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Old 01-03-2021, 22:20   #1
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Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Hi, I am looking to get a new for me catamaran. Yes, I am a newbie. Taken the sailing courses, wanting to wander off into the sunset after seeing too many youtube sailing channels.

I am looking around, I want long term comfort but some agility or speed would be nice. Looking at a 2009-11 Leopard 46, or around a 2013-5 leopard 48. Wanting owners version, but flexible.

The asking prices for some of the 46's seem almost as high as some of the cheaper 48s. I am seeing 4 cabin 46's for 380 and owners for 499 while the moorings has used 48s for 400k.

Are people asking too much for the 46s or are they worth nearly as much as the newer 48s?

What do you think about the two?

Between the two leopards, how do they compare in speed? sailing? misc?

Does anyone have one or had one and can you let me know what to look for when it comes to these?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-03-2021, 05:42   #2
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Like to be a bit more specific on your sailing off into the sunset plans. These are two very different boats is so many ways.



Just a brief look at the specs shows the 48 is 50% heavier with smaller sail area. So the 46 will perform better.
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:42   #3
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Rented a 48. Really liked how it sailed. Saw 10 knts powered and 12knts under sail in ideal conditions.
Light wind is always slower.
Front door is really nice. Front cockpit gets salty with spray.
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Old 02-03-2021, 14:18   #4
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Thanks for the comments. Initially I plan to wander around the Caribbean but from there I do plan to travel to the South Pacific and around the world. Like most cruisers, I will be at anchor often exploring, then traveling between islands. Most days speed will not be a major issue, but some speed for ocean crossings would be nice.

I read somewhere that the newer boats were designed to sail faster, so while the 46 is lighter, I read the 48 is designed better or is that just not true? In like conditions, what would the real world difference be?
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Old 02-03-2021, 23:16   #5
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

The 2009 + Lep 46 is better than the earlier versions, the early ones suffered from rear bulkhead issues, which were then beefed up. They weigh more than the published numbers. The early ones also did not have the steps from cockpit to helm, an inconvenience. The 46 is a nice boat and sails well, but it is not much faster than equivalent fin keeled boats of same waterline length from other brands, may be 1/2 a knot on some angles. 1/2 a knot over 24 hrs is 12 miles. Simplistically, crossing say from Tahiti to Australia is say 3600 miles mostly down wind at 6.5kn avg = 23 days. At 7 knot average = 21 days. If you step it up to a 60ft Outremer at 10knots avg then 15 days. Monohulls at 5 knot average = 30 days. Does it really matter that much, considering the next 11 months will be day hops or at anchor? During non covid times you get to stop along the way.



The Lep 48 only has a waterline of 45.5ft so not as inherently quick as the "48" might imply, it has slightly less sail area. Not aware of any structural issues reported. The front cockpit is great for the 11 months. Others suggest that big front cockpit/door arrangement is a potential hazard with breaking waves over the front, despite big scupper drains - have never heard of a 48 succumbing to such an event, so a lot of fearful assumption rather than fact.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:46   #6
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

I own a Lepard 45 and have (before Irma) owned a 44 both in the Sunsail system. I have rented a 48 on a few occasions when the 444 or 45 weren't available. I found the 48 to be slower and overall not that much more roomy inside. I think for your purposes the 45 or 46 would be a better option. First there were many more of the 46 made than the 48 so the price should be more reasonable. Second, I prefered the layout of the 46 over the 48 and lastly it was faster sailing on passage.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:55   #7
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Owners versions will sell for a lot more than those that have seen more use (and abuse) of the Moorings chartered 48s. You will probably need to put in an extra $50,000 to $80,000 to refit and restore those chartered ones being sold by Moorings. Personally I prefer the layout of the 44 and 45 models over the 48.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:26   #8
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

