Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] New sails

Stephen MORRISON <steve_morrison@...>

Hi all,

Last week we became the new caretakers of SM2K #380.  She was originally named Feria and then Lady T, and is now Tourai.  Like a few others here, we are looking at new sails and will meet next week with Peter Grimm of Super Sailmakers in Ft. Lauderdale.  Has anyone else used them for their Amels?  He mentioned that he was putting together a couple ballooners at the moment and so I am curious if perhaps Harmonie is headed that way to pick up theirs from him?  Thanks to all for such a wonderfully active, supportive, and particularly useful user group.  

All the best,
Steve Morrison

On Nov 16, 2016, at 12:51 PM, Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


From a slightly different perspective…

You are certainly right, changing from a 150% on a foil to a smaller sail in wind conditions where that would actually be  needed, is a real handful for a short handed crew.  Corralling that sail coming down is not something that one or even two people can easily handle in 25 knots of wind and a seaway.  It can be done… but it’s not my idea of fun.

I have found from experience that rigging a GaleSail most certainly IS a challenge.  Of course it is!  You only do it when the wind is blowing the oysters off the rocks and the bow is underwater half the time!  But it is no worse than taking down a large hanked-on sail and putting up a smaller one.  When you see comments about them, you have to remember that everybody who buys one has a roller furling jib, and the idea of going forward to install a new sail in rough conditions is not something they are used to. Having said that, I don’t have one on my Amel, and it isn’t on my list of things to add.

I think you would find the difference in performance between a roller furling 150% and a 135% to be very small, except under a very narrow range of wind speeds and angles.  Especially if the large sail is heavy enough to be useful in heavy winds, it then collapses in the light winds that should be its forte.  While it is certainly true that a sail that comes down as low to the deck as possible is more efficient, the loss of visibility to leeward can be a big deal if you sail shorthanded where there are other boats or obstacles around. I watched somebody run down hard on a buoy they didn’t see coming under their big decksweeping genoa. Is small performance difference worth the extra hassle?  That is something only you can answer for yourself.  It’s just a priority thing. I don’t let Formula 1 drivers tell me how to set up my car, and I don’t let racing sailors tell me how to rig my boat.

I have sailed boats with vertical battens in the mainsail.  I found them to be fussy on rolling.  Not impossible or fatally flawed, just fussy. The very opposite of a standard Amel mainsail, but some people are fine with the the bit of fussy needed. Again, priorities.  If your sailmaker convinces you that they are the way to go, I would insist on a guarantee they work--for you--the way you sail--and a free recut to a batten-less hollow leech if you are not happy.  Again, there is, of course, a performance penalty for the hollow leech when close hauled, but it is not huge.  And on other points of sail, it would be almost unnoticeable.  The best argument in favor of battens might be to reduce leech flutter and help the sail last longer.

One consideration: Can you get the sail out and useful if the engine is not available to help hold the boat into the wind?  Engines are not 100% reliable, and the ability to put up sail in an emergency is not something I would trade for a small performance benefit. If the jib alone will hold you high enough into the wind to get out the mainsail, then good enough.

Lot’s of good sailmakers in the world, many with Amel sail experience.  I needed a new ballooner recently, and I crossed off everybody on my list who didn’t know what that was.  

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL
“Ships and men rot in port."

On Nov 16, 2016, at 10:37, 'Bill & Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


You asked: "Can anyone tell me if the special Amel locking mechanism for the ballooner which allows the removal of the halyard is adaptable to the Maramu?"

The swivel is what needs to be changed and I understand from a rigger in Malta that the swivel is available, but since I never looked into it, I am not sure where. Possibly from Amel. You would need the swivel, a 3 slot foil, a "hooker" and a "de-hooker."

Since you would need a 3-slot foil, I am not sure that you would consider this unless you were replacing the foil.

Several SM owners have bought tri-radial cut hydranet sails from a sailmaker in Ismir, Turkey. I have toured the loft and was impressed. All that I know bought from them, are as satisfied as we were. They ship worldwide. Email: Tahsin Oge>. 

