It is a momentous occasion that all owners eagerly look forward to, especially when the sailing season beckons. A time of strong, yet mixed feelings involving both apprehension and excitement. That is why, in order to ensure that the day you first set foot on board your Leopard Catamaran is both memorable and seamless, we plan your handover day in the minutest of details.
The delivery process actually kicked off several weeks ago and is 8000 km away from the marina in St Raphaël, where your new Leopard catamaran now awaits you. First of all, our colleagues in Cape Town launched your catamaran in order to test sail it and go through the extensive list of key points to be checked in marine conditions. Indeed, as soon as a boat leaves the Robertson & Caine shipyards, our experts begin double-checking absolutely everything: structure, finish, deck fittings, comfort, equipment… everything must be in perfect working order before it sets off for Europe. Later, when it is winched off the cargo boat on arrival, our team here in Europe refit all the parts that were temporarily removed in order to avoid damage during transportation. During the short trip to our base in St Raphaël, the team kept busy carrying out the final checks and last-minute adjustments. So, when you take delivery of your boat, we can guarantee that not only has it been cleaned from top to bottom, or rather from stem to stern, but that it is absolutely brand new and also fully tested and approved: a service we provide that is extremely rare, perhaps even unique, in the nautical industry.
Time to climb aboard
Though you may perhaps be feeling overcome with the joy of finally taking possession of the boat that you have been dreaming about and planning voyages aboard for so long, now it is time to actually climb aboard! Whether this is your first or your tenth purchase, it’s important to take time to make acquaintance. But relax, we have all day to do that! Once the initial rush of emotion has abated, together we will check that everything you ordered is indeed on board and that the boat we are handing over to you corresponds exactly to the order form that we signed several months back. Next, it is time to check that everything works properly (electricity, electronics, refrigeration, navigation equipment, fittings…) each piece of equipment is systematically powered up and tested. After that, we explain to you the basic functions and, where necessary, what maintenance will be required. Don’t worry though, we’re not going to submit you to a lesson on marine mechanics or complex electronic wiring, we will just stick to what you will need to know to sail on your boat and leave all the specialized work to your regular mechanics, electricians etc... (or, if you so wish, to those that we recommend). However, to ensure you will set out to sea feeling relaxed and reassured no matter what part of the world you intend to sail to, we will explain in detail the procedures governing how to activate your guarantee and how potential breakdowns will be dealt with, be it by us, the shipyard or our technical partners. Whatever the problem, our aim is to provide a speedy reply or repair whatever the issue or worry, throughout the life of your multihull.
The first outing
Finally, it will be time to leave the marina. First trip, first sensations, the wind begins to freshen, and the harbour is left astern…, these are sure to be moments you will never forget. We will of course accompany you on this first outing at sea. After you have enjoyed these first few moments, it is soon time to test the engines, hoist and reef the sails, check the navigation instruments, and try out the VHF… Even though this will actually be the boat’s third sea trial, it is essential for us to check that everything works in your presence. However, please note that if this is your first boat, your first multihull, or even your first time on a boat of this size, we have neither the time nor the capacity to train you. Therefore, if you would prefer the reassuring assistance of a professional, as many of our customers often do, you may wish to hire the services of a skipper to accompany you. During the first few days, a professional skipper will help bolster your confidence while you get used to manoeuvring your catamaran (entering and leaving harbours, hoisting and hauling down sails…). He/she will also be able to help you to get to know and use the electronic equipment on board, perhaps even show you how to configure your own personal devices (computers, satellite telephone...).
Begin your love affair
Although your honeymoon with your new boat will take place in St Raphaël, (or perhaps in Cape Town or even, very exceptionally, in some other port), this is just the beginning of a love affair which will surely live on elsewhere and for many years. As you can see, the way we hand over a Leopard is done in the same spirit as all of our dealings: starting from the first contact and carrying on throughout the whole life cycle of the boat we will always be there to accompany you, working openly and honestly, in order to foster the most efficient and trustworthy relationship possible.