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Blue Leopard

Discussion in 'General Sailing Discussion' started by justlooking, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

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    Does anyone know anything about the Blue Leopard? I heard someone talking about it the other day, and was interested. Thanks

    Just
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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  3. seajeay

    seajeay New Member

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    Hello JustLooking

    Blue Leopard anchored near us a week or so ago in the Whitsunday Islands (Central Queensland Coast , Australia). She is magnificent. She is now berthed near us at Mackay Harbour, central Queensland, en route to New Zealand after sailling extensively throughout Asia. I have been trying to find our more about her via the internet but find that there is very little available other than some information about a Blue Leopard model. The Dean website gives as much information about her history as I was told by her crew.
    cheers
    seajeay
  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I was moored next to Blue Leopard in Antibes ten years ago. She was then for sale at an asking price of USD 2.0m. Other figures I got is that she was built in 1963 by Osbourne, is 111.9 feet LOA and the twin Rolls are 380 Hp each.

    From what I can recall, she had a carved or cast, running golden leopard each side of the beautiful foreship, further back her design is more of form follow function. Most people had ideas of changing her superstructure to something more sweeping, but I think she had something special in that purposeful design.
  5. seajeay

    seajeay New Member

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    This is a photograph that I took of her when she was at anchor in Cid Harbour. You can just see one of her two golden leopards on her bow.
    cheers
    seajeay

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  6. Captain Bubble

    Captain Bubble New Member

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    Blue Leopard is a 112 ft motor-sailing yacht, apparently for sale at the moment. She was built in about 1961 and was acclaimed as the best motor-sailer, and broke the theoretical speed barrier for a mono-hull under sail and power. She has toured around the world, providing luxury and comfort as well as fine performance.
    She was designed by "Jack" Laurent Giles (my Grandad), a prolific and ground-breaking designer who pioneered moulded marine ply construction, comfort and rig/equipment designs. He also designed the Virtue class yachts, several designs for Westerly and others.
    In WW2 his wood forming knowledge was put to use by de Havilland on their Mosquito and Vampire aircraft, and he also worked in UK, Canada and USA on special high speed vessels for coastal patrol and rescue duties.
  7. AngeC

    AngeC New Member

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    I've just returned from a trip to Malta where i saw Blue Leopard. Id been on a harbour cruise and happened to glimpse one of the golden leopards on her bow. Unfortunately some large plastic sheeting covered her sides so i couldn't fully appreciate what was infront of me.

    I was thrilled to see her, my late father - Derek Cooper - worked on her during the 60's as an engineer. He worked on may boats in the years that he spent at sea but his fondest memories were of Blue Leopard. If anyone knew my father and has any sailing memories of him then please do let me know.
  8. Captain Bubble

    Captain Bubble New Member

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    I wonder if your Father ever met my Grandad!
  9. AngeC

    AngeC New Member

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    Hmm...not so sure he ever met your grandfather!! But a nice thought!

    I believe Blue Leopard was owned by a tabacco company when my father was her engineer.
  10. Capt R

    Capt R New Member

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    dear AngeC

    I have known Blue Leopard since the late 60's/70's when she was based in Malta together with other super yachts of the time like Clonsilla (probably today Lady Ecosse) and Themara. they were berthed next to each other at Ta Xbiex Marina in Gzira. at the time her hull was more bluish grey than the colour she has today.

    At the time my father was the skipper of Themara (now 'La Bimba') and as a young boy he tagged me along wherever he went. No surprise that both my brother and myself joined the merchant navy and became master mariners. both of us work ashore in the industry here in malta.

    you are very correct about seeing Blue Leopard here in Malta as i recall stopping for a few moments to see her and rekindle my fond memories of my childhood. from what you have said i am not at all surprises that both our fathers knew each other during the time that the yachts were based in malta and yes, at the time she was owned by a tobacco company which name i cannot recall.

    happy sailing to all ;)
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I still have photos of them all lined-up (in grainy colour taken with my Instamatic camera) when I was a small boy. Must dig them out and see if I can convert them to digital with a scan.

    We used to use our friends' trimaran speedboat from Comino island while we stayed at Granpa's villa in Gharghur.

