Unveiled on the Miami International Boat Show in February and making its European debut on the Worldwide Multihull Present in France in late April, the brand new Leopard 46 Powercat is the second of what’s going to be three new-generation fashions within the South African-built energy catamaran sequence. The primary, the 53, was launched on the 2020 Miami present, whereas the brand new 40 will make its debut there subsequent yr.
The brand new household is a departure from the powercats that had been earlier transformed from its crusing cat line. The conversion didn’t work practically in addition to a clean-slate design, so the corporate employed Dutch studio Simonis Voogd to create the brand new household.
The Leopard line is owned by THL Marine, which additionally owns The Moorings and Sunsail constitution fleets, and is constructed by Cape City-based Robertson & Caine, which has a protracted historical past in producing crusing and energy cats.
Constructed for Entertaining
As the center baby of the rising household, the 46 PC will arrive in Hong Kong this summer time with additional hulls set for Malaysia and the Philippines. It has the identical structure as its bigger 53ft sibling, however homeowners gained’t be sacrificing that a lot when it comes to liveability.
I had an opportunity to tour each Leopards and whereas the 53 clearly has a 13-inch wider beam and bigger bow and stern areas, the 46’s inside house doesn’t really feel like a lot of a downgrade in comparison with the 53.
Though the cockpit is just a little smaller than on the 53, it’s nonetheless large enough to host a gaggle of eight comfortably as a result of strong teak desk and enormous wraparound lounge within the centre. It additionally gives a great view of the strict, which has a hydraulic platform for launching and retrieving the tender. It stays at main-deck peak when the boat is working.
The 2 aspect passages to the bow are broad, with a excessive stainless rail. Additionally within the cockpit is the stairway — once more, broad — as much as the flybridge. This can be a nice social space and includes a three-person helm bench seat within the starboard nook, whereas instantly behind is a cooking station with an electrical grill, sink and fridge.
On the alternative aspect is a C-shaped couch with one other teak desk that seats as much as eight, with loungers in entrance and behind that space. Drink holders are embedded into the armrests. The hardtop gives shade and a mini-windshield alongside the entrance supplies safety from wind when the boat is working.
Inside, the match and end are robust, impartial colors preserve the look common and up to date, and there’s a charter-boat sensibility to the structure, which suggests it’s designed for use rather more than a traditional non-public yacht, with out too many gee-whiz options.
Nonetheless, there are good residential particulars like a door that results in the entrance of the boat, a rarity on this dimension of powercat. One other is the massive galley aft, which has a full-sized fridge, freezer and icemaker, two-burner cooktop, microwave and convection oven, and good counter floor, made much more nice by the influx of pure gentle from the lengthy home windows alongside the perimeters.
There’s additionally a separate food-prep space simply reverse on the starboard cupboard that’s usually used as a desk. This aspect additionally has a dishwasher, with storage within the drawers and cupboards. This food-prep house is a pleasant contact, notably because the 46 is designed for socialising with giant teams.
The saloon is lengthy, open and ethereal, with good headroom. Inset LED lighting on the ceiling and alongside the partitions supply ambient lighting at evening. Stairs run all the way down to the staterooms on both aspect, whereas ahead are a big C-shaped couch and a espresso desk to port plus a two-seater to starboard. The 46 I toured had the non-obligatory decrease helm station ahead of the starboard sofa, providing wonderful visibility.
On the rear are sliding doorways that hyperlink the aft cockpit to the saloon for an indoor/outside connection that extends the size of the primary deck, from the aft cockpit to the solar loungers on the bow.
Having each doorways at reverse ends additionally creates a breezy crossflow that retains the boat cool at evening through pure air flow, so homeowners don’t must run the air-conditioning and generator, for a quiet and fume-free sleeping expertise.
For lodging, homeowners can select a four-cabin structure or three cabins together with a big main bedroom on the starboard aspect. The three-cabin structure — which options on the hull for Asia — can also be a game-changer for Leopard.
Anybody who has ever hung out on a big cat is aware of there’s a little bit of an angle adjustment with being inside a protracted, slim stateroom, however the Leopard design crew did a terrific job with the main bedroom.
The rear berth extends from bulkhead to bulkhead, with a desk/vainness positioned in entrance, storage after which the top — with two giant sinks — located in entrance of the bathroom. An unusually giant bathe stall provides the realm a real luxurious really feel.
The opposite two cabins have space-saving configurations, with the rear having a double mattress trying ahead and the ahead cabin’s mattress going through the window. This design is mirrored on the starboard aspect for the four-cabin model.
Highly effective & Sensible
Engine choices embody twin 370hp Yanmar diesels that give the boat a prime velocity of over 24 knots. The hulls have a draft of simply over 3ft and are designed for rough-water working, with a video of the 46 Powercat displaying it decisively dealing with 2-3ft seas.
One of many highlights of this boat for proprietor/operators is the design of the engine areas. They’re separate and supply wonderful entry to the Yanmars for routine upkeep like altering oil, coolant and filters, in addition to accessing the primary methods. Since Leopard used to place its engines beneath the staterooms, this new configuration is an enormous leap ahead for the model.
Sometimes, the center baby is seen as one which will get overshadowed by bigger siblings, however the brand new Leopard 46 will maintain its personal with any large cat and its class. If you’d like a turnkey boat designed round sensible facilities, sensible use of house and a hull for tough water, this boat needs to be in your shortlist.
This text first appeared on Yacht Style.
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