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Old 10-02-2016, 13:54   #1
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Talk Me Out of an Amel

So after much online searching and looking at boats I have finally found what feels to me to be the perfect boat for us. I have absolutely fallen in love with Amel. Specifically the 50+ foot models like the super maramu and the Amel 54 though I think there are a few others as well. A few of the key features I like are the safety minded construction, the self furling sails, the ketch rig which I find to be super attractive on any boat, the isolated engine room and the hard dodger and center cockpit layout. To me they just seem to be a really well thought out boat with a great eye towards safety and comfort.

With all that said, tell me why I'm wrong. Why shouldn't I buy an Amel?

We are buying used by the way and for the time being we will be sailing in U.S. waters, at least until the kids get older and we decide to make a run for it.

A few issues I know about that might cause some heartburn are below.

1. Most of these boats are in Europe, so I assume there is a pretty good chance I will end up traveling to get her or having to hire a delivery crew to get her to the U.S.
2. I assume the electrical system will most likely be built to European standards, though some research indicates this may not be that big of a deal as many marinas have both available.
3. Parts will have to shipped from France which will cost more.
4. VAT tax may be an issue buying over seas.

So what am I missing? What other makes should I look at considering the features I like about the Amels?

Tom
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:29   #2
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

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Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post
So after much online searching and looking at boats I have finally found what feels to me to be the perfect boat for us. I have absolutely fallen in love with Amel. Specifically the 50+ foot models like the super maramu and the Amel 54 though I think there are a few others as well. A few of the key features I like are the safety minded construction, the self furling sails, the ketch rig which I find to be super attractive on any boat, the isolated engine room and the hard dodger and center cockpit layout. To me they just seem to be a really well thought out boat with a great eye towards safety and comfort.

With all that said, tell me why I'm wrong. Why shouldn't I buy an Amel?

We are buying used by the way and for the time being we will be sailing in U.S. waters, at least until the kids get older and we decide to make a run for it.

A few issues I know about that might cause some heartburn are below.

1. Most of these boats are in Europe, so I assume there is a pretty good chance I will end up traveling to get her or having to hire a delivery crew to get her to the U.S.
2. I assume the electrical system will most likely be built to European standards, though some research indicates this may not be that big of a deal as many marinas have both available.
3. Parts will have to shipped from France which will cost more.
4. VAT tax may be an issue buying over seas.

So what am I missing? What other makes should I look at considering the features I like about the Amels?

Tom
There are 4 Amel's (53 or 54) listed on the US East Coast and another 6 in the Caribbean. More come and go all the time. I'd save yourself the trouble and the complexity of buying overseas and exhaust the ones here first.

Amel makes a well-regarded cruiser. They seems built very solidly to me. They aren't our cup of tea, though, but if it is yours, one would make a great family cruiser.

With respect to your concerns, though:

1. Consider an Amel in Europe might not have US import duty paid (1.5%). In addition you'll probably have several overseas flights to look at different boats, survey and sea-trial them. It is likely you'll need to do some work, or at least shakedown cruise, before heading back across the Atlantic. When I bought my boat it was foreign flagged and I made use of a documentation service to help me through the paperwork; if I were buying a US documented boat I'd have saved myself the $ -- others might do differently. Figure these into your calculation.

2. I have a boat with 230V/50Hz electrical system. It is not much of a problem if I want to go to a marina in NA because most of them have 240/60 -- and only a few appliances (dishwasher and washr/dryer) have a problem with the 60Hz. Everything else runs fine. However, when I want to buy an A/C appliance, such as an espresso machine or vacuum cleaner, etc., I need to find the overseas version or run through a transformer. It's not ideal, but not a big issue either.

3. What parts are you considering needing? I know only one Amel who has ever had to order parts from France -- and that was for the specially patterned rubrail after another boat broke free from its mooring in a tropical storm and collided with him. I have never needed to order a factory part for my Tayana -- I have a hard time imagining one that I would order. What do I mean? The rig is Selden; the mainsail furling, LeisureFurl; the engine, Yanmar; the headsail furling, Profurl; the genset, Fischer Panda; etc. From them I might order parts, but from Tayana, what would I order?

