I have only owned a Super Maramu...a 2003 model. I am a huge fan of Amel.
I will attempt to tell you my limited understanding of the comparison...hopefully I will not ramble too much, but appologies if I do:
As an Amel SM 53 owner, my first reaction to the 55 was, "...what are they crazy, what the heck are they thinking?" It was such a departure from what I thought of Amel that it did not immediately compute to me. Most of the reason for my impression was the fault of Amel management...they overlooked using the power of Amel owners to introduce a new product. In this day and time, that was a big mistake, one that could be corrected, but is still overlooked.
The 55 is more of a different boat than the previous Amel models and the 55 has not been accepted by previous owners as much as the previous models were. Of course, this stands to reason because with each model progression prior to the 55, the new models carried over 'tried and true' Henri Amel designs mostly with a blind eye to change. I could argue that this was very good, but if you asked me to argue the other side, I could argue that it was bad. This is something that regrettably Amel did a poor job of. In their defense, they had never made a design change as radical as the 55 and maybe they simply did not realize how to "launch a really new product."
The 55 has a completely different keel than the 53 or 54 which allows it to point better and sail faster. This means the freshwater is relocated and the water gauge is missing. The 55 has batteries stored in the cabin sole in a watertight compartment rather than above the waterline in a water tight compartment as in the 53 and 54...there are advantages to either design...we were accustomed to the latter. The rigging is inside the life line to make it point better and sail faster. The rudder is further back making it turn faster and it allows the rudder gear and autopilots to be in a compartment inside the rear lazarette. If you like galleys and galley conveniences, you will love the 55. The freeboard is higher giving the 55 more interior room and volume. The cockpit is deeper for greater protection, but it is more difficult to get in and out of as compared to the 53 & 54. The table in the cockpit is great, but it requires extra steps to get in the engine room.
I think the 55 is a yacht that is something like a sailing yacht that Oyster would make if they wanted to knock-off Amel. I also think that Amel management did a terrible job of utilizing the power of probably at least 1,000 Amel owners to promote the 55. Amel could have pitched the 55 and all of its changes, features and benefits to Amel Owners around the world, and some of us could have helped the launch of the 55. But they ignore us...or at the very least, they ignore me.
Maybe you should email Dimitris Krasopoulos <dkrasopoulos@...
>. He has owned several Amels including 53 and 54. He has been looking closely at the 55. He may have what you are looking for.
I think that you will see more negative remarks from 53 and 54 owners than you will from new Amel 55 owners, but hopefully my explanation above will explain that and you can take that into consideration.
I hope this helps you.