Leopard 42 Review

The Leopard 42 emerged in 2001 to replace the Leopard 45. Designed by Alex Simonis, the L42 extended the lines of the Leopard 38 and offered a 3-cabin, 3-head model and a 4-cabin, 4-head model. Approximately 50 Leopard 42s were made before being replaced by the Leopard 43 in 2004. Despite its heritage of award-winning catamarans, the Leopard 42 won no awards. However, the L42 is still highly sought-after by cruisers worldwide. Let’s look at why. Features Since Leopard announced their next iteration of the Leopard 42 in July 2020, we’ll talk first about the original model and then provide a few words on the updated version. Spacious Living Spaces. Like its predecessors, the Leopard 42 offers spacious accommodations disproportionate to their size. The cockpit on the L42 is quite large, accommodating more than 17 people on one lucky cruiser’s birthday off the Magnetic Islands, Australia. Skeg-Hung Rudders. These are […]

Jeanneau Lagoon 35 CCC Review

What does Jeanneau want the world to think with the acronym of “CCC” In the title? It’s the Coastal Cruising Catamaran. That’s it. Jeanneau was so transparent about the capabilities of their new cat, that they put it in the title. Thinking about racing to Bermuda? Look elsewhere. Designed by notorious sailing and design guru’s, Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin (America’s Cup & Olympics), they chose performance over comfort. To understand the boat, I really needed a quick history lesson on Jeanneau’s production timeline. In 1984 they started production of their first generation Lagoon boats. They started big too. The Lagoon fleets of 55, 57, 67 and 67s models were the first boats that were splashed starting from the mid 1980’ up into the early 1990’s. Beginning in 1992 the production of any new models stopped. Looking back into the history glass, one can see the writing on the wall. […]

Leopard 40 Information and Review

Leopard began their sailing catamaran line-up with a cruise-worthy 45-foot catamaran. When the charter industry took notice, they requested smaller sailing cats for their fleets, so Leopard provided the 38-foot model, as well as a 42-foot model. In 2004, Leopard partnered with designers Morelli & Melvin for their Leopard 40 model. Between 2004 and 2009, Leopard produced 136 Leopard 40s before replacing it with the Leopard 39. Then, in 2014, Leopard engaged with Simonis Voogd Design to launch a newer Leopard 40 model that is still in production today with over 210 vessels produced. The Leopard family is known for award-winning designs, and the Leopard 40 is no exception, having earned the following awards: Cruising World’s “Best Overall Import Boat in USA 2005” Cruising World’s “Best Multihull 40 Feet and Under” 2005 Sail Magazine´s “Best Boats 2005” The Leopard 40 was also honored for innovative achievements by the National Marine […]

Leopard 38 Information and Review

Leopard didn’t start small, but rather, began their sailing catamaran line-up with a 45-foot catamaran in 1997 before moving to the Leopard 38 in 1998. All total, they built 124 Leopard 38s. The Leopard 38 (also branded as the Sunsail 384), was designed by Morrelli & Melvin, who have designed some of the fastest multihulls to glide across an ocean. No stranger to design awards, M&M’s Leopard 38 designs won the Cruising World 2010 Boat of the Year in two categories:  Best Multihull Cruiser of the Year, and  Best Import Boat of the Year That same year, they won SAIL Magazine’s 2010 Best Boat” in the Cruising Multihull Category. So, what features make these vessels so desirable? Let’s check it out. Features Though designed by individuals with a fetish for performance, the Leopard 38 falls closer to the comfort side of the spectrum. However, she will sail better than some of her […]