4. If you were to buy in EU, the boat may already be VAT paid. If it isn't, you'll have N days (N=90? 180?) to get it out of there. That VAT is paid will only mean that buying overseas is possibly more expensive because they paid VAT already. You may have to pay a US import duty (1.5%, I believe) if that hasn't already been paid.

Amel is a very solid and capable boat. Without going into the specific differences, we also have a boat designed for crossing oceans and long-distance cruising. If you only anticipate doing coastal cruising for the foreseeable future, as your post implies, it may not be the best choice. For the several weeks a year that I am offshore in her, I find her ideal. Many of the design decisions that are great offshore are less compelling at a dock or in thin water. I suggest considering carefully how you intend to use the boat and looking at many boats, and talking to many existing owners before coming to a decision.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:33   #3
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

french piece of crap. support your local organic boat builders!
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:43   #4
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

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Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
There are 4 Amel's (53 or 54) listed on the US East Coast and another 6 in the Caribbean. More come and go all the time. I'd save yourself the trouble and the complexity of buying overseas and exhaust the ones here first.

Amel makes a well-regarded cruiser. They seems built very solidly to me. They aren't our cup of tea, though, but if it is yours, one would make a great family cruiser.

With respect to your concerns, though:

1. Consider an Amel in Europe might not have US import duty paid (1.5%). In addition you'll probably have several overseas flights to look at different boats, survey and sea-trial them. It is likely you'll need to do some work, or at least shakedown cruise, before heading back across the Atlantic. When I bought my boat it was foreign flagged and I made use of a documentation service to help me through the paperwork; if I were buying a US documented boat I'd have saved myself the $ -- others might do differently. Figure these into your calculation.

2. I have a boat with 230V/50Hz electrical system. It is not much of a problem if I want to go to a marina in NA because most of them have 240/60 -- and only a few appliances (dishwasher and washr/dryer) have a problem with the 60Hz. Everything else runs fine. However, when I want to buy an A/C appliance, such as an espresso machine or vacuum cleaner, etc., I need to find the overseas version or run through a transformer. It's not ideal, but not a big issue either.

3. What parts are you considering needing? I know only one Amel who has ever had to order parts from France -- and that was for the specially patterned rubrail after another boat broke free from its mooring in a tropical storm and collided with him. I have never needed to order a factory part for my Tayana -- I have a hard time imagining one that I would order. What do I mean? The rig is Selden; the mainsail furling, LeisureFurl; the engine, Yanmar; the headsail furling, Profurl; the genset, Fischer Panda; etc. From them I might order parts, but from Tayana, what would I order?

4. If you were to buy in EU, the boat may already be VAT paid. If it isn't, you'll have N days (N=90? 180?) to get it out of there. That VAT is paid will only mean that buying overseas is possibly more expensive because they paid VAT already. You may have to pay a US import duty (1.5%, I believe) if that hasn't already been paid.

Amel is a very solid and capable boat. Without going into the specific differences, we also have a boat designed for crossing oceans and long-distance cruising. If you only anticipate doing coastal cruising for the foreseeable future, as your post implies, it may not be the best choice. For the several weeks a year that I am offshore in her, I find her ideal. Many of the design decisions that are great offshore are less compelling at a dock or in thin water. I suggest considering carefully how you intend to use the boat and looking at many boats, and talking to many existing owners before coming to a decision.

Good luck.
For now we will be doing coastal cruising but the eventual goal is to travel to Europe if not circumnavigate. I like the idea of buying 1 boat and sticking with it. It seems like wasted time to try to sell and buy again at a later date.

I'm also not opposed to other makes and models, but it seems that the Amels are a good bang for the buck type of boat. Who knows, maybe I won;t care for them so much after I've sailed a few.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
french piece of crap. support your local organic boat builders!
Not helpful, but thanks for your time.

