Now that the Leopard 39 has been on the market for some time, our owners have accumulated some longevity of experience aboard their boats. There's no better time to reach out to them for some reviews, especially since we have a Leopard 39 available for immediate ownership in the US. Read the reports below, listed by boat name and cruising grounds. We're glad to see that they've mentioned many of the Leopard 39's great features that we're proud of, so we've highlighted some of them in bold throughout the article.
Full Deck, Florida/Bahamas-East Coast USA
"Owning a sailboat is all about sailing, and having previously owned a 46 foot racer-cruiser, we were concerned about the sailing performance of a catamaran. The Leopard 39 exceeded our expectations in both upwind and off-wind sailing and we leave many of our monohull friends far behind when sailing. Ease of sail handling is important when cruising and getting the mainsail up and down and the jib unfurled and furled is all accomplished by one person at the helm station and couldn't be easier. Sail trim is accomplished with the touch of a button, and the boat itself is a very stable platform under all sailing conditions.
Barbara often said that she felt like she was in a cave when down below in our monohull. We love the open airy feeling in the living areas of our Leopard 39, and with all of the visibility we don¹t miss any of the action outside when underway, at anchor and in port. Cruising the waters of Southern Florida, the Bahamas and the US East Coast for up to 5 months every year, shade and weather protection are very important. We can be anywhere in the inside and outside living areas of our Leopard 39 and be fully protected from the sun and any adverse weather while being able to see what is going on around us.
The Leopard 39 affords us plenty of room for family and friends to visit, and we all have plenty of privacy having our own living space in separate hulls. Securing the dinghy on the electric davit system is so easy that we often raise it at night while on anchor. During ocean passages the davits hold the dinghy high and secure and well out of any seaway." -John and Barbara
Delios, Florida/Bahamas-Around the World
"We looked at catamarans in the 38 to 42 feet size range for three years and when it comes to sailing characteristics, livability, and value, nothing even comes close to the Leopard 39. We love the very efficient and functional layout of the Leopard 39. She combines the best of all worlds. She's easier to sail and faster than our monohull of the same length. She's very comfortable to live aboard. She's ICW friendly. And, she's easy and less expensive to maintain than other catamarans her size. In short, the Leopard 39, is the trifecta of catamarans - the best value, the best layout, and the best sailing catamaran in its class." -John and Rena
Matusone, South Florida/Bahamas
"We were looking for a catamaran small enough to be used comfortably by the two of us, who do most of the sailing, but big enough to accommodate friends or children and grandchildren whenever they come to visit us. The L39 satisfied our requirements perfectly. It has a great layout, it offers the possibility to have two extra bunks in the forpeaks (we added a hatch in each forpeaks to add light and ventilation), it has two heads which is plenty for the family or when we have another couple without the extra maintenance required by the four heads in the usual layout for charter boat. We have been sailing her for about one year and we have been enjoying some great sailing. We sailed a monohull for many years, and, without the thrill of cutting through the waves with the rail close to the water, but with the comfort of always being flat, the L39 sails fast and goes upwind almost as well as a typical cruising monohull. Great boat!" -Carlo
Finisterre, Chesapeake Bay/Caribbean
"We bought our Leopard 39 last year and fulfilled our long term plan to obtain an ocean going cruising catamaran. The Leopard 39 has fulfilled our dream and much more. The attributes that we like the most about our new Leopard 39 is its quality of construction and excellent stability in various sea conditions. We always feel safe. The components used by the manufacture are all top quality with obvious attention to detail. A clear example of this is the labeling of all components in a rigorous and clear tagging system.
The boat is fast which appeals to my past passion as a sailboat racer. For 3 days traveling up from Ft Lauderdale to Maryland we averaged 11-12 knots in the Gulf Stream. On the Chesapeake Bay we easily achieve 7-8 knots with winds 10-15 knots even when pointing. The ease of raising, lowering and controlling the sails from the helm station is awesome, and especially appreciated by an older guy like me. The boat can be handled by my wife and myself with no problem. The twin diesels are reliable and provide for excellent maneuverability in close quarters. The twin 30 HP diesels will push the boat at 7.5 knots at 2900 RPM and have enough fuel storage to get you the distance when the wind isn't cooperating.
