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Leopard 42 at anchor

  • Cabins: 3 or 4
  • Heads: 3 or 4
  • Berths: 6 or 8
  • Showers: 3 or 4 (plus transom)

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Leopard 42 Sailing Catamaran

leopard catamaran 42

  • LOA: 41 ft 7 in / 12.67 m
  • LWL: 40 ft 10 in / 12.44 m
  • Beam: 23 ft 1 in / 7.04 m
  • Draft: 4 ft 7 in / 1.4 m
  • Mast Height: 67 ft 10 in / 20.68 m
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: 2 ft 6 in / 0.75 m
  • Engine: 2 x Yanmar 45HP Diesel engine with saildrive
  • Fuel: 158 gal / 600 L

EXTRA DETAILS

  • Bunk Dimensions:  View Leopard Range Bunk Dimensions
  • Headroom:  View Leopard Range Headroom Dimensions
  • Water: 174 gal / 660 L
  • Mainsail Area (Standard): 717 sqft / 66.6 sqm
  • Mainsail Area (Square Top): 755 sqft / 70.1 sqm
  • Genoa Area: 501 sqft / 46.5 sqm
  • Spinnaker Area: 1686 sqft / 156.6 sqm
  • Code 0 Area: 676 sqft / 62.8 sqm
  • Code D Area: 1022 sqft / 94.9 sqm
  • Total Upwind Area (Standard): 1217 sqft / 113.1 sqm
  • Polars:  View Leopard 42 Performance Documents
  • Displacement: 30183 lbs / 13691 kg
  • Load Carrying Capacity: 11056 lbs / 5015 kg
  • Holding Tank Capacity: 44 gal / 166 L

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leopard catamaran 42

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SAILING RANGE

Power range, leopard 42 catamaran, the new leopard 42 has the unmistakable dna of the brand.

Proof that you can have it all. The Leopard 42 is the organic evolution into the new generation of our award-winning line of yachts.

Built by Robertson & Caine and designed by Naval Architects, Simonis & Voogd, together we have created a revolutionary design that has exceed expectations by offering far more than anticipated.

This was accomplished all while maintaining our signature balance of comfort and uncompromised performance.

The exterior styling has adapted to the modern appearance of the award-winning Leopard 50, which features continuous hull side windows, a continuous hardtop, and what has quickly become our signature, an upper-lounge area.

Available in 3 cabin / 3 heads and 4 cabin / 4 heads, all cabins include their own private en-suite heads. All heads include their own designated shower area; a feature not currently found on catamarans in this size range.

leopard catamaran 42

The Leopard 42 has the unmistakable DNA of a Leopard Catamaran with plenty of new technology and building techniques used to make it a magnificent ocean-going yacht with a feel of space, comfort and performance only previously found in significantly larger models.

In the saloon, we have added a generous skylight, as well and an additional window in the aft starboard corner facing the helm seat. The forward-facing L-shaped galley is sure to entice any chef!

All bunks are now island berths that allow access from both sides. With windows everywhere space permitted, the natural light is amplified.

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Leopard 42 Boat Review

  • By Herb McCormick
  • Updated: July 23, 2021

Catamaran

Mick Jagger was not singing about boat tests and wind speeds when he ­belted out the title lyrics to the classic Rolling Stones tune “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Far too often during many years of conducting sea trials on new boats—when you’re locked into a tight, non negotiable schedule for getting on the water—I’ve shown up just in time for a languid spell of very light air or, even worse, zippo breeze whatsoever. Definitely not what you want.

But there are also those lucky ­afternoons when you get what’s required for a sweet sail. Which pretty much describes the conditions this past spring when I rolled into a marina near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a test run aboard the new Leopard 42 catamaran , and was greeted by windswept palm trees and a stiff 20- to 25-knot easterly whipping up whitecaps on the deep blue Atlantic.

What’s the line, “When you try sometimes…you get what you need”? Exactly. And in this instance, then some.

Generally speaking, cruising cats are different than their spindly racing siblings: more tankage, more machinery, more furniture, more stuff. Which means they don’t maximize sailing performance in lighter conditions (nor are they ­attempting to…that’s why they’re cruising boats). But give a well-designed, well-built cat with liveaboard ­capabilities some legitimate air ­pressure to play with, and the results can be eye-popping. (Or not, ­frankly. Lots of wind can be too much for some lesser vessels.) Which was most certainly the case with the latest Leopard under sail in the double-­digit gusts. Where she thrived.

