Boat Review: Moorings 5800

Author:
Publish date:
Leopard58_0

While test-sailing the new Moorings 5800 (sold to private buyers as the Leopard 58), the opening line from Samuel Coleridge’s famous poem kept running through my head: In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure dome decree.

This is, by any measure, a profligate vessel. Here the modern trend of maximizing social space and accommodations in built-for-charter production cruising catamarans has been brought to its logical conclusion. Traditionalists are sure to be alarmed as they gaze upon this three-story palace, which seems nearly as tall as it is wide. But many others, particularly those who most value comfort and living space in a boat, will be amazed.

CONSTRUCTION

There is certainly nothing alarming about the boat’s construction. Designed by Simonis Voogd and built by Robertson and Caine in South Africa, the Moorings 5800 builds on concepts first introduced in the Moorings 4400 (Leopard 44) and, like other boats in the line, is solidly built with balsa-cored fiberglass hulls that are vacuum-bagged to minimize voids and precisely control resin content. The keels are filled with closed-cell foam to increase buoyancy and limit moisture migration. The spars are good old-fashioned aluminum.

 The galley is well appointed, with easy access to the aft deck

The galley is well appointed, with easy access to the aft deck

It is when you consider the boat’s specifications that eyeballs start popping. The masthead stands 96 feet above the water (no ICW transits in this baby, thank you very much), and the boom is 20 feet high. The bridgedeck takes up about 80 percent of the lateral deck plane area, and the clearance underneath is just 3ft 3in (at half load weight). Empty, the boat weighs a tad over 53,000lb, and with a full payload of nearly 20,000lb total displacement, this climbs to 73,000lb. None of this helps the boat when sailing, but it does help this remarkable vessel achieve its primary purpose, which is to keep crew and guests as comfortable as possible.

ON DECK

The deck plan features not one, but three different areas where folks can gather and socialize outside. First there is the traditional aft deck/cockpit, directly behind the bridgedeck saloon, which has no built-in furniture (though the deck locker here is plenty big enough to store some loose furniture) and opens on to a unique hydraulically controlled aft swim/tender-storage platform that can be lowered into the water. Next, directly in front of the cabinhouse and mast, there is a forward cockpit—really a lounging area—that looks out over the bows. Finally, there is an enormous flybridge with a targa top that stretches across almost half the overall length of the boat. All three areas are treated with faux-teak Tek-Dek flooring, which is both attractive and durable, and helps to break up what would otherwise be a vast amount of white surface area.

The flybridge, for sure, is where people will usually hang out. Here you’ll find seating for 12, a dinette table, a sun deck, a wet bar with fridge and a dedicated barbecue grill. And, yes, you can also sail the boat from here. All control lines, including the single sheet for the self-tending jib, are led to a trio of electric Lewmar winches right by the helm.

Thanks to the helm’s strategic position—close behind the mast, not too far forward of the double mainsheet bridle behind the sun deck—the line runs are all reasonably short, and the controls are thus easy to manage. The one exception is the headsail furling line, which by my count runs through six right-angle turns on its long voyage from furler to winch. You’ll want to be careful with this line, as it will be hard to distinguish between inherent friction and “malfunction friction” when handling it.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The most stunning aspects of the boat’s interior are the light, airy bridgedeck-level double staterooms just forward of the saloon. Each has an ensuite head and shower and opens directly onto the forward outdoor lounging area behind the bow trampolines. There is also room for four conventional double staterooms down in the hulls (each, again, with an ensuite head and shower). Small crew berths can be fit into the two forepeaks.

Depending on which version of the boat you buy (Moorings or Leopard), there are numerous optional layouts with between two to six separate staterooms and three to six heads. The most palatial owner’s layout (the one Kubla Khan would go for, I’m sure) has a single full-breadth owner’s stateroom on the bridgedeck behind the front porch.

The galley/saloon area is enormous at 750 square feet, and is perfectly laid out. From the galley—which has oodles of counter space, good storage and a full suite of house-sized appliances—it is easy to serve people seated either at the large dinette table directly opposite or on the aft deck. The interior finish overall is quite good for a production boat and features cherry laminate on the bulkheads and a nice Austrian walnut on the cabin sole.

leopard_int2

UNDER SAIL

Sailing the boat on Chesapeake Bay we had true wind speeds of around 10 knots, but with some gusty patches where the apparent wind suddenly pumped as high as 20 knots. This had little effect on the Moorings 5800. In fact, there is little sensation of speed when you’re up on the flybridge and little tactile connection between the hydraulic helm and the wetted surface of the hulls three stories below. To steer well you need to pick a target on the horizon and keep a close eye on your wind instruments and the rudder-angle indicator.

That said, the boat did sail faster than I expected. Our best speed for the afternoon was 9 knots at a 60-degree apparent wind angle in 20 knots of apparent breeze. Close-hauled, sailing in flat water, we managed 7 knots at a 40-degree angle, again in a 20-knot apparent breeze. Bearing away onto a broad reach, our speed dropped to under 5.5 knots at a 120-degree angle in over 15 knots of apparent wind. If you buy this boat as a Leopard and plan to sail it as much as possible, you’d be well advised to pony up for the optional sprit and screecher.

UNDER POWER

The standard power plants are a pair of 75hp Yanmar diesels turning three-blade fixed props on saildrives. The props have plenty of bite and make it easy to maneuver. They also move the boat along at a good clip in a straight line—we hit 8.9 knots with both engines spinning at maximum revs (2,800), and with both engines set at cruising speed (2,000 rpm), we were still going just over 7 knots. According to the skipper on our test boat, who had delivered it from South Africa, the most efficient setting is to turn just one prop at 2,000 rpm. This yielded a speed of 5.7 knots during our test and reportedly results in a fuel-consumption rate of just over one gallon per hour.

CONCLUSION

The Moorings 5800 is not the boat for anyone looking for pure sailing performance, but if you want a cruiser that has fantastic accommodations and lots of room for partying and hanging out, you can’t do any better than this.

OUR TAKE

Pros Has great spaces for entertaining outdoors The bridgedeck staterooms are fabulous The galley is both well equipped and well positioned

Cons Little helm feel Lots of friction in jib furling line run

SPECIFICATIONS

Leopard58-3cabin

HEADROOM 6ft 6in

BERTHS 4ft 9in x 6ft 6in (fwd); 5ft 1in x 6ft 6in (aft); 4ft 9in x 6ft 6in (bridgedeck)

LOA 57ft 7in

LWL 54ft 2in

BEAM 27ft 9in

DRAFT 5ft 11in

DISPLACEMENT 61,730 lb

SAIL AREA 2,010ft2

FUEL/WATER/WASTE (GAL) 238/412/67

ENGINE 2 x 75hp Yanmar (saildrive)

ELECTRICAL 6 x 210AH (house); 2 x 100AH (engine)

DESIGNER Simonis Voogd Design

BUILDER Robertson and Caine, Capetown, South Africa, robertsonandcaine.com

U.S. DISTRIBUTOR The Moorings, Clearwater, FL, 727-530-5651, moorings.com

PRICE $1,475,000 (sail away)

SAIL AREA-DISPLACEMENT RATIO 20

DISPLACEMENT-LENGTH RATIO 178

Photos courtesy of Leopard Catamarans

Illustration by Pip Hurn

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more