Leopard 39 Information and Review

Leopard began their sailing catamaran line-up with a respectable 45-foot catamaran in 1997. Then, seeing a ripe opportunity in the charter industry, they next moved to the Leopard 38 in 1998. In 2010, Leopard announced the 39 model and proceeded to build 126 hulls of that size through 2015. Crafted from the same hull molds as the Leopard 38, the Leopard 39’s main upgrades include the full hardtop over the cockpit and a raised helm station, also covered with a hardtop. It’s little wonder that the Leopard 39 won the ‘Sail Best Boats 2010’ Cruising Multihull award. Robertson and Caine’s contribution to the catamaran market cannot be understated. In early 2012, Leopard launched their 1,000th Leopard Catamaran and to date, have launched over 1800 catamarans. Features Designed by Morelli & Melvin to replace the Leopard 38, the Leopard 39 is widely used by world cruisers as well as the Sunsail […]

Knysna 440 Review: Upgraded St Francis 44

In 2002 Knysna Yacht Company (pronounced “Knees-nuh”) set out to become a boutique builder for high quality, semi-custom catamarans. Building on the legacy of the South African catamaran industry, the company purchased the tooling for the Angelo Lavranos designed St. Francis 44 hulls. Then Knysna changed the cabin and interior layout and the weight balance to launch their own take on the cruising catamaran. The Knysna engineers found that the St. Francis 44, a successful cruising design, still had room for improvement in areas of interior volume, cabin height and weight distribution. The original design had center engine placement in the hulls, but the Knysna team moved the engines towards the stern and added a small stern scoop to to increase sea kindliness and motion. Moving the engines aft gave the new team more space to work with mid-ships in each hull and gave the boat more lift in waves, […]

Prout 39 Escale Owner Interview and Review

The Prout 39’ Escale was built in Essex, United Kingdom in 1991. Finding one of these cats is a rarity, since it’s to be believed that only a mere 200 some are left sailing the seas; a cruising class gem, designed by two brothers, Francis and Roland Prout. The two brothers spent their youth learning the ropes of design and boat-building within the families’ business, building folding canoes and dinghies. The brothers even raced canoes in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics! Before the Prout Cruising Classes were built, the brothers designed smaller day sailing boats and also the infamous Shearwater class, under the families business. The Brothers domination of the catamaran cruising world began in 1975, when their company, “Prout Catamarans” was founded. From 1975 to when they shut their doors in 2002, Prout Catamarans manufactured close to 4,300 boats; 658 of which were the Escale 39 Series. From looking at […]

Gemini 3000 Review: A Budget Boat with an Offshore attitude

Gemini Catamarans have gotten a reputation among sailors as a cheaper cruiser with a gift for sailing to wind. But it has been my experience that no catamaran goes to wind well and to compare cats on their windward performance is like picking a gold medal winner in the 50 yard dash from a field of sloths. Gemini is no different than any other cat I have sailed, but what they lack in performance and style, they make up for in affordability and modability. My first mate, Matt entered into the world of Catamarans when he found a used Gemini 30 in an estate sale in Connecticut. I joined him for the 12 hour drive from North Carolina to offer my expert opinion and eye for deals and when we came upon this one what a deal it was. The gentleman who owned it had passed and there was a […]

Leopard 44 Catamaran Review

History / Background South African boat builders Robertson and Caine have built over 2,000 catamarans over the last three decades. The Leopard 44 results from another successful collaboration with American catamaran designers Morrelli & Melvin. The goal was a solid, affordable mid-sized catamaran capable of blue water sailing and good for the charter market. Multiple awards and the boat’s enduring popularity show how well they hit the target. The Leopard 44 starts with a hull construction of vacuum-bagged balsa cored e-glass with vinylester resin. This makes for a light, strong and blister resistant foundation to bond the fiberglass liner. The interior layout is open, to make a galley and living area combination which keeps the cooks in the mix with everyone. The common area living plan feels open, and social and light, like a casual dining roomand open kitchen plan in a house. They built two versions of the boat—a […]

