Leopard meets the demanding requirements of a luxurious, signature charter yacht, a passage record breaker and a race winning super maxi in a radical new design concept. The structural design and detailing have been supplied by Farr Yacht Design while the interior styling is by Design Unlimited. All other aspects have been managed by owner Mike Slade’s own very capable team, Ocean Marine. The yacht is 30 metres long, 6.8 metres wide, has a 5.5 metre draft, a 4.5 metre fixed bowsprit, one towering 47 metre mast and the keel cants 40 degrees either side of centreline.
The sleek, powerful carbon fibre/nomex hull provides the platform for exceptional speed, the volume for remarkable accommodations and is a notable departure from the current fleet of extremely narrow boats. The wide hull is especially suited for offshore high-speed sailing and is enhanced by the presence of a chine that improves water flow off the hull and reduces structural weight. The hull is matched to a set of efficient underwater foils including a canting keel, twin asymmetric lifting canards forward and a single rudder on centerline aft. The stability boost added by canting the keel is equivalent to 200 crew members sitting on the rail, without the added weight. Two hydraulic cylinders typically operating at a load of 61 tonnes cant the keel.
The rig towers at 47 metres above the water and can carry up to 15,000 square feet of sail area. The rig design is focused on providing the power and flexibility for the many modes of operation of Leopard.
High Performance Features
Rather than a single forward canard, Leopard has twin dagger boards, mounted on hydraulic rollers and a single rudder. The canards, carefully placed on either side of the mast to perfectly balance the sail forces, are lifted and lowered using hydraulically powered pinch rollers. A single, aft rudder was selected as the best arrangement for steering. The yacht has the ability to take aboard up to six tonnes of water in the transom area enabling the bow to lift in fast downwind conditions. All candidate appendage designs were evaluated using an advanced Velocity Prediction Program, validated by the tank testing of multiple appendage arrangements. The basic features of the design such as bulkheads, chain plates, keel cylinder supports and hull and deck skins have been integrated with unique features such as under-deck line tunnels, ballast tanks, canard cases and sail handling systems, to minimize redundant structure and reduce weight.
Leopard’s interior is fitted out in an ultra light, airy and modern idiom.
Broad companionway carbon steps lead down to a spacious saloon. Elegant yet modern, the saloon is filled with home comforts and comfortably seats 12. There is a large dining table to port and to starboard a bespoke carbon coffee table is surrounded by ample seating in rich cream leather.
Following the first 48 months of Leopard’s racing campaign, the yacht has now ‘evolved’ into phase 2. Three luxurious, ensuite double guest cabins plus two single guest cabins have been fitted to enable the yacht to be offered to the termed charter markets of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
*The interior is fully removable for racing.