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Old 30-12-2012, 19:35   #46
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Man, that is really low bridgedeck clearance on the L44. I tried to lift the pic from Leopard's website to post it here but ran into technical issues. Maybe some of you tekkies can figure it out. Look at their pics page and you'll see the one.
Trying to judge from a pic can be deceptive.
See http://northernmultihulls.files.word...ifications.pdf

2'-6" lightship and 2'-1" full load, and note that "full load" is about twice the load capacity of most boats in its class.

Those dimensions are about the same as I measured in Ft Lauderdale last week.
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Old 31-12-2012, 13:24   #47
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

I posted comments on this thread about the L44's bridgedeck clearance after the 2012 boat show">Miami Boat Show. Although I did not have a measuring tape handy, I was convinced that the L44's bridgedeck clearance was very close to that of the Lagoon 400 and 421 which were docked just a few feet away. However, I did think the Lagoons had slightly more clearance (especially at the stern). I became even more interested in this issue after recently crewing on a delivery from Norfolk to the USVI. We were sailing a monohull but I and the other crew members had a lively discussion about catamarans as bluewater boats. The problem of wave slapping and slamming was given as a major downside for catamarans and therefore a discussion of "minimum" bridgedeck clearance came up. Someone threw out 30" as a minimum and it seemed to eventually gain a consensus. I have no real idea what a good minimum would be as rum was involved in our debate.

Over the next two weeks I took a tape measure, and with permission, measured the bridgedeck clearance on 4 catamarans. Each was measured forward and aft.

1) 2004 Lagoon 380: Forward - 26" Aft - 22" This boat was privately owned and very heavily loaded in general and had an aftermarket (very heavily constructed) bimini frame, arch and davits. It also had a dinghy with 15HP outboard hanging from the davits.

2) 2011 Lagoon 421: Forward - 28" Aft - 25" Another privately owned, heavily loaded boat. The dinghy was hanging from the davits with a 9.5HP outboard. I was told the boat had a generator, AC and even a scuba compressor onboard.

3) 2010 or 2011 Lagoon 400: Forward - 27" Aft - 26" A Charter boat, not heavily loaded. No dinghy in the davits.

4) 2011 (may be considered a 2012 model) Leopard 444 Forward - 28" Aft -26" A charter boat, not heavily loaded. No dinghy in the davits.

The 380 and 421 were carrying much more equipment and toys of every kind than the other two boats. I think the 380 was submerged an inch or two below it's intended waterline. The stern scoops were awash at least an inch.

My biggest surprise was that the Leopard 444 had esentially the same clearance both forward and aft as the Lagoon 400. Both would probably be considered at half load. The boats were in different marinas so there was no way to visually compare their bridgedeck clearances. To the eye, the Lagoon 400 "looked" to have at least 2-4 inches more clearance than the Leopard, but that was not the case. I am speculating on the loads each was carrying. I looked around each boat, but didn't do a close inspection.

The bridgedeck clearance I measured for the Leopard is very close to the specs R&C publishes. To the eye the Leopard looked much closer to the water the more aft one moved, but the tape measure told a different story - only 2" difference. I would have expected 4" -6" difference just eyeballing it. Just as I had done at the boat show, when I simply looked between the hulls, under the bridgedeck forward looking aft, there appeared to be plenty of bridgedeck height. But when looking at the stern of the Leopard it still looked much, much lower than the bow. Some type of optical illusion I guess. In general it seems the M&M designed Leopards have bridgedeck clearance comparable to most other production cats, certainly the Lagoons. I do think the previous Simonis designs had significantly lower bridgedeck clearance.
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Old 13-07-2018, 14:13   #48
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

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I really like the Leopards, particularly the M&M designs, but they are clearly built for the charter market with private ownership not given too much consideration. It seems to be a very good business plan for R&C so I certainly think it's a smart move on their part. The low bridgedeck, forward cockpit and balsa core all make for a great boat in charter. The Leopards seem to hold up well and sail slightly better than comparable Lagoons.

In talking to boatyard workers who have done lots of work on Leopards (not the 44 obviously) and worked on lots of Lagoons (Wickams Cay and Nanny Cay), I've repeatedly been told that the Leopards are better built, with simpler, more straight-forward systems and therefore generally easier to work on. R&C builds a somewhat more robust cat than Lagoon, but again it is all with the charter market in mind.

