Why We Bought a 2015 Leopard 44 Catamaran - Tame the Cat
My wife Eileen and I searched Leopard catamarans almost exclusively because they represent a combination of blue water cruising capabilities with production efficiencies. In other words, they were a good affordable catamaran to sail around the world. As proof of their seaworthiness, most have been delivered to their owners by sea from Cape Town, South Africa either by their owners or a delivery captain. Because of their outstanding reputation, we also considered the 450 Lagoon; however, we steered away from them mainly as a result of their fly bridge helm positions which we think is less ideal for ocean crossings.
WHY WE CHOSE THE LEOPARD 44 OVER THE 39, 40 AND 48
Check out our Leopard catamaran's video below on our first day touring Leopard catamarans with our buyers broker Bill Regan and be prepared to be entertained and informed of the specifics on why we chose the Leopard 44 and in the process learn more about the rest of their line.
On this crazy busy day, we toured a 2014 Leopard 39 and were glad we had rescinded on our contract last spring on one in the Moorings / Sunsail Belize fleet. We loved it's design, price ($215K) and sailing reputation; however, it was too small for us as a full time home. For someone who lived in Ft. Lauderdale and took one to two-week sailing trips to the Bahamas this would definitely be a boat to consider.
After we let go of the 39, we latched onto a 2018 Leopard 40 ($225K) with contract that had been damaged and repaired in Irma and included had a new mast, boom, standing rigging and generator and we by far the cheapest of the limited Leopard 40 lot being phased out by Moorings / Sunsail. After having toured it, we realized that it too was too small for us as a live aboard and in addition we were leery that there might be some undetected trauma from from Irma that might compromise our blue water safety so we released that contract also.
Reluctantly we drove 2 1/2 hours north of Ft. Lauderdale to the Ft. Pierce Marina where we looked at a 2015 Leopard 44 with owners cabin on the hard for sale for $575K which was MUCH more than we were willing to pay but at least we could see the layout. Initially, we didn't like this model because we thought it has wet bathrooms but were soon relieved to find that that wasn't the case and were delighted to discover the front cockpit whose innovation catapulted this popular sized 44 footer to a dual "Best Boat of Year" fame with both Sail Magazine and Cruising world in 2012. Most importantly it seemed to have enough from for our new permanent life at sea and was affordable purchasing from Sunsail Charters for $315K on a model we found in St. Lucia so we quickly placed this cat in a cage with a contract on an no hurricane damaged model which had just been released from the Grenada Sunsail fleet and was heading to Sunsail St. Lucia to undergo phase out repairs.
Make sure you also click on the following links to read critical reviews about this special boat:
Sail Magazine - May 2011
Cruising World - December 2011
Boats.com - July 2011
Ultimately, the Leopard 44 was the boat we chose, but let's learn more about the Leopard 48 which we REALLY liked and the main reason we did not chose it.