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Old 07-12-2021, 14:46   #1
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Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

Greetings! We are considering purchasing a Leopard 44 or 48 for our family and thought wed ask about kid safety upgrades. Has anyone modified the aft cockpit to enclose it in more under the davits?
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Old 07-12-2021, 14:54   #2
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

I'm not sure about enclosing, but you could add netting, or even a sunbrella sleeve that fits over the lifelines, and connects them with a panel.

I've added enclosure for most of my Leopard 44 cockpit.

Another thing you could do on passages is move the dinghy down, and put cargo straps on the far side to tip it Keel out, and seats inward at about 45 degrees with the bottom tube resting against the outer lip to block the middle cockpit area.

Added bonus your dinghy will drain any big wave sp;ashes, and the dinghy keel will block any large following waves from breaking into cockpit area.
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Old 08-12-2021, 10:28   #3
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

Thank you @capn_billl - hadnt considered orienting the dinghy as you mentioned.

Curious if you like the setup with the aft cockpit, perhaps there are some advantages we hadnt considered. Do you prefer the stern to be that open?
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Old 08-12-2021, 10:47   #4
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

I don't have small children so it's not an issue for me.

I do insist all lifelines be connected at dock, and everyone tethered when offshore.

It does feel a little weird with just a stainless string between you, and ocean at the back of the boat.

Great at anchor, a little less great on passage.

I put some snap on sunbrella in the sides of the hard top, and a drop down screen that snaps to the lifelines by the dinghy.

That feels less like a wave will pitch you off the back of the boat, and I can duck my head from the helm, and count heads.

Some cats have more of a raised rear cockpit so you climb over a molded seat to get to the rear.

But I've never had a problem with the Leopard layout.
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Old 08-12-2021, 12:48   #5
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

In this pic the dinghy is really high. This is not our table, a friends, but the dinghy would fit below as well and effectively close the back off. There are lifelines back there. We have 4 children 9-14 onboard and sailed about 6k nm this year. Unless they are under 4' tall it would be really difficult to 'fall' off a L48. Not sure about a 44 just bc I haven't looked closely. The back area where this table is the least safe of the areas that are generally safe. Its easy to state and enforce on passage don't leave the forward or aft cockpit. This is the least safe part of the aft cockpit but again with dual lifelines at around 30in its really hard to see how a child over 4' tall finds there way overboard.
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Old 08-12-2021, 13:03   #6
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nc_cabin_fever View Post
Greetings! We are considering purchasing a Leopard 44 or 48 for our family and thought wed ask about kid safety upgrades. Has anyone modified the aft cockpit to enclose it in more under the davits?
I would guess netting. Would be your best option.
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Old 09-12-2021, 12:51   #7
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Re: Anyone Modify a Leopard 44 or 48 for Kids?

Thank you @wathey and @Cadence!

@wathey - Love the table! Perhaps we could do something similar and just add more structure underneath it to support netting.
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