Saturday, November 8, 2008

Annapolis 2008 Demo day

I have just added the write up on the Annapolis 2008 Demo day, where Lesley and I demo and sailed the Lagoon 380, the Leopard 40 and the Lagoon 420. All three yachts are fantastic, but we can only buy one. Below is a short clip from the page, happy reading.

Immediately I could feel the difference, this yacht is faster and lighter, better, maybe and maybe not, but it is so hard to tell in such light conditions. The Leopard 40 was essentially built for the Caribbean charter market so she is geared towards the tourist, as a result she has tons of storage and the aft deck area and saloon are designed around sunset dinners on the deck with family and friends. There is little or no separation between the the saloon and aft section of the boat. It is however designed with the aft deck closed off with a walkway that can be closed off to stop the toddlers wondering off. Well to a point, young ones have a way of getting over, under or around things, but we don't have any but this was still pointed out to us. Anyway about half way into the sail the skipper says to me to furl the jib, center the traveler and tack through the wind. So we furl the jib and so on and tack through the wind on the main in 5 knots of wind and I will be damned if the yacht deals with this without a problem at all. Really easy, and no motors, now I am impressed. We sail along and sail past the Lagoon 420 which tacks away and we have a royal time in 5 knots or less of wind. Still not great conditions for sailing but the yacht handled the conditions better than the Lagoon did. Why, well as mentioned she is lighter, and has less beam than the Lagoon 380 and thus does not need all that additional weight. I ask well how does she handle big seas and heavy winds, and the skipper says that he sailed her over from South Africa dodging Hurricanes, Gustav, Hannah and Ike. Great story but I wasn't there so I have to believe him. We thank him for his time ...

Gavin & Lesley Slabbert
Blue Water Cruising
(Sail the seven Seas)