Leopard 53 Powercat – Boat Test

Leopard 53 Powercat

With 2 x Yanmar 8LV 370

Captain’s Report By Capt. Martin Frobisher

Brief Summary

The Leopard 53 powercat succeeds one of the most popular cruising catamarans in the industry, the Leopard 51. She has the passenger space, stability, and efficiency that a customer would want in a power cat that measures 53’ 1” (16.18 m) long with a 25’2” (7.67 m) beam.

 

Key Features

  • Two helm stations
  • Three or four cabins below decks
  • Spacious cockpit
  • New L-shaped galley
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Sliding windows and doors in salon

 

Test Results

This table is a chart that displays boat test power.

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM
550 4.1 3.6 0.3 16.4 14.3 8576 7457
1000 6.8 5.9 1 7.1 6.2 3715 3230.7
1250 8.2 7.1 1.6 5.3 4.6 2749 2390.8
1500 9.5 8.2 2.7 3.6 3.1 1865 1621.5
1500 10.9 9.5 4.2 2.6 2.3 1357 1180
2000 11.7 10.2 6.8 1.7 1.5 900 782.3
2200 13 11.3 9.2 1.4 1.2 743 646
2400 13.8 12 11 1.3 1.1 659 573
2600 14.9 12.9 13.4 1.1 1 582 505.8
2800 19.3 16.8 14.7 1.3 1.1 689 599
3000 19.9 17.3 19.2 1 0.9 543 472.5
3200 19.4 16.9 24.2 0.8 0.7 419 364.5
3400 22.9 19.9 26.4 0.9 0.8 454 454
3600 24.9 21.6 31 0.8 0.7 420 365.1
3740 25.7 22.3 32.3 0.8 0.7 416 361.6

 

Photo: leopard_53_chart

 

Specifications

Length Overall 53′ 1” / 16.18 m
Beam 25′ 2” / 7.67 m
Dry Weight 41,070 lbs. / 18,629 kg
Tested Weight 43,313 lbs. / 19,646 kg
Draft 3′ 2” / 0.97 m
Bridge Clearance 18’8″ / 5.69 m
Fuel Capacity 581 gal. / 2,199 L
Water Capacity 185 gal. / 700 L
Total Weight 43,313 lbs. / 19,646 kg

 

 

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Load 3 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 72 degrees, 42 humid; wind: 25-30 mph; seas: 3-5

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x Yanmar 8LV 370
Std. Power 2 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV370

 

The Leopard 53 Powercat has a length-to-beam ratio of basically 2:1 and should deliver a smooth stable ride in rough conditions.

Mission Statement

The Leopard 53 powercat is designed to be the next level of the cruising power catamaran. For passenger comfort, she has a spacious flybridge, cockpit, and salon. Belowdecks, she’s available with three or four staterooms and when she’s on the water, the Leopard 53 has a smooth, wave-taming ride and the superior range that cruisers expect from a power catamaran.

Features Inspection

The Flybridge

Let’s start at the top and work our way down. Access to the flybridge is via stairs to starboard in the cockpit. The passageway closes with a gate. Forward to starboard, the upper helm seat has space for a companion to join the captain. Ahead, the steering wheel is to starboard with a full complement of electronics in the dash. To port across from the helm is a forward-facing lounge that could seat at least three. Aft, a horseshoe-shaped dinette wraps around a table. All the way aft on the port side, there’s a large sun pad where folks can stretch out and soak up the rays. From the flybridge, we could look out over the foredeck and its two sunlounges on each side of the stairs that lead belowdecks to the cabin level.

 

Leopard 53

 

The Leopard 53 Powercat’s flybridge is designed with a focus on passenger capacity.

 

Leopard 53 3

 

Full-height rails run the length of the side decks to make it easy and safe to head forward to the bow.

 

Cockpit/Stern

For those who like to spend their time outdoors, the Leopard 53 powercat has a spacious raised platform that extends aft from the cockpit with water level smaller ones on each side. The port platform has a boarding ladder. Stairs on each side lead into the cockpit where the boat’s extra-wide beam is felt. To starboard, she has an L-shaped lounge around a table and to port is a wide sun pad that should accommodate at least two sunbathers.

Leopard 53 4

Passengers can move from the cockpit to the bow via the stairs in the salon or the side decks.

 

Leopard 53

The stern provides a good look at the spacious cockpit and flybridge. Also notice how wide the stairs from the outboard swim platforms are.