We live on the shallow waters of the Chesapeake. The shallow draft is a blessing and allows us access to many harbors that a full keel monohull would not. The shallow draft was a must in our consideration in our purchase. There is plenty of storage both outside and inside so clutter is minimized and equipment is stowed safely so as not to be a problem in heavier seas. The interior layout and comfort is also a key feature for us. The galley on the main deck is so convenient and the queen size bunks and walk in shower in the owners state room really fulfills the Leopard 39 as being our second home.
Currently we use our boat cruising around the Chesapeake Bay as we shake it down and ready it for extended cruising down to the islands and beyond starting this fall. Our Leopard 39 has met and exceeded our expectations. Dealing with the dealer and the company representative was a pleasant experience. Together we worked to spec out the boat to exactly my requirements. We worked the deal via telephone conversations and internet communication since I was working overseas at that time. We had several significant upgrades on the boat from teak decks, code zero and upgraded electronics. The boat was delivered on time and all additions were completed on time without any issues. There were no surprises with regard to extras and cost associated with extras. The boat was delivered exactly as expected to our written correspondence. The sales representative took us out on a sea trial and spent the time to make sure we were comfortable with our new boat. He also assisted us in getting the additional equipment we needed for making our first voyage.
After we took ownership of the boat the After Market Service was extraordinary. If I had questions about how to use a system or a question on the rigging, a response was provided immediately, from our sales rep. Additionally the claim process is simple and hassle free. I had a problem with the port engine amp meter, jib halyard roller furling retainer and a small crack in the gel coat, all claims were fixed to my satisfaction with no issues or hassles. As a Leopard customer you feel there is a Leopard team of professionals backing up there product and truly understanding the meaning of customer satisfaction. Without hesitation I would recommend a Leopard Cat." -Tom and Kathi
Sylvester, Miami, FL
"All in all, we were very pleased to find out that our Leopard was a much better value. Our comparison [with a similar size yacht from another builder] determined that the overall comfort was better on the Leopard, even though it’s a little smaller. The Leopard is equipped with all electric, including an electric winch for bringing up the dinghy. The Leopard also sails like a dream and powers along very well. We believe that Leopard builds a better boat. Better performance, more comfort and superior equipment for an overall better value- especially when the price tag is some $100,000 less! We believe that because Leopard manufactures so many boats for charter and they receive and respond to feedback from those customers- they have learned the importance of building boats that people want to sail. We love our new Leopard 39!" -Tony and Maria (Read their full article).
Cayenne, Darwin, Australia
"The decision to purchase our Leopard 39 probably ranked as important as our decision to purchase our first home. As happy as we are with our decision it was only cemented as the right one when we needed some assistance from the factory and got it! Your response to our calls for technical assistance were first class. I would never hesitate to recommend a Leopard, the boats are brilliant and the back up service matches them, thank you for the support keep up the great work.
Our Leopard 39 "Cayenne" is our home on the sea. There are so many good design features on our Leopard that it's difficult to pick a favorite! But having sailed her over 5000nm now I can say quite honestly that she's a better boat than I am sailor. The most impressive feature is her strength, in open ocean you want performance, performance = safety! and fully loaded she gets up and goes, I doubt there is another cat in this size class that would come near her for strength, performance, comfort, and ease of maintainence if you could build a boat with soul then this is it. We are about to embark on our next little adventure sailing and cruising from Darwin to Thailand via Indonesia and Malaysia, living the dream on the Leopard." -Guy and Cathy
Le Grande Bleu, North Carolina
"As owner of the first Leopard 39 in the USA, I have had many different experiences with my catamaran in the last four years. We brought the cat back from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale after the show in 2010. A windy and cold weather day (for Florida) didn’t allow us to sail the boat, but instead we had to motor it back to Fort Lauderdale. Indeed we had waves of 8-10 feet and around 40-42 F. I was amazed how stable the Leopard 39 was in these weather conditions but also how well I could stand that kind of weather. I felt great and excited, was hungry and felt no seasickness. Our next great adventure was to bring the cat to North Carolina. We sailed it from Fort Lauderdale to Oak Island NC in 4 days and 4 nights, 50 miles from the coast trying to catch the Gulfstream. Great experience, all kinds of weather. Running at 12knots, no wind for 12hrs, fog and no visibility over 200 yds, and a storm of 35-40 knots that brought us back to the waterways. Wonderful nights full of stars and amazing sunrises kept us going with excitement.
