1. Home
  2. Articles and Guides
  3. Leopard 48 Review: Features, Performance and Tech Specs

Leopard 48 Review: Features, Performance and Tech Specs

The Leopard 48 is a robust bluewater cruiser mindfully designed for serious comfort on long-range voyages. In fact, everything about the 48—designed by Simonis-Voogd and built by renowned South African shipyard Robertson & Caine—focuses on stability, safety, and performance, with an obvious emphasis on elegant living spaces. 

In 2013, the 48 was named the Multihull of the Year by Cruising World magazine, an accolade that saw it catapult into the limelight, not just with private owners but for the charter market too. It was designed to replace the popular 46, building off its successes and adding yet more practical solutions and increased space. 

The layout was revolutionary when it was first built, and remains industry-influencing to this day. With a private owner layout of three cabins, including a vast state cabin, as well as twin cockpits, spacious decks, and several dining options, there is ample space for large families or groups. But the 48 is also well-designed for solo sailing too, with the twin Yanmar engine controls, Raymarine instruments, and sail-handling hardware easily accessible. Add to that the 360-degree visibility from the helm and it offers impressive control even for a solo watchstander. The 48 ultimately manages to balance high speeds and ease of handling with the comfort and space of a much larger cat.  


Leopard 48. Leopard Catamarans Brokerage Photo Credit

The Leopard 48 is a capable and award-winning bluewater catamaran. Leopard Catamarans Brokerage photo.


Leopard 48 Key Features 

One of the stand-out features of the 48 is the twin cockpits. An unorthodox design, it has proven hugely popular with a smaller, luxurious forward cockpit with seating and a drop-down table offering shade as well as privacy from other guests. The main aft cockpit has a large dining table with wraparound seating, perfect for those balmy evenings dining by the setting sun. 

The clever use of space on the 48 continues inside, with a large main saloon and aft-facing L-shaped galley to port. The galley in particular deserves mention for its high spec appliances including Force 10 burner stove and oven and spacious freezer for long-haul storage. An starboard dining table with U-shaped seating is bathed in natural light from the large wrap-around windows.

Heading into the cabins, the private owner set-up has three cabins (as opposed to the four in the charter set-up), including an expansive en-suite owner’s cabin which runs the length of the hull. Designed in rich woods and plush furnishings, the 48 offers a true home-from-home vibe for long-term living and voyages. 


Leopard 48 sail-handling hardware

The leopard 48 can be sailed shorthanded thanks to easily accessible sail-handling hardware. Rightboat seller photo.



Image 5: The owner’s set-up on the Leopard 48 has three cabins including one large owner’s suite. 


Leopard 48 Performance

Designed with the charter market as a major consideration, the 48 (along with its Leopard sisters) was built to withstand heavy use, have high safety standards, and offer a stable ride. It has intuitive handling for even a solo sailor, with over 1,500 square feet of sail area allowing for consistent speeds of up to 10-12 knots in 10-15 knots of wind. Safety performance is high, with the 48’s shallow keels filled with closed-cell polyurethane foam to keep the water out, as well as sealed bow and stern bulkheads to do the same thing. 


Leopard 48 saloon

The Leopard 48 features a spacious and light-filled saloon and L-shaped galley with high spec appliances. Rightboat seller photo.


Leopard 48 Why Buy It


  • Three cabin layout including a vast owner’s suite and full-sized head
  • Award-winning design and high performance 
  • Twin cockpits allow for additional space, privacy, and shade
  • Light-filled, spacious saloon and galley with high spec finishings, instruments, and appliances
  • Designed for bluewater voyages
  • Strong build focus on safety
  • Buying Used? There are both owner and charter versions to be found on the used market, offering different layouts and furnishings, so look through the different options to see which works best for you. For other tips when buying used, read our Boat Inspection Checklist


Leopard 48 two cockpit

The Leopard 48 features a unique two cockpit design. Rightboat seller photo.


Leopard 48 Technical Specifications


  • Length: 48”5’
  • Beam: 25”
  • Draft: 4”7’
  • Sail Area: 1,555 sq ft
  • Fuel capacity: 185 gallons
  • Fuel type: Diesel
  • Displacement: 31,956 lbs
  • Material: Fiberglass


Check out all the Leopard boats for sale



Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

Get in touch:Linkedin

More from: Samantha Wilson

Like this article? Share it with others!  Share on FacebookShare on TwitterEmail

Related Articles and Guides

Thumb sea ray 220 sundeck

14th May 2024

Sea Ray 220 Sundeck, Much More Than a Bowrider

The 220, like the rest of the Sundeck series, is part deck boat and part bowrider, the main difference to its co...
Thumb beneteau antares 11

21st Apr 2024

Beneteau Antares 11 Review: Features, Performance and Tech Specs

Launched late in 2020, the Antares 11 remains a sexy and sporty—yet undeniably elegant—32-foot weekend cruiser, ...
Thumb lagoon 46

31st Mar 2024

Lagoon 46 Review, Spacious Bluewater Catamaran

Lagoon quite modestly describes the 46 as a “generous catamaran,” but that’s a complete understatement when you ...
Thumb sea ray 340 sundancer preview

13th Mar 2024

Sea Ray 340 Sundancer Review, an Iconic Cabin Cruiser

The Sea Ray Sundancer 340, launched in 1999 and manufactured through 2007, positively dominated the express crui...