Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Liferaft question

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS

Hi Hanspeter ,
us sailors out side of Europe aren't exaggerating, at least this one isn't
I was in a 12.8 metre yacht with a 3 spreader mast of 14 meters. Standing in the cockpit sighting to the top of the waves the line went through the second spreader. My crew and I agreed incredibly that put the waves taller than the mast. We were fore reaching which meant we were climbing the waves on a slight diagonal.  The tops broke down on us as we climbed the front of the waves. I was hand steering the tiller in the cockpit and having constant waves dropping from the curling crests on my back. One wave broke heavily over us landing on my back and driving my face into my knees. I was tightly harnessed. The cockpit was full. There was a flag on the backstay, the bottom of which was 2 meters up the backstay. After the wave had passed it was wrapped tight around the stay. Draw your own conclusions. We had a storm jib on rolled to half and we averaged 6,8 knots by GPS through the night. I believe that movement is what saved us from the impact of these waves. Another breaking wave hit us on the stern with an almighty whump that drove the stern 45 degrees sideways. Somehow our spade rudder survived. Looking around at dusk, all around, every half mile or so in all directions waves were climbing on top of each other, one, two three and on the third a huge wave broke like a giant wave on a surf beach. If you haven't seen it, you cant imagine it. We were 100 miles north of North Cape New Zealand and the wind was South westerly which means it was roaring up from the southern ocean with hundreds of miles of fetch. When we got in the lee of north cape, even though we were 25 miles out, the seas, although still large were not nearly as bad,
I can understand your sceptism but our assessment was carefully made. If you haven't seen it is hard to believe. We survived through careful preparation. Our decks were clear.. The anchor and chain were lashed central below.  We had the right sail on,(storm jib) the main was triple lashed to secure it. All loose items were stowed and secured and we had a sailing plan. 

From: "'Hanspeter.baettig' hanspeter.baettig@... [amelyachtowners]"
To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Liferaft question

Ok I now you guys outside of europe, you exaggeration is well known 😉
"Waves taller then the mast " never heard of this big waves > 20m and you are still sailing. Was that around South Africa outside the 100 fathom line in winter against the current?
As a littel input to everybody, keep it moderate 
Save sailing
SM Tamango 2
Von meinem iPad gesendet

Am 18.01.2017 um 22:53 schrieb Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>:

Go Joel.
I, on a previous yacht was caught in a full on South Pacific storm. Waves taller than the mast breaking over the boat. Off shore NOTHING unnecessary should be on deck. Hence the Amels prodigious storage, unequalled on any other yacht of this size. It is there for good purpose. Anyone who reads books of storm experience will see again and again stories of dinghies, life rafts and jerry cans being torn off their mountings. and taking their mountings with them. I have seen a big off shore Tuna fishing boat with a hole punched in its side a car could drive through, punched by a storm wave.. Until you've seen it you cant imagine the power of the sea in a rage. However don't let this put you off, Henri designed the boat that will keep you safe....if you don't mess it up.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl

From: "'Joel Potter' jfpottercys@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2017 9:14 AM
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Liferaft question

