Cruising World’s Review
Designed for blue-water cruising, this comfy cat will get you where you’re going in a hurry.
By Andrew Burton August 10, 2007
The Leopard 46 has the genes of a racer. It’s built in South Africa by Robertson and Caine and was designed by Gino Morelli and Pete Melvin, who drew the record-breaking maxi-catamaran PlayStation. But make no mistake-this 46-footer’s also designed to cruise in comfort.
The Leopard is a striking boat, from the first glimpse of the high, almost-plumb bows to the streamlined, louvered house and the rakish transoms. The hulls are narrow at the waterline-skinny is faster than wide-and have a very fine entry, then flare sharply to a chine just above the water for good interior volume and reserve buoyancy for sailing in a seaway.
I sailed the boat in light airs; when going to weather, the slippery hulls and tall sail plan gave me boat speed almost equal to the wind speed at a time when most cruisers would have the engines going in those conditions. Cracked off the breeze with the asymmetric spinnaker flying, our speed was at least equal to wind speed.
Construction is of vacuum-bagged E-glass over balsa core with isophthalic gelcoat on the hulls and decks to reduce the chance of osmosis. The keels are separate, bolt-on units designed to break away and thus reduce damage to the hulls in the event of a hard collision with something solid.
The cockpit is big and comfortable, as you’d expect on a boat with a 25-foot beam. An adjustable hatch in the fiberglass bimini opens forward and acts as a windscoop to keep the crew cool when they’re relaxing over lunch. Raised to starboard is the helm seat, with room for two and its own bimini; there’s good access to the engine controls, the wheel, and the sheet winches. A neat feature is the seat along the aft part of the cockpit between the davits; it folds down to become the right height for use as a dinghy dock. Wide, flat decks are clear of impediments for crew movement forward. Large louvers in the forward end of the house restrict sun glare in the interior and are good steps to the cabin top. The anchor and windlass are on the centerline inside a hatch in the bridgedeck. The large trampoline between the hulls forward provides a comfortable place to lounge.
Four days and three sailors add up to a very thorough test on a Leopard 46, with slightly contradictory views making for some interesting on-board conversation during a cruise in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay
By Cameron Dueck
The dispute over the pros and cons of the Leopard 46 began before we left the dock and it was only on the last day of our cruise that the two sides finally found common ground.
We were taking the gleaming white catamaran for a four-day test sail in its ideal waters – the islands and sandy bays of Phang-nga Bay and the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. Gentle winds, beautiful anchorages and plenty of fresh seafood for the barbeque make this a perfect place to charter the yacht from The Moorings.
“I just love this boat,” my friend Adi gushed moments after stepping aboard Double Fantasy and throwing his bag into one of her four spacious cabins. Adi regularly charters boats with his young family, and over the next few days he would be a constant reminder of what the average family sailor really wants. We were joined by Graham, a keen offshore cruiser and racer, and, more importantly, a sailing traditionalist at heart. Graham and Adi could not have come from more opposite sailing camps if they had tried.
BlueWater Sailing’s Review
By BWS Staff The new Leopard 46, which is marketed in the U.S. by The Moorings, takes many of the new design ideas introduced last year in the Leopard 40 and expands them dramatically. Designed by Mevlin & Morrelli, the 46 establishes a whole new look for the Leopard fleet, and by association with The Moorings charter fleets since the boats will also go into charter service as a Moorings 46. The owner’s version, with three Leopard 46 sleeping cabins and three heads, is a large and commodious cruising platform that is designed to sail well and be as comfortable as possible. The boats are built by Robertson & Caine in South Africa and are notable for their strength, durability and attention to detail. To read complete story – click here for Leopard 46 – Boat Review on Blue Water Sailing website
Leopard 46 – Featured Used Boat in Multihulls World
Used Leopard 46 Review
The Leopard 46 received great reviews when the model was first introduced. It’s no surprise that the mid-size cat is still receiving praise now, positioned as a great used boat buy in this review by Multihulls World!