Leopard 3, a New Concept for a Super Maxi

Mike Slade’s new Leopard3, due for launch next spring, meets the demanding requirements of luxurious, signature charter yacht; passage record breaker and race winning super maxi in a new concept developed by Farr Yacht Design. Her wide, powerful hull – a successor to FYD’s Open60, Volvo 70 and Cookson 50 designs – provides the platform for exceptional speed, the volume for remarkable accommodations and is a notable departure from the current fleet of extremely narrow boats. The wide hull is especially suited for high-speed sailing offshore and is enhanced by the presence of a chine that improves water flow off the hull and reduces structural weight.

The sleek, powerful hull is matched to a set of efficient underwater foils including a canting keel, twin asymmetric lifting canards forward and a single rudder on centerline aft. The stability boost added by canting the keel is equivalent to 200 crew members sitting on the rail, without the added weight! Two hydraulic cylinders typically operating at a load of 61 tons cant the keel. The canards, carefully placed on either side of the mast to perfectly balance the sail forces, are lifted and lowered using hydraulically powered pinch rollers. A single, aft rudder was selected as the best arrangement for steering after considering a heavier and more complicated twin rudder scheme. All candidate appendage designs were evaluated using our advanced Velocity Prediction Program, validated by the tank testing of multiple appendage arrangements.

The rig towers 154 feet above the water and can carry up to 15,000 square feet of sail area. The rig design is focused on providing the power and flexibility for the many modes of operation of Leopard 3. From competing for line honors in offshore races to thrilling charter outings the right amount of sail area can quickly be set from the 15 foot bowsprit or multiple tack points on the foredeck.

The construction of Leopard3, by McConaghy Boats, is in carbon with the structural design and detailing supplied by Farr Yacht Design. The basic features of the design such as bulkheads, chainplates, keel cylinder supports and hull and deck skins have been integrated with the unique features such as under-deck line tunnels, ballast tanks, canard cases and sail handling systems to minimize redundant structure and reduce weight. The interior and deck are styled by Ken Freivokh Design. After her launch in June, Farr Yacht Design will be supporting the ambitious competitive program of Leopard3 with measurement oversight, performance analysis and optimization advice.

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