Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Leopard 38/39

  1. #1

    Default Leopard 38/39

    I'm trying to assess the Bluewater / weather capacity of a Lagoon 380 S2, and a Leopard 38, however have limited experience with CATS in this kind of weather.

    Internet research is one thing, and sailing one in the Med doesn't exactly compare. But talking to experienced people is another so with that in mind.

    2. Questions:

    - Is there anyplace you would NOT want to ever take a Cat the size/style/fitout of a Leopard 38/Lagoon 380 S2 ?

    - Is there any major modification to boat/rigging/sailplan etc you would want to do to take a 38/380 into the roaring 40's or around cape horn ?


    Note: Assume appropriate experience, and all relevant safety equipment. I'm mainly asking about seaworthiness and capability of the vessel itself to deliver its crew safely to the other end.

    Also Cruising, not racing, with appropriate weather routing, but as we all know, when in the middle of a big ocean, the weather does what it wants !



    Background: We are considering a Leopard 38 or a Lagoon 380 for cruising, primarily crewed by 2 people (myself and my wife). Larger is not a preference at this time.

    The first trip is likely Starting in the Med, ARC rally to Carribean, then tradewinds route to Australia.

    However, there are a number of other more 'out of the way' places we would love to go longer term, potentially even higher lattitudes, or across the southern ocean, Iceland etc.


    I've been on larger ships in most of these places, including the high arctic and antarctic, and sailed monohulls to some, but no experience (yet) in a Cat in heavy seas / serious weather to judge their ability to handle it.



    Any direct experience appreciated.

    Regards

  2. #2

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    I'm trying to assess the Bluewater / weather capacity of a Lagoon 380 S2, and a Leopard 38, however have limited experience with CATS in this kind of weather.

    Internet research is one thing, and sailing one in the Med doesn't exactly compare. But talking to experienced people is another so with that in mind.

    2. Questions:

    - Is there anyplace you would NOT want to ever take a Cat the size/style/fitout of a Leopard 38/Lagoon 380 S2 ?
    Nope, but there will limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    - Is there any major modification to boat/rigging/sailplan etc you would want to do to take a 38/380 into the roaring 40's or around cape horn ?
    Except there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    Note: Assume appropriate experience, and all relevant safety equipment. I'm mainly asking about seaworthiness and capability of the vessel itself to deliver its crew safely to the other end.

    Also Cruising, not racing, with appropriate weather routing, but as we all know, when in the middle of a big ocean, the weather does what it wants !

    Background: We are considering a Leopard 38 or a Lagoon 380 for cruising, primarily crewed by 2 people (myself and my wife). Larger is not a preference at this time.

    The first trip is likely Starting in the Med, ARC rally to Carribean, then tradewinds route to Australia.
    For your planned route a 38/39 ft cat will be fine, except you break one of the worst rules of safe cruising "a schedule" being on an organised rally or any schedule of any kind means you do not take full account of the weather, you cannot operate on your terms within your own abilities or conditions that prevail on board at any given time. Doing a trade wind route can be a marvellous experience or a disaster and this is down to your understanding of the conditions that best suit your boat and your crew.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    However, there are a number of other more 'out of the way' places we would love to go longer term, potentially even higher lattitudes, or across the southern ocean, Iceland etc.
    A 38/39ft cat IMO is less suitable for more out of the way places. Unless a cat is good to windward or can sail in light airs it needs to be big enough to carry sufficient fuel and or be able to survive in more demanding sea conditions

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    I've been on larger ships in most of these places, including the high arctic and antarctic, and sailed monohulls to some, but no experience (yet) in a Cat in heavy seas / serious weather to judge their ability to handle it.

    Any direct experience appreciated.

    Regards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Land of the ice and snow
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    same boat as Leopard 38 pretty much, a leopard 39, sailing in 65 kit winds, southern ocean:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ-svmgOxqw
    Last edited by jhnsn; 29th January 2016 at 09:47 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Thanks for the comments.

    Yes I saw that video, and with a drogue out the back (I assume), they seemed to be doing just fine.

    Fair point on the organized rally and timings. We may or may not do that. May be more about looking for safety in numbers for such a crossing (having never done one in a yacht).
    I've been across those oceans many times, but always in something substantially larger and generally painted grey...


    I Should add we plan to be 2-hand sailing most of the time, with option to find a crew member where we feel it may be needed (such as say, a long passage).


    Appreciate the comments / insight.

    Regards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Too far north to be comfortable.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Having crossed the Atlantic, twice, two handed. I can say you are far better to watch the weather than assume safety in numbers. 10 people jumping off a cliff is no safer than you climbing down on your own.

