Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bush*** IMPORTANT RESPONSE***
Teun BAAS <teunbaas@...>
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I believe Danny refers to me as the “new to AMEL owner who spent a small fortune” and he is absolutely right.
Clearly for the original owner of my boat money was not so much an object. He ordered EURO285K on AMEL options when she was built and spent, during his ownership, a huge amount of money on maintenance & upgrades performed by the some of the most reputable yards in EUROPE and NEW ZEALAND (all as per original invoices on board). The problem was that all these craftsmen only focused on their task at hand while completely ignoring how everything worked together as they were unaware of the AMEL philosophy as in (unnecessarily) drilling another raw water inlet for the new state of the art water maker.
I had trained for 3 weeks on a private AMEL 54 charter in the Caribbean where, at my specific request, doing maintenance (oil changes, heat exchanger removal for acid cleaning etc. etc.) was part of the charter. However when I arrived on “my” boat in December 2017 and sat in the engine room I absolutely didn’t recognize the bulk head; all the hoses crawling over & under each other; unable to get to the fridge strainer without twisting myself in a pretzel, where is the bilge pump?, where is the fresh water pump? etc. and wondered if there could have been such a difference between the 2007 and the 2009 productions
I met both Judy and Bill in their house in GALVESTON TX during hurricane HARVEY when I retained Bill as a purchase consultant; in the (pre) purchase process Bill made himself tirelessly available; frequently checking in & up on me while I was in NEW CALEDONIA living on the boat during the initial 3 months getting her ready for a sea-trial. He exceeded well over the allotted hours of the pre-purchase agreement w/o asking for additional compensation. My seller engaged Bill to go to NEW CALEDONIA for 1 week to hand the boat over to me; this handover was delayed at least twice. So many issues emerged that, frustrated, both the seller and I asked Bill to come over even as the boat was unable to move (due to an engine electrical fire the day after I arrived on board).
Bill’s involvement demonstrated his value for a NEW AMEL owner, unfamiliar with AMEL I didn’t understand nor appreciate the peculiarities of the way the boat is designed & built. But I specifically purchased an AMEL because of its reputation for quality, safety & reliability; I didn’t buy a “sail boat” but I wanted an AMEL!!!
By the time Bill arrived the boat had passed the complete survey (by the ex AMEL agent for the SP) except for the sea-trial as we didn’t have a running engine and were waiting for spare parts. Before Bill arrived the seller, from time to time, balked at some of the issues we reported (boat had NOT sailed for 20 months); once Bill was on board and every evening sent the seller a report (including pictures) of his findings there was NO more discussion and everything was replaced & restored to the OEM specs as well as equipment. For example: the seller had replaced the AMEL fresh water pump with a very expensive (USD1,500 to USD2,000) XCALIBUR pump; it failed. He reported a spare to be on board. That one (used) didn’t work either – so he clearly had 2 of these pumps during ownership and both failed. I frequently had gray water in the engine room; Bill determined that the AMEL bilge pump was replaced for a submerged pump etc. etc. A 5000 watt VICTRON was installed on the location of the original bilge pump as the original location for the charger was used by the new (state of the art) water maker etc. etc.
230V & 5000 watt VICTRON were right next to the raw water intake and the gray water bilge. Bill decided this was a major hazard and needed to change; again a major (expensive) exercise moving the VICTRON from the engine room (no room) to the closet near the pilot berth.
Some of major items seller & I shared the cost like the new engine (after spending USD15K on parts & labor and still NOT working) but the majority of all the costs were paid by the seller.
Without Bill I would have taken delivery of the boat as the surveyor didn’t pick up on any of this as technically everything worked and was marine grade and functional for a sailboat – but it was not for an AMEL sailboat. Bill was of so much help to both seller and me during the 1st week that we jointly paid for extending his stay with another week. He worked tirelessly ALL day and I while was worn out at night he would still be on his computer for hours doing research on issues relating to my boat as well as replying other people with their AMEL questions.
Yes Bill is very, very set in his AMEL way but, in all honesty, from what I read on the forum in almost all cases the AMEL design has been well thought out & tested over time. Looking at my original owner he though he improved on AMEL by buying hugely more expensive pumps, motors, equipment etc.; had them installed by top of the line yards (the NEW ZEALAND yard handled AMERICA CUP boats) and over all with a disappointing, unsafe & unreliable final result.
I don’t have the feeling Bill is not open to discussion and surely I always found Judy and him to be extremely polite, typical Southern USA lady & gentleman - the complete opposite of my rambunctious, obnoxious Dutch in your face “say as you see it” ☹
If have had discussions with Bill while he is still doing this, at his age fly all over the world (NEW CAL for me; Spain last month) to help, introduce & train people with their AMEL. Surely he doesn’t need the money – he is just completely dedicated to AMEL.
Finally – I have been reading fori for the last 20 to 30 years; motorcycles; motorhomes, cars, cruising etc. etc. and invariably there is always name calling which then degrades into worse. I was telling somebody else here in the marina the other day that The AMEL OWNER GROUP forum is the only forum I am aware of without any of the disrespectful annotations: just an exchange of opinions & experiences of real AMEL sailors. Let’s keep it that way.
Best Regards Teun BAAS
AMELIT A54 #128
NOUMEA NEW CALEDONIA
May 11, 2018 09:10:30
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2018 6:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] SM Prop Shaft Seal direction and Bush*** IMPORTANT RESPONSE***
Hi Rink, I cant agree with you on this. Nor do I think an insulting crack at Texans is appropriate. Bill is always consistent. Polite, firm and unwavering. It does us no harm to have such a strong Amel advocate. Anyone who wishes can ignore him. As well as being sound advice, retaining the "fleet" as near to original is doing us all a big favor as it maintains the value of our unique vessels. Because of the work he does Bill has seen instances of modified Amels that have turned out less than satisfactory. I know of one new owner who has spent a small fortune replacing failing/failed modifications to restore the boat to Amel standard. As to the arches, personally I think they are ugly
Bill, please keep up the good work
I will add two comments. Possibly hours in estruries or harbours like the Chesapeake and Delaware water with suspended silt will cause more rapid wear,Secondly..oil floats on water and I cannot see how oil could run or drip out the bottom. My observation is that when the seals begin to fail the oil level rises as well as becoming milky as the volume is increased by the addition of water.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl