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Old 20-04-2021, 09:00   #1
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Are Leopards Better Built?

I have 4 charters under my belt now. Am beginning to understand the shortcuts that mass production boats employ. Stepping on a seat and breaking threw the composite board underneath in dining area (Lagoon). Watching my wife and her friend pull a companionway ladder right out of its hinged base (composite again) Benetau. Leopards are listed under production boats but claim to be superior build and price new and use appear to reflect that. Willing to pay that extra 20% for a used as we will be looking at a 10-15 year old boat. Will not buy one that was in a charter fleet. Thoughts on Leopards. Not trying to pick on other brands
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Old 21-04-2021, 04:07   #2
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

This is the key: shortcuts that mass production boats employ.

I like Leopards best, but itís about aesthetics. If you take a poll amongst owners of Leopard 44 and 45s youíll find they have more window, hatch and ďfrontĒ door replacements or removal and resealing than any other brand. We have a Lagoon 450; not my favorite but our choices are driven by more than personal favorites. Each brand has its shortcomings, imho.
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Old 21-04-2021, 04:17   #3
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Depends which Leopard you are talking about. The early Leopard 46s had rear bulkhead issues. So when they fixed it the boat weighed more than spec. But guess which spec they continued to publish for later models.
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Old 21-04-2021, 04:37   #4
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Quote:
Originally Posted by docwood View Post
Leopards are listed under production boats, but claim to be superior build and price - new and used -appears to reflect that.

Willing to pay that extra 20% for a used, as we will be looking at a 10-15 year old boat. Will not buy one that was in a charter fleet.

Thoughts on Leopards. Not trying to pick on other brands.
Hi Docwood,

Here's a thread not pertinent to your question, except Fore and Aft's Post#32 where he speaks to Leopard build quality specifically:

Just Get a Survey
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...-249549-3.html

Please note that Fore and Aft is a professional surveyor.

Fair winds,
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Old 21-04-2021, 04:39   #5
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

And letís not forget when the new Leopard 46s came out, there were several boats with major mast issues - bad enough that they stopped production and changed the masts. $$ and rushing to sell,...a phenomenon across the board.
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Old 21-04-2021, 04:53   #6
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Here's a review thread from yesterday that steers CF Members away from dealing with The Catamaran Company, but lots of detailled references to Leopard 42 deficiencies...

Lagoon 42 and The Catamaran Company
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ny-246684.html

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Old 21-04-2021, 07:22   #7
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Tin View Post
Depends which Leopard you are talking about. The early Leopard 46s had rear bulkhead issues. So when they fixed it the boat weighed more than spec. But guess which spec they continued to publish for later models.

I've heard about the bulkhead issues but is there a good description of this with pics or videos somewhere other than FB? And why did the fix add a big weight penalty?
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Old 21-04-2021, 08:10   #8
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

That was a Lagoon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Hi Docwood,

Here's a thread not pertinent to your question, except Fore and Aft's Post#32 where he speaks to Leopard build quality specifically:

Just Get a Survey
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...-249549-3.html

Please note that Fore and Aft is a professional surveyor.

Fair winds,
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Old 21-04-2021, 08:53   #9
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Again, a Lagoon
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Here's a review thread from yesterday that steers CF Members away from dealing with The Catamaran Company, but lots of detailled references to Leopard 42 deficiencies...

Lagoon 42 and The Catamaran Company
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ny-246684.html

LW77
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Old 21-04-2021, 11:27   #10
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

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I have 4 charters under my belt now.

Keep in mind that charter boats are like rental cars - they have taken a lot more abuse than your typical sailboat. I chartered a Leopard 39 and found the quality to be as good as any brand I've seen.

Catamarans especially are sensitive to weight, and a lot of the flimsiness depends on your perspective. To some, that indicates weak materials. To others, that indicates a valuable savings in weight. Any catamaran that is built like a tank isn't going to sail well.

A boat survey will tell you the actual quality of the boat you are purchasing better than any of us can.
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Old 21-04-2021, 15:49   #11
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

docwood I will just say I have never surveyed a Leopard with bulkheads that are just coved in place. I also think Leopards are better finished in areas that you cannot easily see. I supervised two Bow thrusters being installed in a Leopard (I forget the size) and the hull lay up was pretty solid and thick.
But then plenty of Lagoons cross oceans and those coved bulkheads do work. But when you get down into a bilge of a Lagoon there is usually some rough fiberglass work and bare plywood bulkheads.
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Old 22-04-2021, 06:25   #12
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post

A boat survey will tell you the actual quality of the boat you are purchasing better than any of us can.
This hasn't been my experience having 3 surveys done on my cat. The surveyor really doesn't know the strength of the boat. They have looked to see if the bonding system is good, hoses cracked, wires terminated correctly, anything worn excessively, proper thru-hulls, etc. All of them really couldn't have testified that the boat was a certain quality.
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Old 22-04-2021, 06:59   #13
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

Thanks everyone for your input. This forum continues to add to my knowledge daily. Two things that are definite when I do finally make the plunge: a) I will come back to this sight for names of quality surveyors and b) seeing the way charter boats are used and often managed as far as upkeep and repair, I will avoid them. That being said to those of you that have bought a used charter boat and have had good luck with it "good for you". Oh and I'm going to have to learn a heck of a lot about electrical...lol. I am amazed at the knowledge in that area on this site. Some days I feel like i'm on a MIT blog
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Old 22-04-2021, 11:52   #14
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Re: Are Leopardsbetter built

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I will avoid them. That being said to those of you that have bought a used charter boat and have had good luck with it "good for you". Oh and I'm going to have to learn a heck of a lot about electrical...lol. I am amazed at the knowledge in that area on this site. Some days I feel like i'm on a MIT blog
Very hard you find private used Catamaran. Maybe you search for exotic CAT .Swisscat , maybe Outremer only 50-60% is charter. But for being sure bay DIY CAT no name,99% not be in charter
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Old 22-04-2021, 12:09   #15
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Re: Are Leopards Better Built?

Charter cats aren't all bad. There are good ones out there and the not so good ones can be had for a good price. Also one can frequently find an ex-charter that has been refitted for cruising. If you narrow your search to a never chartered owners version then bring dollars.
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