    We left at nearly the same time as the ARC, but from the Cape Verdes, as that was the safest route at the time, judging by the forecasts. There were several maydays from ARC participants, but none from those of us who went to the Cape Verdes first.

    The ARC left on schedule, but not nature's schedule. Foolish timing, and some paid for it.

    Captain your own boat, and leave when you think it's safe.

    Cheers, and enjoy your new boat, when you get it. 38 feet is plenty of Catamaran, we crossed in a 39 foot monohull.

    Paul.

    I could have saved time by just saying +1 to Peter's comments.
    Last edited by quickcat49; 31st January 2016 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Well + 2 then. We sailed to Vanuatu in a rally. Fact is, you end up a long way away from other boats anyway. After 700 miles the nearest mono to us was nearly 200 miles behind us.

    And we copped crap weather - 4 days of gale force wind. If we hadn't been in a rally we'd have left in a better weather window. (Even though the gale force wind wasn't forecast)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by jhnsn View Post
    same boat as Leopard 38 pretty much, a leopard 39, sailing in 65 kit winds, southern ocean:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ-svmgOxqw
    "Except there" OK perhaps you can.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    Fair point on the organized rally and timings. We may or may not do that. May be more about looking for safety in numbers for such a crossing (having never done one in a yacht).

    I Should add we plan to be 2-hand sailing most of the time, with option to find a crew member where we feel it may be needed (such as say, a long passage).
    One of the most useful pieces of kit for ocean sailing is SSB / HF radio. This enables contact at sea with other independent yachts of which there will be many and greatly improves the enjoyment on long passages. Most passage routes will have well established radio nets that anyone can participate.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Thank you for the comments, much appreciated and food for thought.

    On reflection, I actually agree with the rally vs own time comments. I think we were more drawn to the options of meeting other people etc. that may come with such an event.
    However I am significantly more of a fan of proper weather routing and timing according to our boat, crew etc., than ANY outside pressure.

    @Peter. Good point on the SSB/HF. I intended to fit one anyway, but good to know that there are common nets out there for independent yachts.


    re: "Captain your own boat, and leave when you think it's safe." - Wholeheartedly agree.


    So, skipping the Rally point. What, if any, major upgrades would folks recommend before taking one of those voyaging / potentially into heavy weather.

    Right now I'm thinking worthwhile changes are. (Beyond standard safety equipment)
    - SSB/HF
    - AIS
    - Radar. (Both weather and surface scan)
    - Additional rigging on the mast, running backstay, inner stays. (i.e. in case 1 Stay breaks, the mast won't come crashing down. From what I can see if any of the 3 Stays on the standard yacht break, the mast is coming down).
    - Geneker or equivalent light air sail on a bowspit.

    Questions for opinions:
    - Spare Main ?
    - Storm Jib ?

    Anything else that springs to mind as 'won't leave port without it' for say, an Atlantic, or Pacific Crossing. (i.e. Galapogas to the Marqueses). Or even the Southern Ocean.


    All assistance greatly appreciated.

    Regards

  10. #10

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Independent cruisers are a very friendly bunch so any worries there are unfounded.

    In addition to SSB/HF you should include a Pactor modem - this is an expensive item but IMO worth it for emails, gribs and weather charts
    Satellite Phone - Iridium or IsatPhone with world coverage - for voice and backup data for HF
    Parachute - sea anchor
    Drogue - single or series

    Radar - I used to have a traditional radar that was great for spotting weather but used so much electricity so was rarely used at all. I have recently replaced it with a B&G/Lowrance broadband radar that is many hundreds of times better at spotting land and things in the sea but not very good at seeing weather. It uses virtually no electricity and is on most of the time.

    I wouldn't mess with the design of the rig. I wholly support your reservations and I personally prefer a 6 stay rig but you can make things much worse by introducing stays that were not meant to be there. Again, unless the rig is designed for running backstays I would not add them and sailing 2 handed means that most of the time you will actually be single handed and if you forget, then running backstays could be the cause of breakage rather than a help. It is far better to ensure the rig is thoroughly checked and serviced on a regular basis. Keep it simple.

    Screacher / Geneker - Yes this greatly improves any boat and IMO is better than a spinnaker when short handed. However, this is where the limitations begin. If your boat is light then you can use a very light screacher (no UV) that is taken down when not being used, as you will only need it in very light winds. If your boat is heavier then you will need a Geneker as you will need to use it in correspondingly stronger winds. That will mean UV protection and be even heavier, be more cumbersome and you will be less inclined to take it down, it also means your light weather performance will be compromised.

