The Leopard 39 a model that was in production from 2011 - 2014, remains ever popular in the 40’ cruising catamaran range. The 39 is most often found in an owner’s configuration, whether in charter service or privately owned, though a few four cabin models do exist. The 39 made several improvements over its predecessor, the well-received Leopard 38 (Cruising World Boat of the Year winner), including an onboard generator, single level hardtop over the cockpit, and a hard top over the helm station.
The starboard hull is dedicated to the owner’s suite with a spacious head forward, desk, and hanging lockers. Ample accommodations for guests or kids are found in the two stateroom, one head layout of the port hull.
The salon and galley have a good amount of space and ventilation with hatches on the vertical salon windows forward. The U-shaped galley is great to prepare meals in and the 12v refrigerator/freezer combo unit holds plenty of cold stores.
The cockpit and aft deck of the Leopard 39 really shine as an entertaining and living space. Designed with tropical cruising in mind you can easily access the dinghy and swim ladder without climbing over a combing or any other obstructions. This will be appreciated by those who like to troll a fishing line while underway. The helm station is nicely integrated into this space being only a few steps up but giving the helmsperson great sight lines throughout the boat. This design allows for easy single handed sailing with all lines coming to the winches located at the helm.
Most 39s are powered by 29hp Yanmar diesels with SD20 saildrives; a generally trouble-free set up that with proper maintenance should last the lifetime of the yacht. Access is good through opening hatches in the deck aft of the cockpit that will allow for an engine to be removed from the boat if ever necessary.
Like all Robertson & Caine built Leopard catamarans the 39 was developed with the serious cruiser in mind, but with the ease of maintenance demanded by The Moorings & Sunsail charter fleets. As such access to systems is easy throughout the boat with through hulls and systems clearly labeled and panels easily removed with thumb screws.
The 39 makes a great couples cruiser and has proven itself on numerous ocean voyages. The stock yacht with jib and main has a good turn of speed, however this can be increased with the addition of a small sprit and code 0 type sail. With its ICW friendly mast height the Leopard 39 should rank highly to anyone looking to migrate seasonally between The Bahamas and New England or the Chesapeake.
In all the Leopard 39 is a great compact cruising package that nicely compliments the way most cruisers use their boats: sailed as a couple in the tropics. Never chartered, well outfitted owner version boats can be found in the $320,000 range. Ex-charter yachts can offer a great value selling in the mid-200s, though will require more outfitting before extended cruises. Even more budget friendly is the predecessor, the Leopard 384, which shares the same hull design.