I do not have direct experience with a Maramu, but I would NOT use vertical battens in a Super Maramu furling mast. It was not made to accommodate battens and you will have some issues with wear and the ability to furl at any angle other than the wind at 0 degrees...and the difficulty is proportional with the wind speed.

BeBe 387

On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 10:45 AM, James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


   Many thanks for your response to my questions about Amel sail inventory and especially the details of your experience with the battens.  

   Based just on this seasons sailing on Sueno, I agree with you that the original 150 Genoa is a very good solution for my boat and apparently yours as well.  It is a pretty big sail to store in a locker while a smaller sail is installed on the furler such as a working jib or the 110 Yankee cut sail that you mentioned.   All of my previous boats had hank on sails, which are relatively easy to control and change offshore due to the many fastening points.  On a furling sail that slides into a groove and is essentially free once lowered I cannot imagine that changing from the 150 to the 110 offshore in a bit of wind would be much fun.   This is why I was wondering about the Code 0 option.  It is a lightly made sail that hoists on a halyard ahead of the furler.  The sail is on a line furler so that when hoisted it is rolled up and can be lowered in the same state.  The Code 0 could be a significantly  larger than the 150 Genoa and would pack down into a smaller/lighter package when stowed.  This would allow the smaller jib to live permanently on the furler.  My Amel and the furling system in general is relatively new to me, so comments such as yours are a big help in making the right decisions on the new sails.  

   I have not read many positive things about the Gale sail and have never used one to date.  I wonder if there is a risk of damage to the furled sail from chafe?

   I do strongly feel that I want to have a headsail solution available on my boat that is strong enough to use deeply reefed and is easy to tack.  

   And yes, it is certainly possible these days with careful planning to avoid most of the higher wind conditions.  Our planned route will take us around South Africa however and that is one example where I think it may come down to the luck of the draw and I want to be ready…

   I have not yet used the double pole arrangement for downwind sailing but spinnakers I are not a good option for cruising in my mind either.  

   Can anyone tell me if the special Amel locking mechanism for the ballooner which allows the removal of the halyard is adaptable to the Maramu? 


James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
Arbatax,  Italy
On Nov 15, 2016, at 9:09 PM, Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners] <> wrote:

Hi James,
I have an SM, so not entirely the same...but here is my experience.

When I purchased Kristy 8 years ago, the sails had been discarded.  I was starting with a clean slate, but didn't know very much.  She's my first sailboat.

I knew that the original set of sails included a 150% genoa, but allowed myself to be talked down to a 135% by a sailmaker in Kemah, Texas.  He said that I wouldn't have good sail shape by the time I reefed to 15-18 kts of wind.  He may have been right, but as light winds are more of a problem than too much wind, I regret not having the 150.  In addition, the 135 is cut with the clew 1.2 meters above the safety rail.  This further reduces my sail area in light air.  If I were to do it again, I would have a 150 with the fo ot just above the safety rail. (Assuming that it would still work well with the downwind pole.)

I also have a 110 Genoa with a high cut clew, almost a Yankee.  It is my go-to sail in the Eastern Caribbean during the winter months when the trades blow 20-25 kts all the time.

The main and mizzen have short vertical battens that have never been a problem.  You just have to keep the boom at 90 degrees to the mast when furling in or out.  Watch the battens as they enter the mast, they should enter all at once, not at any angle.

My sails are 8 years old and still look very good.  They are Dacron with Spectra and I was told they should last 12-15 years.  They aren't racing sails, but they do what I want them to do very well.

If I am still sailing when my current sails need replacing, I don't think I'd change anything except that I'd go with the 150 genoa.

I have a spinnaker that came with the boat, but I've never used it.  Anyone interested?  Pay for shipping and you can have it.  I love the double pole rig for downwind sailing.

I also have a Gale Sail that straps around the furled headsail. I put it up once but have never actually used it to sail with....I try to stay out of those conditions.  I've been in 35-40 kts a couple of times, both times with the 110 Yankee up. She did great jib and jigger with the 110 furled about 20% and the mizzen at the spreader.

Don't know if that helps you at all, jus t recounting my experience.  I don't really have anything to compare it to.

Steady as she goes.

S/V Kristy

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