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Leopard 46 - ‘Stepped’ hulls for speed and comfort

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The South-African builder, Leopard Catamarans, supplier of the Sunsail and Moorings charter companies, has acquired a solid reputation with its robust cruising catamarans. The 46, replaced recently by the 44 and the 48, will not disappoint mileeaters.

Launched in 2006, the Leopard 46 already belongs to the generation of South African cats which have ‘gone far’: you must understand that the models from the beginning of the 2000s, and their very low bridgedecks are no longer current. The 46 is thus a boat whose architectural design is comparable with the French productions. And the architects - Gino Morelli and Pete Melvin - are far from being beginners: to their credit, for example, they have the famous record-breaker, PlayStation. The hulls are characterized by a very marked longitudinal ‘step’ on each side. The break runs almost to the bows. The idea is to retain slim forward sections, and a limited waterline beam - less wetted surface area, for speed in light weather and higher average speeds in stronger breezes – without affecting the comfort of the cabins nestling in the hulls. The advantage of this quite high ‘step’: no ‘slapping’ during the night, at anchor. The appendages selected are classic: two bolted-on stub keels – and a pair of quite short rudders, so they don’t get hit in a collision with objects on the surface of the water, and also don't bear any weight when the boat is beached. Construction is in glass fibre/...

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