Naval architect Alex Simonis—based near the wild, windy waters off Cape Town, South Africa—is the longtime designer of Leopard cats, and a man who relishes drafting solid boats that sail and perform exceedingly well (for proof, have another look at this month’s ­cover shot of a Leopard 42 hauling the mail in the shadow of iconic ­Table Mountain). His willing partners in this crime of nautical passion are the artisans at Robertson & Caine, the boatyard that in 2022 will build approximately 120 to 130 sailing cats ranging in size from 42 to 50 feet. It’s true that the company could probably expand production based on the current and ongoing demand for Leopards, but that would run counter to the builder’s very ethos: Quality is the aim here, not quantity.

owner’s cabin

As we motored out of the inlets and into the open sea for the trials, I’ll admit that I was so relishing the sail that it never occurred to me to jot down the relevant statistics—speed, high and low RPM, etc.—for the twin 45 hp Yanmar diesels. My bad. Let’s just say we got out there smoothly and quickly.

Leopard was conducting a mini boat show at its docks in Dania Beach that upcoming weekend, so there was an all-star crew of sailmakers and company reps aboard, including Franck Bauguil, an executive at travel conglomerate Travelopia, whose brands include the ­privately owned Leopards, and chartering giants Sunsail and the Moorings, and whose duties include product ­development—a fancy title that actually means he spends a lot of time hanging with Simonis while sailing around and dreaming up cool boats. As we powered into the chop, I mentioned something about a reef, and Bauguil gave me a sidelong look of disappointment, like a resigned parent inspecting a horrible report card. Full hoist it was. As the full-battened, deeply roached, square-topped mainsail was raised, I had a brief thought about singer/songwriter Cat Power, for it was abundantly clear what was powering this darn cat.

It’s interesting to note the difference between the Leopard’s sail plan and, say, the current approach from one of the big French production-cat builders like Lagoon. In recent years, Lagoon, as a brand, has made a conscious decision to slide the entire rig aft, depending more on an ­expansive foretriangle for drive and grunt, and taming the entire arrangement with a self-tacking headsail. With the ­Leopards, including the 42, the rig remains comparably forward, and it’s the mainsail, with a ­relatively longer boom than a Lagoon, that supplies the muscle (we’re talking ­basically a low-aspect main and rig on a ­Leopard versus a high-aspect one on the ­Lagoon), aided and abetted by an overlapping 110 percent headsail that’s tacked like a traditional sailboat. I honestly can’t say if there’s a right or wrong answer here, but it’s fascinating to recognize and compare the differing philosophies.

Back in the real world, I’d ­ascended the four steps to the starboard helm station, which is where you’ll find the wheel on every Leopard; in such matters, these guys are unabashed creatures of habit. The surrounding view was expansive but, more pertinently, within arm’s length I had everything—and I mean everything —required to sail and command the boat: a trio of electric winches (two of which are standard), mainsheet and jib sheets and rope clutches, a nifty traveler setup, dual engine controls, chart plotter and related sailing instruments, and so on. For the most part, across the board, catamaran designers these days lay out decks with the notion and objective that it takes only one sharp sailor to run the whole bloody show, and the Leopard 42 certainly perfects that concept.

After motoring off the coast for sea room, we hardened up to a close reach, and matters became extremely ­interesting, not to mention noisy and blowy. Which was great. The cat trucked along at a ­solid 8.5 knots, but what struck me the most was how solid and steadfast she felt as she cleaved through the chop; the sensation of the twin hulls of a fine cat in exquisite balance really does feel like a freight train on its rails.

cockpit

But the real fun happens when you crack off and free up the wind angle, and the Leopard leaped at the course change and eased sheets, flirting with 10 knots on a screaming reach. We did have a bit of a fire drill when a blast of wind caught the corner of the furled code zero—which then, of course, started to ­totally ­unfurl—and I got my day’s ­cardio helping drop and corral the beast on the trampolines. ­Extremely good times.

