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Leopard 51 PC (2019-)

2 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV



Brief Summary

Today we are reviewing the Leopard 51 PC. Leopard catamarans are built by Robertson and Caine in South Africa. They have become quite popular with charter operators, like The Moorings, for their sheer volume of entertainment space and the number of people they can accommodate. Add in a shallow draft, a reasonable cruising range, and good handling characteristics, and one can easily see how they would appeal to private owners as well, particularly those entertaining weekend or overnight guests.

Key Features

  • 3 or 4 cabin layout, each with private ensuite heads
  • Four distinct entertainment areas
  • Optional crew berth and head with private entrances
  • Forward cockpit for better ventilation and improved visibility
  • Flybridge lounge, with optional grill and galley

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
550 3.9 3.3 0.4 9.6 8.4 3430 2982.9 59
1000 6.6 5.7 0.9 7.3 6.3 2594 2255.5 65
1250 7.9 6.9 1.8 4.4 3.8 1564 1360.2 67
1500 9.5 8.2 2.9 3.3 2.9 1182 1027.6 70
1750 10.6 9.2 4.6 2.3 2 830 722 72
2000 11.4 9.9 6.8 1.7 1.5 595 517.3 74
2200 12.1 10.5 9.3 1.3 1.1 462 401.6 75
2400 13.4 11.6 12.7 1.1 0.9 375 325.8 75
2600 15.3 13.3 15 1 0.9 365 317.2 76
2800 17.6 15.3 17.3 1 0.9 364 316.2 77
3000 19.6 17 20.2 1 0.8 345 299.9 77
3200 21.5 18.7 23.6 0.9 0.8 325 282.3 77
3400 23.3 20.2 28.4 0.8 0.7 292 254.2 79
3600 24.7 21.5 32.5 0.8 0.7 271 235.9 79
3800 26.7 23.2 37.4 0.7 0.6 254 221.2 79
leopard_51pc_chart_18.jpg

Specifications

Length Overall 51' / 15.54 m
Beam 25' 1''
7.65 m
Dry Weight 40,785 lbs.
18,500 kg
Tested Weight 45,366 lbs.
20,578 kg
Draft 3' 3''
0.99 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom 6' 9''
2.06 m
Bridge Clearance 2' 10.6''
0.88 m
Weight Capacity 13,215 lbs.
6,000 kg
Fuel Capacity 396 gal.
1,499 L
Water Capacity 206 gal.
779 L
Total Weight 45,366 lbs.
20,578 kg

Price

Base Price $739000.00
Price Range
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 8.8 sec.
0 to 30 12.9 sec. (0to20)
Ratio N/A
Props 584mm x 586mm x 4
Load 3 persons, full fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 70 deg., 58 humid; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: 0

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV
Std. Power 2 x 370-hp Yammar diesel engines
Opt. Power Not Available

Captain's Report

Contents of Report

Leopard 51 PC running

Cruising at 1500 rpm, the Leopard 51 PC has a range of over a thousand miles.

Leopard 51 PC aft deck

Looking forward from the aft deck, right through the salon opening to the forward lounge makes apparent the natural ventilation available in the cabin. Yes, A/C is an option as is the composite teak decking.

Mission

The Leopard 51 PC is a blue-water cruising cat that has plenty of entertainment space, performs well, and is ruggedly constructed as attested to by the fact that a number of them have gone from South Africa to the Caribbean on their own bottoms.

Distinguishing Features

    • Stepped hull design

    • Forward lounge expands space and enhances ventilation

    • Salon open concept to galley

Leopard 51 PC layout

The three-cabin layout of the Leopard 51 PC has the master suite to starboard and the private guest suites to port.

Leopard 51 PC layout

The four-cabin layout also shows the optional crew berth and head forward with private access through deck hatches.

Major Features

    • Entertainment space

    • Sleeping accommodations

Leopard 51 PC running

All Leopard catamarans are NMMA (U.S.) and CE (European) certified. Travelopia is the sole distributor worldwide, centralizing service and warranty through their Dania Beach, FL office in the U.S.

Design

Engine access is under the aft berths of each hull. It is not expected that one would be sleeping while underway, but we tested the decibel level at WOT just in case - 80db.

The walkthrough cabin has sliding doors on both fore and aft ends which lead to more entertainment areas, but also provide air flow through the main salon.

Leopard 51 PC side decks

24” (.61 m) wide sidedecks allow one to walk freely fore and aft without cutting through the cabin.

Performance and Handling

The Leopard 51 PC has an overall length of 51’ (15.54 m), a beam of 25’1” (7.64 m) and a draft of 3’3” (.99 m). With an empty weight of 40,785 lbs. (18,500 kg), full fuel and three people on board, the Leopard 51 PC had an estimated test weight of 45,366 lbs. (20,578 kg).

With a pair of 370 Yanmar 8 LV diesels turning 584 mm x 586 mm 4-bladed props we reached a top speed of 23.2 kt at 3800 rpm. As is typical of a catamaran, the performance is rather linear so there really is no best cruise speed. We found her most comfortable to operate at 3000 rpm and 17 knots, where the 20.2 gph fuel burn resulted in .8 nautical miles per gallon and a range of just under 300 nautical miles. For distance cruising, 1500 rpm resulted in the speed of 8.2 knots and a fuel burn of 2.9 gallons per hour. That translated into nearly 3 nautical miles per gallon and a range of 1027.6 nautical miles, with a 10% reserve of the boat’s 396 gallon (1,499 L) total fuel capacity.

Leopard 51 PC

The Leopard 51 PC accelerates on an even keel, coming up to planing speed in an average 8.8 seconds and continuing through 20 mph in 12.9. She’s got excellent turning authority, so those boating in waters heavily laden with pot buoys will have little need for evasion tactics. Of course with a boat that should be rock solid in seas, we got flat calm conditions for our test with nothing but a wake here and there to jump, so we just can’t comment on how well she handles rough water.