I have seen the balsa core issue debated back and forth. Everyone seems to have an experience and be an expert on the subject. Again, in talking to people who have actually worked on the boats, it seems balsa coring below the waterline in generally not an significant issue for the Leopards. The hulls are substantial, yet relatively easy to repair and water incursion just doesn't seem to be a problem, even when there is hull damage. It certainly adds significant weight, which is yet another debate.

With the Leopards I keep coming back to the same place, it's one of the best-built, best-sailing productions cats. Slightly ahead of Lagoon in those areas, but their ultimate design characterisitics are focused 95% toward the charter market. Lagoon, while still giving priority to the charter market in designing the 380, 400, 421 and 450 puts much more effort into producing a boat with private ownership in mind. Once you get into the 50' cats, there is still more emphasis on private ownership priorities.

My guess is there will be quite a few L44's cruising the world's oceans in the next 3-5 years and folks like us on these forums will still be debating all the same issues! Hopefully, there will be good information from owners and those who have chartered the L44 by that time so that there are a couple of answers to at least a few of our questions.


That day is here. It's been several years since the 44's have rolled off the molds. For those of you with experience on them, have there been any surprises pleasant or otherwise? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 14-07-2018, 05:33   #49
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

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Originally Posted by timinfla2 View Post
That day is here. It's been several years since the 44's have rolled off the molds. For those of you with experience on them, have there been any surprises pleasant or otherwise? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
This is not an opinion on the Leopard 44, I still like it very much, but after quite a bit of consideration we purchased a 2018 Lagoon 42, Ocean Song. Unfortunately our "first" Ocean Song was destroyed by Irma only 14 days after she was delivered. We never stepped foot on her. Luckily, we had full insurance and we were paid out 100% in less than 60 days. Last year at the Annapolis Sailboat Show we ordered our second 42 which is also named Ocean Song. She is a 2019 owner's version, Hull #279 and handover took place on July 5th. She will be in this year's Annapolis Sailboat Show Oct. 3 - 8. I crewed for the delivery of another 42 and we experienced some difficult conditions as well as some fantastic days. The boat performed extremely well and our French delivery captain, who has done several dozen Atlantic crossings in many different types of catamarans, gives the Lagoon 42 a double-thumbs up as a cruising boat. With a code-0 and spinnaker (in addition to the white sails) she is an excellent choice for a cruising couple. My wife and I plan to cruise on Ocean Song for 3 - 7 years after she comes out of charter. She will be in the TMM charter fleet initially to help cover some expenses.
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Old 14-07-2018, 13:19   #50
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Re: Any Leopard 44 Owners Out There ...

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Originally Posted by Jim Woodall View Post
This is not an opinion on the Leopard 44, I still like it very much, but after quite a bit of consideration we purchased a 2018 Lagoon 42, Ocean Song. Unfortunately our "first" Ocean Song was destroyed by Irma only 14 days after she was delivered. We never stepped foot on her. Luckily, we had full insurance and we were paid out 100% in less than 60 days. Last year at the Annapolis Sailboat Show we ordered our second 42 which is also named Ocean Song. She is a 2019 owner's version, Hull #279 and handover took place on July 5th. She will be in this year's Annapolis Sailboat Show Oct. 3 - 8. I crewed for the delivery of another 42 and we experienced some difficult conditions as well as some fantastic days. The boat performed extremely well and our French delivery captain, who has done several dozen Atlantic crossings in many different types of catamarans, gives the Lagoon 42 a double-thumbs up as a cruising boat. With a code-0 and spinnaker (in addition to the white sails) she is an excellent choice for a cruising couple. My wife and I plan to cruise on Ocean Song for 3 - 7 years after she comes out of charter. She will be in the TMM charter fleet initially to help cover some expenses.
Thanks so much - this sort of real-world info is priceless. Sorry about your last boat :-/ I live on the ICW im Merritt Island FL, and Irma placed a rather large Oak tree on my roof that we're still fighting the insurance company over... Glad to see your boat guys took good care of you right away.
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