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Old 15-02-2015, 21:50   #16
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

I don't know how much long range cruising you have done but the steering location on the Amels really makes sense. I don't know how many hrs I have spent at sea wishing the steer station was more tucked in out of the weather. Although I was usually on autopilot so I could tuck in and sit about where the station is on an Amel, I would have rather had a comfortable helm seat there, dry and out of the wind, and close to the companionway. I have cruised in company with Amels that really liked that arrangement. Having a steering station all the way aft may be nice for a family weekend or racing with a full crew that doesn't mind getting wet.


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Old 15-02-2015, 22:15   #17
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

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I have admired he Sundeer line for many years now. Great boats!

-----

The mizzen looks close in size to the main. What are the areas of those sails?
The mizzen is about 70% of the main and the jib is a 95% jib. Total around 1,800 ft^2.

The rig can be balanced with all three sails up or mizzen & jib only or main only. We normally drop the main at sundown for comfort, as do many ketches.

p.s. the Amels and Sundeers have something that the others don't have: they are designed for a couple to live aboard full time and sail anywhere. Most other designs are based on some racing design spec or are designed for chartering.

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Old 16-02-2015, 03:28   #18
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

A Beneteau 50 might be good.
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Old 16-02-2015, 03:36   #19
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

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A Beneteau 50 might be good.

Completely different league
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Old 16-02-2015, 03:40   #20
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

The OP already has a B 50.
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Old 16-02-2015, 04:20   #21
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

Oyster. Pays your money and takes your choice...

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Old 16-02-2015, 05:49   #22
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

We have a tartan we are selling, but only 41'. Why are you looking for such a big boat?


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Old 16-02-2015, 09:52   #23
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

For a half year looking now

I like the Amel concept from a cruising point of view and specially the cockpit with the helm in forward position.
For one it garanties protection in bad weather condition like no other boat has shown me yet unless it has a pilot house. Just donīt get excited about wet experiences during extended periods. A dry enviroment is also positive for the instruments / gear requiered at the helm.
The helm station at this location makes the whole cockpit move and live different. It connects the lower and the upper deck while integrating the helm. With the the cabin lay out and the gally close by and the deck after the cockpit it creates a huge integrated living space.
Looked at all the other boats mentioned and they certainly are atractive but I canīt help it. In the over all aspect of long range cruising with that cockpit Amel for me is unique and can not be compared with a general center cockpit.
Also in regards to maintanace I like the engine room with all the important components centralized under the cockpit away from the living space with easy access and protected. This lay out doesnīt interfere with life in the living space yet is comfortable to work with compared to other lay outs
I think the helm in that position is perfect for comfortable cruising in a realistic point of few. I could not find any arguments against the helm in that position while I found a lot for any other design.
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:11   #24
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

Your thinking is precisely as mine when I bought Eleuthera. In retrospect, having done some heavy weather sailing on a broad reach, the hard dodger is a very good solution.

That was Henri Amel's intent; design a boat that a "long in the tooth couple" could sail together on a RTW. He sold 497 Super Maramus and Super Maramu 2000's... in that size of boat, built specifically for cruising, it seems he had the strike zone well targeted.
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:17   #25
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

I am the OP of this discussion and I really appreciate the boat suggestions that people have made. Thanks also for the comments in favor of the forward steering position on the Amel. They have given me plenty to think about. I am much more comfortable as a helmsman or sail trimmer with the boat and sails in front of me rather than above me as on the Amel, but there are some important bad weather advantages to the Amel's steering position.

I already own a Beneteau 50, so let me explain the basis of my question. I love my Beneteau for Caribbean cruising. Its 4 cabins make it easy to take any combination of couples, singles, kids, etc. with us and its 16' beam makes it a spacious and comfortable boat to live in. But I plan to cruise the South Pacific and maybe circumnavigate. I'm confident that the Beneteau is fully capable of doing that safely, but I would have to add $50-60,000 worth of equipment to it for long distance voyaging, such as a watermaker, wind vane steering, solar panels, wind generator, sat phone, AIS, radar?, SSB?, spinnaker, storm jib, storm trysail, sea drogue, cockpit enclosure, etc. Is it better to do that with a boat that is really not designed for long ocean passages, or is it better to sell the Beneteau and buy a "blue water" boat? An Amel or an Oyster will cost quite a bit more than I will get for the Beneteau, but they might be better investments in the long run. They will have some of that equipment already and might be more sea kindly boats than the Beneteau, although a 53 foot Amel is not as spacious as my 50 foot Beneteau.
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Old 16-02-2015, 12:05   #26
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
I am much more comfortable as a helmsman or sail trimmer with the boat and sails in front of me rather than above me as on the Amel, but there are some important bad weather advantages to the Amel's steering position.
I think it is natural for people to see the center cockpit helming/trimming position as different from aft cockpit POV, IF they are accustomed to an aft cockpit boat and IF they have spent a lot of time trimming sails in variable or light winds.