    My other tip - The lightest dinghy and out-board combination that will satisfy your specific needs. Big enough too shuttle usual crew and / or supplies (and dive gear?) but light enough to haul up the beach.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    Thank you for the comments, much appreciated and food for thought.

    On reflection, I actually agree with the rally vs own time comments. I think we were more drawn to the options of meeting other people etc. that may come with such an event.
    I do have to admit, we met several people who are now very good friends, while in the rally.

    The main reason we joined the rally was to make sure we got the customs clearance in and out of countries right. But it's a pretty simple process really.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mandurah WA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Im in a similar situation to you only a few years in front, having bought our 42 foot cat in the med intending on sailing back to Australia. 3 years later we are still in the med - its too good! Dont discount the med sailing experience either- it looks like a big pond on a map but there are plenty of hairy moments to be had and the seas can be really steep. Will start the leg home next year though. So first tip is to leave enough time to make the most of the med. If time is short then look at buying in the east like greece or turkey so its a one way trip out maybe. The boats are typically a bit cheaper there too and easier to fit out.

    From what Ive learned so far re cat cruising you are on the right track re size for a couple etc. 38 to 42 foot is the ideal size for a couple to handle offshore and in tight harbours. The fat hulls of these 2 will give you plenty of payload (ours is longer as we have narrow hulls but same ballpark). They are still plenty big enough for occasional visitors too.

    While ive only sailed my cat in the med in moderate conditions of up to 40 knots and up to 3 day passages ive got southern ocean experience on monos and I wouldnt have a problem taking this size cat there having seen what ours can do so far. In fact I reckon I would be a whole lot more relaxed on a 38 foot cat in the southern ocean than previous 50 foot monos especially if short handed once the wind and seas got up. For the med and trade winds routes you plan they would be fine but wouldnt have a problem with further afield down the track either. The one drawback I can see re out of the way sailing would be low wind sailing. Neither of these boats will do too many miles in light winds which means you will need more fuel. For that aspect of your plans you might want to look at what we have done with a slightly bigger but lighter narrow hull boat that can still hum along in 6 knots of breeze.

    I would 2nd the not bothering with the ARC. Spend the money on a good downwind sail as that will be much more useful in the trades. Cats just dont sail deep downwind too well under main. We have a parasailor due to wind range and ease of use. Even with fat hulls you dont want to overload your boat and stress rigging etc so things like extra mains etc would be a mistake i reckon. I will probably add a series drogue before the atlantic but not the para anchor.

    good luck in your search

  13. #13

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Thanks all for the valuable tips.

    @Peter. I will check out the radar you mention. Does it come with a CAS Avoidance Alarm as well ? (Nothing beats keeping a proper watch of course, but it all helps !) Even in a tight anchorage it could help.

    Good points on the rigging. Will need to consider that. Won't be making any such changes without getting the feel of a boat first anyway.
    Also on the Dinghy.

    @Barra. Thanks for the tips also. Series Drouge is already on the 'must buy' list. Although I have a question about best way to fit the chain plates strongly enough for the forces involved. But that's a topic for AFTER we get the boat.

    Are you full time Liveaboard in the Med or part time for that 3 years ?
    We originally were going to buy in the Carribean, but given our location right now, the Med makes more sense, and I'm sure, lots to see. Only Cruising I have done in the med had 300+ passengers. (or was Grey)

    I'm not familiar with the parasailor, will take a look.

    Your comments about the Bluewater seaworthiness are appreciated, and what i'd certainly hoped to hear !.

    Right now, looking seriously at a couple of Lagoon 380's, Owners config, in the 2002-2005 age range (see other post).

    Thanks all.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post

    @Peter. I will check out the radar you mention. Does it come with a CAS Avoidance Alarm as well ? (Nothing beats keeping a proper watch of course, but it all helps !) Even in a tight anchorage it could help.
    You can set guard zones but CAS - MARPA has largely been superseded by AIS. The Lowrance broadband radar plugs straight into RJ45 port on a PC and with software like OpenCPN you can overlay radar and AIS targets. No dedicated plotter required.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mandurah WA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Just spending the summer season in the med and the winters back in oz (endless summers :-) Will be back on our boat in Marmaris in May this year heading back west having started in France where we bought. Lots of 380s in this part of the world particularly in Greece though many are ex charter. Marmaris is an excellent spot for a refit though.....

    Several friends with the 380s have been very happy with them though just trade winds routes so far. We test sailed the leopard 38/9 when we were looking but were underwhelmed with the performance though it personally had a better layout in some ways I thought. Hate the newer ones with the forward cockpit - thats one cat I wouldnt take to the southern ocean!

