Stream has yet to be bested by a Voyage or a Lagoon of 50 feet or under, with the exception of a Lagoon 500, which can sail pretty quickly under the right helmsman and conditions. That said, I think they may actually be a bit longer than 50 feet. They are certainly a much bigger boat. We have had some pretty good battles with the Bahia 46, but generally come out pretty well, but there aren't many of them that are professionally crewed, so we may have an edge in that department. We have lost (barely) to an L46 on one long upwind slog from one end of the Francis Drake Channel to the other. She was privately owned, professionally skippered, and relatively light. It is the only L46 that has taken us. The L47 is, in theory, faster than us, but the difference is probably not enough that it can't be overcome. They pitch a bit less, though. We have done pretty well against them, but of course, we have those feathering props, and that may explain it. Jet Stream has yet to be tested against an L44 or L48 but I am sure we will run up against a few this season. A recent accomplishment was to beat an almost new Nautitech 54 footer, on a long close reach/beat from Virgin Gorda to Anagada. Wind was in the low to mid 20's. This result was totally unexpected by either myself or the other skipper, a professional friend. Can't explain it, since that was a much bigger boat, but we did take them. Those are the comparisons. Forget monohulls, unless they are racers.

Absolute numbers: With both engines on and at around 2750 RPM, we do a bit better than eight knots. Crank it up a bit more and we may get to the middle eights or higher, but it isn't worth it. On one engine at around 2800, we can do seven knots, which is a much more practical thing to do. On just the port engine, Jet Stream tracks straight, the prop walk and assymetry cancelling each other out. On just the starboard engine, she needs some right rudder to go straight. Oddly, there is a maximum of about .1 knot difference between the two. I would have expected the rudder to slow us down more, but it doesn't. The L45 and L47 have 56 HP Yanmars, which is somewhat overpowered, but very convenient. It allows running on one, and there are many other cats that are way two slow on one engine. It is also possible to have the full sail up and strapped in, while pivoting in a bit over 20 knots of wind, which is handy as it means you can almost always raise the main, while still on a mooring ball, and then maneuver through the mooring field without loosing control. Not all cats can do that. Obviously, the extra power (and less windage than many others) makes the L45/47 quite handy when it comes to getting into awkward slips. All in all, I love the extra margin of power, but not necessarily because I have a higher top speed, which I am not at all sure I do. It is the maneuvering and running on one engine that are nice.

Under sail, with decent winds, lets say 16 and above, we will do eight knots plus. With less wind, we will do 50% or more of the wind speed. Less wind, to a point, yields a higher percentage. To cruise at nine knots needs a lot of wind and not much wave action. For purposes of planning, I usually think in terms of around 7 knots, and usually beat that. I would call the L45 a very capable 7 - 9 knot boat, looked at realistically over many thousands of miles in lots of different conditions. Yes, we have hit 15 knots (I know of someone who has done 20 in one short burst on a 47), and we sometime go quite a way at 10 - 12, but these are unusual circumstances. The numbers I have given you are realistic and accurate. Jet Stream is quite maneuverable under sail. I frequently sail onto the anchor, go through narrow gaps, sail off moorings, and now an again, onto moorings. Then again, I instruct aboard Jet Stream and, having had her for nine years, am pretty confident aboard her. She does not need her jib backed to tack, and goes through stays quite well. Having said that, I do often back the jib for a fraction of a second, but this has nothing to do with tacking and everything to do with keeping the jib sheets from fouling the winches. It is my own little work around. The L45 can be hove to, and it can be singlehanded.

Hope this helps. They are great boats, and they are relatively easy to maintain.

Cheers,
Tim
Hi Tim,

Thank you. That's very valuable information for me. Can you also comment on the tacking performance of the L45.

Joachim
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:37   #69
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Sure Joachim. As I said in my previous post, tacking is very easy and responsive. No need to ease the main or backwind the jib, to come through the wind, as is the case in many other cats. There are a pair of winches on the mast, however, that almost invariably snag the jib sheets. There are several solutions involving lines that lead down from above and are tied to the hatch guards. These effectively keep the sheets away from the winches, but are a bit of a walking hazard. My own solution is almost as infallible, and maybe a bit easier and more elegant. On the forward side of the mast, and attached to it slightly above the level of the winches, is a sort of hoop to which you can tie coils of line, etc, when they are not in use. It is sort of like an open platform. All you have to do is lay the lazy sheet across that hoop before you make your first tack, and then take most of the slack out of the lazy sheet. If you keep the slack out of that sheet while you tack, it will never foul the winches. The way I do it is to let the jib backwind for just an instant. In that instant, the clew moves closer to the mast and the lazy sheet gets a bit slack. If the trimmer of that lazy sheet, which is about to become the active sheet, pulls that little bit of slack out immediately, at which point the person on the other side lets the sheet go completely, the sheets will never foul. It is a wrinkle that literally takes less than a second. Backwind, pull in slack, let go the old sheet. I doubt if the backing of the jib speeds up the tack much at all, but it completely prevents fouling the sheet. Best of all, the new lazy sheet somehow wind up on that hoop, all by itself, and is ready for the next tack! So you only have to do this once, at the onset of your first tack. There are various members of this board to whom I have shown this trick, and they might want to comment. But, whatever you do, you had better have a strategy to be sure you don't foul those jib sheets, because they WILL foul, and they are heavily loaded, and unfouling them under load is just asking for trouble.