Since then I have been sailing around the North and South Carolinas. So far I have over 125 sailing days and enjoyed every minute of it. I have sailed alone a lot (60%). First because I did want to master all the aspects of the boat, and secondly because I am in my late 60’s (70 in June 2014) and it is harder to find friends ready to sail with me in my age bracket, always a last minute excuse. Nevertheless when small trips are organized for 3-4 days with the yacht club (Cape Fear Yacht Club of Oak Island, NC) to nearby islands and parties, there are plenty of volunteers. When my children and grandchildren are visiting, sailing is a must. They love sitting on the bow pulpits, dancing up and down with the waves.
The Leopard 39 handles beautifully, and one person can easily maneuver it having all the elements at the helm. The only tricky part is to bring the main sail up alone but with a little experience even that is not too hard to accomplish. Bringing the boat into irons using “auto” and motoring just fast enough to keep it straight, I then bring the main over half-way up the mast by hand (to keep in shape? 70?). Then I use an electric winch to complete the job. After that sailing is a dream. She is very stable, easy and smooth to handle. I keep full sails up to 18 knots, 1st reef from 18-23 knots, and haven’t sailed in stronger winds.
The living space and layout are well designed and practical. The 3 cabin layout is spacious with a starboard master stateroom and its private head and large stall shower are very comfortable. The outside layout of the cockpit space and outside dining area is inviting for gatherings and parties, a great place to enjoy unforgettable sunsets. I have added additional cushions for comfort to our guests. The accessibility around the boat is spacious and allows easy access to the rigging and transoms. Inside, the saloon gives you a spectacular panoramic view.
We are looking forward to our next major trip to the Bahamas in the near future and feel very confident that the Leopard 39 will do the job." -F. De Poortere
"We sail mainly in the Mediterranean with our Leopard 39. She sails beautifully, whether upwind or downwind, quickly reaching 6/7 knots with only 10 to 12 knots of wind. We also enjoy sailing under stronger winds, 25/30 knots, feeling completely safe, after taking one or two reefs in the mainsail. Hence, we never felt we had given up sailing performance going from a monohull to a catamaran.
Contrary to many other catamarans we sailed, she bangs relatively less in the waves when going against the sea, due to the fact that she stands high above the water. She is easy to steer, with most maneuvers being done from the captain seat (except bringing the main sail down and anchoring).
She is also well proportioned, not too wide and not “fat” as a lot of catamarans are. The cockpit is not isolated and the person steering the boat remains part of the party. She is just the right size with adequate comfort for two or three couples. The fridge and freezer are large and very efficient, the 800 liter water tanks mean that we do not have to go into a harbor too often. The Yanmar engines are also very reliable and powerful enough to maneuver the boat under strong winds. The engines are not noisy and their fuel tanks (350 L) give us a large enough autonomy (at least 40 hours) with no wind.
The Leopard 39 is a safe, comfortable and well performing sailboat. We just love it." -Marie-Hélène
Interested in another great Leopard 39 story? Skipper Kenneth H. took a Leopard 39 across the Southern Ocean last year and saw wind speeds up to 65 knots. Here's one of his comments: "The Leopard 39 did a great job of delivering us safely across one of the world’s most notorious oceans, at a time of the year when conditions can be at their worst. What more can I say, than I am proud to have been chosen to undertake the delivery and that the company had the faith in both the yachts abilities and also mine to send me on this trip. Bring on the next one I say!" Read the full report.
Save the date! The Leopard 39 and all other sail models will be available for viewing at our Open House - Dania Beach, August 2nd, 2014. Contact us for more information.