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Old 21-09-2019, 12:49   #1
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Jeanneau vs Amel

I am sure this has been discussed before, so if you point me to the right thread that would work too. I just completed 5 day live aboard 103/104 ASA course on a 41 Bene, and just so happen to be invited to an open house at my local dealer to look at Jeanneau sailboats today. I am interested in a boat that can comfortably house 6 people for a week, so after looking at a number of them 51 yacht looked like a winner. So here is the question... 51 base price is 429K. The same size boat by Amel or Halas for example is 3 times the price. I just watched an episode of Delos talking to Amel naval architect who also designs for the Bene group. So why is it 3 times the price???
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Old 21-09-2019, 12:56   #2
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

The biggest difference is labour cost. Lower volume boats take far more manual labour to build, and in addition boats such as you mention have far more internal detailing to cupboards, storage areas, and places that are not immediately visible. Doing this takes several times more hours of labour than tabbing in CNC-cut panels or entire sections of boat which is how volume production boats are built.

There is also the matter of specification. The "base price" of a boat is laughably far from the price on the water once you have added in all the elements you want. Boats like the Jeanneau will include only the very basics, intended for charter use. Amels include pretty expensive options such as bowthrusters and electric furling and many other items within the price you see.
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Old 21-09-2019, 13:16   #3
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

There is also the building sequence. Bene, Jeanneau, Hunter etc are build on some kind of assembly line. Line 1 builds the hull. Line 2 builds the deck ( upside down of course. Line 3 builds the interior on a squeleton frame.

Interior is hoisted and lowered in the hull. Deck is returned and lowered on top of the hull and bolted together. Easy to build a boat interior if you have acces from the outside for cabling cabinetry etc.

I know Hallberg Rassy and Amel boats are build the old fashioned way, inside the hull. So more build hours and better fitting together.

You pay for what you get.
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Old 21-09-2019, 13:20   #4
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

Both are good points and while that explains increase in price it does not explain increase in quality. Also, I do not personally care about the finishes or woodwork. I only case about sail-ability and longevity.
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Old 21-09-2019, 13:23   #5
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

Bavaria vs. Hallberg Rassy?


Fiat vs. Mercedes?


And why are G-tex HPX pants so vastly more expensive than plain "waterproof" overalls?


Well, well.


I hope the OP answer has been answered before. ;-)


Cheers,
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Old 21-09-2019, 13:29   #6
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

You can hit anything 3 times harder with an Amel than you could with a Bene ...


;-))))))


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Old 21-09-2019, 13:30   #7
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Bavaria vs. Hallberg Rassy?


Fiat vs. Mercedes?


And why are G-tex HPX pants so vastly more expensive than plain "waterproof" overalls?


Well, well.


I hope the OP answer has been answered before. ;-)

Cheers,
b.
So as a car and a motorcycle enthusiast I can explain exactly what the difference is between a fiat and a Mercedes, I am looking for help to understand this in sailboats. Itís is my understanding that most systems come from other manufacturers anyway... Masts come from Selden, winches from Harken, engines from Yanmar, etc...
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:17   #8
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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Originally Posted by Medved View Post
So as a car and a motorcycle enthusiast I can explain exactly what the difference is between a fiat and a Mercedes, I am looking for help to understand this in sailboats. It’s is my understanding that most systems come from other manufacturers anyway... Masts come from Selden, winches from Harken, engines from Yanmar, etc...
I've been on boats, from good manufacturers, who used cheaper materials and fittings on the interior (such as composition boards covered in laminate) AND exterior, (such as smaller and fewer winches, etc).

And if you employ several hundred skilled carpenters to do a lot of hand work, rather than some $15/hour laborers, you will get a nicer job, but at more cost.

On the other hand some very expensive boats rely on their mystic and cult following to justify the higher prices.

But, as stated here, most of the rest is in production efficiencies. I do not think that the design differences justify the price differences.

Personally I'd buy a Jeanneau over an Amel any day due to the nice sailing capability and good looks. I don't buy Citroen cars either.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:32   #9
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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I've been on boats, from good manufacturers, who used cheaper materials and fittings on the interior (such as composition boards covered in laminate) AND exterior, (such as smaller and fewer winches, etc).

And if you employ several hundred skilled carpenters to do a lot of hand work, rather than some $15/hour laborers, you will get a nicer job, but at more cost.

On the other hand some very expensive boats rely on their mystic and cult following to justify the higher prices.

But, as stated here, most of the rest is in production efficiencies. I do not think that the design differences justify the price differences.

