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Leopards Cats on the prowl in Phuket

PHUKET: Boat enthusiasts across the island will have the chance to view first-hand more than B104 million in leisure craft when Leopard Catamarans holds its inaugural Open House at Ao Po Grand Marina, on Phuket’s east coast, early next month.

marine, tourism, economics,


The Phuket News

Sunday 11 September 2016, 01:00PM


The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show.
The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show. The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show. The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show. The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show.
The Leopard 43 Powercat will be one of the formidable catamarans on show.

The event is primarily aimed at dealers throughout Asia-Pacific to view and show clients the new fleet, available for charter or sale, which only recently arrived in Phuket – but the event will be free for the public to enjoy, explained Shoongiat (“just call me ‘Kit’”) Chotithamaporn, Leopard Catamarans’ Yacht Sales Manager-Asia, based in Phuket.

“The Leopard Catamarans Open House is being held for two reasons. First is to offer all our dealers in the Asia region to fly in for a training day to get everyone up to speed with the latest happenings in the company, the full range of boats available, the company’s principles, views and direction,” Kit explained.

“Obviously with the boats on display as well, it gives our dealers a chance to go onboard and spend time to see, feel, and understand the latest models available. It’s the best way for them to understand the products and be able to convey that understanding to their clients.

“The second reason is to also have our dealers invite all their potential buyers that have shown interest in a Leopard Catamaran a chance to fly in and view the boats in person for a good feel as well as for sea trials to see the performance of a Leopard Catamaran and to help them in making their decision.

“Residents and visitors to Phuket are also invited to come by and view the boats,” he added.

Leopard Catamarans moved its Asia regional head office from Hong Kong to Ao Po Grand Marina in Phuket exactly one year ago, and now offer the Leopard 40, Leopard 45 (only launched two weeks ago), Leopard 48, and Leopard 58 sailing catamarans along with the Leopard 43 Powercat and Leopard 51 Powercat as fully powered cruising cats.

“Sunsail and The Moorings are investing heavily into the Phuket base and updating the charter fleet. Leopard Catamarans have proven to be very popular and successful in the charter market so there will only be Leopard Catamarans coming to Phuket for the charter fleet,” noted Kit, a Phuket native born at Mission Hospital who has lived abroad for many years, including a decade in Canada.

“The Leopard 40 and 43 Powercat are new models launched last year so naturally they are selected to be in the fleet. The Leopard 48 and 51 Powercat have been around for a few years now and proven to be very successful worldwide with the Leopard 48 being crowned best sailing catamaran by Cruising World magazine. There is also the one Leopard 51 Powercat arriving at the same time that is available for sale.” he added.

The full fleet once landed will have an estimated value of more than US$7 million (more than B243 million).

“Leopard Catamarans are built by the renowned Robertson & Caine shipyard in Cape Town, South Africa, and my role as the Asia regional manager is to support our dealers in Asia or direct sales if there is no dealer in the particular country. We are able to offer buyers and owners full support from initial contact to sales and full after sales service,” explained Kit.

“Leopard Catamarans are also part of the same company as Sunsail and The Moorings, the two largest charter companies in the world, so we are able to offer bareboat and crewed charters from our base in Ao Po Grand Marina or anywhere in the world with a Sunsail/Moorings base as well as our very attractive and hassle free ownership programs with Sunsail and The Moorings,” he added.

Leopard Catamarans are renowned as blue-water cruising catamarans well known for being delivered on their own bottom from Cape Town, South Africa, to destinations worldwide, noted Kit.

“Leopard Catamarans perform well due to their stepped hull design where they have a small surface area below the waterline offering less resistance but flaring out above the waterline to offer good interior volume. Leopard Catamarans also have innovative and unique features such as their forward saloon door offering access to the bow area directly from the interior of the main saloon and the unique forward cockpit seating area.

“Leopard Catamarans’ powercats incorporate all of Leopard Catamarans’ innovative features, but are also true powercats offering great performance with top speeds of 25-26 knots and cruising in the 18-20 knots range,” he explained.

On display at the Open House will be the brand-new and recently launched Leopard 40 sailing catamaran and Leopard 43 Powercat along with the award-winning Leopard 48 and Leopard 51 Powercat. The combined value of all four boats will be in the region of over US$3 million.

“There will also be a brand-new Leopard 51 Powercat available for sale immediately at a special price if purchased during the Open House event. This is a great opportunity to own a brand-new fully optioned Leopard 51 Powercat without having to wait nine to 12 months for delivery,” said Kit.

The Open House will be open to the public from 1pm to 7pm over the weekend of Oct 1 and 2.

“Live 89.5 will be broadcasting live from Ao Po Grand Marina during the event, so drop by and say hi,” Kit said.

“Feel free to drop by and have a good look at the boats and if you’re serious enough then a sea trial is also available,” he invited.

 

 

 

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