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Old 06-09-2009, 19:43   #31
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The 450 is a completely different boat from the 440 or 440 plus. I am not sure about the comment on the hardtop. The boat is a Cabriolet and they are all one big hardtop. It is no longer in production and only a handful were built. Strange design and interior however there is one in charter in the BVI and it has a loyal following that seem to love it.

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Old 18-10-2010, 23:47   #32
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Hi talus,

Did you move forward with any of these boats?



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Old 22-10-2010, 04:56   #33
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I know I'm late to the party here, but there here's my two cents. My list is still long (5 year time frame) and I'm shopping now for the used boat then. (This gets the sales people off your case in a hurry at boat shows...... )

#1: I am 6', you are 6'2" the FIRST thing I look at is whether I can see the horizon standing in the salon without ducking down, and whether I can see most of it 360 with minimal movement. If you voyage you will spend a LOT of time in the salon, and most of that in the galley/nav station. You have to be able to stand watch inside without either straining, or not catching something out there. So far, in the under 500K class I have found the Leopard to be the best in all this.

#2: 4 heads. Yes, no private owner needs that. However, a semi skilled glasser with a grinding tool, roll of glass and a few gallons of resin/gelcoat can turn a head into a large shower in short order. If I can save tens of thousands getting a 4 cabin vs a three, I will turn the owners side into a master suite with walk through shower/head and a walk in closet where the forward cabin is.......
Out there, alone, there is only truth.
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Old 22-10-2010, 06:07   #34
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Damn Oscar, sounds like you have really moved to the Dark side. How 's things?
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Old 23-10-2010, 05:41   #35
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Things are well Trying to get this darn tri finished so I can go sailing again, at which point I'll run in to you at a CMA event. Yes, there's a big cat on the horizon. 5 years and junior is off to college, at which point I can arrange my schedule so we can go cruising a few months out of the year, and, the wife likes cats. 'Nuff said.

In fact, at some point I'd like to go for a sail on yours..... I'll bring food and beer.

(Sorry about the highjack folks......)
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Old 30-11-2010, 14:11   #36
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But how easy is it to add storage? I found the Leopard very short on storage everywhere especially in the galley.

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Old 10-09-2015, 21:33   #37
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Re: Voyage 430/440 vs Leopard 4300/4500

Originally Posted by talus View Post
Ok, I'll give it try (and hopefully not start a war). These are just my feelings people. Yours WILL be different. I have spent time on each of these (with the exception of the Leopard 4700 - which is a 4500 with extensions - so it's the same I'm told).

First-off, all boats are a compromise. There is no single "Pro" that makes any boat a hands down winner and no one "Con" that is a show stopper. That is where the compromise has to happen.

Second, we are a family of 4 looking for a long term (5 year +) live-aboard. The kids will not be sharing bunks unless we have temporary guests.

Third, I'm 6'2" and my wife is 5'10" tall.

Fourth, I want the boat to come in under $300K USD if at all possible. That may be unrealistic and we may need to push that to $350 but I really don't want to and I think there is lots of good product on the market for that kind of money. As well, this market is not going to recover soon so there is more every day. Of course every dollar saved can be used for refit/toys.

Manta 40/42:

  • American Built (no import tax of 9.5% for us Canadians)
  • Very nice large secure cockpit with good visibility from the helm
  • Best dingy davit system I have seen yet (you could hang a car off it)
  • Great galley - one of the best
  • Solid glass below the waterline
  • Not a fan of the boom jib (no reefing, it's up or it's down)
  • Narrow hulls
  • Poor visibility from the salon
  • Don't like the walk through head (I can already see my older one locking his sister in her forward berth)
  • Engines under berths. And they are Volvo's
  • Carpet on walls - or whatever that fur stuff is that they glue on the hull. Enjoy that at 90% humidity
  • It is more of a 38' boat with a 42' price tag

Lagoon 38 Owners:

  • Great salon space
  • Engines exterior to living spaces
  • Nice flat exterior decks
  • Anchor and chain readily accessible
  • Where is the galley??
  • Cockpit is a bit small (after you see a Lagoon 410)
  • Props behind rudders

Lagoon 410 Owners:

  • I pretty much like everything about this boat
  • Cockpit large
  • Decks wide and flat
  • Salon a good size
  • Hulls have great space
  • Decent storage
  • Yanmar engines
  • Could use a bit more galley prep space
  • Feels a bit lightly built (all the ones I have seen have cracks around the cabin roof where the mast comes through to the interior)
  • Interior engines
  • Traveler down (i.e. no targa bar) - not a huge issue since it doesn't seem to interfere with any access except maybe the dingy
  • Weak dingy davits (everything is weak compared to the Manta)

Leopard 40 Owners:

  • A manageable size galley with counter space
  • Hard top
  • Great access through and around cockpit
  • Engines exterior to living spaces
  • A wee bit small-ish inside
  • Volvo engines
  • Dingy davits made of ???
  • Appears to be not as strongly built as the 4200/4300/4500/4700?

Leopard 43 Owners:

  • Again, I pretty much like everything about this boat and if there were more on the market I would be hard pressed not to go with it
  • Shaft drive Yanmars
  • Nice size galley
  • Hard top
  • Great access through and around cockpit
  • Engines exterior to living spaces
  • Great hull space and cabins
  • 3 heads means everyone gets their own (adults can share)
  • Rare and therefore a bit pricey and quickly sold
  • The charter version would be fine but the 4 heads will be a PIA.
  • I could use a touch more headroom in the galley - but hey, it will be my excuse for not being able to do dishes

Leopard 4500/4700:

  • Shaft drive Yanmars
  • Nice size galley
  • Great access through and around cockpit
  • Engines exterior to living spaces
  • Great hull space and cabins
  • Huge salon
  • Most are former charter boat and as such have been ridden pretty hard. I would seriously consider one that someone had picked up put some love into it. If the price was right I will put some love into it.
  • Headroom in the galley
  • And you know what bugs me about all Leopards -- those stupid little bars around the hatches. I'm going to trip on them, or step on them, or they are going to leak.