Tom
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:55   #5
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

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Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post
Not helpful, but thanks for your time.

Tom
You're welcome!
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:58   #6
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

Amel is a good "bang for your buck?" Considering a new Amel 55 costs over $1,000,000, yeah I would hope so...
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:59   #7
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Cannot beat a Bavaria...
Voor Sprong Deutsh Technic...
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:04   #8
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

Sailing an Amel is not truly sailing as it is nearly like driving a car - not only the wheel is offset but you are also sealed from the elements (in a cadillac convertible way) by how deep you sit, facing fore (sic!), behind the windscreen, under the roof ...

Having friends on an Amel is not such a great idea - the boat is not truly meant for charter nor for big parties. It is a mom and pop comfortable nest for two. Neither can you call 'all hands on deck' as they are easily driven by one person, from the ultimate safety of that am deep cockpit.

You will not kick your foot against anything - the deck is clean and flat and secured with extra high, fixed handrails. Errrrrr, wait, wait! I meant to say that false teak looks disgusting!!!! And needs no maintenance!

You buy very little bragging rights as compared to buying an Oyster or Hallberg, unless you are French, which reverses the whole game.

You are unlikely to end up famous: do not expect your keel to fall off, your rig to end up overboard nor your rudder to hit the quadrant, rip itself off the boat and go fishing.

You will over time start to stop understand why cockpit engine access seemed to you such a great idea once.

You will roll more than others in rolly anchorages. You will look at cats anchored nearby and sigh.

You will sail only slightly faster than we do in our double ended 26'er.

Some CF members will label your boat ugly others will claim that French boats are made of papermache.

You will have problem making up a signaling fire out of interior wood when you crash on a deserted island.

Hehehe. As you can see, I am running out of ammo by now.

My advice? GET ONE.

Love,
b.
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:23   #9
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

I once reada very critical review of the Amel 53 by an American NA. TRy finding it on google
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:40   #10
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

check out the s/v delos on youtube, they have all kinds of "problems" with their 53 super m. (like where to go, what to drink, (and then what did i drink) how many naked girls can we have running around before the girlfriends get mad, when do i have to go back to work, (damn its to soon) ect. )
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:40   #11
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

The Amel is not a good boat to research online. You need to go see one and sail on one with your spouse. Many people love them. Many do not.

Last time I looked, Joel Potter was the way to learn about everything Amel in the US - both new and used. Start there:

Joel F. Potter - Cruising Yacht Specialist
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Old 10-02-2016, 16:55   #12
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

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Originally Posted by Tscott8201 View Post

With all that said, tell me why I'm wrong.

Tom
No person can tell anyone they are wrong.
But are you open to working it out yourself?

Friends asked me took at an old Amel where I was but they couldn't fly in. It was an old piece of ****.
But they were sold on it, sight unseen.
Fortunately they didn't go for it.

It may be an "Amel"... but its just a boat.


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Old 10-02-2016, 17:52   #13
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

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No person can tell anyone they are wrong.
Doesn't telling somebody else they're wrong account for something like 60% of forum posts?

There's a Amel in my marina. It's an attractive boat. Never seen it out of the slip.
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Old 10-02-2016, 18:13   #14
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

Amel is good, I like them as well. I also like Moody, Shannon, Passport, and Island Packet. My only concern with Amel was lack of storage and very shallow bilge. Shannon would be my choice. Great build quality, ketch rig, similar size.

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Old 10-02-2016, 18:29   #15
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Re: Talk Me Out of an Amel

I heard Amels have a lot of issues with electrolysis as well as maintenance. I would steer away as I understand they were very poorly designed and manufacturing was not well QA'd depending on the month they were constructed and the year. YI understand there are few symptoms up front. You'll get yourself into a dark corner right off the bat and not know it until its too late.

Did i succeed in talking you out of it?

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