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Old 27-03-2015, 06:26   #16
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Re: Amel vs HR

We will soon complete our 9th year of living aboard and full-time cruising aboard a 2003 year model of an Amel Super Maramu 2000. We are ~3/4 way round; currently berthed in Sicily. Our Amel sails upwind at 54 degrees true and can get that to 50 degrees in stronger winds. We try to avoid that. We are cruising, not racing. There are so many features about the Amel that we like that it would be difficult to list them all. If we did not own the Amel, the only other brand boat that we would consider would be an HR. The Med is the highest latitude sailing that we ever plan to do, so cannot speak to the question of insulation for colder weather. The 3 standard electric heating units work sufficiently for us, and we plan to return to the Caribbean where no heat is needed. We considered adding a diesel heater since all the duct work is already in place but could not justify the cost and did not want to give up any storage space in the cockpit lazarette since we will be out of the cold Med soon.

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Old 27-03-2015, 06:27   #17
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Re: Amel vs HR

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
All of these boats are great for long distance cruising -- all in their own way.

The Amel is a bit of an ugly duckling, and much less spacious for its size, and has a lot of very eccentric features, but is a boat designed with a single minded passion for practical, long-distance cruising. Their owners are fanatical (as you have seen!). Great value for the money, too, especially considering that all of them are fully equipped.

HR is also a great long distance cruising boat, much more beautiful inside and out, probably faster (but not the older Enderlein designed ones), more spacious, more elegant. More expensive. Lacking some specific long distance features of Amels, and possibly requiring additional equipment, but with some lovely details for higher latitudes like the fixed windshield and sheltering hard dodger.

Concerning "fast" -- Amels, on paper, would not seem to be all that fast, but they achieve great passage speeds -- why? Because they are set up to be sailed easily by a short-handed crew; the hull is relatively narrow and easily driven; the low ketch rig is low stress and easy to keep sail up. As we've seen recently they are surprisingly light. Theoretically faster boats might not be faster on an ocean crossing, as the crew will simply not feel like pressing the boat for days or weeks on end. This is especially true of modern "wedgie" designs. The ketch, on paper, is expensive and much less aerodynamically efficient, but in practice it's great for crossing oceans short-handed.

Besides HR's (German Frers), worth looking at Contests (various designers), Oysters (Rob Humphrys), Discoverys (Ron Holland), Hylas (again German Frers), and English Moodys (Bill Dixon). Each with its own pluses and minuses. Any one of these, or an Amel, would be a great choice. I like all of them: Oyster are simply gorgeous and have the most wonderful spatial arrangements, with their wonderful opening forward-facing salon windows; Contests gorgeously finished and sail like a bat out of hell; Hylas comfortable and solid; Discovery with the wonderful inside helm station/raised nav table -- it would be hard to choose.
Agree with all your comments. For those of us with a skinny wallet, Amel is the preferred choice.
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Old 27-03-2015, 06:28   #18
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Re: Amel vs HR

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Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
I don't know whether the tiny bit of insulation in the HR means anything. Not criticizing the HR, but if you compare to house insulation it probably has only an R of 1 compared to your roof insulation with an R value of 30 or more.

The better decision is to sail where the average temperature is greater than your age! No problems with condensation then.

Another thought...steel and aluminum boats frequently have 1.5 to 3 inches of sprayed on insulation inside the hull. Much better than a fiberglass boat. Look out for corrosion though!

Duane
In cold climates (but not ice!) you really want a fully cored plastic hull. The difference is night and day compared to a solid hull. I believe all modern high-end boats will be built like this, but it's worth checking. If the Amel is single-skin, then this is a big disadvantage for cold climates.

Single-skin hulls will not only give heat loss, but even worse, condensation inside the hull, in cold climates. This is awful for a long-term, long-distance cruiser, leading to mildew, rot, general dampness and misery.

