Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leopard 42

The days flew by in Bocas del Toro. We toured the archipelago, swam, partied, played Mexican Train, and generally relaxed aboard Salida, our hosts' fabulous Leopard 42 catamaran. Salida is a very large boat for a 42 footer. It is a cruising cat that I believe was originally designed for the Caribbean charter trade. The builder, Robertson and Caine of South Africa also produced an "Owner's Version" as well. The difference between the two is that the charter version has four sleeping cabins and the owner's version has only three, with the starboard hull devoted entirely to quarters for the owner. Salida is the latter. Here is a layout of the accommodations.

Leopard 42 Layout
 In this view you can see that the starboard hull includes a large sleeping cabin, desk, lots of closet and storage space, and a large head with separate shower stall. The port hull is devoted to smaller cabins, each with its own head. I was impressed with the amount of living space inside the boat. On deck, the cockpit includes seating for 6 in a large and comfortable dinette as well as plenty of room to actually sail the boat. Fully covered by a fiberglass hardtop, the cockpit is an extension of the living space. In Bocas, where it is always plenty warm, we took all our meals around the outdoor dining table.  The main cabin includes a nav station, dinette and a very complete galley. Aboard Salida, there was always something delicious coming from the galley thanks to Liz's culinary skills. For a couple who lives aboard and occasionally entertains overnight guests, this boat is hard to beat. We were very comfortable aboard the Salida. It made me wish the Honcho was a bit bigger.

Salida is well set up for shorthanded cruising, with roller furling and a stackpack mainsail. Some features I especially like are the electric winches on the cabin top, the very simple and efficient dinghy davits and the stout ground tackle system. Salida is equipped with an 80 pound Rocna anchor and I was very interested to see how it performs compared with the Manson unit that we have aboard the Honcho. We anchored and weighed several times and I even snorkeled over the anchor to see exactly how it set in sand and coral. It appears to me that both anchors work well and the spade concept used by both is an improvement over plows and Deltas that are favored by many.

Salida at Starfish Cove


  1. Here's a pic of the new bowsprit being fitted by Jim Betts.


    It weighs in a shade over 6 lbs. We're thinking next version will be lighter. This one feels like reinforced concrete.

    Have fun out there!

    -jim lee

  2. Hi

    We also have a Leopard 42 that we are world cruising. Currently in Corsica.

    However, we need a new anchor as we are tired of dragging ours around the bay!

    I see you have a Rocna - presumably the 33? Are you still happy with it? Any bad experiences with it? Does it fit well in your bow roller?

    Would love to hear your feedback on it. Not sure you you do replies from here, though, as it doesn't ask for an email address, though I guess we could try this: noel "to be found at" noelswanson.com



    1. The anchor on this boat is a Rocna 33 with 3/8" HT chain. We cruised aboard Salida in the Bocas Del Toro region of Panama with the owners of the boat in early 2010. They have been cruising throughout the Caribbean for the last 5 years and speak very highly of their Rocna anchor. It fits in the bow roller and does everything asked of it. We had a Manson Supreme on our last boat and it worked just as well as the Rocna. We are outfitting our new Beneteau 423 with a Rocna 55lb because it is slightly less expensive than the comparable Manson. In my opinion these two anchors are about equal in reliability and holding power, and both a superior to the the plows and Danforths of yesteryear.

  3. Thanks Leif

    Very helpful. Wanted to make sure that the anchor would actually fit before I took the plunge!

    Best wishes,