From a family of conquerors.
Reviews and test drives

From a family of conquerors.

On board Leopard 43M

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Leopard is carried by the sea, cutting through the keel of the wave. This marvelous spectacle is breathtaking. The new 43-metre vessel is efficient, aristocratic and beautiful. Its super-modern equipment will attract connoisseurs, and its magnificent design will not leave anyone indifferent.

Italian shipyard Arno (currently Leopard Yachts) started out as a manufacturer of outdoor yachts, then quite organically decided to use a removable hard top in vessels from 20 to 35 meters. The logical consequence of this decision was that the shipyard was one of the first to occupy the niche of a new category, which we dubbed «sports»float, i.e. half fly, half hard top. However, these yachts do not look like hybrids at all, they have a strong personality, as evidenced by the 43-metre Leopard. His silhouette is the work of Andrea Bachigalupo, a designer who constantly works with the Arno shipyard.

Aggressiveness of stressed lines is softened by soft curves. The spear-shaped nose of Leopard indicates its essence as a winner and conqueror. An arch supporting the antenna and antenna shrouds does not compromise the integrity of the image either. In short, this sports platform is pleasing to the eye, both in parking and swimming.

The technical equipment is second to none in terms of design. This can be clearly seen in the engine room, which is over two metres high. Everything here is clear, succinct and the mechanics uncompromisingly perfect. Leopard has two 70 kV generators each. The ship is powered by three MTUs of 2,400 horses each. The main engine plays the role of a booster, it automatically disengages when the speed of external engines exceeds 1500 об\мин.

Kamewa's waterjet propulsion system (two external MTU models 71S11 and 71B11 - main engine) allows the «Leopard» to reach a top speed of 35 knots. This drive has many advantages: no vibration, low noise, excellent ease of operation and excellent maneuverability, the ability to quickly switch from forward to reverse, as well as rapid braking and, finally, a small draft of the body: 1.35 m.

The yacht has a recommended cruising speed of 30 knots and with only two motors at 17 knots you can count on a 900 mile cruising range. There is only one covered wheelhouse on the test model, which is located at the bow of the main deck.

The cutting is separated from the saloon by a partition, the central part of which automatically shifts down so that the captain can see what's going on behind him. However, during maneuvers it is more convenient to use the circular video overview.

The tender is fixed at the stern. There's plenty of room on each side for a jet ski. A removable rigid canopy 5.20 meters long is tensioned and retracted automatically by a skid equipped with an electric motor. When the awning is removed, those who are going to swim find themselves on the swim platform and those who like ultraviolet can sit on a banquet in the cockpit sun deck or prefer the Jacuzzi, or finally go to the forward deck, where a huge mat for 5 people lies.

Leopard has two open-air dining rooms, one on the fly and one on the cockpit, both fairly shaded. A slightly curved glass opening automatically opens to allow access to the largest room on the yacht, approximately 70 square metres in size. It is designed for the salon and dining room and is abundantly bathed in light thanks to two huge side windows.

This version has four cabins, the most beautiful of which is the full width owner's cabin. The white leather is combined with ebony, finished with stainless metal laths. Between the cabin and the engine room there is a refined and beautiful bathroom and dressing room. The owner's cabin is adjoined by two guest cabins, each with its own bathroom.

As for the VIP cabin, it is in no way inferior to the owner's cabin, except for a few square meters less. Interior designer Christiano Gatto has foreseen three versions of the yacht: five cabins, four (as on "our" yacht) and three. The layout of the test model seemed to us ideal. It was not without reason that this 43-metre yacht was easily nominated for the World Yachts Trophies.

It was published in YACHTS magazine #34.

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