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Old 30-01-2011, 11:35   #1
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Looking to Buy a Leopard 40

I currently own a Beneteau Oceanis 400, 1996 and if I want my wife to go cruising with me for a few years, there is no way she will do it with a monohull!!! She is tired of turning the whole boat upside down everytime we need something!

I am looking at cats with engines OUT of living quarters!!! Tried otherwise and the smell is a no go if the engines are under bunks!!!

Anyone can offer experiences with the Leopard 40? I am documenting now, and am planning on renting one in the Carribean within the next 6 months or so...
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Old 30-01-2011, 12:59   #2
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I'm sorry, I can't help you specifically with the Leopard 40, but I can tell you this about diesels. In our cat, the engines are midships (which has certain definite advantages, but I won't go into them, here). The only time we've ever smelled the engines is right after I've changed the oil and fuel filters. (My wife also has a sensitive nose, too, and she's been fine with them.) Even then, it only lasts long enough to move some air around. Really, if you smell diesel in the boat, then there's a leak somewhere. It might be so small in quantity that it aerosols without ever pooling up, but there is something going on.

You might also want to keep in mind the trade-offs involved of having cat engines far aft:
1. You've got the heaviest objects on the boat far out on one end, and this will tend to increase pitching.
2. Some builders (e.g. Lagoon) put the saildrive/prop aft of the rudders, which means that you need to be more careful with reverse in those models (380, 400, 440), not to mention you also have very pricey bits hanging out there quite close to your transoms! Do be careful when docking aft-first, and definitely do not, do not, like in never, ever, leave dinghy painters, other loose lines around there.
3. Access to the engine rooms are usually through hatches in the transoms, which means that if/when you need to get to them in a hurry and if you're in bad weather/following seas, it won't be very comfortable back there and your engine room will be much more exposed.

Just things to keep in mind. Good luck with your search.

Intentional Drifter

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Old 04-02-2011, 13:17   #3
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I have interest in the Leopard 40 and have kept an eye on them for the past 3 to 4 years. There is an interesting website: Changing Spots Home Page by Robert Watson, the owner of a Leopard 40, who has been cruising for the past 2 to 3 years. I've corresponded with him and he is helpful in his review of his boat. I think he is very happy with the Leopard 40. I have talked with a couple of owners of the 40 and all have been very satisfied, if not extremely satisfied, with their Leopards.

I've chartered R&C boats several times and in my opinion they are well-built for their price point. There can be endless debate, but several delivery captains and boatyard workers I've talked to (probably close to a dozen in the Caribbean) about Leopards give them the nod over Lagoons for example. One will find horror stories about almost any boat, but Leopards seem to develop very loyal followings. Again, there will be considerable debate (one poster on these forums enjoys trashing the R&C boats at every opportunity) but I think one gets a fairly accurate reading on the quality of a given boat by:

1) Doing your own research and by sailing the boat. You seem to have this covered.

2) Talk with owners and delivery captains who have sailed and spent time living on the boats. Talk with boatyard workers who have actually worked on these boats or at least worked on other R&C models.

3) Look at resale values and how the R&Cs coming out of charter have held up.

4) Don't put a lot of weight on the opinions of those who either tell you a particular boat is "perfect" or those who consider a particular type of boat a floating piece of junk. I throw these opinions out in most instances because there is usually unreasonable bias or an ax to grind. Either way, it is of very little help.

5) Go back and talk to the owners again after you have enough insight to ask them the right questions about their boats. Most owners like their boats and are biased. Most are also very honest and will tell you about their boat's shortcomings when the right questions are asked.

Although I'm not on the cusp of purchasing a Leopard 40, I have done all of the above and I'm of the opinion that the Leopard 40 should be a serious contender. (I have a monohull option I've done the same for in case I can't afford a catamaran when the time comes.)

Good Luck!
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Old 04-02-2011, 16:32   #4
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I too am in the market for a catamaran for an extended coastal cruising at the East-coast of Australia and when experienced enough, do some South Pacific island hopping. Hence liveability and comfort is high on the list.

So I too am interested in getting feedback regarding this yacht, which is one of the cats I'm considering.
"Don't take life so seriously, it's not permanent"
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Old 09-02-2011, 19:15   #5
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Leopard 40

Originally Posted by alphabravo2 View Post

Anyone can offer experiences with the Leopard 40? .
My wife and I spent two weeks in one of those in the Seychelles a few months ago. This was a 4-cabin version from Sunsail. We liked it a lot.

My $0.01 worth: It is extremely easy to sail singlehanded without leaving the steering position (except to reef main). Takes 30-knot winds and sea without a problem other than the "rigidity" on roll of any cat.. Overall a great boat.

If I was looking for a boat for long-term cruisng today and was in a hurry I would make an offer for one of the Leopard 40´s coming out of Sunsail/Mooring contracts at asking prices of US$230K or so..

Fair winds

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Old 09-02-2011, 22:28   #6
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Just to reinforce the view that mid-ship engines do not smell. I have a very sensitive nose and cannot smell any diesel. Might depend on age and maintenance issues. Nice to have the weight low and central.
Good winds and smooth seas.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:48   #7
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Any of the leopards with Morelli & Melvin influence that I have seen have been good boats. There are some personal preference issues in all boats, but the underlying design work by M&M is very good.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:01   #8
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We chartered a 40' Leopard (Moorings)out of Road Town some years back. Nice boat, easy to sail 2 handed possible one handed. Felt solid, the Admiral will like the wide, up top lounge and kitchen and lack of heel. Hard Bimini gave good protection for sun and rain. Quick on a beam reach, doing 12kt in 15kt without a lot of tuning. Good visibility. Did well picking up items on MOB drills.

Could use better mattresses, and liked to "sail" at anchor/mooring ball.
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leopard, leopard 40

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