Personally I'd buy a Jeanneau over an Amel any day due to the nice sailing capability and good looks. I don't buy Citroen cars either.
This is precisely what I am trying to understand. In addition, many posts I read said that the captain and crew have a much larger impact than the boat itself (within a reason). So I am better off saving a million and investing in training?
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:33   #10
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

Depends. Where do you sail and what is the intended use?

An Amel is the perfect blue water boat. But if you will sail out only the Chesapeake or Tampa Bay it is overkill.

I dislike delivering Benes as they have poor handholds below deck, so you have narrowed it to two good boats. Comes down to what is the intended use.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:37   #11
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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Depends. Where do you sail and what is the intended use?

An Amel is the perfect blue water boat. But if you will sail out only the Chesapeake or Tampa Bay it is overkill.

I dislike delivering Benes as they have poor handholds below deck, so you have narrowed it to two good boats. Comes down to what is the intended use.
Use is Chesapeake summer and Caribbean in the winter with ability to go back and forth between the two.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:41   #12
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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Both are good points and while that explains increase in price it does not explain increase in quality. Also, I do not personally care about the finishes or woodwork. I only case about sail-ability and longevity.
"Quality" relates to the intentions of the builder, and the budget they have. With a premium name like Amel, and the price of them, they can afford to up-spec a lot of things and buy the best accessories. Some of these come through to the quality of the final boat. Production builders have to make more accurate selections of equipment, as the final "quality" will tend towards the lowest quality component. There are plenty of examples of boats built in the 70s and 80s, and low-budget boats, where mistakes were made and the result is a poor quality boat overall. But the big production builders are much better at this nowadays, and tend to get the balance of components right.

I'm not sure that "more build hours" carries through to "better fitting together". Boats that are entirely CNC-cut can be unbelievably accurate in their fit, particularly of the major components. As an example, I have swapped doors in my current boat (because I wanted to change the handing of two of them), and it was an extremely simple job because each door and frame is an independent module and each is exactly the same size. I watched my Westerly being built (their larger boats are probably considered slightly above mid-range in terms of quality). Experienced carpenters spent their days fiddling with little bits of wood and ended up with a lovely finish. However, the hidden fit and glassing-in of these components wasn't to the same standard as it would have been had they all been pre-cut to exactly the correct size. It certainly took a whole lot longer, though.

Sail-ability is nothing to do with price -- that's down to the designer and their intentions. There are plenty of very high quality boats that will last forever but sail like a dog. There are plenty of fabulous boats to sail that you wouldn't want to take out in heavy weather. Many boats are designed not to sail too well (because for the charter market you don't want manic heel and highly stressed rigs). You have to pick the boat that makes the right compromises for you between sailability, quality, price, and many other factors.

Longevity is a trickier one. It's fairly likely that more carefully built boats will last longer, but if you don't care so much about the internal woodwork then it's doubtful that there will be a lot of difference. Any modern hull (say one built this century) is going to last pretty much forever or until you put it on a reef. The rest of the boat will last as long as you properly maintain it and replace its components at appropriate times. It's likely that people who buy a high-priced quality boat look after it well because (a) they have the money to get it done properly and (b) they probably don't charter the boat out. But I know people who bought a Hallberg-Rassy in the 80s and then spent not a cent on it because they thought they didn't need to with a boat of that quality. Twenty years on it was looking pretty rough.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:42   #13
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

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Originally Posted by Medved View Post
This is precisely what I am trying to understand. In addition, many posts I read said that the captain and crew have a much larger impact than the boat itself (within a reason). So I am better off saving a million and investing in training?
You are on the right track, but with a slight adjustment needed.

I don't think you will be able to purchase "training" to make you a great captain or sailor. Achieving that level takes a long time. The most talented of people get it in a few months of frequent (weekly) sailing in lots of conditions. Me, it took years to get any kind of decent skills. That is the beauty of sailing, you never stop learning and getting better.

To my way of thinking you will be better off buying a moderate boat and start sailing, sailing, sailing. Often I recommend that people join a racing crew and that is a fast way to acquire knowledge and skills.

Save the extra million or so until you have some years of experience and know exactly what you are doing and what you want.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:43   #14
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

Amels have 7í of draft. That may be a challenge in some spots in the islands. But the passage will be easier.

I believe the Jenneaus have 6í of draft.

If the 7í works, get the Amel. Hell of a boat and if you get caught I weather - the boat will be tougher than you. And be forgiving if you mess up.

The Jenneau can do the job, but is not as robust of a boat.

If you have not done a passage like that, hire a pro for the first 2-3 trips. Most of us are happy to teach as we go along.
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Old 21-09-2019, 14:45   #15
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Re: Jeanneau vs Amel

Also Amels are mostly center cockpit, those have a GREAT owners cabin!
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