Leopard 45 aft lounge

Why choosing a catamaran?

We have decided it will be a catamaran

I confess: to me cats were always ugly and ridiculous. Only Monos were sailing ships. I am a mono guys. But the Atlantic Ocean and many nights at anchor have made me stupid person change my mind. Thanks to my cat friends for being so forgiving with my youthful naivety. It was not polite when I asked you why you do not sail a proper vessel instead of a cat. However we do not come from a bad Monohull level, we managed our Atlantic circle with a Hanse505. Going around the world with a mono is unthinkable for us – especially with a Hanse. He have decided to change the team and purchased a catamaran. Here are our very personal reasons for the change:     

  • No life at the hillside. After two weeks on the Atlantic, I had the feeling that one leg is longer than the other. The constant heeling annoys at some point. Cats are sailing upright, there are not even gimbals on the oven – and keeping a plate on a table sounds promising. I read about 15 % average heeling on a mono compared to 5% at a cat. Friends on a Cat did play chess while they were on the same crossing like us, we could hardly keep our plates on the table.
  • Monos roll. Cat’s not that much. Especially at anchor, the difference is enormous and provides a better quality of life.
  • No juggling, less bruises. At sea it’s not fun to drag stuff over the stairs into the cockpit or shimmy down to the navigation table. On our future cat cockpit, salon and pantry on the same level. No need to climb stairs and nothing can fall down stairs. That’s a few bruises less.     
  • More space. All over. Inside and outside. We did not have a permanent workplace on our mono and computers and books had to be stored secure. On the Leopard we will have a permanent working place. On our new Leopard we will have two different outdoor lounge areas, depending from the sun and mood – both dry when its raining.
  • Cats are much faster at reach and down wind. Cats loose 15 degrees up wind. Etmal calculatory average Hanse505: 140, Leopard45: 200 (both two-handed, conservative) and since we sail mostly trade wind, the advantage is considerable.     
  • Less draft. Not good in normal life but a dream for ships. With 1.40 instead of 2.50 m, we have a lot more anchoring possibilities an can get closer to islands. Plus easier sailing in shallow areas like the Turks & Caicos or Bahamas.     
  • Dinghy handling. On the Hanse we had a dinghy of 2.40 m and 2.5 hp ob, foldable for stowing. On the Leopard there are comfortable davits for a dinghy 3,40 / 3,60 and 15/20 hp. Its a new world for us and no more strains are great news.
  • Two engines, two rudders. There is more security through redundancy.     
  • More comfort. Washing machine, dishwasher, more solar panel, more storage and easier access for bikes and sports equipment.
  • Self-sufficiency. More space makes it much easier to use more solar panel. So no more need to dock in marinas as no shore power is required.


  • A mono can capsize and stabilize the lead bomb. Both not at the cat.     
  • Cats are significantly more expensive. However if you do the silly per square meter living space calculation than its not any more.

Result: 12: 2 (ok, the list is 10: 2, but there are still a few secret points). So actually I had to understand that a Liveaboards life is much more pleasant on a cat. (I know Garry, you’ve always been right). And that’s exactly the difference to me:

Long distance sailing and Liveaboard = cat

Weekend and vacation sailing = Mono.

/ HB


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