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Old 05-04-2017, 11:23   #16
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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Originally Posted by chuck1 View Post
Hi All,
Wife and I have been re-searching, comparing, spreadsheeting many boats over the past year and have narrowed our choice down to these three (a few more made honorable mention). Budget is in the low $200s. All CC. Want safety, tankage, some sort of swim/gear step transom, genset, H2o maker, good size galley, crewed by 2, no teak you know the usual. Can get an Amel 1999-2003 or Oyster/Hylas 10 years older. Better selection of Oyster to choose from but most are in EU (pre-Brexit). Hylas comes second after Amel for features and I love layout of galley and passage to aft cabin (but rare in the $ range). Oyster is prettiest followed by Hylas then Amel but Amel ticks most boxes. Are my rose colored glasses broken, what am I missing. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time.
Although I'm French & Canadian I'm not completely convinced by Amel mainly because of their cockpit & galley layout, not to speak of their ketch rig. One thing in their favor is that they are very well built but I'm convinced Oyster are also well built. Look at this 1988 Oyster galley layout, one can use it offshore http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/62881 & you're left with $50K to get it offshore ready
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:12   #17
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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Although I'm French & Canadian I'm not completely convinced by Amel mainly because of their cockpit & galley layout, not to speak of their ketch rig. One thing in their favor is that they are very well built but I'm convinced Oyster are also well built. Look at this 1988 Oyster galley layout, one can use it offshore http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/62881 & you're left with $50K to get it offshore ready

Teak deck on old boat , very very scary , be prepared for the work and money to make it right. Can't tell if it is glued or screwed but in the yachtworld listing you can see it failing in the cockpit . Stick with a boat with glass decks , pardon the pun.

Personally I love the key hole galleys, or what I call them , "dead end galleys" . Once you are in that space you can brace yourself in all directions and are not impeding anyone else's movements around the boat . I don't like walk through galleys on center cockpit boats , If you have guests on board they are almost in your cabin when they want a coffee in the morning and you want to sleep . Grrrr. On our boat we have the chart table and the washing machine in the walk through space to the master cabin . Creates a kind of buffer zone between the main cabin and the master . We find it affords better privacy .

Enjoy the search.

Regards John.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:58   #18
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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You've gotten a lot of good advice.

Number one is spend some time on all your potential boats in real life and get a feel for what you like and don't.

Amel is the odd one in that list -- as someone said, you either love 'em or hate 'em. If you are not turned off by their weirdness and aesthetics, that's the best value there is for a really fully equipped long distance cruising boat where every single thing has been thought through and taken care of. Closest thing in the world to a boat you could sail away from the works and immediately start a circumnav. As for me, I WAS turned off by their weirdness and aesthetics, so it didn't end up as a choice for me, but everyone in your position should have a look at them.

When I was doing what you are doing, I actually settled on Oysters as my first choice, as being the prettiest and most robust cruising boats, with a lot of great features like the superb salon arrangement.

I ended up not buying one (after one contract fell through) because they turned out to be very expensive compared to their condition, which was invariably horrible for 10+ year old boats. It seems to me that Oysters tend to be bought when new by a particular type of sailor, rich and possessing tons of free time, but lacking technical skills or feeling for technical things, and they tend to be used very hard without much maintenance, and sold on when things start to break. So when you figure in the cost of the total refit all the older ones would have needed, it just didn't make sense for me compared to other options.

Hylas are fantastic boats, and there are other makes which have been mentioned in this thread which are worth looking at. You should also look at other high end European boats -- Hallberg Rassy, Contest, Discovery, Moody (English ones, pre the Dehler takeover). Out of those Discovery the most expensive and most similar to Oysters; Moody probably best value but an orphan as the company no longer exists. HR and Contest are also excellent, beautiful boats.

I spent more than a year flying around looking at boats before I finally made my choice. Like choosing a wife, do this without hurrying, and enjoy the process.

