Re: Buying a 2000 or a Red Line edition SM
I chose the same route as Jean-Pierre, and purchased an older SM(hull 72), and have been engaged in refitting since we got her back to the USA in June 2014. We found a basically solid boat in Guatemala at a very good price, and are mostly replacing and updating old systems. In our case, the boat had new sails and standing rigging, genenerator had been replaced, and many of the electronics had been replaced within the last few years. Also the boat had lots of spares, tools and equipment left onboard by the previous owner. Much of the re-fitting we have been doing ourselves, and have hired out some work which we did not feel up to.
Here is a short list of what we have done or will accomplish prior to going sailing this summer:
All new running rigging
Rebuilt the propane locker to accept larger capacity bottles
Purchased the arch/davits from Emek Marine, had it shipped to Florida, and installed it on the boat a couple of months ago.
3 x 140 watt Kyocera solar panels installed on the arch with a Morningstar MPPT controller.
New non Amel fresh water pump and bilge pump.
Planning to purchase and install a "silent wind" wind generator.
Replaced OEM refrigerator with a 2 drawer Vitifrigio stainless (We had to do a little cutting to get it in, but it is a dramatic improvement over the stock refrigerator)
Replaced the OEM oven with a Dickenson Caribbean model. ( This oven was a very good fit, and we have found the quality to be better than most others out there...cost a bit more, but you get what you pay for)
Installed new dual racor primary filters, and a Fuel Boss fuel polishing system in the engine room. (It is great to be able to polish your fuel at any time you please)
New interior upholstery and cushions in ultra-leather. Part of it has just been installed, and the rest is coming soon. It is drop dead gorgeous!!
I just ordered the Vesper Marine AIS 9000 Vision model. This is an incredible unit which will also send the data via wifi to your Ipad/phone/laptop.
In the process of ripping out the old 10gph Amel watermaker, and installing a 30gph model from Electromax. (We do have a clothes washer, and the extra capacity will be nice)
Also in the process of installing a new high output alternator and regulator along with new pulleys on the engine to accept a serpentine belt.
In the process of installing a 2500 watt Mastervolt inverter. (The boat came with a fairly new large Mastervolt battery charger with monitoring system. (I highly recommend the Mastervolt products, as they are well built, and have excellent customer support and service)
Just replaced the 15' long 2.5" exhaust hose. (Our muffler is a custom built stainless box and in excellent condition)
All new interior Led lighting. We used a combination of 6 Alpenglow units, and numerous Marinbeam stainless domes. (The interior lighting is dramatically improved, has very little amp draw)
New LED bulbs for all deck level nav lights/mast light/deck light, and a new LED tri-color/anchor and strobe light fixture.
What do I fell like I have gained by taking the old boat and re-fitting approach? I've leaned more about the workings of our boat and systems in a year than I would have in 5 years by doing all of the work myself that I could. We will set out on our circumnavigation with mostly new systems, and the systems and equipment that I wanted. We will have a substantially larger investment than the original purchase price, but still far less than I could have purchased the equivalent Amel for. It has been a lot of work, but has been rewarding in both the end result, and the money we have saved.
Our engine is the original Perkins Prima 78hp model. We have a Max Prop, and have found no issues with needing a larger powerplant. Our motor has 4200 hours, but seems to be in excellent shape, and even if we had to replace it at a later date, it would still be within our budget.
With regards to batter capacity, I think ours was modified at some point in it's life. We have 2 banks. One is located in the engine room, and consist of 4 large Trojan 6v, and the starter battery. We have an even larger bank of 8 Trojan T-105 6v batteries under the pilot berth where you find them on the newer Amels. Our total amp/hr capacity is 860 ah at 24 volts. We find this to be more than adequate, but could up it to 1000 ah if we were to change to Lifeline AGM batteries. I love AGM batteries, but am hesitant to go that route due to the difficulty of obtaining them in the more remote parts of the world, and the added expense.
What ever route you choose to take, I think you will find the SM will be a great boat. We are fairly new owners, but based on what Ive seen so far, we are happy with our choice.
Good luck on your search.
S/V Aloha SM72
Currently in St Augustine, FL