 

The Salon

From the cockpit, it’s an easy transition into the Leopard 53 Powerboat’s salon. Aft to port is the galley that has a full-sized refrigerator, sink and two-burner cooktop. Interestingly, the galley has a split-design. The refrigerator and sink are to port, but the stove and microwave above are to starboard. Forward, there are lounges on each side and if a passenger wants to head up to the bow, there are steps that lead to the foredeck. To starboard, the helm has a two-person lounge with a fixed backrest and the steering wheel is outboard so there’s real companion space alongside. Controls are outboard and the panel can be equipped with dual multifunction displays with space for additional items such as a VHF radio and autopilot ahead of the companion’s position.

Leopard 53

The deck plan gives the best view of how effectively Leopard took advantage of the 53 powercat’s beam.

Leopard 53

The starboard side of the galley has the two-burner stove, microwave oven, and plenty of space on the Staron countertop for food prep.

Leopard 53

Passage from the galley forward to the salon and helm is easy and open. Notice the outstanding views thanks to the panoramic windows.

 

Leopard 53

 

The extra wide sliding salon door creates a smooth transition from the outdoors to the indoors.

 

Leopard 53

The use of light colors and the recessed lighting further enhanced the salon’s spaciousness.

 

Leopard 53

 

The lower helm has a straightforward layout and having the shift-throttle levers positioned outboard to starboard makes it easy for the captain to look out the window while backing into a slip.

 

Belowdecks

Leopard offers the 53 powercat with a choice of lower-deck arrangements. The three-stateroom layout has the master stateroom to starboard with the berth aft, a chest of drawers and hanging locker, and the head forward. Amenities include his-and-her sinks and a large separate shower in the bow. Stairs to the cabin are between the lounges in the salon. Guest cabins are in the port sponson and each has an en-suite head. The four-cabin layout basically has four identical staterooms, each with the same-sized berth, smaller hanging lockers and en-suite heads with separate showers. The laundry and main distribution panel are in the companionway between the guest cabins.

 

Leopard 53

The three-cabin plan has the berths positioned as far apart as possible from each other to provide as much privacy as possible.

 

Leopard 53

 

The four-cabin plan includes the quarters for a single crewmember in the bow.

 

Leopard 53

 

The aft port guest cabin has a more open feel than we’ve seen on other power cats thanks to the large hull side windows.

 

Leopard 53

 

The bow guest cabin has an overhead deck hatch and more overhead clearance.

 

Leopard 53

 

The main distribution panel and the combination washing machine/dryer are in the passageway in the port hull.

 

Leopard 53

 

The master berth is at the aft end of the starboard hull.

 

Leopard 53

 

A large chest of drawers, a full-height hanging locker with a mirrored door, and a settee are just some of the features in the master stateroom.

 

Leopard 53

 

Generous use of mirrors in the master head ensure that the area has a spacious feel.

 

Smart Maintenance

Because of Leopard’s experience in chartering, the 53 powercat is designed to ensure that the systems are easy to maintain. The accessories like fuel-water separators and filters are positioned for good access. The same goes for plumbing valves, thru-hulls, and bilge pumps. Hydraulic connections for the steering system are in each and deck hardware is all heavy-duty. Additionally, the construction and rigging are certified to ABYC and CE standards.

 

Designed for Performance

The new design for the Leopard 53 powercat was developed for improved performance and efficiency. The manufacturer says the boat is up to 50 percent more fuel efficient than comparably sized powered monohulls.

 

Leopard 53

 

The deck between the bows is designed to deflect waves and spray, which should help keep the deck dry.

 

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

$949,000

 

Options to Consider

  • Bow thruster
  • Fusion marine stereo Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity
  • Raymarine electronics package
  • Extra Raymarine Axiom XL16 MFD or Axiom XL 19 display with Wi-Fi at helm
  • Rotary autopilot
  • Radar
  • Fishfinder
  • Rear-view camera
  • US or European shorepower
  • Battery charger
  • 3000-watt 110V/60Hz inverter
  • 9 or 12 kW generator
  • Chilled-water air conditioning
  • Motorized lift for salon TV
  • 2, 4, 6 or 8 solar panels
  • Underwater lights
  • Watermaker
  • 110-volt dishwater
  • Hot water stern shower
  • 12-volt flybridge refrigerator
  • Galley wine cooler
  • Icemaker in wet bar
  • Cockpit SCUBA tanks
  • Cockpit table
  • Choice of anchors

 

Observations

Power cats are a bit of an acquired taste, but they have plenty of positive attributes. First, the Leopard 53 powercat’s 25’2” (7.67m) beam gives the boat incredible stability in rough water and provides a platform on which designers can create a spacious salon and cockpit.

While the plans we’ve seen for the first Leopard 53 powerboat call for inboard power, with larger outboards like the Mercury 450R or the Seven Marine 627 with a Volvo Penta Duoprop hitting the market, could they be an option on the 53 powercat? It could create more interior space in the hull, offering additional accommodation possibilities.

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