I usually tack using the autopilot or the windvane function of the autopilot, since I am usually short-handed. You can actually tack single-handed this way, too, if you are somewhat nimble. I have the autopilot set on a tacking angle of 110 degrees, which works pretty well. Using the windvane function, it duplicates the apparent wind angle on the opposite tack, which doesn't work quite as well. If I am sailing on the windvane function, I usually check to make sure the apparent wind is at the correct angle, quickly shift from windvane to auto, and then tack, but you may have better luck. Don't be shy to adjust the settings on the auto pilot to make it more or less responsive. RTFM!!

One great advantage of the L45/47 is that there is so much room around the primary winches. Doesn't matter if you lean back, or your elbows are flying, you can really get the sheets in, quickly. The 43 has less room, and the models with all the lines led to the helm, such as the 46, feel very constricted to me, although I am sure it is simply a matter of getting used to the layout. Your preference may be different.

Going upwind on Jet Stream, there is a nice sweet spot at around 42-44 degrees apparent, depending upon windspeed and wave condition. She can sail somewhat closer to the wind, of course, but really begins to slow down.

Bottom line is that the L45 is reasonably close winded, for a cat (actually, my observation is that many, if not most, cruising monohulls are, in fact, no closer winded), and tacks very nimbly. As long as you are certain that you are not going to have a foul up because of those jib sheets, you can tack with good confidence, even in quite close quarters. But, that is up to you!

Cheers,
Tim
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Old 10-09-2013, 17:53   #70
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For me, the biggest disappointment in the French lines are in styling - cheap and ugly looking. It's why a Leopard is now on the top of my list for newer models.
For me (and pretty much anyone im with when one goes past) the new design leopards are easily the ugliest cats being made right now! Wtf were the design team thinking? The older leopards look far more seaworthy and performance capable to the eye while these new designs are purely about the charter market and Max bums on seats.
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Old 10-09-2013, 18:42   #71
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I've heard more complimentary remarks about the design of the new Leopards than negative remarks - by far. The thing that has surprised me most is that virtually everyone I've talked to who has actually sailed the L44, including two members of separate delivery crews, raved about it's surprising speed. I think the L44 is a much quicker boat than anyone imagined it would be given its displacement.

The forward cockpit has also proven itself to be a feature that has not significantly affected the boats sailing capabilities. I really questioned the forward cockpit design, but after 3 years and tens of thousands of delivery miles in nearly every ocean and under some extreme conditions, the reports are that the forward cockpit is seaworthy.

To each his own as far as "looks" go, but to my eye the new Leopards look great.
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Old 10-09-2013, 19:21   #72
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Havent sailed one as the looks rule them out for me on any next purchase but the ones ive seen sailing about havnt looked too quick albeit moorings versions. Saw a lagoon 380 sail past a leopard 44 on a reach just a week ago.

Maybe downwind it performs better like your delivery crews say.

Re the looks i guess we are talking to very different types of people.

I used to hate the look of lagoons but now some of them have grown on me. I try but cant see that happening with the L44.
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Old 11-09-2013, 00:19   #73
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by Jim Woodall View Post

The forward cockpit has also proven itself to be a feature that has not significantly affected the boats sailing capabilities.
Not wanting to be picky but it doesnt have a forward cockpit if one accepts the definition of cockpit as the place from which controls are manipulated, has a forward "exterior saloon" but not a forward cockpit,
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:35   #74
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
I know there are some popular multihull boats out there, but is there one type or brand that holds up well for years and years without all the 'doing boat repairs in remote tropical islands' thing?

And is it possible to reduce the likelihood of having problems by swapping out certain parts or equipment. If you were designing a boat, what would you put in it or change from what was done on your boat?

Or is the sea just an extremely harsh environment and most man-made materials are no match to it over time. Will everything break or need replaced in time and the best answer is to go as simple and with as little as possible?

(For clarity, I'm not necessarily asking about withstanding accidents, running aground, or hitting docks here, just normal wear and tear and what holds up to it year after year and still looks good. Kind of like a Pelican case or something like it.)
My theory in reducing problems is to reduce the number of unnecessary systems on the boat. e.g. because we don't have a watermaker, powered winches, air conditioner, inverter or even a battery charger we therefore don't need a generator. When I look at what most cruisers spend their time & money fixing the aformentioned items are high on the list. My boat is far from being spartan, we have just thought how to build it simply.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:52   #75
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Not wanting to be picky but it doesnt have a forward cockpit if one accepts the definition of cockpit as the place from which controls are manipulated, has a forward "exterior saloon" but not a forward cockpit,
So a privilige 39 has an "Exterior Aft Saloon" with a tiny cockpit far aft and port of it? For that matter a Fischer Cat must have no salon or settee as it has an interior and exterior cockpit?
I think your incorrect. If you look up cockpit it mentions a place the pilot and crew or even passengers may sit. Or a place where battle is done lol (could be anywhere on a boat) It mentions nothing of controls, Or Helm station. Does taking a remote control for the autopilot and bow/ stern thrusters onto the forward saloon turn it into a cockpit? Lol.
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