Review of the Leopard 44

The award winning Leopard 44 has received praise for its innovative qualities such as the forward cockpit door. Reviews continue to come in including the below from one of our very own brokers.

 

When Robertson and Caine first introduced the Leopard 44 with the forward cockpit in late 2010 the competitors and skeptics were quick to criticize the boat.  They claimed that tons of water would crash over the bows into the giant tub and explode everything in its path. Fact is, on-their-own-bottom deliveries from Cape Town to Ft Lauderdale (and other points on the globe) the skippers reported that hardly a drop makes it into forward sections of the boat. In conditions with heavy winds and high boat speed the spray was deflected aft to mid-sections of the superstructure. Winter South Africa seasons are when winds and waves are at their cruelest, the 44 handled the 45-day journey to Ft Lauderdale with ease, and performance was reported exceptional. To note, along with fellow Leopard Associates, I was on hand to greet the skippers on arrival to get the real scoop, same story every time, hardly a drop. Designed into the floor are two giant scuppers that quickly drain any water intrusions.

Having personally sailed this model several times including a week long charter I found it easy to maneuver and sail.   Boarding the yacht from the dinghy was simple, and it’s easy to stow via the electric davits before setting off for the day. Sailing with the double mainsheet system took a little getting used to, but now I understand why all the newer models Robertson and Caine produces are all fit with it. The system has its advantages when fine-tuning a huge mainsail, which is the primary power source on most catamarans. Sailing at double digit speeds in 18+ knots of breeze was exciting and fun.

Noticeable under anchor (or sail) was that the cockpit floor was level with the main salon (as with all Leopards).  So walking fore and aft to the galley, to fish, or to check an engine was a cinch; no climbing up and down to get in and out of the salon as with some competitors models.

The interior layout offers a galley adjacent to the salon table and both forward and aft cockpits. Underway, the favorite hangout was the forward cockpit, through a heavy, watertight door, where relaxing was the norm and facing forward was unique. The interior cabins were comfortable and the heads had separate showers.

Recent sales of this model are strong. The 3-cabin Owners Versions are always popular with quick turnarounds at nearly full asking prices. Also available are the nicely equipped Sunsail fleet yachts that have 4-cabins, generators, solar panels in the $350K range that are phased-out / re-fit at no charge to the buyers. The charter yachts are handed over to new owners as “charter ready” (linens, cookware, tableware, safety gear) with no work needed other than a trip to the market for provisioning. And what a great way to start a cruise, right from the tropical base locations.

The Leopard 44 is an outstanding yacht, in my opinion, and I consider it one of the very best values in the brokerage market.

See all of our Leopard 44 listings HERE.

 

Jim Adams

Jim’s enthusiasm for sailing began 40 years ago racing Hobie Cat 18’s. This soon developed into bluewater cruising adventures throughout the West Indies, the Bahamas, and the Florida Keys. A licensed Captain since ’84, his sailing experiences along with a diverse professional background have resulted in a well-rounded knowledge of yacht systems, performance standards, and excellent customer service. Jim is also a former client of ours (3 times) and enjoys racing and cruising on his Beneteaus. He offers a focus on detail and excellent follow-up to provide a positive experience with your yacht purchase process.

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