Publish date: 
Friday, February 23, 2018 - 10:00
When a freighter ship of brand new Leopard Catamarans arrives to the states with our newest yachts, they are brought to our docks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they are then commissioned, sea trialed and prepared for handover.
Brand new boat owners will typically find themselves surrounded by new neighbors who are also new boat owners while they are living aboard their yacht in Leopard’s marina slips. And what we have learned from meeting these owners is that it is inevitable that friendships will form. As Lisa Diesel, Leopard 48 Owner, explains, “Once our yacht was handed over, I think you experience excitement, but you are also overwhelmed. And we look at other new owners and wonder if we are doing it right. This sparked a lot of conversations because we are outfitting identical homes. We met owners who we went to West Marine with almost three times a week because together we had great ways of sharing knowledge.”
It was almost inevitable that this group of owners would form a strong bond. So much so that from Fort Lauderdale, a small fleet of Leopard Catamarans (five to be exact), set sail for a Christmas Holiday in Bimini, Bahamans. Jason Diesel, Lisa’s husband, explains how this plan unfolded, “We were all leaving the marina around the same time, and a group of us wanted to spend Christmas in the Bahamas, so we said, ‘Let’s go together’. We arrived first, then another Leopard, then another Leopard, then another Leopard.”
The Leopard Owners decided to spend Christmas in Honeymoon Harbor. If you have never has the pleasure of experiencing Honeymoon Harbor, just imagine the perfect paradise. Powdery white sand beaches and sapphire blue waters, the kind of scenery that is available only in your dreams… or, for these owners, on Christmas morning.
If you are spending your Christmas dinner with a great group of friends in a Bimini bliss,  what do you decide on for a festive dinner? Lisa reveals some of the best dishes of the evening, “Everyone cooked or baked something. Some people brought fresh caught lobster and fresh seafood including octopus. We brought a tuna we had caught.” We couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy a Christmas by the sea than to indulge in all of the oceans best offerings from the comfort of your new yacht.
Besides enjoying the kind of seafood supper that makes us envious just talking about it, the gang engaged in a number of different activities. Jason reveals, “We spent a lot of time paddle boarding and scuba diving, kayaking and snorkeling, and rode out the most incredible storm we have witnessed with winds blowing up to 44 knots. The anchor held well and we just hung out.”
From Honeymoon Harbor, some of the yachts moved to West End, Bahamas. From West End they found themselves back in Bimini, and then from South Bimini they ended up in Gun Key where they met up with some owners to enjoy ringing in the New Year. On the sail back to South Florida from Bimini Jason explains how the yacht held up, “We had the most incredible sail, pushing 12 knots we made it in five or six hours with sustained winds of 26 knots.” And what is it that Jason likes most about his new yacht? “This Boat is absolutely solid.” Jason continues, “I can trust Leopard to take my family safely around the world.”
In fact, the Diesel family intends to do just that. Upon meeting fellow Leopard 48 owners at the marina, one family in particular ended up having similar sailing goals. Lisa shares, “We do have future plans with a family we spent the Christmas holiday with. They have the exact same plan that we do, two years on the boat, and then we go back to our normal lives. We originally planned one year in the Caribbean and one year in the South Pacific, but since then they have convinced us to skip the Caribbean because we can always charter there, whereas you cannot charter and see all of the South Pacific. The plan is not set in stone, but as of now we will be spending the next two years together, and we never knew these people before taking ownership of our boat. They have become incredible friends.”
From Fort Lauderdale the two families will depart for Panama, stopping in Belize and a few places along the way. And from Panama? The beauty of this lifestyle is that they don’t have to decide. They can go wherever the wind in their sails might take them.