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Leopard 47 Dream On For Sale
           
Major Change of Direction

 

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Leopard 42 Salida

 

 

Leopard 46 Katabatik

 

 

Leopard 40 Meant to Be

Arrived in Brunswick in March 2008 all set to prepare Dream On for a short season in The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos with a return to Brunswick for the hurricane season..

Inevitably when we returned to the boat, we brought with us a few more things that we thought would be useful.

Back on board and finding storage space for everything again, we were reminded that space is pretty tight, even in 43 feet. While we have been perfectly happy with that situation and have found ways around the space limitations, we noticed how many more catamarans there are around these days and how much extra living space they have.

A catamaran (From Tamil 'kattumaram')[1] is a type of multihulled boat or ship consisting of two hulls, or Vakas, joined by a frame, formed of Akas. Catamarans can be sail- or engine-powered. The catamaran was first discovered being used by the paravas, a fishing community in the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Catamarans were used by the ancient Tamil Chola dynasty as early as the 5th century AD for moving their fleets to invade such Southeast Asian regions as Burma, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Rick and Eliena, friends we met here in 2006, who then were confirmed monohull sailors, had gone over to the "Dark Side" and bought a Manta 42 Catamaran with loads of space. On the dock next to us, new friends Craig and Liz, also previously confirmed monohull sailors had bought a Leopard 42 Catamaran. Again, loads of space. Neither Rick and Eliena, nor Craig and Liz had been very far in their new boats, but after a day sail with Rick and Eliena and the favourable reports from Craig and Liz after they sailed from Brunswick to Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands, we were convinced.

So, with a number of pending jobs, not the least of which was a dead anchor windlass, for which no repair could be found, and the delay in heading south, we had time to discuss our options.  We looked at specs and costs for a number of cats, looked at the market place and made the decision to look for an ex-charter boat. Cats are generally more expensive than monohulls and we were not in the market for an owners version. Going to an ex-charter boat would also allow us to buy something bigger than 42 feet, for added stability, space and speed.

Lagoon 38 Adventures

 

Boomerang Australian design

 

Fontaine Pajot Dream Catcher

     
Looking for a Leopard
 

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The cat we decided on was the Leopard 47, made in South Africa, primarily for Moorings the world's largest charter operation. The boat is very well designed, with lots of space, 4 cabins, simple systems that are easily accessible, with minimal wood to varnish. An owner's version of this boat is made with 3 cabins, but at close to 1 million US Dollars new, very few around, none for sale secondhand which we could not have afforded anyway, we opted to talk to Moorings.

Moorings offer an ownership program. You buy a new boat of their configuration through them and share the income for the 5 years of charter. They maintain and insure so the owner has no risk. At the end of the program, the owner has the option to take the boat for private use, sell it through the Moorings brokerage or put it back into the program for a further period. Most boats in the Moorings are therefore privately owned when sold at the end of the 5 years and are being sold by the private owner, usually through the Moorings brokerage.

The Leopard 47 has a 71 foot mast which is too tall to go under the fixed bridges on the US East coast's Intra Coastal Waterway, so we don't see these boats at all in our US travels. However, we found one on the Chesapeake, which was an ex-Moorings boat. This one had been out of the program and back in the US for 2 years, but hardly used since. Maintenance looked poor, it looked unlikely that the owner would put right any survey deficiencies, so we left that one alone.

Moorings had a few for sale, in the British Virgin Islands and Belize. We looked at the logistical challenges of both places. Both are in the hurricane zone. Moving our stuff to either point would be difficult. Inheriting the boat during the hurricane season and having to move it to a safe haven would be the first priority. Belize is close to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, a great hurricane hole. Add to this the fact that we have already "done" the BVI and have always wanted to sail and dive in Belize, we chose a boat in Belize.

Unusually, the boat we chose was owned by Moorings, not by a private seller, which simplified the process. Her present name is "Dulcinea" not a name we would choose to retain, but then we will have to change her personality from an un-loved charter boat to a real cruising boat and home with a soul. So a new name must be found to suit the new personality.

We made an offer, signed a contract subject to viewing, survey and sea trial and made plans to go to Belize.

 

 

Belize
 

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Our travels to and within Belize are described on our Belize page. 

Having seen the Leopard 47 in the Chesapeake earlier, we were familiar with the layout and the specification. So when we first visited "Dulcinea" there were no real surprises. All rested on the survey on 14th May.

The survey showed up a number of minor issues and a few major, but all fixable.

Moorings have agreed to fix all items identified in the survey during their 45 day phase out program when she comes out of charter in July, so we agreed to proceed with the purchase with completion late September.

Rory, our surveyor in Belize will follow up with another survey to ensure the work is to his and our satisfaction before we complete.

The Next Step

So Dream On is now in Annapolis and for sale. She is advertised on the major yachting websites and has a "For Sale" sign on board.

We will finish off any remaining jobs to prepare he for survey and sale. If not sold by 1st August, she will go into a boatyard in Annapolis while we return to UK.

Meanwhile, we have some very interesting logistical hoops to go through.

We have a great deal of "stuff" on Dream On that has to find its way to "Dulcinea". Plus a very long list of items and equipment that we require to convert "Dulcinea" into a cruiser and our home.

We still plan to take "Dulcinea" from Belize to the protected Rio Dulce in Guatemala immediately after we take delivery as there will still be a danger of hurricanes.

Plan A was to ship everything by seas container to Guatemala.

Plan B was to buy a vehicle and trailer and drive it down.

However, we have come up against many brick walls in shipping our stuff down there, mostly shipping and import duty costs plus a number of unknowns.

So plan C is to take "Dulcinea" from Belize to the Rio Dulce carrying only the essentials with us to make her and us safe for a trip to Florida. A journey of some 900 nautical miles. We would make this trip just as soon as we had a suitable weather window.

We will then do all the other fitting out in Florida, (driving our stuff by U-Haul from Annapolis to Florida, (not sure where yet, but hopefully the west coast near Tampa).

So watch for Plan D!!!

Next Season

Hopefully by early New Year we will be ready to return to the east coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras as our playground for 2009.

We have a definite date with whale sharks off the Belize barrier reef in May, other than that, no fixed schedule.

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Email

prower@ondreamon.com

Telephone

USA: 1-954 4785948        UK:  +44 7855388258         Skype: geoff.iza