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Old 29-07-2016, 07:37   #1
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New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Does anyone have an opinion on the Leopard 40 or Lagoon 42 for blue water cruising. We are looking to buy our first cat to cruise the Bahamas/BVI/Carribean loop and are worried these boats may be too small? Any comments would be appreciated.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:28   #2
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

freetogether:

That was one of many questions my wife and I asked ourselves several years ago when we began assessing catamarans for our future blue-water plans. We have spent thousands of hours doing research online, attending lectures, reading books, corresponding and/or sailing with blue-water cruisers, chartering catamarans in the Caribbean and Med, and taking offshore passages totaling several thousand miles. I feel like we could write a book on the subject of researching catamarans. Although our opinions are our own and many can and will argue with our final conclusion, it will not be because we have failed to gather adequate information.

The first boat we considered was the Leopard 40, and we still really like that boat. It is a suitable blue water boat, especially for trade wind sailing. Likewise, it is a solid choice for Caribbean sailing. If it is large enough to accommodate you and yours, the Leopard 40 can handle the sailing agenda you mentioned. Although we felt the Leopard 40 would be sufficient for our sailing agenda, we ultimately passed on the 40 and looked more seriously at the Leopard 44. We felt the 44 was closer to what we were looking for in terms of overall size. We also wanted a minimum waterline length of 40 feet. There were several things about the 44 which we did not like, but overall we felt it would be a good boat for us. We were still unsure.

My wife and I decided to "design" a boat that was exactly what we wanted and then try to determine if the boat was out there. It was, the Antares 44!! Alas, it was far, far out of our price range. I had decided to take a break from constantly looking at boats and did so for a few weeks. I came home from work one day a few months ago and my wife said, "I found our boat - the new Lagoon 42." I dove back into research mode (it is difficult on a brand new model) and agreed it seemed to tick most, but not all, of our boxes. A little over a month ago we ordered a new Lagoon 42.

I think the Lagoon 42 will definitely fit your sailing agenda. Your agenda is similar to ours; although, we hope to extend our cruise into the Pacific. Good luck in your search!
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Old 29-07-2016, 20:05   #3
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Wow. Thank you. You have really done your research. We are wondering if we should consider the Leopard 45 that is just being released. Is it safe to say the Lagoon out the door price is close to 500K? We want to make the smartest choice but we also don't want to wait a year for a boat.
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Old 30-07-2016, 01:00   #4
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

We have been on our L450 for just under 2.5 years and l must say they are a great boat for living aboard.


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Old 30-07-2016, 04:56   #5
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

For the new Lagoon 42, a well-equipped (generator and AC, no watermaker) will be about 500K. Add a watermaker, teak floor and an extra electric winch (we ordered just 1) and move it up to around 535K. We have ordered a very well-equipped Lagoon 42. The only things I considered but didn't order were the things just mentioned.

From the start of our search I favored Leopards, my wife like the Lagoons. Although we like the appearance and sailing performance of the FPs, we felt they were too lightly built and many used models tended to show excessive wear and tear in our opinion. I think Leopards are the best built of the big 3 production catamarans; however, it is a close call. Leopard, Lagoon and FP are all good boats that will be serviceable for decades if properly maintained. Lagoon clearly wins the "better creature comforts" award.

Our boat has been assigned hull # 138 and we don't expect delivery until the fall of 2017. I think many brokers and dealers have some of the built slots and we have already had one chance to purchase an earlier hull # which we passed on because the timing on that boat's delivery was not good for us. Also, we wanted a boat farther down the production line. I think anyone ordering a Lagoon 42 is looking at 12 - 18 months for delivery, if they can't move up in the queue.

This is simply my opinion, but I didn't want a hull any lower than #25. I think it takes a few hulls before the production process is efficient on any new model the manufacturers make. Virtually every manufacturer finds issues with the boats early on. Lagoon 40 nacelle problems, the earlier (previous model) Leopard 40s were a bit too "bow light", the Leopard 44 had early rig failures and also needed crossbeam reinforcement etc., all issues corrected down the line. Although discovering hidden or previously unknown design flaws takes a bit of time, it is also true that production line manufacturing lacks overall efficiency with any "new" production item during the early stages. A former auto engineer and a long-time manager for one of the world's largest boat builders told me in both the auto industry and boat industry the most well-built models are generally not produced early in the production run. Again, this is one man's opinion but he advised: buy later than hull # 25, because flaws will have been discovered in both the design and production process by that time. If it is a successful production boat, the best boats will come off the line even later, hull #'s above # 50, as more subtle production and design flaws are discovered, often by owners. He had the pedigree to know what he was talking about and it makes sense to me. A low hull # in a production boat is something I intentionally wanted to stay away from when ordering.

