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Old 04-04-2017, 09:33   #1
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Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Hi All,
Wife and I have been re-searching, comparing, spreadsheeting many boats over the past year and have narrowed our choice down to these three (a few more made honorable mention). Budget is in the low $200s. All CC. Want safety, tankage, some sort of swim/gear step transom, genset, H2o maker, good size galley, crewed by 2, no teak you know the usual. Can get an Amel 1999-2003 or Oyster/Hylas 10 years older. Better selection of Oyster to choose from but most are in EU (pre-Brexit). Hylas comes second after Amel for features and I love layout of galley and passage to aft cabin (but rare in the $ range). Oyster is prettiest followed by Hylas then Amel but Amel ticks most boxes. Are my rose colored glasses broken, what am I missing. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:53   #2
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

You've got good taste, though you might want to include Tayana in there. Also, don't forget the Stevens 47, the precursor (same hull) of the Hylas 47 and 49. Great sea boats (I have a Stevens 47). There are a few very well equipped S47s on the market now that tick most if not all of your boxes.

Have fun!

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Old 04-04-2017, 09:55   #3
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Have you ever been aboard an Amel?

You either love them or hate them.

Remember to save a big junk of cash to get the boat up to snuff whatever you decide on .

Regards John.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:57   #4
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

I went through a similar analysis and comparison in 2012. I also looked at Moody's. In the end we fell in love with Hylas. I don't you can go wrong with any of your choices so in the end we went for the one that we loved at most when we first saw her. Today we have a Hylas 54 2003 here in the Great Lakes and couldn't be happier. The Oysters were more expensive and we didn't need better. We liked the looks and build of the Hylas better than the Amel, but again they're all great yachts. Good Luck!
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:03   #5
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

You haven't mentioned where you will be sailing. But, I would recommend you walk through a Nauticat 42 pilothouse sailboat before you buy anything else. Boats of this model are in or close to this price range now.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:15   #6
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

You've gotten a lot of good advice.

Number one is spend some time on all your potential boats in real life and get a feel for what you like and don't.

Amel is the odd one in that list -- as someone said, you either love 'em or hate 'em. If you are not turned off by their weirdness and aesthetics, that's the best value there is for a really fully equipped long distance cruising boat where every single thing has been thought through and taken care of. Closest thing in the world to a boat you could sail away from the works and immediately start a circumnav. As for me, I WAS turned off by their weirdness and aesthetics, so it didn't end up as a choice for me, but everyone in your position should have a look at them.

When I was doing what you are doing, I actually settled on Oysters as my first choice, as being the prettiest and most robust cruising boats, with a lot of great features like the superb salon arrangement.

I ended up not buying one (after one contract fell through) because they turned out to be very expensive compared to their condition, which was invariably horrible for 10+ year old boats. It seems to me that Oysters tend to be bought when new by a particular type of sailor, rich and possessing tons of free time, but lacking technical skills or feeling for technical things, and they tend to be used very hard without much maintenance, and sold on when things start to break. So when you figure in the cost of the total refit all the older ones would have needed, it just didn't make sense for me compared to other options.

Hylas are fantastic boats, and there are other makes which have been mentioned in this thread which are worth looking at. You should also look at other high end European boats -- Hallberg Rassy, Contest, Discovery, Moody (English ones, pre the Dehler takeover). Out of those Discovery the most expensive and most similar to Oysters; Moody probably best value but an orphan as the company no longer exists. HR and Contest are also excellent, beautiful boats.

I spent more than a year flying around looking at boats before I finally made my choice. Like choosing a wife, do this without hurrying, and enjoy the process.

P.S. -- I don't know what kind of cruising you're planning on doing, but note that different boats have somewhat different orientation. The Amel is a pure long distance blue water boat which you will not like as much for short distance weekend and summer vacation cruising. Likewise, pretty much all of the others will require re-equipping, for serious long distance work, if it hasn't already been done. They also lack deck storage, technical space, and other attributes which are really needed for crossing oceans. Of all these boats, only the Amel is really made from the ground up for ocean crossing.


And as someone else said -- be acutely aware of the cost of equipping and refitting an older boat after you buy it. Can be 10s or even 100's of thousands of dollars depending on condition and how you want the boat to look afterwards. It's not like buying a car!! I guess I've spent close to $100,000 on refitting/upgrading my own boat since I've owned her, although she was in almost like new condition when I bought her, with less than 800 hours on the engine.

Low 200's might be a tight budget even for an Amel, when you consider refit costs. I would think you would need closer to half a million; I have spent much more than that on my boat including the refit.

If the budget is inflexible, you might need to start looking at production boats like Jeanneau, which are a much better value and much more bang for the buck, than these high end boats, while still being very good sailboats.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:21   #7
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

We have a Hylas 44. No sugar scoop transom, but we love how she sails! Love the layout as well. Frers designs, so you can't go too far wrong. We don't have in-mast furling. The Selden units do need occasional service - something owners tend to overlook.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:28   #8
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Second what writers above have said and in particular Dockhead re Moodys. I have a Moody M46. You get a lot of boat for the value and the build quality will match the marques you have looked at. Your price range will force you to look at British model Moodys. Yes, Moodys are "orphans" in that the German (Hanse) Moodys are what are now made, but the equipment on the English ones is pretty much what you'll find on the Hylas or Oyster, so parts are really not an issue. Anyway, many of the readers on this list will envy your decision. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:37   #9
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Yes, you have gotten a lot of good information! But, information is just that. Someone said to spend time on each. I think that a great idea, but couldn't imagine how to accomplish that. Someone else suggested to truely think through what you want. That is tough to do if you don't already know, but again a good idea.