    Happy days, thanks for the memory.
  12. Capt R

    Capt R New Member

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    Blue Leopard and others in malta

    nice to hear from afar. a small world indeed. i also need to dig out some photos.

    it would be nice to know if anyone else remembers these yachts here in malta. those who were familiar the Themara had a royal blue hull and white topsides with a mast coloured funnel and for obvious reasons, was nicknamed the little Brittania.

    my mother still has a treasured photo of my father (with me in the background) talking to the Duke of Edinburgh on one of the Queen's visits to malta when during a visit to the marina the Duke boarded the yacht for a brief visit. she was the only yacht visited
  13. Alekai

    Alekai New Member

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    Malta, late sixties

    I was on a lowly deckhand on Clonsilla about 1968, Captain Tommy Tucker, mate Kim Camalieri and various other characters. Spent a lot of time in Bill's bar and some other colourful bars. Especially fun when the US and RN personnel were around at the same time.. Jack's bar, hot dogs. Competition to find the cheapest bottle of wine (which I found for 3d).

    Other yachts etc, Southern Breeze (Tony, engineer), Willanka, Blue Leopard then owned by Bill Larvin?, Pamara and the gorgeous Dutson girls, a maltese guy who used to flog knocked off paint/ropes etc. whose name escapes me.

    Interesting return across the Atlantic to Gib to find the reason the bow was not lifting was that the prat of an engineer was pumping the bilges into the forepeak.

    Last saw Blue Leopard in Capri when we were trapped in the old harbour together about '75?

    Happy days.
  14. Capt R

    Capt R New Member

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    Hi Alekai

    What a small world!!!!!!!

    I sailed with Tommy Tucker in '75 when he went back to sea on merchant ships with a local shipping company.

    It was my 1st trip as cadet and Tommy was 2nd Mate.

    I also sailed with Malcolm Raye who i was skipper of either Clonsilla or one of the other yachts. Malcolm had gone back to sea on merchant ships as master and i also sailed with him during my cadetship in the late 70's.

    nice memories indeed
  15. Alekai

    Alekai New Member

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    Hi Captain R,

    Yes, I remember Tommy being on "childrens" hour occasionally in those days. He was devoted to his daughter, a nurse I believe, who he rarely saw. I seem to remember he had a hangover cure of milk, raw egg and brandy.

    Other yachts I remember late sixties in Malta: Dana the red briganteen, which I worked on(Dutch barge manual anchor winch which put feathers on your chest), owner Captain John Buckell who was a Medcomms technician. Blue Albacore, Stormvogel Cap Malcom Horsely (launched themselves off Manoel Island during a strike), Captain Eddie Hazard. Nordic Swan (Dying Duck) another ex Baltic Trader that we found the crew in Greece pinning sheets of plastic to the hull to stop her sinking..

    Yes, happy days.
  16. salammbo

    salammbo New Member

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    I was employed as engineer on a 20 meter ketch berthed on Manoel Island circa 1971. The owner was a member of the Molins family who made the machinery for cigarette factories. Blue Leopard was commissioned and owned by Desmond Molins. At the time Bill Larvin was the skipper and the Larvin as in Ripard Larvin and Ripard the local agents and chandlers at Tax Biex. anyone remember the little store a couple of doors away from Bill's bar?
    Very attractive young lady used to serve there.
  17. Alekai

    Alekai New Member

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    I was a deckhand on Clonsilla about then, now Lady Ecosse. Don't remember the store, just the bars! We used to go to one a few doors down from the Brittania where the Paras drank.

    I met Bill Larvin on Blue Leopard several years later while stuck in that awful Capri harbour and captain of a 23m Baglietto ( which we later shipped to Miami)
    in a storm, about 1980 I reckon.
  18. Dollyknot

    Dollyknot New Member

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    I sailed on the Nordic Swan in the early 70's, under a Captain Hardingham and his wife, more info would be extremely welcome.
  19. Alekai

    Alekai New Member

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    ..and I was on the red brigantine Dana for a while, another ex Baltic trader. We came across Nordic Swan in Paxos where the crew were tacking plastic on the hull from the outside to try and stop her leaks!
  20. r sherwood

    r sherwood New Member

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    Hi Dollyknot..I'm Richard and i worked for a year aboard the 'Nordic Swan' in Greece in the early seventies under capt Hardingham and his wife...and dog Whisky!!! Have you got any fotos of the boat ?