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Old 31-07-2009, 01:52   #1
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Leopard 40 vs Leopard 43 ?

I'm looking at newer model cats and am most thankful for all the great info on the various models of Leopards I find here, and on the yahoo leopard users group, but am having trouble deciding between these 2 and am hoping some with knowledge of both might add their thoughts on the pros and cons of each.

I plan to liveaboard perhaps 6 months a year, sailing and diving throughout the caribbean, starting in bahamas hopefully this winter. Much of the time will be by myself, some with various friends and dive partners. Other times my brother (partner) and his family will be aboard, but that will be mostly vacations and long weekends for the near term.

I've walked around on all the Leopards, but my only experience on cats is 1 week on a 46' bahia, and 4 days on a Leopard 46. I'm hoping that singlehanding a 40 or 43 will be doable in limited situations. No real offshore stuff, just puttering around mostly.

For a 1-4 year old boat, they are roughly same price, with a slight edge to the 40'. Of course, we'll have to add lots of goodies like genset, ac, watermaker, solar, washer/dryer, dive compressor and more that will add a lot of weight and probably favor the bigger 43.

Some of the things I'm curious to get feedback on are:

- Difference in sailing speeds for a fairly heavily loaded boat.
- General sailing/handling differences
- Comfort and noise in sleeping quarters.

Besides debating the 2 different models, I'm also contemplating a new or 1 year old 40. Brand new owners version comes with some of the options (gen, ac) we would have to add to an older ex-charter boat, for an extra $100k or so.

Any comments/feedback greatly appreciated.
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Old 31-07-2009, 02:40   #2
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I admit to not having sailed the 43, but have looked very closely at both. I prefer the 43.
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Old 31-07-2009, 04:02   #3
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I have sailed both boats. I would go with the 43 even if it is more money. It sounds like you are looking at used charter boats. Keep in mind that the asking price for a boat out of the Moorings or Sunsails fleet will be way above the real selling price. There is a huge glut of charter cats on the market. You should be able to get a 43 for close to 250 K if you wait until next June when more will be coming out of Charter. For the moment there are not a lot of 43's leaving the fleet since most were on 5 year contracts and the boat starting going into Tortola around 05 if I recall.
I would also take a look at one other option since you are diver. Consider a Voyage 440. There is one on the market right now that the owner really wants sold in Tortola. He is asking 315. These boats are about the size of the Moorings 43 in weight and sail area with a bit more room. They are much better laid out for diving and have a vastly better boarding ladder if diving. Voyage charters does a night and day better job of maintaining the boats then the Moorings. The two quite literally can't be compared in that regard. The V440 normally commands about 100k more then the 4200/4300 Moorings boat because of the better maintenance despite the fact that they sold for about the same money. The economy has narrowed that gap. If you do buy a 4000/4300 now expect to see a big price drop in two to three years as the market becomes saturated when the boats flood the market as the 5 year contracts end. The first 4700 coming up for sail were going in the high 3 hundred range. There are now more then 35 4500/4700's on the market and they can be had for 260 to 270. That is also a option I would consider however since the 4700 is a nice boat. Same designer as the Voyage 440.
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Old 31-07-2009, 11:05   #4
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Thanks for the feedback - very good to know. Sounds like the 43 is a stronger preference than I thought.

I guess the big factor in favor of the 40 is that there are a couple of newer, owners versions available which is preferable. But if the 43's are that much better for my needs, I will certainly go with that. There is one in bank foreclosure now that could probably be had for $250k (listed at $280).

I'll take a look at the V440. One thing I don't like about that is the lack of a hard bimini, that I want to use for solar. That is also one thing against the 47's, although I know that can be added for $12 to $15k in Nanny Cay. I also don't like some of the layout and cosmetics on the 47's - it looks like the big old warhorse that it is. But it doesn't seem like all the extra size really adds much usable space, and the 43 probably has enough load carrying capacity (as far as I know).

Do people generally prefer the 47 to the 43, if price is the same? Anything other than the extra size, and I guess, faster sailing speed?

Of course, my real preference is for a 46, but can't convince myself they are worth the extra $250k. If only they were coming out of charter and were under the price pressure the older boats are...oh well.
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Old 31-07-2009, 19:55   #5
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Another point to bear in mind is that the 43 has conventional shaft drive engines and geabox not sail-drives like the 40 and 46. A big plus for the 43 in my opinion.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:35   #6
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I find the cockpit of the 40 to be too small compared to the 43. The circular seating is not designed for laying back and reading a book or napping.
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leopard, leopard 40

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