P.S. -- I don't know what kind of cruising you're planning on doing, but note that different boats have somewhat different orientation. The Amel is a pure long distance blue water boat which you will not like as much for short distance weekend and summer vacation cruising. Likewise, pretty much all of the others will require re-equipping, for serious long distance work, if it hasn't already been done. They also lack deck storage, technical space, and other attributes which are really needed for crossing oceans. Of all these boats, only the Amel is really made from the ground up for ocean crossing.


And as someone else said -- be acutely aware of the cost of equipping and refitting an older boat after you buy it. Can be 10s or even 100's of thousands of dollars depending on condition and how you want the boat to look afterwards. It's not like buying a car!! I guess I've spent close to $100,000 on refitting/upgrading my own boat since I've owned her, although she was in almost like new condition when I bought her, with less than 800 hours on the engine.

Low 200's might be a tight budget even for an Amel, when you consider refit costs. I would think you would need closer to half a million; I have spent much more than that on my boat including the refit.

If the budget is inflexible, you might need to start looking at production boats like Jeanneau, which are a much better value and much more bang for the buck, than these high end boats, while still being very good sailboats.
DH--excellent post...right up to the point where you recommended a Jeanneau.

OP--if you are liking Oyster and Hylas you will probably be extremely disappointed in a Jeanneau. If you like the way Amel is fitted out, maybe not.
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Old 05-04-2017, 14:58   #19
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Thanks all. Passports, Outbounds were out of the $ range. HALLBERG-RASSYs are stout and pretty but my $ range would get me a 42'. ok size but prefer a bit bigger and no teak (unless a super value). Tayanas deserve a second look. Keep the advice coming! Sugar scoop is preferred for diving activities.
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Old 05-04-2017, 15:11   #20
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

No teak?

Then likely not an Oyster. Nearly all the ones I have seen were teak clad. There may be some old ones without teak perhaps.

Oyster vs. Amel there is no winner as they are both great boatyards. Amel is often easier when the crew is few people. Amel also has the better cockpit in rough weather and when the weather is rainy and windy. But you can get an Oyster with twin wheels and center walk-thru - something not available in Amels. And few Amels are sloops, so this may too count should you insist on a sloop.

Hylas no idea but I know they are considered sort of like US HR or Contest equivalent - top shelf anyways.

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Old 05-04-2017, 16:46   #21
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

I chose an Amel 2 years ago after posing all the same questions. My boat is extremely safe and, during our Transat, we managed a nice 17.1 knot surf in a 55 knot squall.... knocked all the barnies off the bottom.

But you won't go wrong with any of your selections.

GL. Get a top rung survey.
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Old 05-04-2017, 16:53   #22
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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DH--excellent post...right up to the point where you recommended a Jeanneau.
Just curious, why don't you like a Jenneau?
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Old 05-04-2017, 17:37   #23
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

You also failed to mention the Taswell boats-both the 43 and the 49. I've been to the yards that made the Taswells, and the yard that makes the Hylas, and the yard that makes the Tayanas. We bought a Taswell, and have never been sorry-she's a great boat, very well made, and super safe (read that to mean...no short-cuts taken...solid and predictable!). My next, very very close choice was the Hylas. The Oyster is also a very well built boat, but from our experience (albeit dated) some more expensive unless you find the right deal. In my opinion, the Tayanas are a very good, solid boat, but the quality and workmanship does not come up to the Hylas and Taswell level. Less cost, but less boat, in my opinion. Do not rule out the Taswells in your search.
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Old 05-04-2017, 17:45   #24
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

I am an Amel Owner. They are very well built, easy to maintain and easy to sail. Details like built in conduits for electrical to make adding gear easy (even in older models), lots of storage in a completely dry bilge thanks to all sink/shower/anchor locker drains led back to a dedicated sump. The engine room alone was enough to convince me but then throw in the protected helm station with electric sail controls at hand and you have a great boat.

