“There is something special about a boat, and especially one you live on. As soon as we stepped on this ol’ girl, we fell in love.
We love so much… but the front door is probably our favorite part. We thought we would enjoy it, but honestly had no idea how useful it would become in our daily lives.”
SV Jubilee, Leopard 48′ Catamaran
Interview with the Captain — Julie Boucek
On Long Range Cruising
Who introduced you to boating/sailing?
My husband is retired Navy so he’s always loved being on that water, and I grew up fishing and boating with my family. The water has always been our happy place.
How did the idea arise to start this sailing adventure with the whole family?
When we were having trouble getting pregnant with our first child, we decided to quit trying so we could buy a sailboat to sail in the Caribbean. About 24 hours after making that decision, we found I was pregnant. The funny thing is, we didn’t even consider a sailboat again until seeing how much fun our kids had on a sailboat in Key West in June. We were on a 2 day charter on a old Morgan 44, and the kids were soaking it all up the whole trip. When our 13 year old said she would happily give up her phone for a chance to live on a boat and sail, we were sold on the idea! That was mid-June. We moved on our boat 4 months later!
Any notable memories/stories from your sailing adventures?
I think everyday on the water is notable. But our trip down through the Chesapeake Bay after buying the boat gave us loads of stories that seem to get more dramatic with each telling. We are far from seasoned sailors, but we feel like we definitely earned some sea cred from that trip!
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Leopard?
When we began our catamaran search, we weren’t set on any one make, and seemed to fall in love with every cat that we saw! Because inventory was slim when we were shopping, the two makes we saw the most were Leopard and Lagoon, and frankly, we loved qualities of both of them. You would think that would make it easier, but it actually complicated things as we liked different things about each make. In the end, it was the front door that sold me on the Leopard. While I loved the bright feel of the Lagoon and all of the interior comforts (like full length mirrors on the stateroom doors!), as a mama to three kids, I knew the front door would come in handy. My husband loved that the helm wasn’t separated from the cockpit on the Leopards that we saw.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this model (and how did they compare)?
We actually had a contract on a Lagoon 450S and it was a beautiful boat. She was sleek and sexy and offered many of the comforts that we loved in our land home.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing?
We entered this process clueless. Sure, we had bought other boats, but never for a liveaboard situation and never without a ton of research. We literally chartered a monohull in Key West in mid-June, and ON A WHIM sold our suburban house to move on a boat. House sold in two days so our boat search started without much lead time. I used Facebook to research boat brokers, and also did my own boat search. Interestingly enough, the boat we ended up buying was owned by a gentleman who had a home 10 minutes from our home in Georgia! Talk about a small world story!
What boats have you previously owned?
We’ve owned a 24 ft. Chaparral and a 41 ft. Silverton, but this is our first sailboat.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
We love so much about the boat, but the front door is probably our favorite part. We thought we would enjoy it, but honestly had no idea how useful it would become in our daily lives. I love that I can send one kid in one direction and one in another when they need time apart, and Bill loves that there is easy access to the front of the boat in rough conditions. This came in especially handy when we were coming around Cape Hatteras in rough seas and realized we needed something from the forward peak. I can’t even imagine if we attempted that retrieval without front door access. Our dog uses the trampoline as her yard so that door also makes that process a whole lot easier!
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
As far as improvements go, the previous owner had done so much that we didn’t feel an immediate need to do much. I did install a portable washing machine in one of the showers, but after a month of using a bucket and plunger to wash clothes for 5 people, that was a necessity. Many of the cats we looked at had installed washers and that would have been great, but the portable works fine too and with 4 showers, I was fine sacrificing one to make life easier.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
I’m hesitant to say this and am knocking on wood as I type, but we feel very fortunate that we haven’t had any issues servicing our Leopard. The Facebook community is a huge asset, and they’ve been able to answer most every answer. My husband has an engineering background so that has helped, but overall, we can’t say enough about the quality of the Leopards.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Leopard like yours?
As far as advice goes, I would say just go with your gut and take your time. My husband is retired Navy so we’ve moved to many different houses over the years. Boats are different than houses though. There is something special about a boat, and especially one you live on. As soon as we stepped on this ol’ girl, we fell in love. And even though compromises are part of each boat purchase and yes, there are a few things I would change (outlets in the heads for starters!), we all knew this could be OUR boat as soon as we stepped on. Glad we didn’t rush the process, because it was mighty tempting at times.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
Our first boat was Glory Be and our second was Glory Sea. So, it make complete sense to me that this one would be Glory Dee or Glory 3 (third boat and we have 3 kids). But after a few glasses of wine one day, my sister in law said the word “jubilee” instead of Jujube (what my nieces and nephews call me) and the name was born. It was the perfect combination of my name, Julie, and my husband’s name, Bill, and every time I see her name, I get tickled thinking about how it came to be!
Check it Out
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about SV Jubilee!