Owning a cruising catamaran on the Chesapeake for years is a dream to so many. But what if life dealt you a hand that provided the ability to own a second one, and you could relive the dream all over again? That is just the situation that new Leopard 45 owners, Trish and Glen, have stumbled upon. And I was lucky enough to join them on their maiden voyage for a sea trial on their handover day.
When the day finally arrives
For those of you who are wondering what "handover day" is, it is the day where new owners take their boat out for a sea trial for the first time, they do a final walkthrough with their sales agent and then the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted. The final installment is paid and the boat officially belongs to the eager new owners!
Twice in a lifetime
Trish and Glen couldn't be more excited about becoming two-time Leopard Owners. Trish confirms, "Owning a boat like this is a once in a lifetime, but twice in a lifetime? We never imaged that we would be so blessed! We bought our first Leopard, a Leopard 39, at the 2010 Annapolis Boat Show. And 10 years later, we are ready to start our next chapter aboard 'Radiant Hope', our Leopard 45."
When they bought their Leopard 39, Grace was 11 (now 22), Abby was 9 (now 20), and Maddy was 7 (now almost 18). "From the time they were small, we wanted to instill a sense of adventure in them. They were great little travelers, always ready on short notice with a backpack filled. Off we'd go. All three girls still love to travel and are still very spontaneous," Trish continues,
"The photo of us all on the trampoline was our last trip as a family on our 39. We took the girls up through NYC, under all the bridges, up close to the Statue of Liberty, out to Long Island, where Glen grew up." When thinking about the future plans on their L45, and sailing with their daughters, now 18, 20 and 22 years old, Trish smiles and says, "PRICELESS." Glen adds, "We don't vacation, we adventure."
The power of the internet
Glen attested to the power of social media and owner forums for obtaining an understanding of how to outfit their new Leopard 45. “It’s hard to imagine buying a cruising catamaran nowadays without the advice of other owners through social media and forums. We’ve received so much good information on where to place things and what options to get.”
It's not only the Leopard community but the catamaran community and sailing community in general, that makes yacht ownership such a one-of-a-kind experience, or in Glen and Trish's case, a two-time experience.
22 questions in 22 minutes
When I met with Glen and Trish for the first time, I thought it would be a great idea to fire off a list of questions and get their answers as they relate to their time sailing and cruising.
Read below to learn more about this generous, fun-loving couple. You just might find yourselves signing up for a charter on their boat in the Chesapeake!
- Where are you headed first in your Leopard, and why?
We are going to do some Florida sailing for a month or so for break-in and vessel orientation and then ride the Gulf Stream up to the Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis. I (Glen) graduated from the Naval Academy, so we love the early summer morning PEP for the Plebe’s echoing over the Bay, as well as home football games and class reunions in the Fall and lacrosse game in the Spring.
- What is your dream passage?
For the Winter, it would be island hopping from Ft Lauderdale out to Anegada, BVI. Summer would be Glen’s home waters of Long Island Sound and out to Montauk Point, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.
- What’s your favorite port of call so far?
On the Chesapeake Bay it is Annapolis and St. Michael’s (particularly slipping in the quiet, back-door through San Domingo Creek). Though we have recently discovered some wineries that can be visited by boat and we are excited to share that with friends and guests.
- Do you plan to one day sail around the world?
When the kids were younger with our original Leopard 39, it was something we actively investigated but it wasn’t to be then. It is always a possibility that we keep as a possibility.
- Why did you choose this model Leopard?
The lounge. This is my (Trish's) dream boat! Glen’s answer is mostly the same. We find, as with our home, that people like to congregate in groups of 3-5. This Leopard 45 is not only larger than our previous one, but has two additional areas to socialize that our previous boat did not. The forward cockpit and topside lounge.
- What’s your favorite spot onboard your Leopard?
Forward cockpit now, but maybe the sky lounge, that's what I've (Trish) named it. We are all about sharing so we love the idea that there are tons of nooks and crannies. The places to relax are endless.
- What is your favorite dinner to have onboard?
- How long have you been sailing, and where did you learn?
For me (Glenn), my whole life. And Trish, in 2010 when we bought our first Leopard. It takes about two years to get sea legs. Husbands who love sailing should ease their wives' into it, go slowly with kids and spouses. It is important to give them time to get their sea legs. Scaring them early will make you a lonely sailor.
- What’s the biggest life lesson you’ve learned on your Leopard?
Patience. We had to order and wait. There were a lot of little decisions to be made. Plugging into the owner networks on social media has been a great asset. Also, teamwork. It takes a team and that’s why we like sailing as a family activity. The other is that particularly with sailing, the journey is the adventure. The point... Destinations are nice, but make sure you enjoy the ride along the way.
- Which aspect of your personality has been most useful as you begin this new adventure?
Hospitality, the motto in our family is, "If you cant share it, you cant have it." And everything we own is like that.
- What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made while cruising? We don’t have a great answer for that because "slow it pro" to keep the embarrassing thing from happening. Even if it takes four times to get in the dock. Although, one time we did pick up a lobster pot with sails up...
- Which is better on the water—sunrise or sunset?
- How do you spend your evenings at anchor?
Sundowners on the lounge with music playing something like Zac Brown or NEEDTOBREATHE and charcuterie, very relaxed and nothing formal.
- What’s the story behind your Leopard’s name?
The name is Radiant Hope. It comes from 1 Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. And do it with gentleness and respect." This has been a life verse for our family and it reminds us to live with hope. Hope for tomorrow, for people, for our community. And maybe people will ask us about where our hope comes from and we can share with them our story.
- Which of your seamanship skills do you want to improve?
Downwind sailing, we plan on getting a parasailer.
- What are some of your favorite podcasts?
I (Trish) always listen to business podcasts. Glen prefers Tim Ferris’s long form podcasts where he deconstructs world class ‘performers’ (business, theology, olympians,...), as well as Entreleadership.
- What superpower would be most useful while cruising?
Clairvoyance on weather.
- How do you spend your leisure time when you’re not sailing?
Hosting people at our home. Our doors are always open. We do college student ministry. On any given weekend you might find up to 30 kids at our house for bible study, swimming in the pool, and playing sand volleyball. We’ve been known to have a wedding or two at our house. We love sharing and we love hospitality. And now, we are taking it to the water!
- What’s the weirdest item you carry onboard your Leopard?
Kanberra- google it!
- Do you digitally unplug while cruising, or do you try to stay connected to the world?
A Little bit of both depending on guests. We try to unplug. For Glen, on the water is the only place where my iPhone is not my office, but simply a music source. Love it!
- What apps or digital resources have proven useful while cruising?
Predict wind, active Captain, and Navionics app
- What YouTube channels do you follow?
The Wynn’s, Parley Revival, Tula’s Endless Summer, Zatara
During the sea trial with Glen and Trish, we noticed a group of dolphins following us down the ICW. I am not big on superstitions but I couldn't help but think that this had to be a sign of an exciting future for this cruising couple aboard their Leopard 45, Radiant Hope. All of the Leopard Family is looking forward to following along on their adventures for years to come.