You have a great short list of boats but, they are all quite different in my mind.

As someone else said, have fun with the looking...so true, the work begins after the ink dries on the check (first of many checks!)

I would add that you can get a boat on your list in your price range, maybe. Add the Stevens 47 or Tayana 47 to your list as options to take seriously. They may be more suited to the pricing you are shooting for. They also have an excellent following for resale value as do your first three choices.

My wife and I settled on a Tayana 48 several years ago and like some of the others did a refit to suit our needs based on the prior 9 years on an IP 40. She turned out perfect (for us).

She is currently for sale...classified section.

Best of luck on the hunt, we'll see you out here (currently Bahamas).
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:53   #10
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moody46CC View Post
Second what writers above have said and in particular Dockhead re Moodys. I have a Moody M46. You get a lot of boat for the value and the build quality will match the marques you have looked at. Your price range will force you to look at British model Moodys. Yes, Moodys are "orphans" in that the German (Hanse) Moodys are what are now made, but the equipment on the English ones is pretty much what you'll find on the Hylas or Oyster, so parts are really not an issue. Anyway, many of the readers on this list will envy your decision. Good luck.
Yes, the English Moodys are nice boats. Obviously I thought so, since I bought one some 8 years ago. Moody was in direct competition with Oyster when the last generation of their larger boats was made, and they exceed Oyster standards in some respects (deck hardware, and generally sailing qualities are better), while on the other hand being not nearly as pretty. They are a good value for the money, but I don't think you can get a good one over 45' for low 200's, and certainly not including refit. A friend of mine recently bought an English Moody 47 (very nice boat), and paid about $350,000 for her. There are now some 54's like mine on the market for under $500,000, but they are now of an age which will require a lot of investment to get into good condition. To put refit costs into perspective, I spent more than $50,000 on sails year before last, and more than $10,000 on standing rigging the year before that.

To get below $300k all in, I think you had better be looking at Amels and maybe Tayanas, which are also very nice boats, but as always -- beware the refit costs! All boats are money pits -- that's one thing which does not vary at all between types and makes!
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:21   #11
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Excellent feed back and what I am looking for. I could up the budget a bit for the right boat but that would tap the separate spruce-up budget for a couple of years. Is that too risky if the right boat came along or is there no such thing as an upgrade free boat (at least for a couple of years)?
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:27   #12
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Some questions about cruising plans. Buy this spring or summer. Enjoy her a bit then on the hard somewhere till I finally cut the lines March '18. Then we fully move on board take it slow. Depends on where we buy as far as destination goes.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:41   #13
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

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Originally Posted by chuck1 View Post
Excellent feed back and what I am looking for. I could up the budget a bit for the right boat but that would tap the separate spruce-up budget for a couple of years. Is that too risky if the right boat came along or is there no such thing as an upgrade free boat (at least for a couple of years)?
One thing which is an immutable truth of cruising, is that there is no such thing as an "upgrade free boat", not even a new one.

Better to buy a little smaller or a less prestigious marque, but in better condition and with a healthy percentage of the purchase price set aside for refitting. Again, Amel is a particularly economical choice because not only are they significantly cheaper than other high end boats, they come from the works with literally everything you could practically ever want on the boat for long distance cruising. Without going to a production boat like a Jeanneau, your best chance of being all-in for under $300k is going to be an Amel, I think.

Another immutable truth is that upgrades and refitting are practically not reflected in the value of a used boat. That means that project boats are almost always a bad deal for the buyer, and that a freshly refit boat with major systems replaced and everything done well (not just superficially, for a sale) is usually a good deal for the buyer, because he could never do the work himself for the same money as the cost difference to an average boat which needs some work.

Unlike with cars, I think you actually may come out ahead buying a new boat. I won't buy another used boat, I think. My total cost of ownership over the last 8 years is not less than it would have been had I bought new, and I would have saved a lot of time on repairs and upgrades. YMMV.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:05   #14
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Chuck1,

You are missing the best: Hallberg Rassy!!

Good luck with your search.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:00   #15
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Re: Amel, Hylas or Oyster

Refitting can Also be a pleasure,and a kind of a choice. In that case, given Some technical background and experience , and a lot of time, you may have your show-case .

On a 54' from 1989, it means 70% of purchase price (but I have my exotic boiserie, etc.)...

On the other side of spectrum, do consider a shorter newer boat, and "pretend" to change nothing for 2 years, before either reselling, or upgrading it.

In my case, I can't afford a fully automated 70'we :-), thus l approached my 54'cutter as my ultimate boat for solo sailing.

Oysters went thru ups&downs in the product line after various financial squeezes, so get detailed info about model year.
Also, many are chartered... and as DH suggests it is more on the flamboyant "look at me" side of the owners spectrum.

A swan65 (late70s ketch) TALINA is being refitted here in Sicily after circumnavigation. I definitely prefer it to 95% of current production boats. Can get info for anyone interested.
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