A side note: Many brokers told us that Leopard reacts faster to production and design issues than either Lagoon or FP. One theory being that with so many Leopards going directly into charter with The Moorings, Leopard gets greater feedback much sooner and has to keep the folks at The Moorings happy sooner.


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Old 30-07-2016, 07:57   #6
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
Does anyone have an opinion on the Leopard 40 or Lagoon 42 for blue water cruising. We are looking to buy our first cat to cruise the Bahamas/BVI/Carribean loop and are worried these boats may be too small? -----
I cruise my 36' cat to the Bahamas and would not hesitate to go to the Caribbean. Longest nonstop trip so far was across the Gulf of Mexico from Port Aransas, Tx. to St. Petersburg, Fl. (about 800 miles).
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Old 30-07-2016, 10:59   #7
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

We purchased our 1999 Leopard 44 in the BVI in 2014. Sailed it from there, thru Panama and up the Pacific Coast to San Felipe, Sea of Cortez, Baja California. My interpretation of the trip was that the boat got us through, not our sailing abilities. If fact I believe it was in spite of our sailing abilities. We sailed in 10' swells and 30 knot winds between BVI and Panama. The boat did very well. I am not so sure about our nerves. We got sucker punched off of Papagallo going into Golfo de Tehuantepec. We had very low wind speeds and almost against us since leaving Panama. We had the Genoa all the way out and the main sail up. Our radar showed a red blotch 36 miles out. We had seen that in Costa Rica and the winds did get up a bit and rained on us, so we kept an eye on it. Within a few minutes the blotch was 22 miles out. We turned both engines on, turned into the wind, began rolling the Genoa and getting the main down when the wind hit us. It was 18 miles ahead of the red blotch on the screen and somewhere between 30 and 40 knots (I was to busy to watch wind speed at the time). Once again the boat behaved very well. Once again out nerves were frayed. We have been sailing in the Sea of Cortez and run into 6 ft. swells and 24 to 30 knots wind quit often. The boat takes it in stride.This is one tough boat. My conclusion is that we have more boat than we are sailors. What I have observed comparing it to the Lagoon are the bunks are about 3 ft. high (a little difficult to get on and off for a 75 year old at night and pounding seas). We do get drumming more often then a Lagoon (a little lower, but a little safer with a 70 ft. mast). I understand they are built to take the drumming. I am satisfied with the trade off. I hope this long winded reply helps. Have a nice day. Hector
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Old 30-07-2016, 14:29   #8
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

We went through the same analysis last year and just recently (May) took delivery of our new Lagoon 52 (Hull #93) "Summer Kai". We had her moved up to Annapolis for the summer and have been out on her quite a bit. We went bigger because there's four of us with our two kids and my wife really wanted the creature comforts. I figure it was a great trade off because we get to live the dream while keeping the wife happy! I am very satisfied so far with the build but it is a BIG boat and we probably could have comfortably settled on the Lagoon 450. However, once you get the feeling for it, it's really not a big deal. The only thing I'm still concerned with is that everything is bigger. For example, dock lines are 3/4 inch which makes them heavier for my wife. It's those little things that you have to think of... At the end of the day, I think all of the boats you are considering are very worthy for your plan. We are on the same plan and will pull the kids out of school after this year and head south for our adventure. Maybe we'll see you out there!

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s/v Summer Kai.
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Old 31-07-2016, 12:57   #9
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Thank you to everyone for their replies. I think we are leaning towards the Lagoon, mainly because trying to work with Leopard is like pulling my own teeth and the newer used Leopard models are not around yet. Has anyone been on the L42? The support pole worries me some. It sure appears to be in the way... Among other things that I notice, like lack of closed storage. For those of you that have ordered one, what was your reason for choosing the L42?
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:35   #10
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Hi Freetogether

I have hull #60 with an ex-factory date around the end of the year.

Main reasons why my wife and I chose the 42:
- Larger Yanmars (57Hp) than comparable boats
- Well thought out deck plan
- Good ergonomics around helmstation and cockpit
- Ladder access to coachhouse roof
- Good boom access
- Big boat style transoms
- Self-tacking headsail
- High aspect main
- Easy to sail
- B&G Electronics
- Good access around beds (unusual in a boat this small)
- Overall style and lines

Features not included that I would like to see:
- Better galley storage
- Better choice of optional cockpit fridge (bigger capacity)
- Better water tank capacity (with generator option)
- Electric winch handy to the dinghy davits
- S/S rail in pushpit area suitable for mounting BBQ

These 'nice to have' items are not a big deal for us, and we are very happy with our choice. Others will have a different wish list for sure, but this boat ticks most of the boxes for us.