Seawind 1000 Catamaran Review

The Seawind 1000, designed by Richard Ward and Scott Judson, was first built in Australia in 1994. The debut model was the first catamaran ever to be awarded “Australian Cruising Sailboat of the Year.” Over 225 Seawind 1000 series boats have been built, and while many might scoff at a sub-35’ catamaran tackling long ocean passages and 80+ knot storms, this light, nimble catamaran just might surprise you. History After initially launching with an inboard Bukh diesel engine, charter companies requested a model with twin outboards for ease of maintenance and maneuverability. This outboard model was a clear success and so became the standard for the 1000 model family. Since then, the Seawind 1000 was placed in Australian charter companies in the Whitsundays, Pittwater, Sydney Harbour, the Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. The 1000 series has also been placed into charter in the U.S., Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Brazil, and […]

Seawind 1200 Catamaran Review

Perhaps the rarest of all Seawind models, the 39’ Seawind 1200, first produced in Wollongong, Australia in 1998, saw roughly 25 produced in its 5-year run. The model was primarily popular among charter companies in Australia, with only a few known to cruise privately. As with all Seawind models, the 1200 is a strong sailor with a spacious layout, but there may be more than a few reasons the company replaced it with the wildly-popular 1160. History Seawind was founded by Richard Ward in the early 1980s. Over the course of two decades, the Seawind factory pushed out the Seawind 850, launched in1991, the 33-foot Seawind 1000, launched in 1994, and the Tony Grainger-designed Seawind 1200 in launched in 1998 for the Australian charter company Whitsunday Escape. Though briefly replaced by the Seawind 1160, the 1200 model line continued in 2011 with the 41-foot Seawind 1250, which launched in 2011, […]

Seawind 1160 Catamaran Review

First launched in 2004, the 38’ Seawind 1160 has been a popular, award-winning vessel for cruisers and charterers alike. Whether due to good design or simply good marketing, the Seawind 1160 seems to have a bit of a cult following, bringing the vessel into high demand. We sort out the reality from the hype to help you make the most informed decision you can before purchase. History Seawind was founded by Richard Ward in the early 1980’s. Over the course of a decade, his Seawind designs matured to include the Seawind 850, launched in 1991, the 33-foot Seawind 1000, launched in 1994, and the Seawind 1200 in launched in 1998 for the Australian charter company Whitsunday Escape. In 2000, Ward purchased Venturer, a luxury power catamaran builder. In 2004, the Seawind 1160 emerged, a culmination of the best elements of its predecessors. The 1160 series includes the standard 1160, the […]

Lagoon 42 Review: Week Charter in Antigua

My wife and I took 5 friends down to Antigua this year to do some quantitative easing in that fine country. This review of our boat, the Lagoon 42, is based on my experience showing and moving them in Lauderdale as well as from this 7 day charter with Dream Yachts out of Jolly Harbor. Let me get this done with at the start. Lagoons are not the highest quality catamarans. They or as a close second to Fountaine Pajot might be near the bottom of quality for mass production catamarans depending on the model. But for what they lack in quality, they make up for in outstanding space and light inside. They have gotten better and better at maximizing space, so much so that in the 2018 Lagoon 42 we chartered there were 4 good sized heads along with the 4 cabins and 2 pilot berths forward. The salon […]

Leopard 46 Review: Better than a Lagoon?

Clients often debate about which of the production catamaran brands to purchase. Is there a significant difference between a Fountain-Pajot, Lagoon, and Leopard? After an 11 day delivery of a Leopard 46 from Fort Lauderdale to Cartagena, Colombia and a delivery of a Lagoon 440 in March from Fort Lauderdale to Annapolis, in many respects the Leopard out classed the Lagoon including performance, durability, and comfort. My colleague and super star sailor Kevin Bray lauded the Leopard throughout the delivery. “After working on this boat for 3 months and now sailing her, I can honestly say I like this Leopard 46 design, and there are not a lot of boats that I can say that about,” shared Kevin. In a few areas, I give the edge to Lagoon. Read on to see which.

