BOATS, BEACHES, BOOBS AND BUFFETT
ALL PHOTOS LECTRONIC/RICHARD
The victorious charter family!
He was the charterer! Apparently, he hadn't been all that well off just a few years ago, so maybe jolly old England has become a land of opportunity, too. Mr. Charterer brushed off our blunder, and his wife and three kids were regular folks as well. The family is fairly new to sailing, so mom — a great sport — had a few questions: Would we be starting with the sails up or down? Would we stop if it started raining? The questions naturally sound silly to veteran sailors, but how was she supposed to know? For you powerboaters, we did start with the sails up and continued sailing through the squalls. We've sailed on some very large modern boats before, but none with winches that seemed as powerful as Leopard's. Doña and we were the staysail sheet trimmers. When we pushed the button on the huge sheet winches, the pull was instantaneous and authoritative. If somebody could find a cable strong
Above; On his 41st day on charter with 'Leopard', Capt. Chris leaves the 135-ft 'Victoria of Strathern' behind. Below, Gustavia Harbor.
enough, they could use the winch to pull St. Barth all the way to New York — not that we'd be in favor of the idea. The water -ballasted Leopard was powerful and very fast. Under full main and just the staysail, she regularly closereached in sloppy seas at 12.5 knots in just 17 knots of true wind. The good news for those of you looking to move up from Catalina 30s is that Leopard has just come on the market at £3 million, and there is some wiggle room. Not only is she complete with a very nice interior and a $335,000 suit of unused sails, but
she comes with £1 million in guaranteed charters to be skippered, if desired, by Sherlock. It's not that Mike Slade, the Londonbased owner who once did the Big Boat Series with the maxi Longobarda, is about to give up sailing. On the contrary, he's commissioned Bruce Farr to design an all-out 98-ft racing machine to do battle in the great races around the world
The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.