HR vs Amel - Cruisers Forum
I realize I'm late to the discussion and the OP may have already decided his course. If not though, here's my thoughts to add to the discussion.
- I own a 1994 Amel Super Maramu. We've now put about 7000 miles on her in the past 3 years. I sailed on an 1996 HR46 for almost 3 weeks in 2011 from Brisbane
to Opua, NZ, then down with east coast
of the North Island to Auckland
. We also buddy boated on and off in the Caribbean
,an HR46 for about a month a year ago.
- Value for money. You're getting virtually the same capability for 1/2 to 2/3 the cost. Both are true bluewater cruisers, similar size, similar displacement
, similar equipment
, similar amenities (two fridges, watermakers, washing
machine, etc), hard Dodgers, centre cockpit
, similar storage
, similar speed. I don't know that maintenance
costs are much different though. The equipment
list is pretty comparable between the two, with size and complexity being pretty much the same for the two boats. At least it is until you have to replace the teak decks on the HR!
. I felt the Amel systems were definitely more accessible for maintenance and having the dedicated engine
room is a REALLY nice feature. Not having to remove companionways and side panels
in the living area for routine maintenance is a feature I appreciate even more after having cruised on the boat for a couple of years. Plus having the If the HR has a generator
installed it looked like access for maintenance would be a bear (essentially having to crawl over the main engine
to reach parts
- Short handed sailing capability. If the HR46 has in-mast furling
, this is close to a wash, for all but downwind sailing. The downwind poles and sail setup on the Amel is truly much easier than the HR's setup and I regularly set up the twin headsails singlehanded. I'll also leave up the twin headsails longer than a lot of other boats will leave their cruising spinnakers because I can fuel
them in so easily. I also love the ketch
design for balancing out the boat and reducing sail sizes for easier sail handling.
- Other owner support. There is a great owners group on Yahoo. The other Amel owners I've met are much more DIY than many (but certainly not all) of the HR owners I've met, and therefore a much larger network of support from other owners seems to be available.
capacity. I would love to have the HR's fuel capacity. It gives you more options IMO.
- Sailing performance. Clearly the HR will out point the Amel upwind. Having sailed for short periods alongside the HR46 in the Caribbean
a few times I'll also have to give a slight edge to the HR on other points of sail. They've got a slightly longer waterline and a bit more updated underbody with a but more volume aft also. However, the points previously raised though about the Amel's ability to consistently knock out respectable day mileages is absolutely correct and I ultimately I think there's only minor real world differences here unless you're a sail tuning fanatic that's constantly driving the boat hard.
- Construction. Both are well built bluewater boats, with good reputable suppliers for all major systems, stainless tanks
, fully glassed in bulkheads, strong rigging/chainplate construction, well integrated systems, etc, etc, etc, so I dont think there's a safety
difference here. The Amel crowd may disagree here though, but I felt the construction of the HR46 was really nice and slightly better. Lead keel
on the HR vs cast iron on the Amel is just an example of this.
- Aesthetics and layout options. I love our boat, but I also recognize that Amels are an acquired taste. Squarer lines, off-white gelcoat
colouring, bulkhead steering
position and the fake teak on the Amel just aren't everyone's cup of tea. The interior
cabinetry work on the HR is nicer also, but of course that's part of the extra cost. If you need 3 proper cabins, that's available in the HR, but not the Super Maramu. It is on the Amel 54, but that's a completely different discussion. My wife much preferred the galley
layout in the Amel than the HR, but that's a very personal preference and I'm confident that both work equally well in the end.
- Factory support. Depending on where you are cruising I think this could be different. If you're in the Med or Caribbean you'd be close to Amel service
centres and I know the one in Martinique
was always very helpful and had good inventory on site. Outside of that though, I think HR may have a slight advantage. From talking to HR owners, HR's factory support is reportedly outstanding. Amel owners seem to have varying opinions on how responsive the Amel factory is for parts
. Some love them, some curse them. I haven't had to order much from them directly so can't provide my own perspective.
Just my opinions. YMMV. Overall, I think either will do what you're looking for. It really just comes down to what you want, and how much you're willing to spend. If the aesthetics of the Amel are a deciding factor, and I know they are for some, you might consider an older HR49, if the cost of the HR46 is just too much. I did that, but in the end, the Amel won out for us. The ease of handling, maintainability and value for money were the deciding factors, and I just couldn't justify the extra expense of the HR46 for pretty much the same capability. HR49's that came up while we were looking were all older and needing some TLC, plus weren't typically as well set up for shorthanded sailing as the Amel.
Amel Super Maramu
Currently cruising: South Pacific
with my wife, 15 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter