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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any one have some first hand knowlege or opinions on Amels? Looking for something safe and confortable for liveaboard and cruising the east coast and the Carribean. At this point comfort and safety are higher on the list than speed.
 

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Sailmc,

Fellow named Eric, who goes by Kimberlt or something close to that on here, owns an Amel. I know he has posted about his boat before. Maybe check the archives for either the boat name or his name on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hope you don''t mind joining this thread. Some time ago I stepped on board of an Amel Super Maramu (on a boat show in Germany). Although I had a very short glance I got impressed by what I saw. I will need to have a more thorough look and have been invited by the yard to come and visit. I am curious about some aspects now, like:
- how do you like the bowthruster, is it a problem that it raises in the forecabin?
- to me the head seems rather small. Is it workable in port and at sea. No problem with the curtain? Can you keep the rest of the head dry when you take a shower?
- Does the aft bed work in port. Is it easy to get in?
- Did you consider to have an electric cooker installed, so you can get rid of butane/propane altogether.
- I don''t see any dorades. Is the ventilation sufficient, even in wetter climates?
- did you install any other gear, than the standard inventory?

thanks,
Eddy May
Windfall, IP380
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Kimberlite, I recall your posts from quite a while back. I have several questions. I should preface this by saying I have not seen one in the flesh yet. The first question is performance oriented. Does the boat go to weather well enough to get you off a lee shore safely? I have no experience with ketches although I understand the rational on a short handed cruising boat of this size. Are the berths comfortable enough for long term liveaboard. They look good for sea berths. Is there adequet ventilation? It appears that there are no hatches in the aft cabin which I presume is the master. The constrution details that I have read indicate this is a very stiff solid boat. Is this in fact true? Are the systems all as easy to maintain as the literature says? Meaning is everything eaisly accessable? It seems that Amel uses quite a few propritary parts. Has this been a problem for you? Is there some support for these problems? Has storage space been adequate for your
purposes? Does the boat have any bad habits? What don''t you like?
My intended use for the boat is long term cruising of the East coast, Florida, Bahamas and the entire Carribean chain. Then probably liveaboard in Florida. I don''t anticipate any ocean crossings as my wife has no intention of doing that but that doesn''t rule out her meeting the boat on the other side. I.E. No circumnavigation in the plans. I''ve done my share of racing and performance cruising and now I''m looking for comfort, livability and safety for the long haul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,

I have owned my Amel for almost 3 years now and have accumulated about 20,000 blue water miles on her.
To date I have no complaints or problems with the boat.

The shrouds are fastened to the sides of the boat so the Genoa angle can not be brought in to point very high, But 30-35 degrees is a max. You also have a hundred horsepower engine and enough fuel to motor from New York to Bermuda. Getting off a lee shore is not a problem.
It does however make a very strong water proof boat. The boat can be lifted by the chainplates. And the hull to deck joint is laminated this coupled with the deck stepped masts makes for a bilge so dry that we always keep paper towels and such in the bilge.

The ketch rig is an advantage as there is a lot of sail up but without the hernia of handling very large sails. Having electric furling on main and genoa allows me to sail this boat solo.

The berths are low and come with removable Lee boards. We have sailed this boat in 25 + foot seas with a comfortable and safe ride. Our first passage was from LaRochelle to Guernsey England where we beat up the English Channel in very rough seas for 2 days.
No squeaks, no rattles, and nothing came loose and no drawers or cabinets opened.
This was a first for me as any boat I have been on in the past had everything on board flying around after a few days of abuse at sea.

The aft cabin has a port in the head and an after hatch. You can also order 2 additional ports in the aft cabin if you wish. We have an optional fresh air system where outside air is drawn in and blown through a vent system throughout the boat.

I am a big guy and never have had a problem getting to any of the mechanical equipment as it is all laid out in an orderly and easy to get to fashion all in the stand up engine room.