Lagoon 440 Review: Delivery to Annapolis

I wish I could take delivery of every yacht I review here, but I am usually restricted to a short seatrial at best. Hearing from owners the qualities of a vessel is one thing, but experiencing them yourself makes the unique qualities more vivid and altogether leads to a superior review. I hope that is the case here as I am still yearning to be offshore after my 12 day delivery of a Lagoon 440 catamaran from Venice Isle, Fort Lauderdale to Gibson Island, Annapolis. Lagoon was established in 1984 as a development of the legendary Jeanneau Advanced Technologies racing division. Lagoon went on to achieve fame for building the trimarans for the blockbuster movie Waterworld starring actor and inventor Kevin Costner. Lagoon’s first era of production ran from 1987 to 1996 and included production of 55, 47, 57 and 67 models meant as bluewater cruising catamarans for private purchase […]

Memories of my Catalac 27

by Hak Kauffman (note: Hak Kauffman bought his Catalac 27 in 1977 and sailed it for 20 years. In those early catamaran days, he was one of the brave pioneers who took a chance on these new styled boats. Hak sold the boat when his age caught up to him, but has vivid recollections of his, which he was kind enough to share with us – Rick) Catalac 27 In my search for a new bigger boat, I decided to include multihulls. After a trip to Symons Sailing in Amityville, Long Island, NY, I thought the 8 meter Catalac would be the answer. About a month later, Bill told me he now had a new one at his place. So, my wife and three sons drove up to inspect and decide. We all liked what we saw, but I requested a short “get acquainted” sail, after we had lunch. We found […]

Catalac 900 Information

Catalac 900 Ocean passage After Tom Lack’s Catalac production ended in the mid 1980’s, the company was reformed in the early ’90’s under the new name, Blue Water Catalacs.  The old Catalac 9M moulds were sourced and it was possible to put the boat back into production under the new ‘Catalac 900 banner. The Catalac 900 was a major rework of the twenty year old Catalac 9M design, with a sleeker and more modern look, achieved mainly by the removal of the old individual aluminum framed windows and replacing them with sealed full length tinted Perspex ones. The boat featured other refinements like an enclosed helm,  hot and cold running water as standard and the fitting of twin diesels (either Volvo or Yanmar units) with saildrive transmissions as standard equipment. Replacing the old shaft drive setup meant the engines were now mounted further towards the rear, allowing for a huge […]

Catalac 900 Review

by Terry Kennedy The Catalac 900 is the pilothouse version of the Catalac 9M. The pilothouse not only allows for the helm to be inside, but offers standing head room around the salon. The Catalac 900 is a warm, dry and comfortable vessel when inclement weather arrives. This is a dramatic difference from the 8M and 9M’s with their helms exposed to the weather in the cockpits, and their low ceilings in the salon area that only allows for sitting. Naval Architect John Winterbotham designed the hull for the Catalac 8M/9M/900 based on the Sunderland, a British WWII era sea plane. By design, the vessels will slip sideways when the wind is strong rather than lift the windward hull. Because of this wide flared load bearing design, and significant storage space, the Catalacs are easily overloaded. They can hold a lot of weight without squatting down in the water and showing […]

Catalac 12M Information

Sold as Catalac 12M or Catalac 41 The 12M Catalac 41 is considered a limited production cruising catamaran designed for live aboard cruisers and perfect for passage making. The S/V Angel Louise, pictured above, completed an Atlantic crossing in July 2011 and back across again in 2014. Ed and Sue Kelly began the crossing from Brunswick Georgia and traveled to England via Bermuda and the Azores. These boats offer a seven berth layout in spacious style with furnishing and trimmings to match. Designed for living in style Full standing 6′ 5″ headroom in both hulls and wheelhouse, and of course plenty of room when you sit down to your meal in the main saloon  making entertaining on the Catalac an absolute pleasure. The galley is located in the port hull and offers hot and cold pressurized water, a refrigerator, a four burner hob, oven and stainless steel sink with integral […]