When the Amel 54 was introduced, Amel made a break from the Yanmar engines that gave such good service in the Millennium series Super Maramu’s. I pushed for years to get my friends at Amel to consider installing Yanmars, based on very favorable experiences with them by my clients and personally, but mainly because Volvo service, from Volvo North America, was and I understand still is so sub-par in North America compared to elsewhere. Volvo in Europe and in many other places enjoy much better after sales service than what we have here in North America.
Amel would have liked to consider continuing with Yanmars but new E.U. emission regulations required the use of FADEC/full authority digital engine control systems which, essentially, means the engines combustion process is controlled by a computer and several electronic sensors and actuators. This makes certain that the engine produces power efficiently and the exhaust is as free of pollutants as possible. Yanmar did not offer a FADEC diesel of the proper power output at that time so Amel went to Volvo diesels.
Amel used Volvos exclusively for the majority of the production run of the Amel 54. One client wanted a Steyr diesel and as Amel was interested in that firms diesels for future models, they installed one in a 54. Steyr is an Austrian company, world famous for precision engineered and crafted diesels and for well-engineered and jewel like construction quality small arms military weapons and hand guns. Steyr diesels have a seldom seen mono-block construction where the engine’s head and block are a one-piece casting with much of the machining of the head being accomplished from the inside of the engine. This eliminates the head gasket which can be a trouble prone component in pressure induction ( turbo or supercharged ) engines. I really like these engines and if you go to the Steyr booth at a major boatshow and give one some eyeball, you will too. The excellence in design and construction is extremely obvious.
Towards the end of the Amel 54 production run, Volvo decided not to offer the D3 110 diesel in an isolated negative/full floating ground as they had been doing previously. Amel was obliged to find a replacement quickly as this type of electrical system is absolutely essential for Amel boats. About 20 , plus or minus a few, Amel 54’s were then equipped with Volkswagen marine FADEC diesels.
Hope this is helpful.
All The Best, Joel
Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC
THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY
954 462 5869 office
954 812 2485 cell