Boat Inspection

Aft Deck

Leopard 51 PC side deck

On the sidedeck behind the enormous 4’4” x 4’8” (1.32 m x 1.42 m) aft table, is a transparent hatch. This provides light and ventilation (when open) to the aft cabin on the port side. All the cabins have similar opening skylights.

Leopard 51 PC aft deck

The aft deck also has a hardtop. Note the black edge near the perimeter of the hardtop; this is the drop down soft enclosure in its stowed position.

Leopard 51 PC tender

Our test boat had the optional tender platform with its 1,000 lb. (454 kg) lift capacity. The optional stainless racks on either side are for dive bottle stowage.

Leopard 51 PC hull

Each hull has a step-down stern platform. Below the top step is access to the rudder head steering gear.

Salon

The high 6’9” (2.06 m) overhead and panoramic windows make the large salon feel even larger.

Leopard 51 PC u shaped

The U-shaped seating in the salon has a drop down table for additional berth space.

Leopard 51 PC helm

The lower helm in the salon does not have a wheel, as you would typically be on autopilot if you need to be inside.

Leopard 51 PC galley

Open concept galley is available with optional upgrades to a four-burner propane stove and a larger oven.

Leopard 51 PC fridge

A drawer-front refrigerator and freezer is below the electrical panel. Simply swing the 40” (1.02 m) flatscreen TV away to access the panel.

Forward Lounge

An L-shaped settee with swing up tables is flanked by lounge pads to either side.

Leopard 51 PC lounge

The forward lounge is covered by a hardtop with a sun pad (accessible via the flybridge). Note the sliding hatch in the center of the hardtop, just in front of the sun pad, that provides additional protection to the lounge area or opens to give better access from the lounge to the foredeck. Also note how the edge of the hardtop has a lip to channel water off to the sides.

Leopard 51 PC lounge area

Decks slope inwards leading to direct overboard drainage, seen here in the forward lounge area.

Bow

Leopard 51 PC foredeck

The foredeck is massive with permanent seats. The black hatch tops open to the optional crew berth and crew head, respectively.

Leopard 51 PC bow storage

Storage in front of the forward lounge opens to a fresh water tank on left, the anchor windlass center, and an optional 9 kW generator on the right.

Flybridge

Leopard 51 PC fly bridge helm

The flybridge helm has an adjustable tilt wheel, which is almost unnecessary in tight spaces, as the engines are so wide apart on the 25’ (7.62 m) beam that one can steer and maneuver with the throttles alone.

Leopard 51 PC fly bridge

The entertainment space of the flybridge would make Cleopatra’s barge envious. The space on the left, behind the settee, is roomy enough for deck chairs on the large “back porch”. The backrest bolsters flip to adjust seating to suit.

Leopard 51 PC wet bar

The flybridge wet bar with corian top has additional options shown here: electric grill, icemaker, and a refrigerator. The island serves to protect the flybridge access ladder just in front.

Leopard 51 PC helm

The primary helm station on the flybridge has a door just to the center for access to a sun pad measuring 77” x 61” (195.58 cm x 154.94 cm). Again, note the drop down enclosure on the 6’10” (2.08 m) overhead.

Accommodations

Master

Leopard 51 PC master

The master berth has three opening ports for light and ventilation, a berth that measures 80” x 58” (203.20 cm x 147.32 cm) with built-in shelving on one side, a small bench seat outboard at the foot of the bed, and a 6’7” (2.01 m) overhead. The bed hinges up to access the engine.

Leopard 51 PC master

The master suite has five in-deck storage compartments, a vanity with soft-close top, and more cabinet storage. Note the sliding privacy door at the stair opening (right) to secure the entire suite.

Leopard 51 PC shower

Entering the master head, notice the walk in shower stall with a bench seat directly ahead. On the right tucked away behind closed doors is a combination washer-dryer laundry.

Master Head

With a three-stateroom configuration there is a large light-filled master ensuite head forward. The light comes from a side window and opening overhead skylight. A walk-in shower stall behind a glass door flanks the sink, with its solid countertop. There is storage underneath, a mirrored medicine cabinet, and a full length mirror on the privacy door.

Guest Quarters

The double berths of each guest cabin are practically the same size as the master berth.

Leopard 51 PC guest cabin

Each guest cabin has its own ensuite bath with standup shower stall.

Equipment Discussion – same price

    • Three or four cabin layout

    • 110v or 220v electrical

Optional Equipment

    • Forepeak berth and head with A/C supply

    • Cruisair air conditioning

    • 9 kW generator

    • Electric powered tender/swim platform

    • Dive bottle racks

    • Flybridge wet bar accessories (grill, icemaker, etc.)

    • Liferaft - USCG safety package

    • Anchor and anchor bridle, fenders and docklines

    • Solar panels

    • 110v shorepower pack

    • Battery charger, inverter, upgrade to AGM batteries

    • Electric flushing toilets

    • Composite teak decking

    • Exterior color package

    • Washdown system

    • Select electronics and navigation upgrades

Price

$739,000 base, with above options $972,101.

Observations

We are always skeptical of builder’s claims, so when the description “blue-water” catamaran was pronounced, we naturally took it with a grain of salt. However, when you realize one of the delivery options from South Africa to the U.S. is on its own bottom – belief is warranted.

Overall, this boat maneuvered easily, turning in its own length without a bow thruster, so it’s no wonder that Leopard does so well with their charter partner, The Moorings, keeping these models quite busy. It’s easily an owner-operated boat, but there’s also room for privacy, even with a captain aboard.


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