The Amel factory has the finest customer support in the industry starting from the one week class for all new owners, to a dedicated person to handle any warrantee problems, to a whole department to handle any issues and spares for out of warrantee.
ALL spares are in stock and it usually takes 3-4 days to get spares in the U.S.A. and Caribbean. They ship worldwide. The boat also comes with 5 large loose-leaf books of operating instructions and manuals.

When we crossed the Atlantic we had a crew of 5. Everyone had their own cabinet storage, and their own bunk. We had enough storage for all the gear, spares and food (2 freezers) For 25 days, with enough spare room for food for 50 days. We didn’t even come close to filling up all the storage. We also made enough water (40 gallons an hour) for hot showers every day.

My friend rounded Cape Horn 4 days ago with only his wife on board in a factory stock Amel with stock sails.

If you want the finest ocean cruising boat ever built {quote from sail magazine)
The Amel is your boat.

Are you looking at a new Amel or used boat? When do you plan on making a decision?
Where do you live? If you live near New York you can come up here to see Kimberlite when I get back from the Caribbean the end of April.
Fair winds,
Eric
SM 376 Kimberlite
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Eddy,

It is important to remember that Amel has delivered more 50 foot ocean cruising boats than any other builder in the world. They are 100% employee owned and the employees are always refining the boat. They know a lot more about offshore boat building than almost anyone. Their boats are all CE rated “A” the highest rating for a sailboat in Europe.

There is an agent for Amel in Ft Lauderdale his name is Joel Potter.
I have no problem with the bow thruster or it’s location in the forecabin. It is essential when docking in most of the world as you usually go stern to the quay in most places except in the U.S.A. I love backing up the boat 100, 200, 300 feet as straight as an arrow.
Why do you ask about the bow thruster?

The head is small, as the philosophy of Amel is to maximize the space in the boat.
Lets face it how much time do you spend in the head. I am a big guy and find the head quite serviceable. The head remains dry when showering as the curtain wraps around you and is held to the bulkheads by Velcro. It can be quite comfortably used at sea. The curtain is made out of some amazing stuff as it has never developed a spot of mold.

I do not understand your question about the aft cabin berth- please expand on this

I can’t see running the genset to fry an egg. Propane/butane is much more efficient. Better kitchens have gas and not electric stoves. Why are you considering an electric cooker?

The ventilation is very sufficient. I think dorades are much overrated –when offshore prudent sailors close and remove the dorades and it gets nasty below. The Amel is engineered to be comfortable below without dorades.

The stock Amel is ready to circumnavigate as delivered. I wanted to install a bunch of things when I ordered Kimberlite. Amel talked me out of them. They were right and they saved many tens of thousands of euros buy doing this.

I did install some optional equipment, mostly electronic, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Where do you live/sail?

Fair winds,
Eric Freedman
SM 376 Kimberlite
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Eric,
Thank you very much for your excelent review. You have answered all my questions. I think we will pursue this further. As to your questions I live in Wisconsin which is why we don''t have a good oportunity to see and Amel in the flesh. I will probably be looking for a new boat when the time comes to "slip the warps" and take off in a couple of years. I understand the wait for a new boat can be up to a year. Was this your experience? Hopefully the Euro will have calmed down by then. Thank you for your invitation to see your boat. When the time comes I might be able get to New York. Will you be stopping in the keys on your way back? I will be there the beginning of April. Could you explain in a bit more detail how your fresh air ventilation works. This is a new one to me.
Enjoy the rest of your Cruise and thanks again for your reply.
Miles Cherkasky
S/V Ariel
Jeanneau 43DS
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Eric,
thank you for your information. I live in the Netherlands and sail in and around it. Currently I own an Island Packet 380 and I think it is one of the better boats. I amlooking at a larger boat, like an IP485 or an Amel.
I spoke to someone about the Amel and he was not impressed about the way the bow thruster is positioned in the boat, hence my question.
Glad to hear about the head and about the quality of the shower curtain. I always hate these when the are drawn to the body, during a shower.
The question about the aft berth came up, since beds in the latest Island Packets are placed diagonally, giving access from two sides. The berth in the Amel can only be ''entered'' from one side. I was just curious how this works out in this particular situation.
I have been thinking about an electric cooker because of safety reasons. I am still a little bit afraid of those heavy gasses, which can enter the bilge and wait there for a spark to happen. I thought you could probably run an electric stove from an inverter hooked up to your batteries, so that you do not need to start the genset everytime you want to make some tea.
I understand that you are quite satisfied with the construction and safety measures of the butane installation. ( Being Dutch, I am still struggling with ''gas'', to drive a car and ''gas'', to cook with)
Just being curious: what kind of boat did you have before the Super Maramu?

