Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Keel moving???


I was kinda waiting for Olivier to chime in on this but he must be busy finishing off his work list so he can go on holiday in August. Gary is right about the Super Maramu keel removal. Amel had to cut off the foot/bottom of the fiberglass stub keel in order to remove the ballast assembly. This was after every possible method and even some hair brained ideas were tried to remove the iron by any other means. The keel is fastened to the boat with 24 oversized keel bolts, twice as many as required by several regulating bodies. The shape of the bolts and the washers/receiver assemblies beneath the bolts are specially configured to resist high impact shearing loads in this area that would occur in a high speed grounding.

Years ago, a Super Maramu lost its ballast keel in a collision with a rock face outcropping off the coast of British Columbia Canada. It needs to be noted that the fiberglass foot of the stub keel was torn away, probably as a result of previous severe damage to the keel when the boat was knocked over while on the hard during a hurricane where the hull and keel area were violated in several spots. The boat was, at that stage, declared a TOTAL LOSS by the insurance company and the policy holder was paid off. The totaled boat was sold to an opportunist who patched it up and sold it to the next owner, convincing him he did not need a survey and none was done for months until the boat was far removed from the ‘scene of the crime’ and by a surveyor who not only had a white cane but had never even heard of an Amel. OK, I’m just kidding about the cane. The boat was subsequently repaired and has been sold at least twice that I know of. BUYER BEWARE. Those of you that I have had the good fortune to sell a used Super Maramu to probably recall that just before the boat came out of the water for the survey, I elaborated on three things. First, there will always be a horizontal line of demarcation between the fiberglass stub keel and the iron ballast if the boat has been sailed and heeled even slightly. Second, there should be a torrent of water emanating from the bottom of the rudder blade as the rudder is hollow and designed by The Good Captain to have water inside as it is impossible to build a rudder which maintains watertight integrity for its entire useful life, so The Captain invites the water in and uses the weight of the water to act as a damper to provide a solid feel to the steering. Third, on the starboard side of the keel ( or is it the port side. I forget ) are two pie dish sized round evidence of ‘holes’ in the boat. What one sees is the actual fairing compound applied to the outside of the ‘plugs’ that are cut into the stub keel to attach two very powerful extraction fans used to suck out all the nasty vapors that happen when laminating to this area. The workers can perform better when they are not being poisoned by these fumes. The plugs are eventually remounted, laminated in position from the inside and faired from the outside. Looks like two skinny torpedoes that hit but didn’t blow up. All of this was taught to me by none other than Jacques Carteau who was Amel’s ‘eyes’ and did most of the interpretive drawings and the actual engineering computations on many of Captain Amel’s ideas.

Unless the keel’s fiberglass integrity was compromised, I have never known of anyone having trouble with the keel on any Amel .

All The Best, Joel

Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC


954 462 5869 office

954 812 2485 cell



From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...] On Behalf Of amelliahona
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 6:19 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Keel moving???





I suppose this is a matter of degree of movement/cracking you see.  Every Amel SM that I have seen out of the water has some degree of cracking in the bottom paint between the top of the cast iron keel and the FRP (fiberglass) stub keel to which it is bolted.  I believe this is more a function of differential thermal expansion between the two materials while on the hard rather than relative movement.  The cast iron keel (per Joel) is attached to the fiberglass stub keel with a structural adhesive as well as the multiple SS bolts.  I believe significant movement between the two is extremely unlikely short of having hit a reef at 8 knots, and even then I think it would not move things much.  


I once asked Joel about replacing the SS bolts and he told me the story of a customer who insisted on doing so despite Amel's reticence.  After removing all the nuts from the keel bolts, everything Amel tried to do to get the cast iron keel off failed.  Eventually the only way they were able to remove the cast iron keel was to cut off the fiberglass stub keel and glass in a replacement, undoubtedly a less satisfactory solution than leaving the keel alone.  


Where I have seen cracking in the bottom paint at this joint, I have ground down to bare metal and laid in 3M 5200 for fairing, over which I used Interlux 2000 primer (multiple coats) and my usual SeaHawk Island 44 (forbidden in USA because it works) anti-fouling.


Not the gospel, but my two cents worth and experience. (Joel correct me if I have mis-quoted).



Gary S. Silver  

s/v Liahona    Amel SM #335    on the hard in Puerto Rico



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