Hello Steve. I know your boat well as I sold it to the owner you bought it from and knew the original owner well and met him in La Rochelle. Your boat has a fairly unique life raft bracket/lift/launch mechanism. Amel designed and built it as the owner was a legacy client and he insisted. He was also a Dutchman two meters tall so nobody argued with him. This is why your boat has modifications to the interior which Amel took on to see how adaptive the workers could be after essentially building pretty much the same thing 379 times before. Your life raft launch system works perfectly. As almost everyone on this site will tell you, and some more fervently than others, DON’T CHANGE ANY AMEL DESIGNED SYSTEM UNTIL YOU HAVE OWNED, AND ACTUALLY USED YOUR BOAT, FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR. I  hope some other experienced Amel owners will chime in with support  of this dictum. This next sentence sounds pompous but it is true…you have a lot to learn and experience, after time you will deeply appreciate this. I have sold well more than 200 Super Maramu’s( some three and four times ), owned two personally, and I have seen this learning curve in every instance. Take it easy, take it slow.
Here are some things to consider. Captain Amel knew that most cruisers spend about 15-18% of their time actually under sail passage making. The rest of the time is spent exploring and enjoying new harbors after arrival or fixing stuff. Hook down, not sailing for days. He made a special locker for the life raft to keep it out of the sun and weather the 80% of the time the raft would not have to be deployed. The sun thermally cycles the raft inside of a canister every day as it goes up and down. Canister containments leak more often than they do not, also encouraged by thermal cycling which expands and contracts all the materials involved with the thermal radiation of the sun and the cool of the evening. Add some moisture and things deteriorate faster when stored outside. He also put it under cover as life rafts get stolen only less frequently than dinghies, outboards and anchors. Safe inside the locker, it is out of the sun and weather and concealed from sight. It will last much longer this way and not find its way to ‘new ownership’.
The standard Super Maramu launch system for the life raft involves using the mizzen staysail halyard and the main sheet winch. When I questioned Captain Amel about this being a bit slow and clumsy, he retorted something like this. “Mr. Potter, you don’t know who your parents are. This boat has four watertight bulkheads and a double bottom. If you are ever in danger of sinking, you are having a really bad day. You will grab the life raft with one hand and hoist it on deck easily with the adrenalin you will be gifted.” That said, all Amel owners should practice life raft extraction on a nice sunny day and do it several times so you could do it if it is dark and you are scared.
The life rails were not designed to hold the weight of and more so the surface area the hard canister presents to  big waves. When I was selling new Super Maramu’s, if a client insisted on a rail mount liferaft, Amel would not install it as they did not want to be responsible. The outboard is mounted on a stronger section of the life rail and presents a smaller impact profile and is supposed to be in the aft lazarette when offshore. It will last longer this way. The life raft locker does not lend itself well to a sail locker. Besides, you hve a dedicated space for the ballooner lines and the big ballooner needs to be forward for easier setting/retrieval and the mizzen staysail is best kept in the cockpit lockers. You’ll see…
Most importantly, did the previous owner spend some days on board with you showing you all the systems, teaching you how to maintain the boat and showing you any peculiarities? I recall that your boat had its electronics updated and a lot of the old stuff was just abandoned without being removed, both devices and wiring. This can cause trouble…
Good Luck and enjoy your Amel! Joel
Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC
954 462 5869 office
954 812 2485 cell
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 12:45 PM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Liferaft question
Thanks Ben. The rail mounted Viking Rescyou Pro 6 is what I am leaning towards as well. Unfortunately it appears to be 2" or so too wide for the lift mechanism in my Amel compartment, so I will likely repurpose that compartment possibly as a dedicated sail locker for both ballooner sand lines. 

On Jan 18, 2017, at 12:39 PM, Ben Driver/YAHOO joedoakes66@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
I had an 8 man bombard that came with boat stored in port lazerate.  It weighed well over 100 pounds and I needed to winch it out with halyard.  It's now gone and I'm replacing with a rail mounted unit.  Several companies - e.g., Platissmo, Viking -.make good units with rail mounting options, which are much easier to deploy. And no drilling holes in deck for a cradle!  Viking self righting six man is what I will buy..

Ben Driver
La Bella Vita
SM #347

On Jan 18, 2017, at 12:36 PM, Steve Morrison steve_morrison@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
I am back with my new SM 380 in Ft. Lauderdale this week ticking off some new owner boxes and am wondering what others are doing for their life raft. At present I have a zodiac 6 person that lives in the life raft well (deck hatch) and shows an inspection sticker of Dec, 2011. It is my understanding that newer life rafts can go three years between inspection rather than what I believe is every year for older versions such as mine. Are there newer 3-year 6-person offshore rafts that fit in the Amel liferaft compartment? Have some of you moved your raft to a different location because you have purchased one that does not fit in Amel's space?

Thanks for your time,
Steve Morrison
SM # 380
Ft. Lauderdale

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