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  #1  
Old 11-16-2003
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AMEL

does anyone have an opinion about an AMEL super maramu as a cruising sailboat for blue water?
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2003
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They''re supposed to be unsinkable, which should be a vote in their favor. Not eveyone likes how they look, but that''s a personal issue. Plus, if you''re on board, you don''t have to look at it anyway.
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Old 11-19-2003
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I believe that the Amels are built specifically for blue water cruising. I am not that keen on the looks especially the placement of the wheel on the bulkhead at the rear of the dog house. That being said, they seem to offer an aweful lot of quality equipment for the price. you should probably call the dealer, joel potter (i think), in Florida. Granted, he is not an unbiased opinion but he can espouse the virtues of the boat and even take you out on a sail. He sells them new and often has used as well. Good luck. I saw several in Newport, RI getting ready to leave for the Island via Bermuda a couple of weeks ago.




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Old 11-19-2003
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what do you see as the problem of having the wheel on the bulkhead?
eric
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Old 11-19-2003
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AMEL

Amels appear to be a highly evolved design based on the idea that moderation is a good thing (except for engineering). It was on our short list for a while (now it''s on the second-boat-when-we-retire short list).

Since most of your jib and furling/sail adjustment are electric, the controls are right in front of the wheel. it''s diff, not bad, just diff...

It is one of the very few center cockpit boats that have the cockpit low enough in the hull to help mitigate motion sickness. Also low freeboard, especially for it''s size

They have strong ideas of where stuff belongs (machinery sperate from living areas, good seabearths, sails anchors & dinghy''s outside. Pretty wood and people go inside.

Lots of well thought out details:
--companionway hatch board drops straight down into a well behind stairs. that''s ok ''cause engine room access is through the cockpit sole... which is more open cause the wheel is fwd.
-- Uncap the inside water dipstick & the measured rod pops up to show how much remains.

Design summary: half-blind founder was able to sail sucessfully. Wheel in protected spot & handholds in all the right places.

Amels won a bunch of top ARC spots (last year?) without much broken gear.

Unfortunately we haven''t figured out how to see and touch one out here in Los Angeles yet, and no FLA trips on the horizon. I can not tell you how fast they are compared to most other boats. (Specs would indicate lighter than most cruisers of similar size; heavier & less sail than ULDB styles).

If anybody wants to take me sailing on one, I''ll write up the observations
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Old 11-20-2003
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Red:

I don''t think you''ll find any Amel set up as ''unsinkable'' (where do I get one of those!?) but they do have collision bulkheads.

The good news about Amels - IMO of course - was stated by a friend who built his own boat and has been cruising it around the Atlantic for some years now. "I''m like the others who don''t like Amels," he said. "Their owners get to go play while the rest of us are busy working on the cosmetics." If you believe in the concept of form following function, they''re quite a unique breed in that regard and will impress you.

I see several significant problems with the Amels, but of course these are related to personal preferences and the size of one''s bank account, so they aren''t intended to apply to everyone.
1. Size. If you move about from one large, nicely equipped, well staffed marina to another (which is where I tend to see them), no problem. If you need to handle your boat with perhaps only one crew member, at times in higher wind gusts or in a surge, and in crowded anchorages...well, you''ll soon begin wondering why you thought you needed such a big boat. Our ketch is 42'' and very spacious...but we''d go down in size if that was easy to do. Having an even bigger boat seems like a strange preference to me.
2. Systems. Oh my, they are well set up. Systems are there main claim to fame, it seems to me. Sensible installationl and spec''ing quality gear help put off the inevitable repair issues, but they will surface. And of course, there''s always routine maintenance. The more ''stuff'' we cram aboard our boats, the farther away we can get from why we''re out there in the first place.

The bulkhead (offset) mounted wheel may look more odd than it is dysfunctional, especially on a boat that can be kept fairly level as one buzzes one''s sails in/out. The odd wheel kinda fits in with the odd look of the boat, don''t you think?

Jack
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Old 11-20-2003
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Jack,
While crossing the Atlantic this January past we hit a huge whale with our Amel.
We were running down wind at about 8 knots+. We stopped with a shudder in about 10 feet. Everything went flying. We immediately started the engine to scare off the whales buddies and opened up all the bilges. Nothing!! We kept sailing and checking the bilges. After the final 2000 miles to Guadeloupe I dived down to examine the keel and bottom ---nothing but some scratched paint. I just hauled the boat and there is no damage.

What an amazing boat—incidentally the boat has five watertight bulkheads.

With respect to the placement of the wheel, most cruisers do not stand behind the wheel.
If you read the comments of the list member who just abandoned his boat, he commented on the significance of a good dodger. What is a better place to be in a storm than under a hard top fiberglass dodger and being able to steer the boat under the dodger. I have put almost 10,000 blue water miles on my boat in the last year and have rarely had my foul weather gear on. I have so far sailed in shorts and have not had to put on long pants due to the fine cockpit enclosure.

I can easily sail my boat single-handed and many owners do. With respect to docking in a harbor with wind – the Amel has a TEN Horsepower bow thruster (590) amps at 24 volts. I just brought my boat to St Thomas and docked it backing down a finger of boats.
This was accomplished in 25 knots of wind in the rain at 2 am. NO PROBLEM!

I would have to agree with you that you find Amels in Fine marinas. I have found them in France, England, North Africa, the Canaries, the Caribbean, and in New York I haven’t yet had a chance to get to the Pacific and visit other Amels in Other fine marinas. We anchor out when we feel like it and go to marinas when we choose. It is probably easier to launch your dinghy and engine from an Amel than from any other boat. It is done with the mizzen boom and an electric winch.
Do You have to camp out to be a sailor or is living in luxury a no no?

The systems on the Amel are numerous. I find them amazingly simple to maintain with engineered easy access to all machinery. How many boats can you get to all sides to the engine or generator by simply opening the engine room hatch ( with stand up height)?

Refrigerator , 2 freezers, electric toilets, three air conditioners are some. Did you happen to notice that the Amel “bilges” are absolutely dry and a good place to store paper towels.
A 40 gallon an hour watermaker is a nice option – hot showers every day and all the water you want. On My way to St Thomas two weeks ago from New York, we listened to many boats that had to stop in Bermuda for fuel or water due to light winds.
How nice is it to just get out there and sail without worrying about the next stop for provisions, water or fuel. The idea of sailing is to get out there and stay out there. What is a better way to do that than to own an Amel?
As sail magazine said “If the Amel isn’t the finest cruising sailboat it is the next closed thing to it”

Fair Winds,
Eric

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Old 11-21-2003
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Eric:
We''d like to hear your feeling about the comfortable people-capacity of the cockpit.

We have six sailors in our family (and the 4 boys keep growing). We often sail today with six to eight people on board. How does that crowd fit with the layout of the Amel cockpit?
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Old 11-21-2003
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Was under the impression that Amels were constructed with positive flotation in the form of a solid foam between the hull and inner linings. Is this only the case with some models, is it a standard for all of their boats, or is it an option that can be provided?
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Old 11-21-2003
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you can sit 6 big people around the cockpit table quite comfortably. * people is a little tight.
fair winds,
eric

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