For a cruising boat and one set up for a trade wind route Circumnavigation, it would not bother me at all. In fact, I think it is one of those things that good sailors should be able to adapt to.

But, I also know that once you are on a long voyage, in trade winds or regular constant winds, there is not as much "sail trimming" needed as one is used to doing in races or bay or day sailing.

Once the boat gets going on a reach, you might not need to do much at all for a long long time. Just make sure you have redundant self-steering gizmo (autopilot and/or wind vane) so you can kick back and enjoy the ride while reading a good book etc. I have sat for many hours reading in the cockpit while a Monitor wind vane did the steering, day after day after day.
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Old 16-02-2015, 13:04   #27
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

While I am very much in favor of windvane steering, I was lead to believe it wasn't very practical for boats over about 40-45'. That the physical limitations of the vane essentially limited it to a somewhat smaller boat. Can anyone clarify this for me? (Sorry for the minor hijack).

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Old 16-02-2015, 13:23   #28
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

The Benetau is designed for very different typ of sailing and situations while the Amel concept in my point of view is only valid for extended cruising and live a board.
Due to the thought that maintanace during extended cruising has to be managed on board a comfortable engine room was another benefit of localizing all mayor components there. This also lead to the large access cover inside the protected cockpit.In the over all design those aspects requiered sacrifice towards below deck space of wich some was regained in giving the cockpit a more important role than just the helm station and or a limited open air space.
Also there is room for 6 person aboard the intention of the lay out was never to acomodate that many people. This boat for me is laid out for a cruising couple that lives on board permanent, making big distances and ocasional takes some friends for a ride.Extra hands from visitors on board are not requiered for handling the boat because she can be sailed easy short handed and even single. So all is towards comfort and no compromises with safety.

To have all that equipment a board the Benetau will cost quiete some money and it would be safer to find a good prize for a cruiser yacht. No matter what U do it will be difficult to change a multi purpose boat to 100% pure cruising boat and there are just some reasonable limits besides the upgrates U are thinking. It will still be a Benetau and what she was designed for.
The question also remains how much of that investment in the Benetau will add on as far as market value in case of reselling while I would beleave that with the Amel I have a fair protection of that value specially in the longer run.
So if You donīt need the 4 double berths I think Amel is a lot of boat for the money
Shure there are allways pros and contras and no perfect boat.

Just my opinion
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Old 16-02-2015, 13:30   #29
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

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While I am very much in favor of windvane steering, I was lead to believe it wasn't very practical for boats over about 40-45'. That the physical limitations of the vane essentially limited it to a somewhat smaller boat. Can anyone clarify this for me? (Sorry for the minor hijack).

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A windvane will steer a 45 foot boat very easy if the boat is well balanced and the sailor knows what he is doing. For crossing oceans its hard to beat a vane but for cruising the Caribbean mexico or the Med your money is better spent on a good autopilot.
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Old 16-02-2015, 13:33   #30
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Re: Good alternative to Amel?

It doesn't matter where the steering position is because for cruising, the autopilot is steering all the time. The pilothouse is very important and a game changer; only owners with a pilot house understand this fully because you need to have experienced the difference.

The separate engine room is another important feature when the boat is your house. You also need to have it so that there is more than enough room to comfortably work on the systems there.

Ketch rig is like the pilot house: sloop/cutter owners will not fully understand this as being better for cruising until they have sailed it themselves.

For those who think a Sundeer 64 is way too big: the interior of that boat is only 38'. It is on the widest part of the boat so not small at all but this isn't a big boat. A Bene 50 has more room inside. What you get back is 3 compartments with watertight bulkheads and no, as in zero, through-hulls or any other openings/seals in the center compartment which is the only one that could sink the boat when flooded. Also, besides the engine room we also got a 14' sail locker forward which is like a storage shed.

There's very few Sundeers and they keep high value so I would suggest the OP goes for the Amel and move to paradise
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