Thanks again,
Eddy May
Windfall, IP380
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dear Miles,
As most things on an Amel the installation is straight forward.
The fresh air system draws air in from the cockpit to a blower located in the port locker behind the backrest. From there the air travels through the ductwork and into the aft cabin above the berth, between the companionway steps, and into the forward cabin. To retain the watertight integrity of the
second forward watertight bulkhead , Amel installed a device which allows you to close the vent in the forward cabin from the saloon. They are always thinking !
fair winds,
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dear Eddy,
I don’t know if you would want to use an inverter to power an electric stove. Most stoves use a few kilowatts to operate the burners. Even with Amels main bank of 12 batteries this would put a serious dent in your battery bank and would need immediate charging with a genset.

Most people that I know who have a bow thruster wish theirs operated like the one on the Amel. The thruster is located directly aft of the first watertight bulkhead. If it were located any further forward, it would be inaccessible. The fact that it retracts into the hull leaves the hull smooth and without drag. The fact that it drops down puts the thrust of the unit deep in the water. This is much superior to any other design I have seen.

With respect to the bed in the aft cabin offshore we usually sleep in separate bunks as there is just too much motion to sleep. When in port or sailing locally we do have to climb over one another to get out of the bunk. You can however save 4000 euros and not have a queen bed installed and go for the stock two bunk aft cabin setup.

Fair winds,
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eddy,
before i had the Amel I had a tartan 37 which i stripped to the hull and rebuilt the boat myself. I replaced everything !
Tartan said it was the finest 37 ever built.
i logged many offshore miles on her before buying my Amel.
fair winds,
eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dear Eric,

could you name anything of which you are not so happy with the Amel or anything which worked out differently than you expected?

Would you mind if I keep your e-mail adddress for a later time when I am closer to making the final desision?

thanks once more :)

Eddy
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dear Eddy,
Nothing comes to mind with respect to any problems I have had with either my Amel sailboat or the Amel factory.
They make a truly world class ocean cruiser.
The only thing I would have the factory change is a fuel tank of about 250 gallons instead of 160 gallons.
Please keep me in mind if you have any other questions. I also keep in touch with a number of folks who have sailed their dream and have their Amel up for sale.
fair winds,
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Eric,
My question does not apply to the Amel Super Maramu (wish it did), but instead to the previous Amel models. The Super Maramu is beyond our current budget, so we are considering several mid-80''s Amel models--either 52-ft Mango or regular 48-ft Maramu. Have you seen either of these models? Any input?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hi,
i have seen both the santorin and the mango. they are awesome boats .
some of the newer mangos have electric furling which is a great feature.
the beauty of the amel is that they are constantly evolving and each one is better than the last one built.
good luck in your shopping-- did you check in with joel potter to see if he has any used older Amels for sale?
fair winds,
eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
our Amel kimberlite is the sweetest boat i have ever been on.
we have been through europe , the med, across the atlantic, and back and forth to the carib from NY and we LOVE it.
fair winds,
eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Eric,
How have you handled the voltage differences on Kimberlite when you were in the States. As I understand the Amel is wired for 220 volt at 50 cycles. What have you done to be able to uses your AC systems while at the dock? I also understand that the DC system is 24 volt. Has this been a problem when you wanted to add something to the boat. Were you able to find 24 volt items in the states?
 
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