Leopard 47 Powercat Review

Robertson and Caine – Leopard 47 Power Cat

The Leopard 47 Power Cat is a yacht born from many innovations, and a design that has won over many owners (even sailors) and charter companies too.

The Leopard 47 PC is a collaboration between South African boatbuilder Robertson and Caine and California sail- and power-catamaran designers Morelli & Melvin.  Debuting in 2009, the 47-footer forms the basis for island charter fleets and is found in private ownership all over the world.

The Leopard 47PC was designed from the ground up to be an open water yacht with the displacement necessary to carry endless cruising gear, and maintain its waterline.  Being a multihull means it’s very comfortable on the move and also stable at anchor, a feature that monohull power-yachts cannot compete with unless equipped with expensive active stabilizers. 

For the power plant of this vessel, the early model of 47PC were fitted with the Volvo 150’s.  These were then switched to the amazing Cummins 150’s, which powers the majority of the four cabin 47PC’s built.  Then due to EPA compliancy regulations they switched to the John Deere 150’s the last year of the run.

Of the yachts powered by two straight drive Cummins 150HP turbo charged four cylinder engines, this yacht offers high reliability and efficiency, especially in the 12-15 knot cruising speed.  Higher speeds (17-18 knots) are achievable, at the expense of higher fuel consumption, though still massively lower than equal size power boats.  If you chose to cruise at maximum fuel efficiency, you can run on just one engine at half-throttle (2000 rpm), which gives a healthy 8 to 9 knots.  At this speed you’re only using 2-3 GPH, which means you have  range of roughly 1000 nautical miles using the built-in 320 gallon tanks only.  With these numbers, suddenly a stable and comfortable power-boat makes sense, for those looking to make the jump from sailing to power, or those looking for a more efficient power-boat.

For those looking for more power, there was the option to upgrade the engines to 2 x Volvo D4-260’s.   These are found more often in the three cabin owners layout.  Powered by these engines, the yacht can reach speeds of 22-23 knots, cruising at 15-18 knots.  Cruising using the same one engine running trick, at 2000rpm also only burns 3 GPH, which is remarkable.

Being a wide beam catamaran hull, means this yacht has really generous space for both living areas and storage.   There are two layout versions for the 47PC, an owners three cabin layout (where the starboard hull is very open plan, and features a study/lounge area and huge forwards head/shower), and a more conventional 4 cabin/4 head version.  The main salon has plenty of natural light through the large side and forward windows, with galley aft and table seating forwards.  There is a full sized nav station in the starboard forward part of the salon, and the option to fit a second internal helm here.  The yacht is fully air-conditioned and is powered by a 9kw Northern Lights generator, proving quiet cool living on the water.  There are crew quarters on both sides, with the starboard side having its own head, sink and bunk. 

The side decks are extremely wide, for a yacht this size, with a solid deck between the bows giving immense floor space, and high stainless tube guard rail providing safety whilst under way.  The fixed GRP dinghy davits are an ingenious design, where the forward facing bench seat can be folded flat and then lowered into the water to become a boarding platform.  The aft cockpit is very spacious, with comfortable seating for ten around the table to port and additional seating to starboard, for al fresco dining.  Where this yacht really shines is the flybridge, which becomes the living area in all but the most adverse conditions.  Here you have a commanding view of your surroundings, and can helm the yacht from the three person helm seat, whilst also being able to socialize with your guests sitting in the forward area.  The forward area of the flybridge features luxurious wrap around seating to port and an additional bench seat facing forward.  There is also a wet bar to prepare food and drinks, and there is provision to fit stove/BBQ and fridge/ice-maker, so you have all you need to make the flybridge your elevated home on the water. 

The Leopard 47 power cat is unquestionably one of the more exciting power-cats out there, and today offers tremendous value, being priced at a third of the cost of a similar new design, whilst also being an incredible strong and efficient design.  Speaking with delivery crews and owners they all talk highly of the performance, sea-worthiness, build quality, and livability of the yacht. Those with a family looking to explore this blue planet under power, should check out the value that the brilliant Leopard 47 power cat gives.

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Richard Vass

Richard Vass first moved to the British Virgin Islands more than a decade ago, working for both Sunsail and The Moorings during this time. Richard’s family are keen sailors and his introduction to yachts began at an early age. Drawing on his knowledge of charter yachts, passion for sailing, and his local knowledge, you’ll find Richard a friendly chap who is happy to explain the brokerage process as well as help you find your dream yacht.

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