Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Introduction from Utah
I agree wholeheartedly, except for one thing: we love the dishwasher. We run our dinner dishes in the evening with the end of the day battery charge and make hot water for showers. It is going to be a very sad day on our boat when the dishwasher dies since replacements are not available. We just changed out the heating element and giving it a burst of new life.
Chuck & Kim (stuck in Utah),
The systems on Amel boats are not really that more complicated than other vessels of this size. The biggest difference with Amel is you can get to the systems. Let me emphasize: "you can get to the systems". And, Amel did a fantastic job over the years of fine-tuning the assortment of parts to ensure longevity and reliability. Our Amel is now 17 years old. We can still buy parts from Amel and many of our systems are original. Amel will ship world-wide. If we do have to replace something, we try very hard to use the same brand and model that was installed by the Amel factory (else we get guidance on this forum). For example, we recently replaced the guts of our refrigerator. The Frigoboat units were still available and it was a swap out of the condenser (icebox), thermostat and compressor. We kept the fridge box as it was very high quality stainless and the wood facade door matched the African mahogany aboard. No drilling new holes or re-engineering required. The fridge is removed by taking out 3 thumbs screws. The whole unit can then be placed atop the washer/dryer without having to disconnect anything. The whole project took less than half a day. Plug and play! On our previous boat it would have taken a day to just remove the old parts. It would have taken a cabinet maker to install the new parts. Once you have owned an Amel, every day you appreciate the nuances of the brand. Things like running an antenna cable from the nav-station to the lazarette can be done in a few minutes. On other boats, this is an all day project. Having an engine room I can stand up in and access 4 sides of the engine and genset is heaven. Have you ever tried to change out a starter while lying on your stomach and unscrewing bolts by brail? I have. I'm glad those days are gone.
I would encourage you to go look at an Island Packet 485. This is the finest example of good ideas gone bad. Look at the engine and ask yourself how you could ever replace it. It would take a master cabinet maker and you would have to cut a huge hole in the cockpit floor. The boat is built around the engine. Crazy stupid. Look at the size of the nav-station and how much boat real-estate is given to it. ask yourself how often you sit at the nave station. Things like this are common place amongst other boat manufacturers. Amel didn't get everything right but they did way better than most.
Hope this helps push you over the ledge to buy an Amel and leave the snow in the rear view mirror.
And, call Joel Potter. You'll be glad you did.
With best regards,
Sailing Yacht: Cream Puff
SM2K #275 - Currently cruising: Key West, FL (stuck waiting for weather!)
If another boat has the amenities present on Amels, there will be the same kinds of problems, Chuck. If an autopilot or reefer or AC fails, you're going to have to go thru the same troubleshooting, parts acquisition, and repairs. Amels are French boats and are set up in European electrical style with 220v50Hz appliances and 24v motors, etc. They can be a bit harder to source than 110v60Hz or 12vDC, but this forum is great for learning where others have sourced them. The bonding system is significantly different from most other boats and electricians on this side of the pond won't understand it. They'll want you to conform to ABYC standards, and if you aren't there while they're doing something, they'll hook it up by some method other than the Amel way. That can lead to problems.
Some proprietary parts are only available from Amel and expensive, but they're worth it!
One of the really great things
about Amels is this forum. Kristy is my first sailboat and my first big
boat. I was totally clueless about how to troubleshoot or repair
anything. The folks here took me by the hand and very patiently walked me
thru things step by step. If it hadn't been for them I'd have given up
after a few years. Now, 8 years later, I've learned to find and repair
most things that go wrong. I can post a question here and get an answer
in a few hours. I spent a ton of money paying mechanics and electricians
to learn my boat and try to teach me, only to find out later they really didn't
"get" Amels. In retrospect, I'd have been better off flying in
someone like Olivier to teach me and the electrician what and why.
Thank you for the warm welcome Kent,
I have been lurking for quite some time and have enjoyed the interactions (from afar). I have also followed a few blogs from members here. I guess the first question is: Is this type of yacht too complicated with too many intricate systems to manage. Are Amels anymore more complicated than any other comparable yacht with similar features. I have read for years of the KISS principle and agree but that also conflicts with my other want and that is to sail and liveaboard in somewhat safety and comfort. This boats checks almost all the boxes (I do have a spreadsheet and there are boxes).