Welcome aboard Charlie!
This is the right place to ask one hundred questions....about Amels that is! I am sitting on Annie, SM #37, I purchased her in December 2016 so I too am about a year and a half into her. I bought her in Martinique and sailed her back to the States last summer and then got chased to North Carolina by those pesky hurricanes last year. We sailed her down to the Florida Keys then back through the islands over the last 8 months and are now in Le Marin to do some Amel maintenance and eat excellent cheese and wine before heading west. I still feel like I am getting to know the boat.
Cloud Seven is not too much younger than Annie, they might have even met in La Rochelle. Our close hull numbers likely means we will have similar bits of Amel evolution on our boats. I am berthed next to "My Motu" SM #25, Scott, her owner is a nice fellow and like us bought his boat about a year ago. He too could be a good source for info on our vintage hulls.
I recommend also the Amel Owners Facebook group. It is mostly the same people as the Forum, but it is a more "fun and games" with Amels type of site. People do have tech conversations there as well and it is easier to post photos.
To your questions (98 to go...)
Some others can probably give you better and more seasoned advice on the keel ballast but I can tell you two things:
1. The metal part of the keel should be encapsulated with a waterproof coating, like epoxy or glassed in. If a previous owner stripped it off and then just primed and painted it, that could be the issue.
2. I am sure you have heard of the Amel bonding system by now. All metal parts that are in constant contact with sea water are electrically connected to the two anodes on the rudder. Any break in the connection to the anodes will cause the affected parts to be not protected. The metal keel ballast included. The bonding connection to the keel is located at the bottom of the bilge sump in the engine room. There should be a copper strap or copper bar that runs from a connection near the top of the bilge down to a keel bolt at the bottom of the sump. You can find the top where there should be an accumulation of green/yellow wires. The green/yellow wires are the Amel bonding system. Also you can check under the aft berth to make sure the strap to the rudder post(and anodes) is intact.
Aside: The 12v and 24v DC electrical system is not grounded to the hull nor to the bonding system. If someone in the past used a green/yellow wire as a ground, there could be some issues there as well. In a bad case this can cause fast corrosion. An Amel near us recently had a powered wifi antenna that somehow put 12v onto the standing rigging. The boat was literally pouring rust from every place the rig touched the hull it looked horrid. The owner said it happened over the course of just a few days. Once the wifi antenna was isolated the corrosion ceased….and clean up commenced.
At survey in December 2016 I had zero rust on the keel ballast…. But that was a boat which was prepared for sale so it might have been cleaned up. The boat has been in the water since that time. We are about to haul out for C-Drive maintenance and fresh antifouling. I will let you know what the keel looks like.
SV Annie SM37
Le Marin, Martinique
---In amelyachtowners@..., <charliekopp3@...> wrote :
Greetings to the group.
Nothing specific to report (although I do have about a hundred questions already). Just wanted to introduce myself to the group.
Last year, just before Halloween, I was lucky enough to fulfill a years-long dream and purchased Super Maramu #50. The vessel was already in Seattle, where I live, and already at my preferred marina as well.
I have sailed her about 20 times so far, and taken one 5-day trip up to the San Juan Islands.
I have noticed that it does, indeed, take a year to begin to understand the many systems. For example, I just noticed the excellent exhaust fan in the galley when I accidentally touched the controls while feeling for the light switch above and aft of the stove.
I've learned a lot already, fixed many things, discovered many more that need attention. My 2 biggest concerns currently are: Very rusty cast-iron ballast, and broken handle on fuel shutoff valve.
Anyway, hello to everyone. This is my first boat, quite possibly my last. I love the boat dearly, and I'm fairly obsessed with Monsieur Amel's story.
I'll be back, asking questions, weighing in on topics, and hopefully providing some assistance eventually.
- Charlie Kopp
-S/V Cloud Seven
-Amel SM #50 (1991)