PDQ 42' (Only comes in Owners):

I have to say that overall this boat really impressed me from a live-aboard and finishing point of view. I just wish there were more available.

  • Canadian built so that saves me some duty if we bring it home
  • I like the galley down
  • Yacht worthy finish in the interior
  • HUGE salon
  • Hard top
  • Pricey (in fact out of my range for the most part)
  • Rare to the market
  • The one I saw had an electric stove and I don't even like them in my house, let alone having to run the generator to make soup.
  • There are a lot of little steps in the cockpit. Definite toe jammer.
  • This thing has some serious freeboard - all that interior space comes at some expense
  • Westerbeke's. Why?

FP Belize 43' Owners:

Let me first say that if pictures sold boats, I would own an FP. I swear it, FP takes the best photo's ever. I must have drooled over them for months before I got on the boat. The shocker came when I actually saw one. I really, really wanted to like this boat but I couldn't do it.

  • Those cool escape hatches in the hulls
  • Funky modern design
  • Fat, fat, fat hulls. Great living space down there

Con (where do I begin)
  • Traveler hindering access to the cockpit
  • Cockpit hard to access due to high lips
  • Relatively small bimini with lack of shade compared to competion
  • Sloped decks everywhere, we both noticed it right off
  • Round hatches (good luck after you break one)
  • Those cool escape hatches in the hulls I mention. Yup, they are going to leak.
  • Galley is small and I had real headroom issues
  • There is a little lip as you step into the salon table. I smashed my toes on it, you will too.
  • Nav table is, well, it's kind of dumb. Imagine yourself installing some electronics in it. Not going to be pretty.
  • The full width tramp up front with no hard runner for the anchor chain. That is going to turn into a mess.
  • That single wide tramp really sags too. No matter how tight it is.
  • In the boat we saw much of the interior paneling was hanging loose. It had been re-attached a couple of times. Not sure it this was a maintenance issue or a build issue.
  • The boat "felt" lightly build. I never notices stress fractures but the decks just felt bouncy rather than firm. I also saw a 46' Bahia on the hard with some major hull blister issue - maybe it was a on off.

FP Belize 40' Lavezzi:

Most of my comments from the Belize apply. This is a really, really, small boat. If I was shopping in this size I would have to give serious consideration to the Lagoon 38 becuase it feels about twice the size.

  • Funky modern design
  • Where is the galley counter??


I have not been on a Voyage but after seeing so many Simonis designed Leopards I'm sure it will be a contender. I like the Voyage owners 440 with two heads and the pilot berths. The Yanmar saildrives should be very reliable. The wipedown interior should be super low maintenance. I like how the dingy sits on the aft deck (very solid there) and the cockpit and salon are both huge. Here is a little .

We also looked at a Privilege 395 with much the same comments as the FP, except the Privilege was a sauna with those overhead winds and no visibility from the salon at all.

I was on a 50' Admiral that had all it's bulkhead tabs broken. Maybe it was a rough transit, I don't know. And while the windows look neat they were much like the Privilege for sauna effect.

The Leopard 420 was AWESOME. Just a very nice boat all around. If I could afford it I would, although I would stay away from the electric ones. The sales staff didn't even want to talk about it.

The Leopard 440 is stupid from a family point of view. And good luck getting to the boom.

The Leopard 46 was nice but way to much money for me. I also get the feeling that the older Leopards my be a bit more strongly built.

If you like power cats (I do), the Lagoon 44 is great. The Lagoon 43 is pretty cool also (and you can get a bit of deal on them especially if they have the smaller engines). I could see myself living on either one of those - at least until fuel prices or the desire to go somewhere long distance got the best of me. The FP Maryland 37 is decent but too small for a family. The Leopard 46 Power was too much money.

The new Lagoon 400 looks like it could be great compromise boat for us. Unfortunately it's going to be too expensive to buy new.

I think I would like the Seawind 1200 and 1160's as well. I haven't seen them and they are fairly rare and pricey.

What would my perfect boat be? In no particular order...

  1. Strength and pricing of the Leopards (can't deny they are proven)
  2. Yanmar engines with shaft drives external to living space. Sail drives would be fine also.
  3. Manta dingy davits
  4. Lagoon flat decks and salon headroom
  5. Voyage wipe down interior with a touch more wood for warmth
  6. Solid glass below the waterline
  7. Hard top
  8. 3 Cabin with 2 or 3 head
  9. A little FP style for the soul
  10. PDQ galley down with gas stove

So there you have it. Fire away.
THAT was a VERY informative post.......very helpful for those of us shopping cats. Thank you.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore"- Andre' Gide
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:16   #38
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Re: Voyage 430/440 vs Leopard 4300/4500

I purchased penny whistle 10 years ago and we love the boat. The damage was in my opinion with the tramps not the width of the teak platform. Voyage uses a very closed weave and in rough seas will scoop tons of water. We used to break all our plastic slides every time we went off shore.

We now have dynema netting and it changed our heavy weather boating. We used to almost stall going into large waves waiting for the water to drain off the top of the tramps. Suggest if you get a Voyage replace tramps first thing.

She is in excellent condition today. Just replaced all the windows and repainted much of the interior.

One of the big positives of the voyage is with the dinghy davit pulling the engines are a breeze.

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