We are just starting to put together our blog. We will let you know when we make our first post.
You are correct, there are not a lot of Leopards to see outside of Fl. We needed to fly from the Pacific Northwest
to FL to be able to see a range of used Leopards. Even in FL, we had cover St. Augustine to Key West
to see 5 examples. A good contact at Leopard
Ft. Lauderdale is Peter Wiersema.
We chartered a Moorings L40 in the Abacos a number of years ago and really liked the interior
layout. Outside, we liked the aft deck
that ran between the cockpit
and the dinghy davits
. To us it felt like a very solid boat and we gained confidence in her fairly quickly, but for our plans we felt the 40 would feel very small very quickly.
Even though I had kept up a cursory search for many years waiting for the time we would be ready, ironically it was my wife that found our 46 in Tortola and, yes, she is an ex-Moorings boat. This was the only way we could budget
for a boat this size. We had her surveyed before purchase
. Originally I was going to attend on my own, but then we decided that since the trip was going to be a family affair, it's not too early to start right at the beginning, so we all flew down for the survey
and sea trial.
We were very pleased with the condition of the boat which had been very well maintained by Conch Charters, where she had been for a year after Moorings.
Certainly I think it is very beneficial to charter
the boats on your shortlist, but that in itself can be expensive. Chartering the L40 was a good option. It allowed us to see how well a Leopard
is put together and helped us narrow our focus.
Until our blog is up and running, check out S/V Maple blogspot. They are friends of ours from the Bluewater Cruising Association in Vancouver who bought a Leopard 398 in Greece
in June of this year and are currently cruising the Adriatic
with their two daughters.
Feel free to contact me by PM also. Enjoy the search!