Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Amel 55 layout

Jean Boucharlat

Re Amel 55 layout et al.


Kenneth, I am very much in agreement with your assessment of the 54 vs. 55 layout.


If it can be of any help in forming your own opinion, or confusing you thoroughly, I am reiterating what I wrote a few months back concerning both boats:


“Having been a very satisfied owner of two boats bought new from Amel, one Maramu in 1981 and one SM in 1998, and having trialed the 55 as well as the 54, at my point in life (74), I would certainly consider owning a 54 but not a 55. Why? Because the 55, in my opinion, is definitely a faster sailing boat than her predecessors but she is probably not a better cruising boat. Here are my reasons:


Positives of the 55:


Faster boat, pointing higher than a 54 or SM, due to a good hull design by Racoupeau

No slapping of waves against the hull in the aft cabin, again due to a better hull design by Racoupeau

Rudder stock going through the hull in a watertight compartment (the lazarette) making for a safer arrangement


Negatives of the 55:


Very high freeboard

One more step (4 against 3) to go up or down from cockpit to saloon

Very deep engine room, difficult to access, and very narrow to work in, by virtue of its very depth

Disappearance of the large, and extremely useful, port cockpit locker, now replaced by a small and shallow little thing, hardly sufficient for ropes.

Spreaders too angled. This makes for better pointing but also considerably more mainsail chafing when abeam, a more usual point of sail when cruising.

No traveler to control the mainsail shape

Shroud chain plates not on the gunwales but moved inside, making it significantly more difficult to walk forward

Helmsman seat much too large and permanent table in the cockpit both make for an uncomfortable cockpit, much reduced in usable space.

And for the “coup de grâce”, the extraordinarily practical water meter stick has now disappeared!

The fuel tank new location (starboard rear passageway) makes for a fluctuating counterweight to the heavy portside generator, as fuel is being consumed gradually.


Having said all this, I’d rather be at sea in a 55 than an Oyster, but I am disappointed that Jean-Jacques Lemonnier has seen fit to discard so many of the excellent features of Amel’s previous designs.”


I would go so far as to say that Amel is now “managed” rather than driven by a strong willed, and occasionally cantankerous, mind such as Henri Amel. “Management” means “marketing” which means designing to the wishes of a public that has very little experience with boats. It’s a great pity as I do not know of any other yard that had come so close to building the nearly perfect cruising boat.


All in all I consider the 54 as the last “real” Amel, but the 55 remains much better than most other boats in its category.


And now, the decision is yours….!


Jean Boucharlat

Formerly SM 232



From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: dimanche 20 mars 2016 16:07
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Amel 55 layout



One thing I find counter-intuitive about the new 55 is the stateroom layout.  I thought the 54 had the perfect layout, with aft owner's cabin and two guest cabins forward.  The Amel 55 has the owners cabin forward, which I have always found unusable in weather.  Can any owner of the 55 advise me on the usability of the owner's cabin in moderate to heavy seas?  I inspected one in Newport and asked the Amel rep about this strange change, and he could only shrug his shoulders implicitly acknowledging the unique choice.  Anyhow, wondering if others have opinions on this.  We are torn between an Amel 54 and 55.  

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