Back at the dock, all ­systems once again calm and ­shipshape, I had a chance to wander the decks and ­interior. The look and feel of the features and ­accoutrements are ­totally ­modern, as in ultra-­contemporary (more than once in my notebook the word “angular” appears). The profile is enhanced by tinted, continuous side windows in the hull, and the coach roof segues into the hard Bimini that’s carried aft and canopies the cockpit. Up top—on the penthouse, so to speak—there’s an inviting lounge space. There’s a marvelous afterdeck and swim ­platform, features for which I have an extremely soft spot. The cockpit has a fine-dining area to port, opposite the helm.

The galley is forward in the roomy central cabin, with the dining table aft to port. The 42 doesn’t have the forward cockpit employed on ­larger models, but there is a watertight front doovate owner’s cabin to starboard (with desk, ­vanity, flat-screen TV, huge head, etc.) and a pair of staterooms to port, but you can spec out the interior in multiple ways: tr that leads to a pair of sun lounges, the tramps, and an optional fixed bowsprit if you’re going with the performance package that includes the code zero. Our test boat had the pretty awesome private owner’s cabin to starboard (with desk, ­vanity, flat-screen TV, huge head, etc.) and a pair of staterooms to port, but you can spec out the interior in multiple ways: three or four cabins, three or four heads, six or eight berths, three or four showers. The four-cabin, four-head configuration is likely what you’ll find if you charter one; about half the production run is bound for the bareboat fleets.

The Leopard 42 replaces the Leopard 40 in the brand’s ­quiver, and is certainly a more substantial ride in every ­notable way. The only problem, really, is that as the world emerges from these pandemic times, they’re going fast. The 42 might be quick, but if you want one, you need to be even quicker.

Specifications Leopard 42

Herb McCormick is CW ’s ­executive editor.

  • More: Boat Reviews , catamaran , leopard , multihull , multihulls , print June 2021 , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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Technical specifications.

Leopard 42 at anchor

  • Cabins: 3 or 4
  • Heads: 3 or 4
  • Berths: 6 or 8
  • Showers: 3 or 4 (plus transom)

SPECIAL OFFER

leopard catamaran 42

leopard catamaran 42

  • LOA: 41 ft 7 in / 12.67 m
  • LWL: 40 ft 10 in / 12.44 m
  • Beam: 23 ft 1 in / 7.04 m
  • Draft: 4 ft 7 in / 1.4 m
  • Mast Height: 67 ft 10 in / 20.68 m
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: 2 ft 6 in / 0.75 m
  • Engine: 2 x Yanmar 45HP Diesel engine with saildrive
  • Fuel: 158 gal / 600 L

EXTRA DETAILS

  • Bunk Dimensions:  View Leopard Range Bunk Dimensions
  • Headroom:  View Leopard Range Headroom Dimensions
  • Water: 174 gal / 660 L
  • Mainsail Area (Standard): 717 sqft / 66.6 sqm
  • Mainsail Area (Square Top): 755 sqft / 70.1 sqm
  • Genoa Area: 501 sqft / 46.5 sqm
  • Spinnaker Area: 1686 sqft / 156.6 sqm
  • Code 0 Area: 676 sqft / 62.8 sqm
  • Code D Area: 1022 sqft / 94.9 sqm
  • Total Upwind Area (Standard): 1217 sqft / 113.1 sqm
  • Polars:  View Leopard 42 Performance Documents
  • Displacement : 30183 lbs / 13691 kg
  • Load Carrying Capacity : 11056 lbs / 5015 kg
  • Holding Tank Capacity : 44 gal / 166 L

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Katamarans

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L42-13

Description

The Leopard 42 is the new “baby” of the range now that Leopard have stopped producing the 40. Designed by Naval architects Simonis Voogd and built by South Africans Robertson and Caine, the new 42 sports the new boxy, muscly look but still manages to look sleek even with that forward cockpit overhang.

They have done a great design upgrade job here, and this new model is proving to be wildly popular with buyers. In a competitive market between boats like the Lagoon 55 and the Fountaine Pajot Isla 40, Leopard are punching above their weight with this cat.

This boat has evolved from the Leopard 45 and 50 models.

Photos: Leopard Catamarans.

