Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Is a Monohull (AMEL) the right choice?

Colin - ex SV Island Pearl


We haven't started cruising yet but would often spend a week or more on the boat in local waters over the past 5 years of ownership.

We have 540W x 24v and this typically tends to charge us back up from 88% at sunrise to around 98% daily by around 11am, but that is Brisbane, Australia where we get a lot of sun! Over the course of the day, and with the odd bit of motoring we are always back to 100% by 2pm or so and only use the generator to run the microwave, washer etc.. If we have around 3 rainy days in a row we would use the generator daily for an hour or so though. Our battery banks are only 400amp hours x 24v, and given the short term of our trips to date, we generally only have the galley fridge running and not the 2 x under bunk freezers. Once both these are running we think a little more solar and some wind generator power supply would be great.

How much more solar, perhaps up to 800w approx but the more the merrier really as long as it's not too large for your battery banks. In our case, and against most advice from this group, we are currently in the process of adding 2 x Rutland 1200 generators which each come with a MPPT solar controller and a function to add solar input there too, plus a stop / start switch for the wind generator and a battery temp monitor.  Whilst you certainly get very little power from wind generators compared to solar, we have had these on previous boats and always enjoyed seeing power coming in at night too when one is using most power, or on rainy but windy days as well, so just a personal preference.

In terms of auto-pilots we would certainly go with 2 fully set up complete pilots for redundancy purposes if possible with a quick change over switch. We have this and and many other Amel's we saw when boat shopping seemed to have this configuration set up by Amel in the factory which is really good peace of mind.

Windlass again if we had the option of two we would jump at it, but did not with our boat and have not missed that yet. We have seen many 54's with two anchors ready to go which looks nice, but are unsure of how often these would ever be used really?

Good luck and you will never regret the decision to go with the Amel instead of a cat. We chartered a lot before purchasing and always took big cats, but when it came to purchasing there was no way we would want one for a circumnavigation, but of course great for local waters. That said of course many swear by them.

Colin & Lauren Streeter
Island Pearl II, Amel 53 # 332
Brisbane, Australia

On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 3:04 AM, Porter McRoberts portermcroberts@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


I am so grateful for all the responses!  
We sailed this past weekend on what we hope will be our new Amel 54. Loved it. What an adventure machine!  
Thank you guys for your thoughtful and complete responses. I have no doubts nor does my beloved that we're making the right choice. 

I do have a few other questions if you would bear them:

One windlass or 2?

How much solar is enough, how much too much? Is there ever too much?

Is one autopilot enough or is a backup the way to go?

The plan is a 4 year circumnavigation. Maybe 7? Maybe 2. 

You guys are such a great crew and I really appreciate it. 

Porter McRoberts. 

On Feb 13, 2017, at 7:34 AM, stevect@... [amelyachtowners] <> wrote:


Just my two pence worth, i sailed back from Rio to Cape Town on a Leopard 40 , hit 50kt wind/storm for 18hrs surfing down waves at some hairy speeds, and i was impressed how she came through the storm , but as others mentioned anything above 15kts and she was slamming all the time, it was nice have to have the space but i would rather have been on an Monohull like an Amel, the older Robertson and Caine Leopards are a lot stronger, before they recived the Moorings/ Sunsail contracts.

As everyone says it is a personal choice, make a list of pro's and con's , want's and need's and what you can afford and can't afford, it is not an easy decsion as we are still searching for our dream yacht and the goal posts keep moving.

But if you decide on a cat i  suggest you look at the leopards.

South Africa is certianly value for money at the moment with the exchange rate.

On Wednesday, 1 February 2017, 22:19, "David Vogel dbv_au@... [amelyachtowners]" <> wrote:

Hi Porter,

Ahh, the dastardly debate - cat versus mono.  We faced this choice a few years back, before we even knew what an AMEL was . . . So you are well ahead of the curve.

