A Leopard 45 catamaran becomes the “Rivercafe”

Celebration!!! We have signed. Delivery date: July 2020.

Fantastic, finally we will go again. I have to digress briefly, to the places we’ll see and see again with the Rivercafe. We will have ahead of us unforgettable evenings at anchor with sultry sunsets, the leap into the water after getting up and the smells of nature and freedom. Soon, only patience I tell myself, the most impatient man I know.

But first we have to specify, set the equipment and prepare the journey. There is still some way to go. But in the waiting time we will take advantage of some new developments e. g. solar panels and navigation plotter will be even better, but that’s the way it is. With a catamaran purchase you have to plan between 30-50% in addition to the list price for extras. Don’t dream about getting a ready-to-sailing vessel for the list price – not even close. And since the Rivercafe is going the long way around the World, our extra list is extra long too. We decided to have everything done by Leopard, they make a really good impression.

The service of our Leopard supervisor Christoph was really big movie. The Leopard technical manual is so perfect and detailed that Scotty cannot do it better for the Enterprise (or would have done better?). That’s how customer service works; this is a new world for us, un-habitual ex-Hanse customers. It’s like Plateau Royal after Bockwurst.

We want to be independent with the Rivercafe and have enough power and water at long crossings and at anchor. Actually we make a hook on the equipment lists almost everywhere, which makes sailing and living on board easier, more comfortable and more beautiful. There is even a special list of things that Leopard does not yet offer.

It feels really good to know what we want. Our experiences of the first crossing are worth gold. Our rookie season is over and we no longer need books or seminars. We still have longer talks about sail dress. The Leopard has a convincingly large square head mainsail and an overlapping genoa, which I will love to sail after years with a self tacking jib. I’m looking forward to finally sailing with a real foresail again. For our trade wind courses – and they will be abundant – we have ordered a code D on a furler.

It will be a few months before the next tech talk. Then we’ll see if we get a 24V instead of 12V grid on board, how much solar and lithium batteries fit in, and the remaining 188 points on the checklist. Poor Christoph. / HB


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