    Radar as a minimum is a must in the med at night - lots of targets. Dont have AIS on this boat and only been a handful of times Ive missed it. Like the drogue its on the to do list. In that vid of the l39 they were just trailing warps I believe (though i think their wind instruments could have been off a touch)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    @Peter. Will check that out. By CAS (just to make sure talking about same thing) I'm referring to collision-at-sea avoidance. In other words, Radar alert if an object gets too damn close, or looks like it will !. - Read here, Idiot in a JetSki, or drunken fishermen in a mooring etc. (or even notice that someone is coming into, and near us in a mooring field), or at sea.

    Yes, its been a while since I used Radar, and nothing as small as goes on a yacht.


    @Barra, Well, if all goes to plan, we may see you in the region in May !. We hope to do a 2-3 week first cruise in that region out of turkey around that time. Will see. (Negotiating on a couple of 380 options at present).

    May I ask, what type of boat do you have ?


    I also don't like the leopard 44's with the forward cockpit. That just seems like place to trap 2-3 tons of water up front.... No thanks.

    I agree the Leopard 38/9 has some nicer layout features. BUT, there are a few things I don't like also.

    Right now the high's / lows are.

    Leopard 38/39
    Good: U-Shaped Galley, Stbd Helm, I like the winch and sheet tails at cockpit.
    Bad: No Nav Table/Station worth a damn, Rear bunks/Cabin you have to crawl into / not as open. Looks a BIT to easy to fall off the back in rough weather (lifelines prob fix that). Draw Fridge and Freezer.

    I really did like the leopard 39. (except the price !), but the closed in cabin, and no Nav table were a bit of a deal breaker.

    Lagoon 380.
    Good: Like the cabin, can more easily sit on edge of the bed, good room for dressing. Dedicated Nav Table, Fwd Port locker is deck access.
    Bad: Straight galley with not much bench space, Helm seems accessible only from outside deck, not cockpit (odd), Single fridge, no freezer).
    Little concerned in the 'step' in the side decks, seems like a good place to slip and twist an ankle. (May be inventing trouble where non exists however !)

    Btw, whilst we have never sail cruised, we have spent years 'land cruising' around outback/Central Australia in our 100 Series Landcruiser which was setup for long range touring. So we are using some of that experience in conceptualizing the 'live small' and issues around cooking, etc.

    Being an electronics and computer junky I'll almost certainly fit Radar, AIS, GPS, and all the related toys that collect environmental data and enhance navigation.
    Thanks Peter for the link to OpenCPN that looks to be worth investigating over a standard chart plotter.


    Regards

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mandurah WA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Yep just drop me a PM when you know your plans and we will see if we can meet up. Like I said Im in Marmaris from start of May. Likely head back West through Greece in June.

    We bought a Phisa 42 which is an extended Catana 401 mould. After quite a few test sails decided to go a bit further to the performance side of things and glad I did.

    We liked the L39 design enough to test sail one but the sail was very disappointing particularly to windward and we pretty much wrote it off straight after that.

    The 380 is a significantly better sailor though as standard needs some wind to get going. Going for one that needs new sails would let you get some better sails straight up and improve this.

    The 380 cockpit is a little cramped but feels very secure bluewater wise (especially compared to the stern of the L39) Your right about the helm access I suppose but then again ive got twin aft helms so we use safety harnesses in weather.

    Re the camping just add a watermaker and some solar panels and you will be in far more luxury than on land.

    Good luck and let me know your plans when you have them.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Thanks Barra, sounds good.

    Right now the 380 we are looking at needs new sails, so that's ok. Possible downside is I will need to source these in Turkey I suspect. Knowing what to order will be the hard bit.

    I already find boats FAR more luxary then camping. Actually one of the reasons we are going this way.
    Heck, being able to cook and sleep inside for a start, never mind not having to packup the kitchen & bed every time you need to move !

    Regards

  19. #19

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    FYI,

    The boat search continues.

    Having looked at a bunch, and more research, we have settled our sights on a Lagoon 400, either Owners version, or 4 berth with 2 Bath Version.

    So far it just ticks all the boxes, on both must and like to have lists, and almost zero downsides that I can see. (nothing on the 'must not have' list!)


    Hoping to pull the trigger on something around Sept/Oct this year.

    Thanks for all the continued good comments and information !

    Regards

  20. #20

    Default Re: Leopard 38/39

    Quote Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
    we have settled our sights on a Lagoon 400
    Go sail on one, crew, delivery, charter, whatever. Plenty of time between now and Sept to organise a trip. Good luck.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •