visit to Hyeres/Amel 55 trade winds rig
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Hello Gavin and congratulations on your Amel 55 purchase. As John mentioned, be sure to call ahead to the Amel base in Hyeres before you go there. Berths are nearly impossible to find there at this time of the high season for tourists. Additionally, Amel will be short-handed as some of their techs will be on holiday too If you arrive unannounced you will probably be disappointed..
All The Best, Joel
Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC
THE EXPERIENCED AMEL GUY
954 462 5869 office
954 812 2485 cell
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 8:40 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Best trade wind rig for an Amel 55
Congratulations on the purchase. I spent almost a year looking at Amels and traveling near and far to visit. At one point I had planned on buying a Super Maramu in Europe which was in sail off condition. I actually had lined up crew for a transatlantic but the deal fell through. I finally purchased a Super Maramu in Martinique, and I am now glad I purchased her close to an Amel service center(Le Marin) and also closer to my home in the US.
I have sailed her about 2700 nm so far and feel like I am still learning her sail plan characteristics. I look back now and am grateful that I did not purchase a boat in Europe and then almost immediately embark on a crossing. Playing around the islands and walking the boat (and crew) up to longer passages was definitely the way to go. I would be cautious about doing a crossing straight off after purchase. Maybe some other 55 owners would be able to help you with the crossing?
There is an Amel service center in Hyeres, about 100 or so nm from where you are now. I would suggest contacting them and sailing to Hyeres to allow them to take a look at the boat. Their technicians may have better insight into the refrigeration issues. I had the Amel technicians in Le Marin walk through my boat and inspect my spare parts and pretty much gave me a "free survey." They recommended several items be serviced and provided me with a list of common wearable parts I should keep in inventory. Another reason for you to meet them is that they should be able to provide you with an Amel recommended/intended sail plan for the 55. The SM has a detailed guide for how to and when to run with the different sails and configurations, I am sure there exists a similar guide for the 55.
On refrigeration, I have not yet met a refrigeration/air conditioning technician that is worth a darn. At purchase time all the AC units on my SM were non-functioning. The previous owner had gotten repair quotes from several shops in Martinique, all of which recommended complete replacement of all units at a cost of over 12,000 eur. I spent a bit of time on the Amel Forum and tinkering with the units and found a bad capacitor (big surprise), sea water supply run in parallel rather than series(sw flow was unregulated between the units causing unpredictable behavior), a clogged sea water hose(caused one unit to trip on high pressure after 10 seconds, which was confusing since we had water flowing out the thru-hull...now explained by the parallel sw routing which masked the no flow situation), and finally a broken refrigerant line(vibration fatigue failure.) I replaced the capacitors, sea water hoses and one complete unit with a new self contained model. Less than $1500 USD, and now I type this email in a 68F (20C) salon while it is 92F(33C) outside. Refrigeration technicians in my experience tend to very quickly throw their hands up and report the whole unit need to be replaced if they cannot find an obvious fault. If you don't have the inclination to tinker, then try the Amel service center, at least there, there will be technicians with some experience on your system to help.
SV Annie SM 37
cruising Pamlico Sound