O.K.! Alright already!! I can't believe how many of you
have asked me to weigh in on the watermaker issue. I really
don't want to become a defacto referee. Please remember,
although my opinions may be tempered by my nearly 25 year
long relationship with AMEL as their marketing man in the
Americas, my comments come from Joel the AMEL 54 owner and
not from AMEL. That is important.
I have never received a satisfactory, straight up, cut and
dried answer from Dessalator on the issue of the salt
sensor. Always polite, always gentle, but no answer. I
have accepted the obvious, they just don't want to say
I think that guys like Gary Silver and Eric Freedman are a
true benefit to us all. I know both of these gents as I
sold them their boats. They are both extremely
knowledgeable and capable, and without ego problems. Their
desire is for a common body of knowledge and experience
which will benefit us all. They'll get mad at me for
telling you this but Gary built, with his own two hands, a
two place aerobatic bi-plane that he tumbles around in. If
you ask him real nice he'll take you up in it and make you
hurl so hard you'll wish you were never born. Eric has an
electrical engineering degree from MIT and he has forgotten
more about electricity than most of us will ever know. They
are not trouble makers. They are valuable. They never
incite. The vast majority of you are the same, just wishing
to promote the common good. No agendas. Nothing to prove.
On the other hand, I have always noticed, with AMEL folks
and otherwise that it's 10% of the people who have 90% of
the problems. This 10% crew are always looking for
retribution because NOTHING is without blame. NOTHING is
ever their fault. The world isn't a fair place and this
group feels particularly persecuted.
Boats are machines. Machines wear with use. Shit happens.
It comes from my experience and not loyalty that our AMEL
boats have far less problems than ANY other boat from ANY
manufacturer. I have spent over 30 years
sailing/building/fixing/selling all kinds of cruising
sailboat until in the last ten years going more or less
exclusively with AMEL with the odd brokerage boat the
exception. Our AMEL boats are not trouble prone. I am sure
To suggest that Olivier Beaute or Jean Jacques Lemonnier are
less than 100% forthright is just plain wrong. Jean Jacques
is the fairest person I know with the wisdom of Solomon.
That said, don't try to bully him into anything. You will
go backwards gently. Olivier could not be involved in a
conspiracy if his life depended on it. He is just not
capable of being dishonest. To suggest they know that there
is a defect in our watermakers is ridiculous. I'm not waving
the company flag here. This is just simply the truth.
Consider this.I pay for my boats that I use as demonstrators
here in America. I don't pay for my spare parts assortment
that comes with the boat. Every boat I have received from
AMEL has a spare salt sensor in the inventory. Why would
they incur the expense of sending me something that has no
value or use if they indeed knew that were the case?
I will ask Jean Jacques to address our issue personally with
Dessalator and then I'll step back. No promises.
The comments from most owners about maintenance are correct.
Use your watermakers, change your thinking if need be.wash
your masts, booms, rigging, decks, dinghy's, dive gear. Use
water abundantly. It's good for you. If you run your
watermakers three times a week, it will last a long, long
Unless you will not use it for more than 7 months, DON'T
PICKLE IT. Just flush it with it's own product water.
Seriously I have years of experience with boats that stay
dormant while for sale. The ones that are pickled have 95%
of the failures. If you do pickle it, FOLLOW THE
INSTRUCTIONS. Like most things, if enough is plenty, more
isn't better. Mix the solution carefully.
Let's see now, who haven't' I pissed off yet.
My intention here is to be helpful. As an AMEL marketing
man, I can say that our boats retain value better than any
others I can think of. This is mainly because of all of
you. You are our best salespeople. I am happy to direct
potential buyers to our site with only a brief admonition
about bad apples.
Look at other boat manufacturers independent owner groups.
Yikes! These people are angry!! Let's not bite the hand
that feeds us. If you have a problem, gently and carefully
address the source. If that doesn't work, seek more
aggressive means in gradual steps. You can privately address
your concerns to a number of sources, me included if need
be, for a point in the right direction to solve your issues,
but not on the site. But please, it's best not to belabor
things on the site and don't fly your dirty laundry here.
I'll stop now.
All the best,
Joel F. Potter,
AMEL 54 # 14, HOLLIS