Lounge King

As well as the ever popular forward cockpit that is accessible directly from the saloon, the 42 has a fly-lounge (“coach-roof lounge”) with an L-Shaped setee and back-rest, plus a table giving you the benefit of an additional relaxation area without pushing the boom too high. This has inspired other manufacturers to follow suit (like the Excess 14 for example, which also has a lounge option). Sun Downer anyone? I don’t mind if I do…..

  • Good value for money for a design that has evolved from years of customer and charter feedback
  • The connected forward cockpit is a game changer for accessing the foredeck and windlass safely
  • The fly-lounge is a neat compromise. More living space and the boom is still kept low
  • The living space is huge. The Leopard 42 feels like a 48 footer.
  • Decent performance for a cruising catamaran when the breeze freshens
  • The Leopard is sluggish in light airs and will slip sideways close to the wind. You might need an engine to help if the wind drops off
  • This yacht is definitely sleeker than her predecessor, but that forward cockpit overhang lends the boat a chunky look.
  • There are some blind spots from the raised helm. You will need to duck and dive a bit coming in.
  • With the overlapping genoa, she takes more effort to tack than other yachts that fly self tacking jibs.

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This boat, like the 50 and the 45, looks like it could handle a sea and like a Fountaine Pajot, she is powered with a 110% overlapping genoa rather than a self tacking solent. What you lose in ease of tacking, you win in lighter airs. The mainsheet is configured in a bridle set up like a Catana (no traveller) which gives you lots of control in setting your sail shape.

The helm station is raised on the starboard side with all lines easily accessible. Visibility of all 4 corners of the boat is good from up here.

The sail plan should get you punching through the waves at 8 to 9 knots in a decent breeze, and with a Code 0 or gennaker flying off the bowsprit, she’s lively enough in calmer conditions. In a really light breeze, you might need to stick the leeward engine on like many cruising catamarans. That is your space/performance trade off.

If you opt for the Performance Pack (bigger Square Top Mainsail, Folding Props), you should squeeze an additional 1-2 knots out of her.

The Leopard 42 comes into her own when we start talking about living space. Up top, you are on one level all the way from the aft dining area through the saloon and into the forward cockpit through the forward door. The aft seat back-rest can be switched so that you are facing forwards or aft- a nice touch.

There are no seats in the 42 forward cockpit area unlike the 45, but big sunbeds with storage below for sails or a generator.

Up front, the 42 has crash-boxes in the hulls with watertight bulkheads forwards of the cabins.

The helm is situated on the main starboard bulkhead like many South African cats. There’s a hard bimini with a window overhead, so you can trim the mainsail. Head up from the helm at anchor and you are in the L-shaped fly-lounge.

The saloon has big wrap around windows and a skylight strip. The saloon sofa is set aft so that you are connected with the aft dining area, and the galley is placed forward. There is a nav station to port

The space and light continues down below. Like many production cats, the Lagoon 42 is available as a three-cabin owner’s version, with the master suite to starboard. The space down here is huge, from the wide berth all the way forward to the shower. Fibreglass bulkheads ensure a strong open structure in the hulls.

The cabins are larger and lighter then her predecessor.

leopard catamaran 42

There is also the charter configuration with four cabins and four heads. The Leopard 42 is big enough to soak up the extra berths and heads.

The saloon is also spacious with  sofas, a forward galley to starboard corner and a nav station to port. Headroom is now just over 2m, or 6ft 7in in the saloon.

One nice feature is the purifying tap in the galley which will help keep your plastic bottle count down to a minimum. Options include lithium batteries, a  generator, air conditioning, fresh water maker, solar and so on. You’ll have all of the usual difficult decisions to make when balancing your budget.

The standard set up is twin 45hp Yanmar diesels with sail drives that give a  cruising speed of around 8-9 knots in flat condition.

Leopard 42 Polar Diagram

leopard 42 polar diagram

This is a strong design update from Leopard and Simonis Voogd. It’s prettier than her predecessor, a solid looking boat that moves well in a decent breeze with market leading living space.

What is the price of a Leopard 42? How much does this catamaran cost? We will qualify this with the usual “it depends on your options”, but to give you a ball park sail away price with an average fit level, you are looking in the region of €600k  ($700k) plus taxes. You get a lot for your money with this cat.

Technical Specification

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