The 46 is a better sailing boat. It points a few degrees higher and is maybe a half knot quicker on most points of sail except optimal angles in high winds. The 48 will outrun the 46 in winds above 18kts and direction greater than 90. There are some posters stating there is not much room difference. Everyone has their opinion but the 48 is significantly bigger in my opinion than the 46, not talking 45/44/new 50 or others. Saloon is 3' longer, back cockpit is 2' wider, helm comfortably seat 3 not 2, there is no forward cockpit in a 46, the staterooms are longer in the 48 by about a foot and lastly and hugely important there is more hardtop coverage of the outdoor area on the 48. The 46 hardtop scallops in around the curved seating in the aft cockpit and there is more sun in the aft cockpit as a result. Great on charter, terrible if you live on it. I spend a good deal of time on 46s and live on a 48. We buddy boat with a 46, on it several times a week. The price difference is straight forward, the top end of the 46 market is completely kitted owner's version blue water boat in great condition. The bottom of the 48 market is hurricane affected charter boat (majority of 48s in BVI from Moorings fleet exiting program are repaired, just a fact, not saying avoid them), that was delivered to optimally (cost) support a 6 day trip not living aboard. Join leopard catamaran owner's group on FB and you can pick up a ton of info there. The 46 is a great boat and a better sailing boat than a 48. The 48 is literally a different class size boat. If your budget is 400k buy the best 46 you can find and expect to still put another 20k. If you buy the bottom of the 48 market the number is actually north of 100k that most folks spend to get the boat from the islands, 4-5 months on the hard while you add solar, lithium, rip out the electronics they are delivered to charter service with, big inverter, all new main wiring (more loads, more power, bigger wiring), watermaker, literally the list goes on forever. A 46 owners version with everything done and sorted is a far better buy than the cheapest 48 you can get your hands on for the same price.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:40   #9
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

We like the older Leopards. We have a 2005 L40. They sail much better, and you don't have to run a jackline through the salon in order to move across it in rough seas. My husband wanted an owners version, but I didn't see the point, so we have a 4 cabin. We turned the forward starboard cabin into a pantry that has greatly improved our storage.

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Old 04-03-2021, 06:29   #10
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Are you talking about the new L45? Perhaps that should be made clear.
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Old 04-03-2021, 14:50   #11
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Awesome insight, thank you for this. I'm looking at the same decisions, however I haven't seen an owners version 46 for less than $475K, while the charter 48s are from $390-$430K. I think "The Wynns" and "The O'kelly's" have done wonders for the 46 seller's market.
I personally like the forward cockpit style. Would you recommend a 44 over a 48 for economy's sake? We're looking for a 4 cabin.
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Originally Posted by wathey View Post
The 46 is a better sailing boat. It points a few degrees higher and is maybe a half knot quicker on most points of sail except optimal angles in high winds. The 48 will outrun the 46 in winds above 18kts and direction greater than 90. There are some posters stating there is not much room difference. Everyone has their opinion but the 48 is significantly bigger in my opinion than the 46, not talking 45/44/new 50 or others. Saloon is 3' longer, back cockpit is 2' wider, helm comfortably seat 3 not 2, there is no forward cockpit in a 46, the staterooms are longer in the 48 by about a foot and lastly and hugely important there is more hardtop coverage of the outdoor area on the 48. The 46 hardtop scallops in around the curved seating in the aft cockpit and there is more sun in the aft cockpit as a result. Great on charter, terrible if you live on it. I spend a good deal of time on 46s and live on a 48. We buddy boat with a 46, on it several times a week. The price difference is straight forward, the top end of the 46 market is completely kitted owner's version blue water boat in great condition. The bottom of the 48 market is hurricane affected charter boat (majority of 48s in BVI from Moorings fleet exiting program are repaired, just a fact, not saying avoid them), that was delivered to optimally (cost) support a 6 day trip not living aboard. Join leopard catamaran owner's group on FB and you can pick up a ton of info there. The 46 is a great boat and a better sailing boat than a 48. The 48 is literally a different class size boat. If your budget is 400k buy the best 46 you can find and expect to still put another 20k. If you buy the bottom of the 48 market the number is actually north of 100k that most folks spend to get the boat from the islands, 4-5 months on the hard while you add solar, lithium, rip out the electronics they are delivered to charter service with, big inverter, all new main wiring (more loads, more power, bigger wiring), watermaker, literally the list goes on forever. A 46 owners version with everything done and sorted is a far better buy than the cheapest 48 you can get your hands on for the same price.
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Old 14-03-2021, 03:09   #12
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Hahaha, and just to shut my mouth, there is a nice looking 2009 Leopard 46 owners version in Mexico that just popped up for sale for $445,000 (Gitan du Mer.)
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Old 14-03-2021, 09:35   #13
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mook1e View Post
Hahaha, and just to shut my mouth, there is a nice looking 2009 Leopard 46 owners version in Mexico that just popped up for sale for $445,000 (Gitan du Mer.)
Link?
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Old 14-03-2021, 11:00   #14
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

It's in a private Facebook group for sale by Owner. May be available elsewhere. I don't know the seller.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/6095...&sfnsn=scwspmo
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Old 15-03-2021, 05:46   #15
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Re: Help decide older Leopard 46 or newish leopard48?

I can't understand why people put anything for sale on FB. Many of us don't use it so why not put it on a site available to everyone?

Rant over.
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