In warm climates it doesn't matter (from the point of view of climate), since the water will always be warm even if the air is temporarily cold, but up here where we sail when the water is only 2 or 3 degrees, it makes a huge difference whether the hull is cored below the waterline, or not.

An insulated metal hull might be ok, but we're talking about custom boats -- AFAIK there are no high end regularly produced cruising boats with metal hulls (maybe Trintella?). Very desirable if you are going to be spending much time in ice.
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Old 27-03-2015, 06:32   #19
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Re: Amel vs HR

I would not underestimate the value of insulation if you're headed to colder climes, in part because of fuel tankage but even moreso because of comfort. It just makes for a less drafty, more comfortable boat. The difference between cruising in the cold in an insulated vs. non-insulated boat is striking. A comparison to house insulation is pointless as a boat is not a house.

That said, depending on access to the hull interior you may be able to retrofit ensolite insulation fairly easily.
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Old 27-03-2015, 07:05   #20
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Re: Amel vs HR

They are both great cruising boats, but are very different. The choice between the two depends very much on whether you like the choices/decisions that the designer/builders have made.

Just to use one example, the deck material is teak in the HR and a teak look alike on the Amel. Neither would be my choice. There are hundreds of separate choices like this. The best boat is the one that comes closest to your ideal.

In terms of speed, the Amels are not fast boats (I have not sailed on the new 55), but as has been said they excel at covering miles in a very easy fuss free manner with a short handed crew and this really what is needed in a long distance cruising boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
An insulated metal hull might be ok, but we're talking about custom boats -- AFAIK there are no high end regularly produced cruising boats with metal hulls (maybe Trintella?). Very desirable if you are going to be spending much time in ice.
Aluminium boats typically have 2-3 inches of insulation which is more effective than a fiberglass cored hull and deck.

Garcia, Allures, Boreal and Ovni are all standard production aluminium boats of similar overall cost and quality to Amel and HR, particularly the first couple.

Once you get to Oyster and Discovery prices the equivalent metal boats become custom or semi custom.

Metal boats are all individually made rather than constructed in a mould so the process lends itself to easy modification. In most cases the major bulkheads are not structural, or at least can be varied in position without any adverse effects. Most people buying these sort of boats have owned previous yachts and know exactly what they want.
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Old 27-03-2015, 07:29   #21
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Re: Amel vs HR

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
. . . Aluminium boats typically have 2-3 inches of insulation which is more effective than a fiberglass cored hull and deck. . ..
Make sure that in such a construction you have a totally hermetic vapor barrier over the insulation, and if possible impermeable closed-cell insulation. Otherwise there will be condensation inside the insulation or between the insulation and the hull, which is big trouble. Brutal in an alu boat with alu's very high coefficient of heat transfer. That's because the dew point will always be somewhere in the insulation layer. Cored plastic hulls don't have this problem as the insulation is sealed between layers of GRP.

I'm sure this will be obvious to quality builders, but something to always be careful about with metal boats, especially second-hand ones built by unknown yards.
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Old 29-03-2015, 03:45   #22
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Re: Amel vs HR

The only condensation we get inside our Amel in cold weather is on the frames of the hatches. There has been no condensation on the bulkheads or on the interior surface of the hull. There are no spaces in the interior that the hull is not covered with something, either cabinetry or at minimum the patterned vinyl headliner.

As to comment by someone about the deck on Amel, this is one of our favorite features because the entire deck is laid up as one piece and then glassed onto the hull. This makes for a totally dry boat. No joints to allow water egress. This boat has the driest interior than any boat we have sailed. But, as others have stated, if someone wants a boat for high latitudes then they probably want a boat with as much insulation as possible.

Judy

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Old 29-03-2015, 03:59   #23
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Re: Amel vs HR

Thank you for all your very valid comments. We have looked into aluminum and steel, and we will not buy that. We had already decided to purchase a HR46, when we came across Delos and Bebe, and read everything on their websites and were very impressed by the Amel. We will keep comparing and listening to all of you! No rush!
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Old 30-03-2015, 05:12   #24
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Re: Amel vs HR

Neither make offers a pilot house version. High latitude, for me, I want to look out but be inside for the worst weather.