Ours was a choice between 'conventional' mono versus cat.  So we - as mono sailors through and through - crewed on a Cat (Lagoon 420) trans-oceanic - through the Panama, Galapagos, French Polynesia - so as to find out first hand.  Low risk way to check it out.  We concluded, as others have reported:

CAT = 
- hobby-horsing
- noisy and banging and shuddering in ocean seas, to the point of worrying about structural integrity, but this never proved to be a problem
- could not get used to not being able to 'feel' the boat under sail
- relying accordingly more on instrument to sail, rather than tell-tales and wind-on-the-cheeks

Positives of a cat: as said, privacy, spaciousness, manoeuvrability in tight quarters (when two engines running, otherwise . . . .  )

Speed under way was not an issue either way, as a priamry criteria for the kind of Boat - eithe cat OR mono - that we were consdering.

Ultimately, it was for us it the ability to 'feel" the boat under sail, which was the determining fator for cat vs mono.Our 'mission statement': prolonged remote-area and blue-water cruising, most often but not always short-handed, owners being a M+F couple of retiring years (not muscle-bound athletic types).  For good measure, the fact of only one propulsion engine to break - less complexity to worry about when things DO go wrong.  Having decided this, then the option for us was clear.  Mono.  And the mission then lead us to a sail-plan supporting ease of sail-handling (and flexibility / redundancy if/when something breaks).  = Ketch.  And solo watches = protected cockpit, requiring also (for the fatigue-management of the off-watch) ease of sail-handling, which meant powered primary sail-controls, with (preferably) designed-in manual redundancy.  Once we had established the functional criteria, this is lead us to discover the AMEL. The level of other 'domestic' aspects, dish-washer, washing machine, not so important, but nice as 'added bonus' once the decision was made.

As was most of the 'other stuff', but all of which concreted the wisdom of the decision.  We went to cruising forums (physical, in-person, not on-line) and searched/visited other boat brands/configurations to try to dislodge our choice of an AMEL but, simply, could not do so.  Only then, did we start to refine the age, equipment spec, and hone in on the vessel that we eventually bought 4 months back.

That is our story.  I know everyone has their own path, and prioritising what is important is a personal choice.  But your 'mission spec' - long-term blue water, short-handed, kids = safety is paramount, seems to be roughly the same.  My belief is that you can not do better than AMEL for this.  When/if, we decide to 'retire' to coastal/inshore cruising, then we figure that a cat may well be the answer. If so, then we figure that a well-maintained AMEL will hold her value more so than other 'plastic fanstatics' , but that is yet another story for a, hopefully, much later time.

Hope this helps you in your quest,

Blue skies,

Novice Boat Owner
PERIGEE, SM#396, Martinique
Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 03:38, W Porter McRoberts portermcroberts@... [amelyachtowners] <> wrote:
Let me start by again thanking you for all your help along the way.

I’d set to purchasing an AMEL54  and am quite committed, researched the brand and boat for a long time now.  

Recently a friend and long time sailor also professional captain of a 200’ private yacht commented after i showed him the AMEL 54:

Having lived on my own sailboat and worked for years on other owners sailboats, I highly recommend you looking into a Catamaran!  Like the one the listing broker has like a Lagoon 500!
You get twice the space, 2 engines, they are faster and have a shallow draft for anchoring in many places you will not get into with a mono-hull.  The salon and aft outside seating area are very roomy so you don't get cramped.  Mono-hull's you are always sleeping at a angle and cooking too.  I would never run one again just because of not being able to relax more like you can with a Cat hull.  The only down-side is that you usually need to be docked on the end or T-head of the marinas because of how much wider their beam is.    The best part of sailing is getting to the next destination and relaxing and enjoying the freedom of where you are.  The Cat-hull lets you stretch-out and really enjoy where you are with much more inside and outside space.  
If you have not tried one, I think you should go charter for 2-3 days a Catamaran in the BVI's then a Mono-hull and see what you think!  
You are about to spend a-lot of money and do a major life change.  I just don't want you to jump into it without trying all the options available. I have spent years and thousands of miles on Mono-hull sailboats and would never do it again with the great Catamaran options that are out there. 

I am about to pull the trigger, am I making the right choice?
I was pretty certain i was until the above response.

Could you lend me your thoughts?

Were a family of four with plans for an around the world cruise for at least 4 years.  
Am i making a mistake?  I am the kind of person who once he makes a decision then makes certain it's the right one and goes with it.  

Its very much appreciated.

Thank you again Porter

Colin Streeter
0411 016 445

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