28 Jun 2012
'Leopard 3' ready to race in style after interior refit
Record-breaking racing yacht Leopard 3 has just completed a six-month refit at the Oyster Group's Southampton Yacht Services yard (SYS).
After 48 months of racing the 30m McConaghy boats built yacht has taken time out to have SYS refit her interior into luxurious accommodation. Three bespoke en suite double guest cabins have been created from scratch at the yard plus two single guest cabins to enable the yacht to be leased for charter in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. The work has also been done to allow her racing enthusiast owner, Mike Slade, who celebrates 25 years of racing this year, to enjoy her cruising potential with friends and family.
The choice of SYS came fortuitously for her captain of twenty years, Chris Sherlock. Traveling to Saxon Wharf-based SYS he discovered that the team behind major refits on Leopard’s sister ships were still there.
“In 1992, Ocean Leopard was refitted at Saxon Wharf and Leopard 2000 had all of the electrical and hydraulic design and engineering carried out there. I took a drive down there and found out that one of the refit halls was available. I was delighted to find out that the same guys were still there 20 years on, which made me confident that I was going to get the job done and, more importantly, I knew that we would work as a team.
“So we started working out a deal with SYS technical director, Harvey Jones and managing director, Robert Kathro,” said Sherlock.
Her Australian builder, McConaghy, designed the new systems and SYS implemented them, which was judged the most economical, as well as aesthetically desirable route. The UK also happens to be Slade's home, and where Leopard is VAT registered.
“Mike Slade was very impressed with the beautiful interiors that he had seen on Oyster yachts,” said Sherlock. “Oyster has…a really good understanding of which features really work.”
New bespoke double guest cabin on Leopard 3
Leopard's galley area refit
The original deal was a fixed contract to provide the new accommodation forward of the salon. However, after seeing the first work completed, the captain decided to request a refit on the galley area as well.
“We wanted a super-light composite interior but with an Oyster look and I think we have very much achieved that,” concluded Sherlock.
Leopard 3 will make her return to racing following her refit at SYS in the J P Morgan Round the Island Race on Saturday 30 June, where she will be defending her title and the monohull record set in 2008 of 3hrs, 53 mins, 05 seconds.
Images courtesy of Oyster Marine
Oyster Marine Profile | Oyster Marine Website
SYS Profile | SYS Website
McConaghy Boats Profile | McConaghy Boats Website
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