Other posters mention Oysters and Contests, Contests are very pretty boats, as are Oysters, but most older ones have low seating although are sold as deck saloons rather than pilot houses. The old view of too much topsides in a blow just is not as relevant these days with good weather forecasting, can avoid the worst blows passage making..

Just my opinion, I have a steel 46' cutter rigged pilot house I bought late last year, my last boat was also steel, a 41' copy of Nauticat. I like the 42' Nauticat but not many around for sale.

Happy yacht buying..
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:27   #25
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Re: Amel vs HR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In cold climates (but not ice!) you really want a fully cored plastic hull. The difference is night and day compared to a solid hull. I believe all modern high-end boats will be built like this, but it's worth checking. If the Amel is single-skin, then this is a big disadvantage for cold climates.

Single-skin hulls will not only give heat loss, but even worse, condensation inside the hull, in cold climates. This is awful for a long-term, long-distance cruiser, leading to mildew, rot, general dampness and misery.

In warm climates it doesn't matter (from the point of view of climate), since the water will always be warm even if the air is temporarily cold, but up here where we sail when the water is only 2 or 3 degrees, it makes a huge difference whether the hull is cored below the waterline, or not.

An insulated metal hull might be ok, but we're talking about custom boats -- AFAIK there are no high end regularly produced cruising boats with metal hulls (maybe Trintella?). Very desirable if you are going to be spending much time in ice.
What is a "fully cored plastic hull"? Sorry, English is not my first language and boat technique is not either... It would be great if you could explain.
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Old 30-03-2015, 07:34   #26
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Re: Amel vs HR

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What is a "fully cored plastic hull"? Sorry, English is not my first language and boat technique is not either... It would be great if you could explain.
It means double-skin, with foam or balsa in between inner and outer layers of fiberglass.

It's expensive to do this right (vacuum-infusion, SCRIMP, etc.), so inexpensive, mass-produced boats are typically single-skin below the waterline, for economy and to avoid the risk of water getting into the core.

A fully cored, double-skinned hull is stronger, lighter, and gives improved sound and thermal insulation. But is much more expensive, unfortunately.
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Old 30-03-2015, 16:30   #27
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Re: Amel vs HR

I absolutely adore Amels. I wish their fake teak were lighter colour as as is still tends to get too hot in the tropics. To my horror, the new ones even more expensive Amels do sport real teak decks. (Or did they really get this close with fake teak?).

You can't get a HR without teak though, unless you accept something very small or very old. To me, teak is a big no and no in the tropics.

The only way to get the level of protection you get on Amel is when you buy a HR with a hard top. And no HR has solid lifelines. And ...

Etc.

Two completely different beasts, you should have zero difficulty making your choice if you do know what you are looking for.

Cheers,
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Old 30-03-2015, 19:25   #28
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Re: Amel vs HR

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........ (Or did they really get this close with fake teak?).

.....
Cheers,
b.
Hey Barnakiel, the new ones are also fake. The lighter color is called "desert sand".

Here is a picky of my refurbished deck...
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Old 31-03-2015, 08:14   #29
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Re: Amel vs HR

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Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
Hey Barnakiel, the new ones are also fake. The lighter color is called "desert sand".

Here is a picky of my refurbished deck...
Well. It looked like teak when I last looked at it ;-)

Have a peek at this picture. What do you reckon?

Cheers,
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Old 31-03-2015, 12:04   #30
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Re: Amel vs HR

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Well. It looked like teak when I last looked at it ;-)

Have a peek at this picture. What do you reckon?

Cheers,
b.
Yep. Pure guaranteed fake teak!!! A neighbour has a new Amel 55 in Turkey and the decks look exactly as in your piccy
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