I don't understand why people think this boat is not attractive. The other downside mentioned was the ketch rig, which I find a positive.

This boat also has a twin headsail downwind configuration (poles on both sides) that allows you to have the power of a spinnaker without all the hassle, and since both sails will simultaneously furl on the headstay you can carry it into the night and furl it with the electric motor by yourself when the wind pipes up.

It's a great boat and has a strong following, including a dedicated Owners Group on Yahoo that provides advice on repairs for the asking. It also has a strong resale history.

That's my two cents, enjoy the hunt for your boat!
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Old 05-04-2017, 18:09   #25
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

To make a good recommendation we still need to know the intended purpose of the boat... or did I miss that?

If you plan to live aboard full time and cruise anywhere over the world in comfort then your list has only one viable option and that is the Amel Super Muramu. This is the only boat in the list that was designed for doing just that.

If you choose another one then you will be modifying it to make it more like the Amel. The cockpit and galley are great for cruising. It is very low maintenance, which will save you tens of thousands in the first 2 years compared to others... and more if the others have a teak deck.

I have none of these boats so I'm not promoting my own boat. Well, I would because it's better than even the Amel, but it's not in your list
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Old 05-04-2017, 18:59   #26
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Amels are boats and they wear out. Yes they were fitted out well from factory but that equip is 15-19 years'old now. I'll be cruising with two amels this year, great boats , one has had over 150k spent on it in the last 3 years refitting.
Realistically if you plan to spend in the low 200's your probably best to buy a boat around the 150-170k mark,, the refit will bring it up to the $ mark your looking at.
When I purchased my boat 4 months back it was immaculate, 830hr on the engine, I've spent 40k+ fitting her out!
Id rather buy an immaculate production boat and put new stuff on her than purchase at the bottom end of the market your looking at.
Just an opinion.

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Old 06-04-2017, 00:36   #27
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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Just curious, why don't you like a Jenneau?
In a word they are a far cry from an Oyster or Hylas.
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Old 06-04-2017, 00:46   #28
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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In a word they are a far cry from an Oyster or Hylas.
That's true, but it doesn't mean they are bad! It's like saying a VW is a far cry from a Ferrari, which is also a true statement.


Jeanneaus are inexpensive, mass produced boats which certainly lack some qualities of expensive boats like Oysters. They are not as strong, not as well built, not as beautiful, etc., etc.

But they are good sailing boats (in many cases they sail better than Oysters, especially older Oysters) and are well designed for their purpose.

I mentioned Jeanneau specifically because I particularly like them compared to other mass produced boats. They were the last mass produced boats to go to hull liners, in the early 2000's I believe. So a Jeanneau from before then will be stick built like an Oyster. If you have budget constraints, it's very worth looking at these. Lot of bang for the buck.
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Old 06-04-2017, 00:58   #29
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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...Jeanneaus are inexpensive, mass produced boats which certainly lack some qualities of expensive boats like Oysters. They are not as strong, not as well built, not as beautiful, etc...
On this much we can agree. And you could have added many other boats to that list.

Based on the Jeanneau's I have inspected, and the one I helped deliver, I would recommend the OP simply avoid. Hylas is head and shoulders its superior.
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Old 06-04-2017, 01:17   #30
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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On this much we can agree. And you could have added many other boats to that list.

Based on the Jeanneau's I have inspected, and the one I helped deliver, I would recommend the OP simply avoid. Hylas is head and shoulders its superior.
Sorry but that's just silly. Are they Amels? of course not, will they do the job required? without a doubt. A very good friend of mine circumnavigated in his 1999 45.2 jeanneau. Good build, roomy and fast. He also run it hard on to a reef in the Philippines, the boat not only survived well but sailed several hundred nm's to Kota Kinabalo with part of its rudder missing.
I think your missing the point, no ones saying jeanneu is better, that dosent mean its not great value for money and will more than do the job.
I wonder if peoples biases come from their experience or they were there prior to experience thus shaping those future experiences?

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