Cheers


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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
Thank you to everyone for their replies. I think we are leaning towards the Lagoon, mainly because trying to work with Leopard is like pulling my own teeth and the newer used Leopard models are not around yet. Has anyone been on the L42? The support pole worries me some. It sure appears to be in the way... Among other things that I notice, like lack of closed storage. For those of you that have ordered one, what was your reason for choosing the L42?
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Old 31-07-2016, 17:58   #11
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Matagorda:

Wow, your response is almost exactly the response my wife and I would have provided. I would add a couple of things I would like to see Lagoon offer for the L42:

1) Double basin sinks in the galley
2) Counter top access to waste bin
3) Oven and cook top in combination, but we assume (hope) storage under the cook top is the reason.
4) More cockpit storage, but again, our assumption is the open and airiness of the aft cabins as well as the open flow of the cockpit is the reason. You have to choose one or the other, storage or openness, hard to have both.

We too have noted that it will be difficult to find a place for a BBQ.

Is the motor mount option only the composite mounting board or is it also the s/s rail. So, if you don't get the motor mount (a $1,000 option) no s/s rail? I thought the motor mount option was very expensive, but if it is the s/s rail and mounting board-much more reasonable.

The compression post in the saloon is not a problem for us. As monohull sailors for 25+ years, it seems normal to us! Even on a cat, you can never have too many things to hang onto in a seaway.

I have talked to several owners with masts farther aft on catamarans, all like it.

The overall sail plan, including self-tacking, is a big plus as my wife and I will normally be a crew of two and ease of handling is more important than a turn of speed. We always work on the premise that either of us should be able to single hand the boat is normal to moderate conditions.

We ordered the Lagoon 42 without actually stepping onboard, something I said we'd never do. After several years of active shopping we decided to take the leap, perhaps a leap of faith, but we feel good about our decision!

Final thought:
We are exploring options to fit an additional water tank. We have gone with the generator and AC. Finding space for extra H2O will be a challenge. Even with a water maker 79 gallons is not much. Anyone with words of wisdom?

Cheers!




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Old 31-07-2016, 22:30   #12
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
Thank you to everyone for their replies. I think we are leaning towards the Lagoon, mainly because trying to work with Leopard is like pulling my own teeth and the newer used Leopard models are not around yet. Has anyone been on the L42? The support pole worries me some. It sure appears to be in the way... Among other things that I notice, like lack of closed storage. For those of you that have ordered one, what was your reason for choosing the L42?
We toured the L42 in Kemah Tx and the support pole wasnt an issue as far as we were concerned. We loved the helm layout and cockpit seating but the galley layout didnt seem well thought out. The owners version has a ton of stoarge in the head though and were big fans of that hull of the boat. The port side heads are so cramped though that we wished that they offered a single bigger head for both cabins to share instead.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:11   #13
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

Hi Jim,

the only place left is to put a water tank in and move a smaller generator to a bow or the cockpit area has a few areas ,
1 behind the Helm seat
2 behind the seat locker
3 in the rear of the locker under or behind the cockpit fridge

obviously these would need to be clad in white gelcoat to look like part of the boat, I'm investigating smaller diesel generators that could be linked to make a bigger output (similar to linking 2 honda 2kva's ) perhaps in one of the bows (the factory option won't fit through the hatch and is too heavy anyway)

a couple of smaller tanks under the forward bunk perhaps (it is a pity but room exists adjacent to the 300l tank on the saloon side to fit a smaller tank but they don't offer a solution to do this).
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:21   #14
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

The 4-5kva Onan has half the foot print of the 11kva unit. Not sure if that would allow you to add a water tank or if the small Onan has enough power for you.


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Old 01-08-2016, 08:42   #15
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Re: New Leopard 40 vs Lagoon 42 for blue water

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Originally Posted by freetogether View Post
Wow. Thank you. You have really done your research. We are wondering if we should consider the Leopard 45 that is just being released. Is it safe to say the Lagoon out the door price is close to 500K? We want to make the smartest choice but we also don't want to wait a year for a boat.
I am not sure where you are based ...... but if you can go to the Annapolis boat show this year it might be worth the wait as the Lagoon 42 and the new Leopard 45 will be there. Having seen the new 45 ...... it is definitely worth checking out. It really is a step up from the 44 (it should be as it is nearly 3 foot longer!!!)

If you are looking at the boat as a blue water cruiser, take note of the fridge and freezer space as (IMHO) this is often lacking in most of the production cats. Then it begs the question (imo) of how to elegantly solve this problem. The 45 has an additional fridge or ice maker option under the helm station.

Then, go on test sail (at least one!) ....... it always amazes me how little comment is made in this regard when so much tin (aka $$$) is at stake ..... its like buying a new car (some will say a motor home) only looking at it in the parking lot and never taking it for a test drive
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